Running vs Rucking for AeT?

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  • #6002
    Ed Schaefer

    I’m trying to better understand how I should be splitting my aerobic capacity sessions between running and rucking, and if doing one more often than the other will lead to better results. Furthermore as progress is made with rucking is it better to go longer distances, add more weight, or some combination of both?

    I think the benefits of more running would just be that it’s easier, can probably go faster while staying in my zone, and I know that running alone definitely builds your aerobic capacity as I had great results with 2 months of that kind of training after I attended the Mountain Performance workshop in Boulder last year.

    However, for almost everything I do (hiking, backpacking, and climbing of any kind, etc.) I am carrying a pack, so I wonder if I skewed the majority of my training towards rucking over running if that would yield better performance when hiking with a pack of any weight?

    Any thoughts anyone has on this topic are greatly appreciated!

  • Inactive
    Anonymous on #6025


    Great to hear from you and thanks again for attending the MPWorkshop at Training Peaks last November.

    Specificity is king when it comes to training any sport. HOWEVER…. keep the following in mind.
    1) Running and Hiking with a pack share a great deal of similarities. Running gains will transfer to rucking better than rucking gains will transfer to running. This is due to the impact or eccentric loading that comes with running.

    2) Rucking involves a more muscle mass so it will result in a greater HR response for the same speed. If you are impact averse (ie can’t run) then rucking can get your HR up at relatively low speeds. Rucking will have a positive training effect on all the postural support muscles of the core and shoulders.

    3) We generally like to establish basic aerobic capacity through unweighted running or hiking BEFORE adding extra weight and especially when doing our weighted uphill ME workouts. We’ve had good results with this progression. It sounds like you’ve got a solid background in this type of training so this may not apply to you.


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