Welcome to the this weeks installment of the Forager Fitness ACFT Series! This week we dissect the Sprint, Drag, Carry (SDC). This event, in most aspects, requires the most amount of athleticism. Here at Forager Fitness, we’re super pumped about an event that showcases some sprint speed and gets the legs burining!
The Sprint-Drag Carry (SDC)
It’s here. This is the challenge. Prepare yourself for a lactic acid overload.
This is a great test for anerobic fitness, agility, and grit. Of all the events within the ACFT, this is the one that might arguably require the most work from those aspiring to max out. Success hinges upon one’s ability to carry-on with heavy legs, heavy breathing, and a heart-rate through the roof.
Currently, the event is structured like this:
5 rounds of 50m sprints on a 25m straight line course (meaning 25m out, 25m back)
Round 1: Sprint
Round 2: 90lb sled drag, peddling backwards
Round 3: Laterals
Round 4: 40lb Kettlebell Farmers carry/run
Round 5: Sprint
*No rest between rounds. Once clock begins, your time doesn’t stop until you complete the last sprint round
The results for this event will be all over the place; the top performers will complete this around 80 seconds, while some might be in the 3 minute range. Nonetheless, most everyone will reach their anaerobic threshold and feel it in their legs.
In exercise, the anaerobic threshold occurs when anaerobic mechanisms begin to supplement or help aerobic mechanisms. Aerobic respiration is when the body uses sugars and fats in the presence of oxygen to meet energy demands. The by products of this type of cellular respiration is water (sweat) and CO2 (exhalation). If physical demands increase and there isn’t enough oxygen getting to the tissues, anaerobic respiration takes place to supplement our output needs. Using stored sugars, anaerobic respiration produces lactic acid as a by product which can lead to fatigue and muscle soreness.
To max, or perform well at the SDC, around 90-100% intensity is required from the athlete. This is well above the percentages of maximum heart rate in which we see the anaerobic threshold take place. Bottom line…your legs are going to be on fire.
In knowing this phenomenon, we can create a viable action plan to attack this event. Two things are very important here. 1.) the athlete must push the limits of their aerobic fitness in training, and 2.) becoming comfortable and familiar with your individual anaerobic threshold is key. For number one, the greater our aerobic capacity is, the longer we can fend off anaerobic respiration and use oxygen as a fuel longer and with more efficiency. In regards to #2, the anaerobic burn from lactic acid is guaranteed to come during this event so knowing how hard you can push will ensure your success.
In my personal experience, knowing how hard I could push my body in anaerobic conditions helped me greatly. I crossed the finish line at 1:29, but it felt like 5 minutes. At one point, I felt as if I was sprinting as hard as I could, but was barely covering any ground. It was extremely discouraging. But knowing when and how hard my anaerobic threshold was going to hit me, helped manage my expectations during the event.
This event easily requires the most amount of raw athleticism than the others. Soldiers need to get comfortable with quick acceleration due to the 25m turnarounds, and also with carrying loads while moving fast. Due to the complexity of this event, transitions become of utmost importance. First off, being that there are two rounds of body weight sprints, deceleration and acceleration must me practiced. Knowing how to move your body through space, slow down without falling/tripping, and getting to your max sprint speed quickly will save you several seconds.
Also crucial, this event uses implements during the two other rounds. You need to practice how to pick up the sled efficiently after the sprint. PRACTICE PRACTICE PRACTICE placement of the straps and how to pick them up quickly. You need to be aware that you cannot “throw” the kettlebells after the carry. You’ll be asked to fix them thus costing you precious time. Be smooth and smart when transitioning between movements. It could mean the difference of 15-30 seconds total when it’s all said and done.
Aside from the accessories below, Forager Fitness cannot emphasize enough that this event requires practice on top of aerobic and anaerobic training. Both aspects require equal amounts of attention when preparing for the SDC, and subsequently the ACFT.
Accessory Focus for the SPD
1. Farmer’s carries (ideally heavier than the ACFT Rx weight)
2. Sled pushes and Assualt bike sprints
-Train anything that quickly gets you to your anaerobic threshold
3. Shuttle Sprints with focus on transition and smooth acceleration
-Rob and Nik