Tactical Fitness with Stew Smith: Preparing for MARSOC

MARSOC rifle training.

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.

You need to know that 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 triathlon, to properly prepare you have to put in the time. Your rucks will be three to four hours some days. Add in long runs and rucks, a long swim, and your weights and PT workouts and you are talking about three to four hours of training.

But, you have to progress to that level. Don't just jump into a ten to fifteen mile run or ruck out of nowhere.


Stew Smith works as a presenter / editorial board with the Tactical Strength and Conditioning program of the National Strength and Conditioning Association and is Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS).  There are also over 800 articles onMilitary.com Fitness Forum focusing on a variety of fitness, nutritional, and tactical issues military members face throughout their career.

Latest Fitness Books:  Navy SEAL Weight Training and Tactical Fitness

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