Diary - RMR Bristol - PRMC(R) (Dec 2014)

Discussion in 'RMR Diaries' started by Crash_Monkey, Dec 24, 2014.

  1. Crash_Monkey

    Crash_Monkey Member

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2014
    Posts:
    276
    App Stage:
    Passed PRMC
    Ok lads, as requested by a few I've had a bash at writing a diary for the recent PRMC(R) I undertook at CTC two weeks ago. I'll preface this by saying this is how I remember things as being, and that future PRMC(R)'s might not adhere to this format so train to be flexible and go with the flow! …. Oh, and this is probably going to be long!

    So a bit of background.

    I have now undertaken three PRMC's. The first in Jan 2007 aged 20, which I attempted a week after having tonsillitis and failed big style. The second I undertook 3 months later and passed without too many dramas, but left training after being Huntered in week 11. Then most recently, after a good 7 year break I found myself back on the train station at CTC ready for PRMC number three, this time for the RMR.

    The Friday night detail was to arrive at CTC from 20:45. Because I had a feeling I wouldn’t want to be driving home on the Sunday I opted to take the train down. Unfortunately the only train that would get me in close to 20:45 arrived at CTC for 19:55…. Oh well, better to be early!

    Because I was so early the guard at the gate was a bit confused as to why I was there and what to do with me, so a couple of trained ranks who’d arrived back on the same train offered to escort me up to the main guardhouse. On the walk up they were quizzing me on why I was there etc and it transpires one of them was ex RMR who had managed to go Reg off the back of Herrick 9. It was interesting to chat with them and they gave me some sound advice: Don’t second guess anything over the next couple of days. Don’t psych yourself out. Only focus on the event you’re about to do, don’t look any further ahead. Dig out blind. Don’t quit.

    It was a nice little pep talk, and really struck me how encouraging they both were. They dropped me at the guardhouse and left after wishing me the very best of luck.

    The rest of Friday night was fairly uneventful. We waited for all the lads to arrive, issued kit, had a quick lecture, and then got our heads down for the night around 23:30. Straight away the mood amongst the lads was good, the thing with RMR is the lads you do PRMC with are highly likely to be the the lads you start training with so its important to bond quickly and get to know one another.

    As the RMR PMRC is essentially a Reg PRMC crammed into almost half the time I knew the timetable for the weekend was going to be tight, and I wasn’t disappointed. The plan for physical activities was as follows:

    Morning
    07:30 BFT
    09:00 Bottom Field/Assault Course
    11:00 Interviews
    Afternoon
    13:30 RMFA
    15:00 Swimming Assessment
    18:30 Night in Field
    Morning
    07:30 Endurance Course

    Interspersed with this would be lots of other bits of admin, meals, etc. The thing I noted straight away was that bottom field and the assault course were to be in the morning, straight after the run, and before the RMFA. I knew then that my scores in the gym would suffer, but quickly pushed the thoughts out of my mind. That was future CrashMonkey’s problem.

    I’d been up since 06:00 on the Friday and was looking forward to having a decent nights sleep, and certainly felt like I needed it. Sadly however this was not to be. The combined noise of every 17 lads rolling around on rickety old metal framed bunk beds and someones snoring, which a number of us compared to a dying cat, kept me awake pretty much all night. At best I got and hour and a half’s sleep that night and therein lies the first important piece of advice I have to pass on…. learn to train and perform tired. I certainly was at 05:30 on Saturday morning!

    DAY 1
    After a rushed sh*t, a cold shower, and a brisk shave, we headed down to the galley for one of the things I remember best about my time as a Reg Nod… Scran. I love food, and I love big portions of food even better, so knowing what lay ahead for Day 1 I loaded up on a cooked breakfast followed by porridge, fruit, coffee, juice, and water. Then it was back to the accommodation to get changed into PT rig ready to begin the BFT at 07:30.

    BFT

    For some reason, this is the test that I had been worrying about the most before heading to CTC. Technically I knew I could run the time without issue, and had done so on the many BFT practises I’d completed on my work lunch breaks. However due to a poor last training session on the Tuesday before PRMC which I ran it in 9:48 with considerable difficulty, I was a tad nervous about failing the first event and catching an early train home.

    As we marched up to the top field all my feelings of nerves were replaced by one thought, ‘*text deleted* me its cold!’. I don’t know what the temperature was that morning, but it was chilly enough that the Training Team sent us off jogging laps of a football pitch to keep warm while awaiting the arrival of the PTI’s. I think we ran about 4 or 5 laps in total. The pace was easy, but it was all energy I’d never expended before training sessions…. I started getting nervous again.

    When the PTI’s arrived I found I needn’t have been nervous about running just a few laps of the pitch, because next we’d be doing a thorough warm up, which included sprints, followed by Pull Up and Sit Up tests. I definitely hadn’t trained for that!

