Catterick sticky 2020 - all Catterick chat in here

Yeah mate I did it on the 20th to 24th Jan. Have got a mate doing it at the moment too.
What do you want to know bud?
Just whether it had changed in terms of the new fitness tests or is prac still the 1.5 mile version. Hear loads of different things about it, is it steeple chase, 4/5 mile run chats with recruits already in training etc.
 

RandyLahey

Swinger
Just whether it had changed in terms of the new fitness tests or is prac still the 1.5 mile version. Hear loads of different things about it, is it steeple chase, 4/5 mile run chats with recruits already in training etc.
I did it less than a month ago so can tell you how it really is these days.

You don’t do the trainasium. There are no heights elements to the course.

They say to bring shoe polish and brushes and stuff but we didn’t really do any of that stuff, but bring it anyway. Bring a foam roller and extra socks and wear two pairs of socks for when you’re running running in boots for the steeplechase but we’ll get to that.

First day/evening you’ll do nothing so get to know the lads. A sense of humour and grit will get you through the course. You’ll meet at Darlington train station and be picked up in a coach. Probably be about 25 of you in total. You’ll go to either Helles barracks or Falklands barracks I think. I was in Falklands. You get given your kit that you’ll give back at the end of the course. Don’t be shy about if something doesn’t fit especially boots because you need to feel as comfortable as possible when running in them.

On to the running. You do 3 runs, a 4 mile fam run, a 1.2 mile (2k) run and the steeplechase (only part of it not the obstacle course at the end.) You do one run a day and all the other stuff in between like ice breakers and speaking to recruits etc just feels a bit contrived in order to break the runs up into separate days to give you rest and a fair assessment. So to reiterate - this is a course to assess you but one right mongy kid passed even though he didn’t really display a good attitude but because he was a decent runner he’s in depot soon. So give it your best in every run because there were some lads who deserved a pass but were a few seconds late in one run. The runs matter.

The gym tests are easy your mum could do them.

4 mile fam run is one the first morning about an hour and a half after breakfast. I found this the most brutal because I’m a good runner but a steep hill is a steep hill. “The land of nod” is a tough, tough obstacle because its a big hill you have to run up 3 times and down it after. Some lads failed on this hill alone because they walked up it instead of giving it everything and one lad even had a panic attack. After that theres a few hills and you have to remember their names like “Gandals dick” and “the hill with no name” ... you will all forget the names of all the hills and will all be beasted for it by running up hills and stuff but after the land of nod it does get easier it’s mostly flat running. There’s chances to stop and drink water. This and the 1.2 milers are the easier runs but make no mistake about it the land of nod or “big nod” will be a challenge.

1.2 miler the next morning. You do a warm up lap of the route you’ll be running. This is beneficial and get it out of your head that it’ll drain your energy as its a short distance warm up and best effort combined. Your muscles will be ready to push for your best time it’s a good thing. Go quickly one the downhill bits. Even the hills on this route are easier. There’s no reason you shouldn’t get a good time if you pass Lichfield or wherever your AC is before PRAC.

The two easy runs are out of the way. Forgot to mention as I write this that you’ll get a stretching lesson/session after both runs but do lots of this and foam rolling in evenings too. Also worth mentioning eat what you think makes you run your best. This is different for everyone. Mongy kid ate coco pops with hot chocolate milk in the same bowl and 2 apples for breakfast before his runs... He passed. Other lads went with a safe porridge and banana and I went with a full fry up because I can’t resist black pudding. Do what you feel comfortable with but definitely eat.

Steeplechase is something else. Again with the 1.2 miler they will get you to go through the routes so you know the way and are familiar with the obstacles. You will probably jump into water obstacles and stuff before you’re even timed for best effort because they want to see you can do it safely, duty of care etc. This means you will start wet and feeling heavy when you start your best timed effort. While on that subject you will be in full combat soldiering garments (sorry guys I don’t know the acronyms or names of stuff yet, still a civvie) and boots. Double your socks under your boots and make your boots tight. The time you need to beat is 18 minutes they say but I suspect there’s more leeway than that. The steeplechase is hard and you’ll be asking yourself a lot whether you want to be there but just keep moving your legs. I did the obstacles slowly and surely but because I’m a good runner kept a fast pace between obstacles so I got a good time in the end. You’ll be soaked through and cold so I hope you’ll be prepared for that. I work in construction so that wasn’t really a proper test of character for me but my lungs were hanging out afterwards.

This post has been based mostly on the physical parts of the course and thats because its apparent once you’ve completed the course that the physical stuff is the only thing that matters. There were good lads who should have passed that are retrying PRAC because they messed up one run. Put the effort in, in the gym. Strengthen all your leg muscles and glutes and do hill runs and you’ll be fine.

After the steeplechase you’ll tidy your dorms and get suited and booted for your interviews. Just be presentable and look like you want to be there for your interviews and you’ll pass if your actions have been speaking for you. Battle honours and regiment history didn’t really feature in the form of a quiz at any point but get to know this information as it is important anyway.

What are your run times like at the moment?

If you’ve got any more questions just ask. Good luck pal!
 
I did it less than a month ago so can tell you how it really is these days.

You don’t do the trainasium. There are no heights elements to the course.

They say to bring shoe polish and brushes and stuff but we didn’t really do any of that stuff, but bring it anyway. Bring a foam roller and extra socks and wear two pairs of socks for when you’re running running in boots for the steeplechase but we’ll get to that.

First day/evening you’ll do nothing so get to know the lads. A sense of humour and grit will get you through the course. You’ll meet at Darlington train station and be picked up in a coach. Probably be about 25 of you in total. You’ll go to either Helles barracks or Falklands barracks I think. I was in Falklands. You get given your kit that you’ll give back at the end of the course. Don’t be shy about if something doesn’t fit especially boots because you need to feel as comfortable as possible when running in them.

