Another 4//73 topic...

apologies for bringing this up, but i searched the forums and didnt really find anything like this.

im not artillery and am hoping to do the STA course at some point. iv phoned and spoken to the battery HQ which answered most of my questions.

i asked about phys standards and all he said was the pass in standards of pft/cft/mst/bleep test. the DIN advises to turn up boot fit and able to load carry and be of above average fitness.

now, what exactly does that mean? obviously its long patrols, so hill fitness is important i would imagine.

i do a fair bit of tabbing and speed marching, and can do ACFT 2 (the 1.5 miler) with a 68lb bergan but no weapon in about 14:30, and do 6 miles + speed marches carrying 35lb bergan at a similar pace to that of p company tests.

training on my own means i cant train with a weapon (they got all arrsy last time i did :p), and i dont get loads of time to get up to brecon or similar to really hit the hills.

guys who have done the course, any tips on what i should be working on?

also, aside from nav, what else would be useful to revise in terms of mil skills?
Not done the course, know plenty who have, but speaking as someone who has spent a bit of time in the hills (Mountain Rescue, Mountain Marathons etc) I can tell you that nothing beats getting hill miles into your legs. There is no replacement, even if you get used to tabbing with weight on the flat, that will be a start, but in the words of Iron Maiden 'Run to the hills', then run up them.
However hard it is to make time, you should get out somewhere, as nav in the hills can be a bit more challenging than lower level stuff where there are more features, so you will be developing that skill at the same time.
Out of interest, where do you live? You may not be as far as you think from some hilly wilderness.
Feel free to PM me.
The weapon is the least of your worries, however a warning (or 2)

1. No sling on the weapon
2. its loaded and made ready, you need to finish without ND and you will be checked on the way found that you still have one up the spout

Phys level is not super human, its all about keeping in the squad and keep going, however do not expect PTIs running along side you shouting, its a lot to do with personal ability and drive to get yourself there.

Oh and navigation, we had a marathon runner on my first course who got lost when we hit the mountains and spent most of the day in the wrong valley. I'm not the fasted runner (ask LanceBombardEars, he always beat me on my BFT) but I know my way round a map and compass, get your arrse up the hills with an OS and Silva and you can't go wrong

Oh and good luck, its an experience like no other
Agree with the above, only suggest carrying a bar as it does allow you to get used to the imbalance that it can cause and as it has no sling will always have to be carried.
i am based just south east of london (persec and all that jazz).

iv got a long weekend comin up, and i plan to go to brecon then and get a few days on the hills, plus theres christmas leave if i feel up to it.

any ideas of good training grounds closer to me, im all ears!
every inch on a hill will count, when I did my selection we used Hildesheim and an area outrside Dortmund for all the weekly confirmation exercises so I am out of date.

You may want to try the South & North Downs way. Do a google on those walks you can pick up route cards, lots of miles can be done, but remember to zig zag the hill not move along the ridges.
Was going to suggest the North and South Downs. Maybe not the biggest hills in the country, but do some quality work on them and it wil help. Be creative and cross grain the contours and get off the beaten paths as suggested by FatOldGunner.
Dependant on your will to succeed, and your domestic situation, (I know who runs the show in our house) you are probably only three ish hours drive from the Brecon Beacons National Park. Easily acheivable on a normal weekend, and plenty of scope to get lost. There is more than one way up the Fan, you don't need to use the tourist path, and the Black Mountains on the Eastern end of the NP are pretty bleak at this time of year.
You never know, if you get that badly lost, it might be me who comes to find you.
Get to Llanthony Priory - good place to dump yer motor and pitch a tent, couple of quid a night. Basic place but water on tap and a nice celler bar to warm up in.
Get a decent met forecast and head due west - keep going untill you hit the A 479. Turn around and come back. Not quite as scenic as the old Hildesheim/Alfeld or Dortmund/Hagen routes but you should get used to estimating speed/time/distance.

Mr Happy

Its been a while but is 35 lbs enough bergen weight, I'd have thought 55 would be more the number, and 6K is a nice distance but 45K would be better?
Mr Happy said:
Its been a while but is 35 lbs enough bergen weight, I'd have thought 55 would be more the number, and 6K is a nice distance but 45K would be better?
like i said those are my speed march stats.

iv got some nice routes off LanceBombardEars in the black mountains im gunna have a crack at next week.

trying to acheive 45k around the training area would be mind numbingly boring at best, and id probably go insane doing the cft route 3 times end to end.

im doing load carrys with weights of 70lb- 80lb at least once a week. not being able to do the long range tabbing every week means i concentrate on the faster shorter stuff.

obviously i need to get in the hills and get some serious miles under my belt, but i dont just do 35lb, and 6 miles. i try and vary the distance, and 6 miles isnt like the max distance i go . im training with lots of different weights, obviously at different speeds. 35lb pounds is covering my light weight at higher speed, but i also do 45, 50, 55lb speed marches as well, obviously alternating between quick and double time as the weight gets higher.

i dont know loads about the phys on the course, but i would be very suprised if it all revolved around 55lb or more at 3 miles an hours. maybe im well wide of the mark, but if i turn up with a good standard of hill fitness and can also crank out 6-10 miles at a fairly high speed with cemo i stand a better chance of passing.

i have fairly good hill fitness as it is, i was in the alps climbing 4000m peaks not too long ago, not to mention a fair bit of time in wales tabbing aroung to train for it.

however, obviously you guys actually know the standards, and im just guessing as to productive phys, so any critisms are more then welcome.

cheers for all the help guys
Hey guys,

First post and before you all sigh 'not again', its ok, I do know about the course (as much as sigs can know anyway... to anyone who wants to know more, find out the info like I did, ring the unit - great help, no BS). What would I would like is some info on good routes / tracks to take in and around brecon or the black mountains, as any hill time is good hill time, right??? not looking to rush the phys either, wear the blue badge of courage so not scared of some hardwork and I'm doing the cold, wet course (hopefully) this year, so some good short distance and some veeeeery long 'walking routes' will be helpful.


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