Stopped Running and Started Rucking

Timnterra

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I have a yearly cycle of weight gain and loss. I usually lose about 10 lbs in the summer and gain 15 in the winter... I noticed this year, as I started my yearly summer running/ weight loss, that I have lower back pain during and after running that I’ve never had before. I enjoy running and usually get in 3-5 runs a week during the summer months. This year is different, I wake up in pain dreading the feeling of my feet hitting the floor and the inevitable pain that will go with it. I decided this week to try something different to get in better shape this summer. I put on a ruck sack and headed out for about an hour and a half. To my surprise I felt like I had a good workout even though the perceived effect was lower. Best of all is my back didn’t hurt afterwards. Three days in a row now, I’ve done at least 6 Miles a day with the ruck. I’m feeling much better overall than I was while running. I think this is going to be my new go to cardio.
 

imyourhuckleberry

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Rucking is a great way to workout, I should know, did that for almost 21 years in the army, If your back allows it after a couple of weeks increase your weight of the rucksack in 5 or 10 lbs increments, this keeps the body working harder. Unlike an engine that will break if its capabilities are surpassed, the body will adapt and adjust to the conditions you put it in.
 

Timnterra

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If your back allows it after a couple of weeks increase your weight of the rucksack in 5 or 10 lbs increments, this keeps the body working harder.
On my third ruck workout (this morning) I noticed that about half way in, I didn’t feel the ruck anymore. I decided that I needed to add some more weight. Im going to start by adding 5 lbs and make it my goal to add 5 each week.
 

Beardeddeer91

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Pack workouts are my personal favorite to prepare for hunting season. During the off-season (now) i hike or use a step-master with a 40 pack on. I ramp up the weight until I reach about 60 lbs. It’s a great workout and works muscle groups much better and more realistically in regards to hunting than running/lifting alone.
 

BallisticsGuy

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qoreperformance.com order an iceplate and thank me later. The transition from running to rucking means your muscles may not feel tuckered but the increased weight is increased load and the ruck doesn't help heat escape your core so you might not notice when your core temp spikes. It's a BIG problem for me, I'm a sissy like that in my old age. Didn't used to be a problem and I can't even tell it's happening without a thermometer. I've been known to plain ol' drop from heat exhaustion 2 seconds after looking like there's not a problem in the world.
 

Timnterra

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qoreperformance.com order an iceplate and thank me later. The transition from running to rucking means your muscles may not feel tuckered but the increased weight is increased load and the ruck doesn't help heat escape your core so you might not notice when your core temp spikes. It's a BIG problem for me, I'm a sissy like that in my old age. Didn't used to be a problem and I can't even tell it's happening without a thermometer. I've been known to plain ol' drop from heat exhaustion 2 seconds after looking like there's not a problem in the world.
Thanks for the tip I will definitely look into them!
 

oldfortyfiveauto

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Make sure the bulk of your pack's weight is situated on your hip with a good pack frame. Otherwise you will be headed towards back problems down the road. Unfortunately my knees don't allow me this pleasure any more.
 

Mike 338

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Not sure about the weight loss but I find simple climbing or really any uphill activity (stairs or stadiums could work) with a day pack of moderate weight seems to build strength, endurance and your wind (depending upon pace) better than anything else I've tried. Everybody has their own ideas on what's best and generally speaking, what's best is something you'll actually do/maintain to the degree that it provides the results without injury. A brisk walk up a hill with a moderate amount of resistance, and perhaps just as or more importantly, the negative resistance downhill without lunging or using gravity as an aid, builds the type of strength and endurance that keeps you from getting sore when you are actually on the mountain. To much weight going downhill causes you to lunge rather than "resist" your momentum. Fatigue from weight going downhill and lunging also exposes you to injury because you grab more distance and speed with each step than what is prudent, which can cause a slip or slide. You never want a slip when training because that can contribute to a pulled muscle, tendon or twisted ankle and that can interfere with what your trying to accomplish which is simply enjoying your hunt without hurting and still being able to do what you need to do.

