Big Changes Ahead for PATHFINDER Ruck Training Class 026!

We're excited to announce some big changes to PATHFINDER Ruck Training for Class 026 and beyond.

We've got a lot of things returning to pre-Covid requirements, and some other things that are totally new. Please read on to learn about all of the things we've updated! There are still a few more items in the works, but no additional, significant changes will be made.


PATHFINDER no longer requires that your workouts must be “ruck workouts.” This is no longer a requirement to allow for more rosters who are training for things outside of GORUCK events, including just maintaining fitness. When thinking about your training plan, consider these three questions:

  • Are you training for an Event? PATHFINDER still strongly recommends ruck workouts
  • Are you considering an Event but haven't committed? We recommend you keep your workouts 50/50 - 50% ruck workouts, 50% other
  • Are you maintaining your fitness OR actively training for another kind of Event (ie Triathlon, Weight Lifting, Marathon Run, etc.): Whatever workout works best for you. Regardless of the program you are participating in, we want you to have the flexibility you need with your training regimen.

There are also no more requirements to have a CA sign off on a workout, workout discipline or type.

PATHFINDER is still a ruck training program, even without the ruck workout requirement. Our weekly ruck workouts will still be posted, and ruck workouts will continue to be the vast majority of workouts we publish. We encourage you to continue to perform ruck workouts for all Event preparation.

We recommend that rosters consider a workout of :45 minutes to be a target length of time for your workout, but time over or under will count, as long as the exercise is of appropriate difficulty for your fitness ability. Our goal as a ruck training program is still to have roster's be ready for Events and other endurance challenges, but we want to open things up to allow for many different ways to train. But doing the dishes with your ruck on? Still doesn't count. ;)


Baseline Performance will now be required of all rosters at the beginning and ENDEX of each PATHFINDER class. The All You Need To Know document is here: LINK

Running will not be required of a roster, but will be recommended. Why?

  • Running creates faster cardiovascular gains
  • Efficient running gait improves rucking gait and creates a faster, more efficient ruck.
  • Even a walk/run combo (which is highly recommended for rosters new to running in general) will create more gains over time than a walk.

I'm unable to run due to orthopedic/other medical issues:

No problem. We don't ever force anyone to do anything that could hurt them. The approved alternative is the Rockport Fitness Walking Assessment. A 2011 study published in Military Medicine concluded that the Rockport walking test compared favorably to the Air Force 1.5-mile running test in assessing cardiovascular fitness. 

The rules for the walking assessment are:

  1. A level 1 Mile walking course (a school track is ideal, with four laps = 1 mi) with an unobstructed path or walkway with no stop signs, ditches, barriers, or elevation.
  2. Warm up for 5 to 10 minutes with easy walking.
  3. Start your stopwatch and immediately start walking as fast as you can. Make every effort to push yourself, but avoid jogging.
  4. At the end of the 1 mile, stop your stopwatch and record your time.

36 Pre/Post Miles Challenge

The 36 Pre/Post Miles Challenge for Forward, Endure and Advanced is getting some slight adjustments. All programs will now be able to count their mileage before AND after, no more choosing before OR after. Rosters may count from 1 - 6 ruck miles pre- and/or post-workout, depending on their program.

* This means you can ruck 6 miles, do your workout and then ruck another 6 miles, which is ideal to do several times when training for a Heavy or equivalent.

FORWARD: Rosters may ruck from 1 - 6 miles pre/post

ENDURE: Rosters may ruck 3 - 6 miles pre/post

ADVANCED: Rosters may ruck 4 - 6 miles pre/post

*Miles during workouts (ie 15 situps, 1/2mi, 15 squats, 1/2mi) will count only in specific PATHFINDER ruck workouts.


We are now allowing for alternatives to the APFT run for Forward/Endure ONLY. If Advanced rosters are not training for a specific event on their calendar, they may be eligible on a case-by-case basis for this alternative. This decision will be made together by the roster's CA and PATHFINDER'S Director of Programming.

Alternate aerobic events assess the cardio respiratory and muscular endurance of rosters that cannot perform the 2-mile run. The alternate aerobic APFT events are the following:

  • 800-Yard-Swim Test.
  • 6.2-Mile Stationary-Cycle Ergometer Test.
  • 6.2-Mile Bicycle Test.
  • 2.5-Mile Walk Test.

The roster should log the Challenge and put their alternate time in. In Notes, they should post what alternative they did, and if they met the standard or not. The same rules for meeting the standard apply, and if they did not meet the standard, they must try again. They must use the same alternate aerobic selection for each APFT attempt.

*If a roster is in back-to-back PATHFINDER classes and has used the APFT as a baseline fitness assessment, they may apply their score from ENDEX of the previous class to STARTEX at the next class. The window of acceptable time between the ENDEX APFT assessment and STARTEX of the next class is seven (7) days.

The APFT Challenge page link is located HERE.


The Reading Challenge has now been opened to every roster, regardless of program. Rosters in Forward, Endure and Advanced now have unique, program specific criteria for this Challenge. You can read more about the Challenge changes here: LINK


Advanced Rosters can complete a second timed 12-Mile ruck at Rx weight for Challenge Credit, with the stipulation that the roster must improve their second time over their first qualified time.


The Beach Ruck Challenge has some new explanations and shoes are now required. The potential for injury is too great, and we care about you and your tendons.

The Beach Ruck Challenge is now an option for Life Programming, at 2 miles. The same rules of rucking in soft sand and getting feet wet at the beginning of the ruck, and again at the midpoint, still apply.

Read the full Challenge description HERE.


No. This COVID-era rule ends as of November 1, 2020. The ONLY exception is the 12-Miler for Advanced.

More Everything You Need to Know docs?

Yes! We are cranking them out and hope to have most, if not all, Challenges addressed in the EYNTK posts when Class 026 begins. We hope this will take the pressure off of you to remember all our granular points and instead do the thing that you were meant to do - enjoy the community!


Two new Challenges will be posted about once Class 026 begins! Get excited!

Thank you to everyone who's been a part of our largest PATHFINDER Ruck Training class to date! We are excited to keep growing and continuing to provide the ultimate ruck training program. Be sure to use the ALUMNI coupon code provided on our Class025 Facebook page to keep up the great work!