Tactical Fitness with Stew Smith: Preparing for MARSOC

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A competitor in the Texas Military Department Joint Best Warrior Competition 2021 completes the ruck march event in Bastrop, Texas.
A competitor in the Texas Military Department Joint Best Warrior Competition 2021 completes the ruck march event in Bastrop, Texas, March 6, 2021. (Staff Sgt. Jordyn Fetter/U.S. Air National Guard photo)

Hi Stew,

I am commissioning into the Marine Corps this summer to secure an infantry MOS with the end goal of breaking into the MARSOC community. Do you think it is smart to start running longer physical fitness evolutions and build up to 24-hour events? My biggest concern is that I don't think I can get anyone else to do it with me, and doing anything like that without a buddy makes me uneasy. Really, the whole purpose behind it would be to test and build my mental toughness and ability to persevere and follow through on what I set out to do. I appreciate your thoughts.

Thanks in advance,

John

I would not do too many of those 24-hour events. One or two before you leave, within a year, is never a bad experience for pre-Spec Ops training. If you add in obstacle course races, GORUCK.com events are a great way to prepare for longer Spec Ops rucking and infantry training days.

There is no 45-minute gym workout that will prepare you for a day of any Spec Ops training program. Do too many workouts like that once a day, and you will last only a few hours during your actual training in the Marines.

Like an ironman-distance triathlon, you have to put in the time to prepare properly. Your rucks will be 3-4 hours some days. Add in long runs and rucks, a long swim, and your weights and PT workouts, and you are talking about 3-4 hours of training.

But you have to progress to that level. Don't just jump into a 10- to 15-mile run or ruck out of nowhere.

Stew

Stew Smith is a former Navy SEAL and fitness author certified as a Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) with the National Strength and Conditioning Association. Visit his Fitness eBook store if you're looking to start a workout program to create a healthy lifestyle. Send your fitness questions to stew@stewsmith.com.

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