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Old 07-07-2014, 05:27   #16
WarriorDiplomat
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Thought I would give an update of my experience with minimalist style running. As an SUT Cadre although a NCOIC I wanted to be able to throw on a heavy ruck and do exactly what we ask our students to do here. For the last 10 years my knees were killing me to the point of not being ble to squat down at times to pick something up, my lower back gave me alot of problems etc....I was looking at surgery and had tried all the rehab except for THOR3. I read this article I posted about mnimalist running and decided to give it a try, I realzed it isn't just running it applies to walking and rucking as well. I had been striding heel to toe for so long it caught up to me, I was forcing my hamstring to pull into the next step by overstriding with a slightly less back stride. My hamstrings were kept over stretched which I believe had weakened my lower back and the IT bands that run from the hip region down the side and across the knees were constantly tight and painful.

I decided to apply the same movement to walking after a week my knees quit hurting along with my lower back...success. I started running with no pain and no crippling tightening of my back and hips afterwards...success again. I felt great and can without pain squat to the ground without pain to pic something up. Next step was putting a ruck on and using the same step stride change and only went 4 miles, no pain and even after some stretching and sitting down to do some work my body felt good, in the past I would be walking hunched and struggle to step up however my body felt good. One more adjustment for a ruckmarch was to balance my weight with my core strength not simply leaning forward but a strong nuetral position. The next step was an 8 miler and a 10 miler bumping my weight up the same resuls, I was sore where I should have been but my knees, lower back amd heels felt great. My pace tempo changes due to a shorter forward stride but my kick is stronger and had no issue at 46 yrs old being able to walk a sub 2,5 hr 10 miler with 60 pounds + the next will be a sub 2.5 12 miler and a serious long range movement.

Thats my experience, it takes some time to get used to do something you haven't done since barefoot country boy but I wish I had done this sooner.

Last edited by WarriorDiplomat; 07-08-2014 at 04:16.
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Old 07-07-2014, 14:41   #17
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WD....great personal story and I hope it continues in that vein.
I use to enjoy doing walk alongs with SUT when Lance H was the NCOIC of that element. We're talking back in the mid to late 90's.
How does the reg Army stack up nowadays with sut?
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Old 07-07-2014, 14:49   #18
WarriorDiplomat
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WD....great personal story and I hope it continues in that vein.
I use to enjoy doing walk alongs with SUT when Lance H was the NCOIC of that element. We're talking back in the mid to late 90's.
How does the reg Army stack up nowadays with sut?
Reg Army is hit and miss these days, the soldiers are getting mentally weaker but physically better trained they just struggle with adversity, The training prior to SUT is intense ohysically but the mental strain of navigating, C2, reacting to adversity etc... is where they struggle as a whole.
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Old 07-07-2014, 15:23   #19
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Originally Posted by WarriorDiplomat View Post
Thought I would give an update of my experience with minimalist style running. As an SUT Cadre although a NCOIC I wanted to be able to throw on a heavy ruck and do exactly what we ask our students to do here. For the last 10 years my knees were killing me to the point of not being ble to squat down at times to pick something up, my lower back gave me alot of problems etc....I was looking at surgery and had tried all the rehab except for THOR3. I read this article I posted about mnimalist running and decided to give it a try, I realzed it isn't just running it applies to walking and rucking as well. I had been striding toe for so long it caught up to me, I was forcing my hamstring to pull into the next step by overstriding with a slightly less back stride. My hamstrings were kept over stretched which I believe had weakened my lower back and the IT bands that run from the hip region down the side and across the knees were constantly tight and painful.

I decided to apply the same movement to walking after a week my knees quit hurting along with my lower back...success. I started running with no pain and no crippling tightening of my back and hips afterwards...success again. I felt great and can without pain squat to the ground without pain to pic something up. Next step was putting a ruck on and using the same step stride change and only went 4 miles, no pain and even after some stretching and sitting down to do some work my body felt good, in the past I would be walking hunched and struggle to step up however my body felt good. One more adjustment for a ruckmarch was to balance my weight with my core strength not simply leaning forward but a strong nuetral position. The next step was an 8 miler and a 10 miler bumping my weight up the same resuls, I was sore where I should have been but my knees, lower back amd heels felt great. My pace tempo changes due to a shorter forward stride but my kick is stronger and had no issue at 46 yrs old being able to walk a sub 2,5 hr 10 miler with 60 pounds + the next will be a sub 2.5 12 miler and a serious long range movement.

