RJ: I’m 37 years old, happily married with my first child on the way. I work as a structural steel/welding inspector based in Austin, TX. My job keeps me very busy, throwing me a good mix of sedentary travel time and physical exertion (i.e. climbing).
SGPT: Did you have an athletic background growing up?
RJ: As an adolescent/teenager I was very much NOT athletic. I played little league sports and was always outside and active, however I can now look back and admit that I didn’t put much effort into my sports. I think it was just something to do. I ate horrible foods and a lot of them, was approaching 200 lbs during Junior High school. In high school I hit a decent growth spurt, and realized at that time that I needed to keep an eye on my weight/health. Obesity and heart problems run in the family, and I promised myself to never let it get out of hand.
SGPT: How did you train for the GoRuck “Kill that 5k” event?
RJ: I’ve actually been doing some sort of ruck training since I first learned about GORUCK a little over a year ago. I run 2-4 miles, 2-3 times per week. Then at least once a week throw on the ruck and get some miles in with it. I’d vary my ruck weight depending on the type of workout i was looking for. Usually 25 lbs if I intended to do more running than walking, 35 lbs or more if I was out on the trails for a hike. I live near a National Wildlife Preserve that, while relatively small, provides a good mix of hills and flat ground.
SGPT: Tell us a little about the event? Where was it?
RJ: The “Kill That 5K” is event billed by GORUCK to be an opportunity to get out, meet people, bring the family and the dog, and have a good time. All while getting a few ruck miles in and perhaps introducing new people to the sport. There are competitive classes that race for prizes, but most folks were out to have a good time. The event was held at Mylo Obstacle Fitness in Austin, TX. MOF is a 75 acre wonderland of trails, hills, rocks and assorted obstacles. GORUCK was on hand with a “PX” where people could by gear and goodies. There were a couple of other vendors with tents set up to advertise their various products and even provided free samples. The best part (for most), upon completing the “Kill That 5K” you received a complimentary beer from one of the event sponsors and free hot dogs from the grill!
SGPT: What was hardest part of the event?
RJ: For me the hardest part would have to be the Texas heat and humidity. It was in the low-to-mid 90’s with 90%+ humidity. I’m relatively used to these conditions, living and working in Texas, but I still feel the effects.
SGPT: What is one thing you wish you would have done to get ready for the GoRuck 5k?
RJ: I am honestly very happy with my experience at this event. However, I can tell I need to work on strengthening the lower extremity joints if I plan on doing any significant running with a load.
SGPT: Any tips for up and coming athletes that want to do GORUCK?
RJ: Quite simply, just throw on a ruck and GO! It doesn’t matter what kind of ruck/pack, doesn’t matter how much/little weight. And it doesn’t matter how far or fast you go. Every single minute you spend with weight on your back is “training” to go further, faster, heavier. I would also recommend getting some friends involved. It’s a lot more fun if you have someone to talk to and you can help motivate and challenge each other.
SGPT: What kind of boots did you use for the event?
RJ: After much deliberation, I ended up wearing my Reebok trail running shoes. They’re well broken in and I knew they would be cool. Anything more than a 5K, or if it had been wet/slippery, I would have gone with my Reebok tactical boots for the added ankle support.
SGPT: Did you use double socks or body glide on your feet to prevent blisters?
RJ: I’ve worn double socks every day, with every type of footwear for most of my life. They work great for me.
SGPT: What kind of ruck did you use for training and the event?
RJ: I arrived at the event with a Blackhawk Velocity jump pack that I’d been training with for over a year. However, prior to the start of the event, I purchased a GORUCK GR1 (available for sale at the event). I’d forgone purchasing a GORUCK until I had an opportunity to see and try one on. Best decision I could have made. I was amazed at the difference between the rucks. I literally swapped my weight plate from the Blackhawk to the GR1 about 20 minutes prior to the event and have absolutely NO regrets!
SGPT: What book are you reading now?
RJ: Currently between books. (studying for work related tests)
SGPT: Many thanks for the interview Ryan
RJ: You’re very welcome. Thank you for the opportunity to share my experience with this event.
ANSWER: I use Athletic Greens in our shakes. It’s got tons of great nutrition—vitamins and minerals. Plus it mixes up easy in milk or water.