Alternative means to the end.

Discussion in 'Health and Fitness' started by ugly, Feb 15, 2007.

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  1. ugly

    ugly LE Moderator

    Now we all know and although I'll admit it was close to 20 years ago that I left, physical fitness is a vital ingredient in doing your job. The Army of the 1980's seemd to be obsessed with running, bfts, cfts cross country running etc. Some of us were a lot better at walking long distances than the many miles that the racing snakes wanted us to emulate. Physical training was rarely left to the individual. If it was and I recall 6 months at the back end of a BAOR posting where apart from bfts myself and a mate tabbed furiously for 10 miles a day with kit including the GS bergans weighted up when they arrived. It was the fittest for role I had ever been and I did it with the minimum of running and therefore sufferd none of the non runners running injuries, shin splints, anterior compartment etc.
    What I am getting at is why did the Army change from the 10 mile bash as it used to be in CEMO for an 8 mile run in CEFO?
    The army damaged more peoples knees etc doing that than any amount of crawling back from town minging drunk.
    I was told by a D&D lad that H Jones started or at least promoted the craze in the Infantry for running, for that reason alone I dont miss him!
  2. The_Duke

    The_Duke LE Moderator


    The 8 mile CFT is not a run - it is 8 miles in 2 hours with 25kg. It specifically states that you are not to run, other than for a short period in each mile to change the muscle groups being used. If anything, your TABs would probably have been considerably faster!

    The only fast event with weight (excluding specific physical selection courses such as P Coy, AACC etc) is the ICFT 2 miler. I am not sure that too many units even do this event anyway, but stand ready to be corrected on that one.

    Those are the standards laid down, but of course many units tab at a faster pace than this.

  3. ugly

    ugly LE Moderator

    The 8 mile cft might be walked now but in 1981 when I did my first one the only marching was uphill, the rest was all running! Pln weapons were taken 84s, 2" mortars, sand or concrete filled 66's and thewebbing weighed 36 lbs before you added rofle, bin lid steel pain for the inflicting of.
    We had such a flat area of munster outside Loddenheide that we could tab 8 miles in CEMO in 1 hr 35 with no need for running. The 100 yard dash and climb into the 4 tonner thing followed. We did it to prove to the PTi's that there was no need to run and we were all fit enough to meet the standards. marching at 140 being LI was normal for us anyway so march and shoot competitions were tabbed rather than ran. You generally got more of the squad in as a body by marching than by running.
  4. The_Duke

    The_Duke LE Moderator

    Bet you had jumpers for goalposts as well! I am not disagreeing with you. I too am built for comfort not speed and would much rather tab than run. Our in camp routine tended towards a Pl run Mon-Thurs with a 10 miler at a good pace on Friday morning. It gave a reasonable mix of running in sports kit for general fitness, and enough tabbing to keep up to speed, but without knackering too many knees.

    Maybe we have learnt something from the errors of your generation and are more aware of the long term problems of too much tabbing with weight?
  5. I fondly recall, after a particularly nasty CFT, and a swift dash to the truck carrying my mucker, the severe cramp in my calf that started just as I levered myself up to the top of the tailboard. It was so agonising that I let go of the tailboard and fell back on my mates...., who have never let me forget!

    No problem these days; the sedan chair works well and I don't even get to shout at the bearers; the CSM does all of that for me.

  6. ugly

    ugly LE Moderator

    No thats the thing it was tabbing with weight which proved that the CFT could be walked rather than run. We had 7 minute part 2 bft racing snakes but they ended up as clerks because they couldnt carry the kit in a rifle platoon day in day out. Lets face it the infantry load isnt getting any lighter, we design a weapons system that weighs as much with samller bullets so you can carry more. We issue bergans and day sacks for more carrying and everybody gets a personal radio. Tabbing with this kit and perhaps short sharp bursts of running to simulate assaults is probably more realistic than going for 2 hours cross country on a wednesday afternoon because its the RSM's favourite sport. Without realistic training with weight, built up gradually then the actual operational environment will result in more casualties than needed. I say cut the running down to sensible levels, more tabs to toughen feet and better load carrying or rather a little more thought put into it. I could have lasted the 22 years that I thought I wanted to do if it wasnt for all the running that damaged my lower legs. For 2 years I stopped all but short runs and they got better. That to me says more. To the MO who put me on extra PT rather than treat my injury, well you were a cnut! At least my pln cdr and sgt major knew what was needed but even they wouldnt have been able to hide me from the racing snakes forever. we had a nice chap who played rugby for the Army U21 squad. He was excused pt amd made an officer mess waiter. He worked in the mornings and spent every afternoon on a special fitness regime that looked a lot like the stuff I did during Tug of war! The skiing squad and boxing had special priveleges too!
  7. I used to love the 3 mile CFT with Respirators on.... used to do them regularly on the run up to Granby.... people barfing up in the rezzy, superb.

    Used to always like the "little jump over the 2 white lines" thing aswell at the end of the 8 miler. Just to get those niggling little blisters and hot spots.... sheer delight!