Help Needed: Input on Proposed Military Endurance Standards & Training

By Rob Shaul

Over the past 9 months we’ve made significant strides in our daily programming for military athletes to incorporate focused endurance training.

Military athletes are “hybrid” in the sense they have multiple fitness demands – strength, work capacity, endurance, stamina and durability. As coaches, our challenge with endurance is finding time in the week to program for endurance while still addressing these other fitness demands.

On the strength and work capacity sides, we’ve developed “standards” we program to and expect military athletes using our stuff to achieve at any one time. On the strength side, for example, our standards for military athletes include a 1.5x bodyweight front squat and bench press 1RM, and a 2.0x bodyweight hinge or dead lift 1RM.

We at the point now where we need to develop similar standards on the endurance side. Initially, we’re focused on running and rucking.

Here are the standards we are considering, and would like input on.

Middle Distance – 10 km/6.2 miles
Run Time: 49:43 (8 min/miles)
Ruck Time @ 60#: 1:18:00 (13 min/miles)

Long Distance – 20 km/12.4
Run Time: 1:51:50 (9 min/miles)
Ruck Time @ 60#:: 2:53:59 (14 min/miles)

Would appreciate any feedback/suggestions for these standards. As well, we have some other questions which are driving our current endurance programming and would appreciate any insight on:

1) Does ruck running at a lighter load (45#) transfer to rucking at a higher load (60#)? 

2) Does unloaded running transfer to ruck and ruck running performance? 

3) Do hard, but short ruck running intervals (1-3 miles) transfer to longer ruck performance (10+ miles). 

Again, appreciate any input. Please email me,

Thanks, – Rob

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