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Structural vs Wildland training

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  • Structural vs Wildland training

    Hello everyone I'm a 22 year old firefighter/paramedic that just moved from Louisiana to Oregon about a month ago and i have decided to look into wild land firefighting. I have a question about the wild land 3-mile arduous walk. I went through the fire academy about 2 years ago and I'm still in good shape not quite as good as when i went through the academy but still good. I never stood out when it came to the running or walking aspect but i passed, I've always stood out in the strength aspect of testing so i have a lot of upper and lower body strength i just lack speed. I am having trouble completing the 3 mile walk in 45 minutes i am at 50-51 minutes the weight isn't a problem i've tried it with and without weight and it only knocks off about 15-20 seconds. I keep a steady pace of about 4mph for the first mile and a half but then i slow down and i am not tired or out of breath so I'm not understanding why. I'm not a big guy either I'm only 5'10 and weigh 175-180lbs with very little body fat its all muscle so i don't have a lot of weight to move around. My test is in a couple of weeks so i need to figure out how to knock off 5 minutes so if anyone has any advice for me that would be great thanks.

  • #2
    It is an akwardly fast walking pace that takes some practice.

    I find it helps to use a treadmill set between 4 and 5mph. 4 mph will put you right at 45 minutes, 5 mph will get you over the finish line at 36 minutes (which is a really fast time and unrealistic for most people).

    It is pass / fail so 44:30 is just as good as 40:00


    It is also much easier to do as a group. A single person often has trouble maintaining pace, but in a group it can be easier to stick together and maintain the pace.

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    • #3
      Thanks for the advice i really appreciate it.

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      • #4
        Take it as a group -find a gal with a nice butt, setting a nice average pace ----follow her , the view will help the time pass faster. Its not that hard -I took it until I was 58
        ?

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        • #5
          Good advice from everyone. I am 6'3" and 300 pounds, not all of it being muscle! I struggle with the pack test because of my short legs. I always do the test in tennis shoes and shorts. I tried it in my whites and it was hell on my ankles. Taking it in a group is a great idea. I have found that doing the test on a dirt road took quite a few seconds off for me and was much easier on my legs. I figure I am not going to be cutting line in a parking lot, so why walk on pavement?
          The fire service is about service to our fellow man.
          There is a trust that must not be broken and we are the keepers of that trust.
          Captain Dave LeBlanc

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          • #6
            Originally posted by conrad427 View Post
            Good advice from everyone. I am 6'3" and 300 pounds, not all of it being muscle! I struggle with the pack test because of my short legs. I always do the test in tennis shoes and shorts. I tried it in my whites and it was hell on my ankles. Taking it in a group is a great idea. I have found that doing the test on a dirt road took quite a few seconds off for me and was much easier on my legs. I figure I am not going to be cutting line in a parking lot, so why walk on pavement?
            your 6-3" and you have short legs ? -We always took our at the high school track -try and find one that is rubber granules. Also I wear my lace up boots.
            ?

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            • #7
              Originally posted by slackjawedyokel View Post
              your 6-3" and you have short legs ? -We always took our at the high school track -try and find one that is rubber granules. Also I wear my lace up boots.
              I suppose the rubber granule track is more forgiving than pavement. I should not have said tennis shoes, I wear kind of a hiking shoe. I did the test in my boots and had them laced too tightly and my ankles could not flex. BAD. My jeans say 36 inseam, so for my height my legs seem short, that might be a little more than you wanted to know. The difference for me between pavement and gravel was night and day, you may want to try it.
              The fire service is about service to our fellow man.
              There is a trust that must not be broken and we are the keepers of that trust.
              Captain Dave LeBlanc

              Comment


              • #8
                I'm 5'6, first time I took it I finished 47 mins. a fail, and fractured my femoral head in the process. The pace is killer, after mile 2 the pack vest feels like it is suffocating. I agree with the treadmill.

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                • #9
                  Some good suggestions already. Just some things that I didn't see mentioned.

                  Maybe work on your flexibility? I know that often times if you are the muscular type you loose some flexibility unless you focus on that during your training. Like others have said, it's an awkward walk and for me it gets my hip joints burning in a way that running or jogging doesn't. I just did a quick search and this came up. Just a thought.

                  Also make sure that the vest isn't so tight that you can't breath. Snug so it doesn't bounce around, but not too snug.

                  Lastly try a walk/jog. Upper body jogs while the lower body walks. It looks goofy as hell but it helps me keep momentum at a fast pace. Just make sure one foot is touching at all times, otherwise it turns into a jog.

                  That's all I can think of that hasn't already been mentioned. Good luck.
                  Nothing is as unimpressive as someone who is unwilling to learn.

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                  • #10
                    The test is supposed to gauge endurance and health. A short person will actually have to expend more energy than a tall guy to maintain the same speed due to the stride difference, thus the shorter person endurance must be better. I forgot what my point was...

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