On to the running. You do 3 runs, a 4 mile fam run, a 1.2 mile (2k) run and the steeplechase (only part of it not the obstacle course at the end.) You do one run a day and all the other stuff in between like ice breakers and speaking to recruits etc just feels a bit contrived in order to break the runs up into separate days to give you rest and a fair assessment. So to reiterate - this is a course to assess you but one right mongy kid passed even though he didn’t really display a good attitude but because he was a decent runner he’s in depot soon. So give it your best in every run because there were some lads who deserved a pass but were a few seconds late in one run. The runs matter.

The gym tests are easy your mum could do them.

4 mile fam run is one the first morning about an hour and a half after breakfast. I found this the most brutal because I’m a good runner but a steep hill is a steep hill. “The land of nod” is a tough, tough obstacle because its a big hill you have to run up 3 times and down it after. Some lads failed on this hill alone because they walked up it instead of giving it everything and one lad even had a panic attack. After that theres a few hills and you have to remember their names like “Gandals dick” and “the hill with no name” ... you will all forget the names of all the hills and will all be beasted for it by running up hills and stuff but after the land of nod it does get easier it’s mostly flat running. There’s chances to stop and drink water. This and the 1.2 milers are the easier runs but make no mistake about it the land of nod or “big nod” will be a challenge.

1.2 miler the next morning. You do a warm up lap of the route you’ll be running. This is beneficial and get it out of your head that it’ll drain your energy as its a short distance warm up and best effort combined. Your muscles will be ready to push for your best time it’s a good thing. Go quickly one the downhill bits. Even the hills on this route are easier. There’s no reason you shouldn’t get a good time if you pass Lichfield or wherever your AC is before PRAC.

The two easy runs are out of the way. Forgot to mention as I write this that you’ll get a stretching lesson/session after both runs but do lots of this and foam rolling in evenings too. Also worth mentioning eat what you think makes you run your best. This is different for everyone. Mongy kid ate coco pops with hot chocolate milk in the same bowl and 2 apples for breakfast before his runs... He passed. Other lads went with a safe porridge and banana and I went with a full fry up because I can’t resist black pudding. Do what you feel comfortable with but definitely eat.

Steeplechase is something else. Again with the 1.2 miler they will get you to go through the routes so you know the way and are familiar with the obstacles. You will probably jump into water obstacles and stuff before you’re even timed for best effort because they want to see you can do it safely, duty of care etc. This means you will start wet and feeling heavy when you start your best timed effort. While on that subject you will be in full combat soldiering garments (sorry guys I don’t know the acronyms or names of stuff yet, still a civvie) and boots. Double your socks under your boots and make your boots tight. The time you need to beat is 18 minutes they say but I suspect there’s more leeway than that. The steeplechase is hard and you’ll be asking yourself a lot whether you want to be there but just keep moving your legs. I did the obstacles slowly and surely but because I’m a good runner kept a fast pace between obstacles so I got a good time in the end. You’ll be soaked through and cold so I hope you’ll be prepared for that. I work in construction so that wasn’t really a proper test of character for me but my lungs were hanging out afterwards.

This post has been based mostly on the physical parts of the course and thats because its apparent once you’ve completed the course that the physical stuff is the only thing that matters. There were good lads who should have passed that are retrying PRAC because they messed up one run. Put the effort in, in the gym. Strengthen all your leg muscles and glutes and do hill runs and you’ll be fine.

After the steeplechase you’ll tidy your dorms and get suited and booted for your interviews. Just be presentable and look like you want to be there for your interviews and you’ll pass if your actions have been speaking for you. Battle honours and regiment history didn’t really feature in the form of a quiz at any point but get to know this information as it is important anyway.

What are your run times like at the moment?

If you’ve got any more questions just ask. Good luck pal!

No that’s great pal, more than enough info! I can’t wait tbf I’m looking forward to it. I’ve been to catterick years ago when I first joined the army for basic training (re-joining) but that was 2006 so I imagine it’s changed a lot since then. I’m mixing my training up a lot at the moment doing boots runs with hills thrown in. Remember the land of nod well I don’t think you ever forget that My running is ok right now, could be better obviously but I’m training 4/5 days a week with a long boot run in combats on Sunday mornings with a few hills thrown in and will continue that right up to PRAC to keep the fitness levels up. Yes I’m at Lichfield in a few weeks so hoping PRAC will be end of March/April sometime. Thanks again mate and hope you get a date for depot soon, if you haven’t already . Good luck pal and what I will say having served before if enjoy it and don’t take anything personally, everything is done for a reason to make you the best soldier you can be
 

RandyLahey

Swinger
You’ll be absolutely fine then mate! Hope you have good running trainers because only one of the PRAC runs is boots. But yeah you’ll smash it I’m sure. My start dates late March and I’m buzzing for it. Going to be a shock to the system but really I don’t mind getting up early or being shouted at. The Army is just a better version of the construction industry haha.

Best of luck mate!
 
You’ll be absolutely fine then mate! Hope you have good running trainers because only one of the PRAC runs is boots. But yeah you’ll smash it I’m sure. My start dates late March and I’m buzzing for it. Going to be a shock to the system but really I don’t mind getting up early or being shouted at. The Army is just a better version of the construction industry haha.

Best of luck mate!
Haha Cheers mate, good luck to you also
 
Anybody know the leave dates for ITC Catterick this year? The summer leave dates in particular. Start on 5.4.2020 PWRR
 

RandyLahey

Swinger
Anyone going para 1st March?
29th. I got offered 1st but me and the missus are on holiday then. May have taken it but the majority of lads who passed I passed PRAC with are in 29th and they’re sound so I’m happy about that.

How did you find PRAC?
 

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