New to Rucking? Here are five tips every beginner will benefit from
Rucking is now growing more popular than ever! And why wouldn’t it be? Why spend hours a week running on a treadmill, looking at the gym wall… When you could take in the finest of what nature has to offer whilst rucking?!
The choice is simple.
With plenty of new Ruckers on the scene, we thought that now would be the perfect time to share our wisdom on the subject. In this article, we have included 5 things we wish someone had told us before our first rucking trip.
What is Rucking?
Before we jump into the tips, we’re going to quickly discuss what Rucking is (just in case some of you are here looking for rugby advice).
The term Rucking originally referred to a military training exercise. Both the term and the training practice have become popular with civilians in recent years. It has even become a cornerstone in the Crossfit Community.
Rucking is the sport of walking, running, or hiking with a weighted backpack.
From that description, you may not have an accurate idea about how tough this sport can be. But trust us, you can only succeed in this sport if you prepare well, and look after yourself out there.
Here are five tips that will help you to do that on your first Rucking trip:
- For beginners 10% is ideal
We’re all super enthusiastic when it comes to starting something new. And when you begin Rucking, it can be really tempting to overload your backpack and plan an extremely long walk.
But don’t do it!
Like all sports, the trick to getting good at Rucking is incremental improvements and lots of practice.
Walking too far or carrying too much weight on your first run can lead to injury. We recommend beginners start by loading up their backpack with 10% of their body weight. If it ends up being too easy you can always add more weight next time.
- Wear good boots
This is key advice if you are walking long distances or doing any form of hiking. But it is even more important when you are going Rucking. The weight you are carrying on your back will put a lot more strain on your joints (from your hips, knees, and right down to your ankles).
One of the most common Rucking injuries is falling and twisting your ankle. Therefore, the best boots to wear when rucking are ones that provide optimal ankle support. They should also be breathable and heavy duty, when possible. Ideally, you should try and avoid boots that are too heavy – you already have weight on your back, you don’t need them on your feet too!
- You don’t need Rucking Plates
There are some companies that would have you believe that Rucking plates are essential for Ruckers of all skill levels. These just happen to be the same companies that sell Rucking plates.
Whilst Rucking plates can be useful for more experienced Ruckers who want to carry a lot of weight in a small backpack, they really aren’t necessary for beginners.
If you aren’t going to use a Rucking plate on your first Ruck, what can you use?
- Full water bottles
- Barbell plates
- Stay hydrated and pack snacks
This may seem like very simple advice, but you’d be surprised by how many people underestimate what a challenge Rucking can be. Remember this sport was originally an Army Training exercise. You need to prepare for an outing and take it seriously.
That being said, you’re first Ruck is going to be a lot of fun. Just remember to regularly sip water (this is a great way of avoiding stitches) and to eat when your body tells you it needs to eat. There’s nothing worse than getting dizzy with a weighted backpack on.
- Set yourself a long term goal
If you want to see the most efficient progress of your Rucking ability, then your best option is to set yourself a long term goal.
There is no limit to what this kind of goal can be. But setting any kind of goal will give your Rucks purpose, and stop your walks feeling aimless.
Your goal could be distance, time, or weight-related. Or a combination of all three. You could even decide that you want to take part in an organized Rucking event like GORUCK events. If you’re looking for new friends that love Rucking, then those events will be the place for you.