The Original PATHFINDER Ruck Training Program


We evolved the initial PATHFINDER Ruck Training Program after six classes to better serve people new to rucking or training for their very first events. This program became “PATHFINDER Forward,” plus we developed a new program for ruckers ready for a tougher challenge, PATHFINDER Advanced. The Original PATHFINDER training parameters are much more suited for intermediate ruck training and you can work to accomplish these goals in any PATHFINDER Class.

The Program

Over a twelve week period, you will complete the following:

  • At least 100 Rucking Miles
    • You will keep track of every mile you ruck throughout the program.
    • In twelve weeks, you will complete at least 100 miles.
  • At least 20 Ruck Workouts
    • See below for sample workout schedule similar to the one that we follow at team SPEARHEAD.
  • At least 3 Ruck Workouts As A Team Leader
    • In your event, leadership and teamwork will be key.  We encourage you to complete every ruck mile and every workout with your team.
    • For at least three workouts, you should step up to plan and lead the workout yourself.
  • At least 5 PATHFINDER Challenges
    • Use these to test yourself and your team in various ways.
    • Challenges offer a great time to get to know your teammates
    • See full list of challenge options below.

The Challenges

In twelve weeks, you will complete at least 5 of the following PATHFINDER challenges.

  1. Pass Selection Standard Test; OR, Attempt the standard test, and show improvement, four times.
    1. 2 Minutes: Minimum 55 Push-Ups (Proper Form)
    2. 2 Minutes: Minimum 65 Sit-Ups (Proper Form)
    3. 5 Mile Run in 40 Minutes or less OR
    4. 12 Mile Ruck in 3h30m or less (Pick either run OR ruck – only one is required)
    5. If GORUCK Selection is in your future, this should be a major component of your training.
    6. Use your PT test score to monitor your progress throughout the twelve weeks.
  2. Ruck a total of 36 miles before or after a workout (minimum of 4 miles for one individual post).
    1. (i.e. 6 pre-workout rucks @ 6 miles each, or 9 pre-workout rucks @ 4 miles each, etc)
    2. This challenge gives you more practice wearing the ruck for longer periods of time, and encourages you to ruck and PT in succession.
  3. Mountain ruck > 10 miles (at once). Ruck on trails in a mountainous area – hilly with rough terrain.
    1. This will work different muscles than you typically work when rucking on flat sidewalks.
    2. No paved trails allowed!
  4. Overnight ruck > 20 miles (at once). Start at some point during the night, and don’t stop until you reach 20 miles.
    1. Get used to rucking in the dark and wearing your ruck for a longer period of time.
    2. Practice night vision and use of your head lamp ONLY when required (red filter preferred).
  5. Move 80 Pounds Of Coupons For Every 2 Men In Group > 10 miles.
    1. One person could choose to carry a 40lb sandbag alone, three people would be required to move 120 pounds, etc.
    2. Practice creative ways of distributing the weight.
  6. Ruck a distance of 12 miles in 3.5 hours or less (17:30/mi pace)
    1. Get used to pushing a quick pace on a ruck.
    2. Learn your pace and practice without your watch.
    3. Learn to judge distance by time and pace.
  7. Marathon Ruck (Ruck >= 26.2 miles with full challenge weight)
    1. Get used to wearing your ruck for a long period
    2. Practice hydration and nutrition
    3. Test your gear and learn how your feet react to extended rucks.
    4. Practice blister prevention.
    5. Great opportunity for fellowship with the team
  8. Ruck 100 miles on top of the basic requirement (total of 200 miles in 12 weeks)
    1. Set a higher goal for yourself and ruck on!
    2. If GORUCK Heavy or Selection is in your future, this one should be a no-brainer.
  9. Score a minimum of 250 on the APFT
    1. Age/Gender weighted
    2. You must score a minimum of 60 in each of the following events:
    3. 2 Minutes: Maximum Push-Ups (Proper Form)
    4. 2 Minutes: Maximum Sit-Ups (Proper Form)
    5. 2 Mile Run
    6. Use this scoring calculator:
  10. Successfully complete a GORUCK Tough Challenge, GORUCK Heavy Challenge, or equivalent ruck-based challenge.

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