Something to think about... I had heel spurs on both feet. I suppose it came from running, a job that was standing and walking all day long and exploring the mountains when I had some time off. Anyway, I had the spurs removed but the doctor said I needed orthotics/arch support. Several times I stopped wearing them and within several weeks, I developed back pain. Not chicken little back pain. The kind of stuff that felt like a disk was slipping and my spine and the muscles around it were getting wonky. At the time I wasn't doing anything special other than grinding away at work with semi-long hours on my feet yet I was getting screwed up. I put my arch support back in my shoes and in about 3 weeks, I was more or less, fine. I did this a few times because I'm must be a little slow. Moral of the story... what's going on with your feet can definitely affect your back, and your back affects everything. Being fat is hard on your feet. Being fat and throwing on a back pack on top of it all is sort'a heading in the wrong direction. As an outdoorsman, your personal weight will affect your experience outside. I'm not an ultra-lite guy but don't overload yourself. Heck, the last time I went out, my 9 day pack was so heavy, I hyper extended my knee taking a step downhill and it dicked my up for a month or two. Reasonable body weight, reasonable pack weight. Truly... nobody much cares about your story anyway and embellishing it with "hero" details only makes you a hero in your own mind.

So... arch support in your shoes/boots. If you have back pain, don't overlook the soles of your feet. I pretty much always have some type of arch support in the out of doors cause I'm carrying loads that are beyond my normal body weight.
 

Mike 338

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Oh, I have some ideas about weight loss too since I just dropped about 30 lbs. but IMO, avoiding injury when your trying to get ready for hunting is far more important because an injury interrupts everything because you need to acknowledge the injury if you want to get well, regardless of your plans to hunt.
 

Timnterra

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Mike338 I know what you are saying about arch supports. I have flat feet and tend to pronate when I walk. As a result I have only found one shoe that I can wear without discomfort. (Brooks adrenaline) I don’t know of any boot manufacturers that are doing with hiking boots what brooks is doing with running shoes. I have found Solomon boots to fit well and provide the needed support, though they are not designed for my particular foot issues.
 

Tidus56

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I read an article a while back about running and weight loss. The gist of it was that everyone's go to is run, run and run some more to lose weight. The author spoke of doing zero cardio to lose weight and using weight training to lose the weight. I used to work in a gym and have done many different programs and decided to give the authors idea a try.
I started Dec 16 2017 at 321. I had let myself go and it was time to fix it. I cut my calories to my BMR rate and started using my adaptation of the Juggernaut training system weight lifting program.
As of 5/20/2018 I am 265. I did zero cardio, I felt minimal hunger pains. I also went way up on some of my lifts. I ran a couple miles just yesterday and my cardio is excellent. I am currently on a maintenance phase but will start cutting again in two months.
I guess I throw this out there because running is super hard on your body and rucking wont always be available. Just a thought.
 

Beardeddeer91

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Mike338 I know what you are saying about arch supports. I have flat feet and tend to pronate when I walk. As a result I have only found one shoe that I can wear without discomfort. (Brooks adrenaline) I don’t know of any boot manufacturers that are doing with hiking boots what brooks is doing with running shoes. I have found Solomon boots to fit well and provide the needed support, though they are not designed for my particular foot issues.
Coming from someone who also is a big fan of the brooks adrenaline I have found really good results with the Altra lone peak mid 3.0. They are kinda goofy lookin (IMO) and keep in mind that the sole they use is made to build up strength in your foot so it takes a few weeks to get used to them, but they are have given me awesome performance. Like a trail running shoe with the ankle support to help with pack weight. Just something else to try that might help you out.
 

Timnterra

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Coming from someone who also is a big fan of the brooks adrenaline I have found really good results with the Altra lone peak mid 3.0. They are kinda goofy lookin (IMO) and keep in mind that the sole they use is made to build up strength in your foot so it takes a few weeks to get used to them, but they are have given me awesome performance. Like a trail running shoe with the ankle support to help with pack weight. Just something else to try that might help you out.
Thanks I will try those out, I’ve been looking for a more durable “trail shoe”. If I have a complaint about the brooks adrenaline it is that they don’t last very long when you are on the heavy side.
 

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