Today I started training for the Soldier Of The Year event, scheduled in Mannheim. First, I hit the weight room right after breakfast (yes I ate breakfast today, but I don’t everyday) doing three sets of bench and squats as well as some hanging leg raises. I really accentuated the negative (Concentric) part of the movements, something I think I’ve slacked on in the last couple of years. The negative portion is where you really make your strength gains, but it’s also the most damaging to the muscle, so prepare to feel used the next day.
Later I headed out on a ruck march to the city of Mainz which is adjacent to Wiesbaden, where I live.
I need to get some ruck miles in, and toughen my feet a bit. A march can really tear the heck out of the tootsies. If you’re training for a ruck and your boots are already broken in like mine are, I suggest you get some thin-soled walking shoes, like the Tevas I wear. The lack of cushion will really work the little muscles in your feet and make your feet into what they were meant to be.
I had my IPOD Shuffle going along the way, so I guess I was cheating; that won’t be allowed in the real thing, I’m sure.
Neither will the beer I had at the Brauhaus in Mainz. I studied my “Little Green Book” while chugging a pils. The Green Book gives me what I need for the board: Lot’s of nearly useless Army Trivia!
After a tall pils it was time to go. On the walk back, I managed to get some odd looks from people that are tough to shock: native Germans. Why? Was I walking back without my pants? No, they wouldn’t care about that. I walked about two miles without shoes–Special Forces training style. To further toughen the feet and get increased athletic benefits, I sometimes train barefoot. I do sprints and train with kettlebells or do calisthenics barefoot. Like with any type of training, I recommend building up. Walk on smooth areas that are clear of sharp objects. I don’t recommend grass until your feat are toughened or unless you’re absolutely sure it’s free of debris that can hurt you. Grass hides bad stuff.
Found some cool stuff on the way back too:
No, I don’t think Global Warming will be the end of us. But I still appreciate nature. I don’t chuck trash on the ground, I use public transportation ( for practical reasons), and I don’t throw lit cigarettes on the ground to burn Smokey The Bear out of his home. Global Warming Nazis: Bite me.