DC: My name is Dan Cunningham. I grew up in Dayton, OH. I am married with 3 young children all under the age of 3 – and all of my middle of the night bottle feedings gave me a huge edge over everyone else during the no sleep part of the Heavy J. I am a CPA and a small business owner. And, it’s a huge honor to do this interview for a bad-a$$ mentor like Brad McLeod.
SGPT: Did you have an athletic background growing up?
Video GoRuck Challenge in Des Moines
DC: Yes, I did. My twin brother and I were the youngest of 5 boys. We grew up playing sports all the time. Among other sports, I participated in soccer, basketball and track in H.S followed by a year of college basketball. My challenge has always been battling the tall, skinny syndrome.
SGPT: How did you train for the GORUCK event?
DC: Physically, I primarily trained using Rob Shaul’s Military Athlete training guides. His plan more than did the trick getting me prepared. I also did a GoRuck Challenge in March which helped build a lot of confidence. Mentally, I have followed SGPT (SEALgrinderPT) and SEALFIT for over a year. And I constantly listened to Coach Brad’s SGPT audios during my long rucks.
SGPT: Tell us a little about the event?
DC: The event was a GoRuck Heavy on May 23. It was a 27-hour, 40 mile beat down led by 3 decorated combat vets who are amphibious recon marines of U.S. special forces. They are the real deal! We endured long rucks with heavy coupons, lots of freezing water in lake Michigan, sugar cookies and PT that went on and on. Once we proved out toughness, the cadre took several opportunities to show us some cool special forces tricks and training tips.
SGPT: Where was the event?
DC: Chicago, IL
SGPT: What was hardest part of the event?
DC: I thought the hardest part was the endless trips in the freezing cold water. Rucking and PTing in soggy, cold boots was very uncomfortable.
SGPT: What is one thing you wish you would have done to get ready for GoRuck?
DC: Like everyone getting ready for GoRuck, I trained for long rucks with a heavy ruck sack. But I wish I would have done way more ruck with an added sandbag on the shoulder too. Rarely were we rucking during our event with just our sack.
SGPT: Any tips for up and coming athletes that want to do the GORuck?
DC: Follow Coach Brad’s advice. Get comfortable being uncomfortable… Listen to his audios. I recommend getting a specific training plan and sticking to it. This gives you a solid map and also builds tons of confidence. Get cold, sandy, wet, etc. and train for it. And train your goat (weakness). After the event, drink tons of water and go for an easy walk or bike ride the next day. Most of all, have fun and enjoy the entire process.
SGPT: What boots did you wear? Double socks? Bodyglide?
DC: I wore Nike Special Field Boot and highly recommend them. I wore two pairs of socks. One liner sock under smart wool. I had several extra pairs for a quick change when we got a break. No problem at all with feet during training or the event. I also generously applied Bodyglide Anti-Chafe Balm. One thing I didn’t do is also bring sunscreen. That was a painful mistake following the event
SGPT: Which backpack did you use?
DC: I used an old army backpack that I bought from someone off the street in exchange for $20 and a plastic target bag. (I got a great deal.)
SGPT: Many thanks for the interview Dan.
Questions from our SGPT athletes.
Question: Coach; I want to train for a GORUCK light that is coming up in the spring. I am not in shape so how do I get started?
Answer: Good question. I would start by walking in your neighborhood and then slowly add a 10 lb weight vest. Check out this SGPT article: GORUCK Training Tips
Are you interested in training for an endurance event like SEALFIT 20X, GORUCK or a Spartan Race?
Do you have a big event on the horizon and you want to finish the drill?
Get individual coaching from SGPT Coach Brad McLeod. Check out coaching here:
About the Author:
Brad McLeod knows first hand about mental toughness after being kicked out of a top tier Spec Ops training unit. He failed out of BUD/S the first time after failing a math test (made it through Hell Week and Dive Pool Comp). He came back a year later and graduated and served as an operator on the Navy SEAL Teams.
Today, he helps Veterans and athletes achieve their goals. What is your goal? Lets work together to accomplish it.
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