Thats my experience, it takes some time to get used to do something you haven't done since barefoot country boy but I wish I had done this sooner.
WD really good write up. Once thing I have learned from getting ready for retirement is anything you typically had a medic take care of and never got into your medic record. Anything you got treated for while deployed and had the aid station, Bn Med or a outstay ion med station take care. Get seen for it and get them to document when it first started happening. If you self medicate, "Suck it UP," natural, or whatever get seen for it AGAIN. My legs and back are just like you and from what I've heard getting your VA is easier once you have a reoccurring problem. I, like many of us 18 series got taken care by a 18D and myself or Suck it UP," get seem.

I like using different apps with my smart phone like guys do with their Garmins and other GPS's.

Keep it up!!
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Old 07-07-2014, 15:28   #20
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Originally Posted by WarriorDiplomat View Post
Reg Army is hit and miss these days, the soldiers are getting mentally weaker but physically better trained they just struggle with adversity, The training prior to SUT is intense ohysically but the mental strain of navigating, C2, reacting to adversity etc... is where they struggle as a whole.
Mentally weaker is not a good SF trait.
I don't know how much dif it was then/now...hard to tell even after a Tng Gp death by PP slide show.
It use to be the Ranger studs were pretty strong but by the mid/late 90's (and prob a bit prior) they had started to lose SUT skills due to their tier 2 job...and some basic fieldcraft due to such short term ops.
Is CSM Chan B still there?
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Old 07-08-2014, 04:14   #21
WarriorDiplomat
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Mentally weaker is not a good SF trait.
I don't know how much dif it was then/now...hard to tell even after a Tng Gp death by PP slide show.
It use to be the Ranger studs were pretty strong but by the mid/late 90's (and prob a bit prior) they had started to lose SUT skills due to their tier 2 job...and some basic fieldcraft due to such short term ops.
Is CSM Chan B still there?
I am not sure where he is these days, CSM Sahms took over SWTG
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Old 07-09-2014, 13:21   #22
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Originally Posted by WarriorDiplomat View Post
I read this article I posted about mnimalist running and decided to give it a try, I realzed it isn't just running it applies to walking and rucking as well. I had been striding heel to toe for so long it caught up to me, I was forcing my hamstring to pull into the next step by overstriding with a slightly less back stride.
...
My pace tempo changes due to a shorter forward stride but my kick is stronger
WarriorDiplomat,

I would be interested in hearing any additional thoughts you may have on applying minimalist running principles to rucking. I have been running barefoot/minimalist for about three years now, so I attempted to incorporate similar principles when I started rucking. Unfortunately, I found it to be rather awkward and difficult to maintain a good pace without essentially trotting. My experiment was short-lived.

I believe I tend to overstride and, especially when rucking for speed, use my height to my advantage (i.e. long strides). The significant heel lift of boots obviously does not help. Anyway, I will incorporate the advice you've already given on my next ruck, but wanted to ask if you had any other "enlightening" moments which helped in the transition to your new stride. Thanks.
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Old 07-09-2014, 14:40   #23
WarriorDiplomat
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WarriorDiplomat,

I would be interested in hearing any additional thoughts you may have on applying minimalist running principles to rucking. I have been running barefoot/minimalist for about three years now, so I attempted to incorporate similar principles when I started rucking. Unfortunately, I found it to be rather awkward and difficult to maintain a good pace without essentially trotting. My experiment was short-lived.

I believe I tend to overstride and, especially when rucking for speed, use my height to my advantage (i.e. long strides). The significant heel lift of boots obviously does not help. Anyway, I will incorporate the advice you've already given on my next ruck, but wanted to ask if you had any other "enlightening" moments which helped in the transition to your new stride. Thanks.
I think the biggest thing I did was just do it until it felt comfortable, you may notice your hip flexors feel they stretch when you stride back but your pace will need to be at a higher tempo. The first I noticed is the shorter stride and higher tempo actually took less energy from my body. The tightening of the hamstrings from a long front stride causes by back to tighten and my gate starts to close. With the proper strong core relaxed shoulders diaphram open posture and the impact not radiating up my spine without a strong heel strike I believe allows me energy reserves. Again for me it was practice until I was comfortable. I noticed I was sore on the ball of my foot, calves and some in my hips from the kick but a good sore not joint pain. My heels, knees and quads felt great.

Last edited by WarriorDiplomat; 07-09-2014 at 15:42.
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