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.
Step 1: Register!
First things first...before you start training you should formally register for the event.
- Register for the event
- Most marchers attempt the 28-mile version and you have the option to bail at any point (achieving your personal summit and honoring Gold Star families is the ultimate goal).
- Don't forget to add "Team Alpha Architect" from the drop-down list.
- There is only one wave this year: civilian/light
I've locked housing (i.e., first-rate barracks) for up to 180 people (~80 registered thus far).
Our website has detailed information on logistics.
Step 2: Train
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.