March for the Fallen 8-Week Training Program for Busy Professionals

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March for the Fallen 8-Week Training Program for Busy Professionals

By |2018-07-27T11:14:58+00:00July 27th, 2018|Research Insights, Training Section, MFTF Training Series|

The March for the Fallen event is quickly approaching (sign up if you haven’t and Please notify us if you are attending.).

I’ve locked in space for up to 225 (4 male barracks and 1 female barracks). Our website has all the information you need, but here is the basic plan:

  • Day 1: Friday — Pre-Event Day
  • Day 2: Saturday — Event Day
  • Day 3: Sunday — Departure Day
TimeEventPoint of Contact
1500-1900Attendee arrival and registration packet pickupRyan Kirlin & Pat Cleary
1900-2000Event pasta dinner (carbo load!)Ryn Kirlin & Pat Cleary
2100-2130Event outline and FAQ sessionWes Gray
2130-2200Pre-event motivational speaker TBD
2300Lights offPat Cleary
TimeEventPoint of Contact
0600Wake upRyan Kirlin & Pat Cleary
0600-0700Event preparationN/A
0700-0730Transition to event startN/A
0730-0800Event opening ceremonyNational Guard
0800-CompletionMarch for the FallenNational Guard
1900-2030Post-Event DinnerRyan Kirlin & Pat Cleary
2030-2100Post-Event SpeakerTBD

Simple DIY Training Program to Survive (Not Break Records)

We are 8-weeks out. In theory, participants should have already been training, but we recognize that some people like to procrastinate and wait until the last minute. Fear not, your procrastination is actually a benefit. If one waits until the last minute to accomplish the mission, it only takes a minute to get things done.

Our in-house strategy advisor and Alpha Architect physical fitness guru, Dave Babulak, put together a wonderful weekly training series last year that I encourage you to read.

Dave’s knowledge package includes the following:

You will learn everything you need to know for the event via the components above. However, below is an 8-week training program that will get you across the finish line.

Note, this is not a training program for the ruck version of the March, which requires more extensive preparation.

The plan below is for those who are hiking without a pack.

  • Week 1: 5 miles
  • Week 2: 8 miles
  • Week 3: 10 miles
  • Week 4: 6 miles
  • Week 5: 12 miles
  • Week 6: 18 miles (if you can get past 20 miles, even better)
  • Week 7: 10 miles
  • Week 8: March for the Fallen

The plan above is meant to be a minimalist plan and requires 1-day a week of training — a great time to listen to podcasts from fintwit community members. The intent of this plan is to maximize chances for success with the least amount of training time.

The human body is highly optimized to endure long hikes so you are genetically optimized to successfully complete the event. The real challenge for participants is the mental component, which requires some “mental hardening” that you will acquire via the training schedule. The other failure point is mental weakness triggered via extreme physical pain — typically associated with blisters on the feet or other lower extremity problems. So the goal of the minimalist plan is to harden your lower extremities and get your feet ready for action.

I am of the opinion that as long as you can keep your feet together, you can achieve the full distance (or a distance that is well beyond what you consider to be your “personal summit”). The team, the camaraderie, and the event’s purpose will alleviate any mental fatigue you face on the course. We promise.

Also, this is an event focused on paying respects to those families and individuals who sacrifice so much for our ability to enjoy life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. So everyone should focus on achieving their own “personal summit.” For some, this might mean burning down the course in under 6 hrs with a heavy rucksack. For others, it might mean hitting 5 miles and calling it a day.


  • The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Alpha Architect, its affiliates or its employees. Our full disclosures are available here. Definitions of common statistics used in our analysis are available here (towards the bottom).
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About the Author:

Wesley Gray, PhD
Wes Gray has published multiple academic papers and four books, including Quantitative Value (Wiley, 2012), DIY Financial Advisor (Wiley, 2015), and Quantitative Momentum (Wiley, 2016).After serving as a Captain in the United States Marine Corps, Dr. Gray earned an MBA and a PhD in finance from the University of Chicago where he studied under Nobel Prize Winner Eugene Fama. Next, Wes took an academic job in his wife’s hometown of Philadelphia and worked as a finance professor at Drexel University. Dr. Gray’s interest in bridging the research gap between academia and industry led him to found Alpha Architect, an asset management firm that delivers affordable active exposures for tax-sensitive investors. He is a contributor to multiple industry publications and regularly speaks to professional investor groups across the country. Wes currently resides in the suburbs of Philadelphia with his wife and three children.
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