PATHFINDER Horizon | The Need for Speed

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Speed rucks train you to work at a faster pace for a longer period of time. Over the period of the 12-week Horizon course, keep track of your progress in the log.

How do you define speed while you’re rucking? It’s any pace under 15 minutes/mile for 2 or more miles.

Speed training can be demanding, which is why it’s only on the calendar once per week (with the exception of a few rest days). To minimize the science-y explanation of why we want you to speed ruck, just know that by training under load and with speed, you train your muscles to not only handle lactate better, you’re developing and increasing both your aerobic and anaerobic capacity and super-charging your endurance. 

Keeping your body relaxed and under control during your weekly speed rucks is incredibly important. Make sure your ruck fits snugly to your body. Waist belts can help your ruck comfort level while keeping a quick pace. Always include a warm-up before you begin your speed ruck. Your warm-up can be 5 minutes of your ordinary rucking pace. Maintain good form, with your eyes looking 20 feet in front of you, swing your arms at your sides instead of crossing in front of your body, and no swaying or swaggering. Shuffling is permitted. Running with your ruck is, and will always be a no-go. You should be able to say the Pledge of Allegiance with only a little comfort. Ideally, you should be able to say only 5-6 words before you need to take a breath.

Preferred Heart Rate Zone

You should aim to work in the 70% maximum heart rate zone. If you use a sports watch, like a Garmin or FitBit, it's easy to keep an eye on your zone. If you don't have one of those, you'll have to do a little math. In order to determine your maximum heart rate, the formula is 208 - (0.7 x age). Once you've figured out your maximum heart rate, figure out what 70% of that would be and aim to stay in that range. The aim of speed work is to increase how much work you're doing at or near your upper heart-rate threshold.

As always, and with any exercise program, if things don't feel right, or you don't feel well, stop.