Rucking is a fantastic way to improve your fitness, build endurance, and challenge yourself. For those who are unfamiliar, rucking is simply walking with a weighted backpack, also known as a rucksack. The weight of the rucksack can vary, but typically people start with 20-30 pounds and work their way up.
If you’re looking to improve your rucking speed (especially if you’re looking to do a ruck race like the GORUCK Star Course), there are a few key things you can do to train more efficiently and effectively.
Here are some 8 tips to help you ruck faster:
- Start Slowly and Progress Gradually: If you’re new to rucking, it’s important to start slowly and gradually increase the weight and distance you’re rucking. Start with a lighter load, and increase the weight by a few pounds each week until you reach your desired weight. Similarly, start with shorter distances, and increase the distance gradually.
- Use Proper Form: Proper form is important in any kind of physical activity, and rucking is no exception. To improve your rucking speed, make sure you’re using proper form when walking with your rucksack. Keep your back straight and your core engaged, and make sure your shoulders are pulled back and down. If you you’re interested, we wrote an article that takes a deeper dive on proper rucking form.
- Train With Intervals: Interval training is a great way to improve your endurance and increase your speed. Try incorporating intervals into your rucking routine by alternating periods of fast walking with periods of recovery. For example, you could walk at an increased pace for 30 seconds, and then walk at a normal pace for 1 minute before repeating.
- Focus on Your Breathing: Proper breathing can help you maintain your speed and endurance while rucking. Focus on taking deep breaths, inhaling through your nose and exhaling through your mouth. Try to breathe in rhythm with your steps, inhaling for a few steps and exhaling for a few steps.
- Use your arms: Your arms are an important part of your momentum, so use them to help drive you forward. Swing them back and forth as you walk to generate more speed. But, don’t over do it and walk like a crazy person. Just realize that your arms play a role in your pace.
- Build Your Leg Strength: Rucking requires a lot of lower body strength, so it’s important to focus on building your leg muscles. Incorporate exercises like squats, lunges, and calf raises into your workout routine to build strength and endurance.
- Stay Hydrated and Fueled: It’s important to stay hydrated and fueled while rucking, especially if you’re rucking for long distances or in hot weather. Make sure to bring plenty of water and snacks with you, and take breaks as needed to refuel. When your energy reserves tank, your pace will suffer. Note: I really love LMNT as my electrolyte source. We cover the importance of electrolytes for rucking in this article.
- Take short, quick steps: Taking short, quick steps will help you move faster than taking long, slow strides. Focus on landing on the midfoot and pushing off with each step. Our friend Christian Griffith created this video to help you out.
In conclusion, rucking is a fantastic way to improve your fitness and challenge yourself, and with the right training and preparation, you can increase your speed and endurance. And, when you do, you should really look into doing a GORUCK Star Course!
With time and practice, you’ll be rucking faster and farther than ever before.
Did we miss anything? Got any tips that help you out? Sound off in the comments below!