    The only advice I’m going to give here lads is before you do your BFT mocks, go and complete one or two rounds of a Fintan Circuit and then take a 5 min rest. This should get you to a level of fatigue close to PRMC warmup conditions.

    The pull up and sit up tests were conducted after the warm up. We were all to perform 5 controlled pull ups to the PTI’s command, followed by 5 sets of 10 sit ups, each set being started by the PTI once the last person had finished. I chose to put out here and blast through each set in order to get as much rest as possible while waiting for the others to finish. Then, finally, it was onto the road for the BFT.

    We all know what the PRMC BFT involves so I won’t go into the finer details of the first run. Basically, ran as a troop to the PTI’s command, explaining the route that we would be running back along. Easy.

    1 minutes rest….. AND GO!

    Now, I am a realist. I am not a strong runner, and I know that I will never compete with 17 year old lads that run a BFT return in sub 8 mins. So, as we set off from the start line for the return run I knew my race would be with myself (and the newly Commando trained Padre who was going to run it with us, that I was determined to beat), and settled in at last place.

    I’m not going to lie lads, running back up that first lane of the return I was seriously considering quitting after about 300m. People were disappearing into the distance and I was feeling shattered already from the warm up and faster than normal pace that I was trying to keep. Then a couple of guys started slowing, unable to keep the quick pace, and I focussed on the back of the first man. As I went past him I saw the end of the lane and knew I’d run half a mile, only a mile to go… I told myself to man up and catch the next man, which I did. This is basically what I did for the rest of the run, catch a guy, pass him, find the next one and catch him. Gradually I worked my way past a few lads and spotted the Padre and the OC of my RMR Det up the road, they were next and I was determined to catch them.

    As I ran passed them both, blowing out of my backside and groaning like a porn star, I heard the Padre shout “good effort lad, go get ‘em!”. I had to crack a smile at this as I’m nearly 29, and certainly not a lad anymore!

    Then I saw it, “Its only pain, 500m to go”. I dropped the hammer and gave it all I could, passing one more lad and finishing in a time of 9:13. Happy with that, a PB on the road without music. Hats off to the lads that finished in the low 8 minute range!

    And that was it, BFT complete. It was now straight back to the accommodation for a wash, and quick change into boots, combat jackets, and trousers ready to move down to bottom field within 15 mins.

    By now I was so chuffed with my performance on the run that I didn’t care what was coming next. I was in the zone and knew the hard training had paid off.
     
    • Like Like x 3
  2. Crash_Monkey

    Crash_Monkey Member

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2014
    Posts:
    276
    App Stage:
    Passed PRMC
    Bottom Field
    As with the BFT, we all know what bottom field and the assault course is so I won’t bother explaining that too much.

    The session started with another thorough warm up, and more sprints to various obstacles and back. Make sure you’re at the front for these sprints or at least are fighting to be there. The PTI’s do not like slackers! I can’t remember how long this went on, but I’d say around 20 mins perhaps. Then it was over to the low ropes to practice rope crossing before we attacked the high obs. This is where being a former Nod came in useful as I remembered the technique and flew across without issue.

    Some lads struggled a bit with the rope technique, but the PTI’s are experts at teaching and we were soon all flying across. This is one of the thing’s I like most about my experience with the Corps, if you put out and work hard, Trained Ranks are always happy to offer advice and help you understand something. I saw this with the lads that walked me up to the guardhouse on the first night, and I saw it again on bottom field, and then many many more times through out the weekend. Ironically, it was this that actually got me around the Endurance Course and I’m certain I’d have failed without it…. but thats still to come.

    After practising the rope crossing technique on the low ropes it was time to move onto the high obs. This is essentially climb up a ladder, cross one rope, move from the rope onto the frame and over the top onto a higher platform, move confidently across a board around a foot wide and with a two foot(ish) gap in the middle, then onto a higher rope crossing, and then down the cargo net at the other end.

    Having completed this obstacle on my PRMC back in 2007 I knew there was nothing to worry about here and that as long as you use the correct technique, don’t flap, and show some confidence you’ll get across without issue. Even so I did have a little wobble the first time I moved on to the plank run. I’m not scared of heights, but it must be the first time since RT that I’ve been at a height like that and it took a second to adjust. This meant my first crossing of the plank was laking a bit of enthusiasm so I was told to turn around and walk back across, and back again… that sorted out any nerves! Like I said before, trust the PTI’s. They know whats best for you.

    Once we’d all had a few goes at crossing the high obs it was time to move onto the fun bit, the assault course. Again, we all know what the assault course is and most of what it comprises so I won’t bother to explain, but what we essentially did for the next …. I have no idea how long, was to complete three of the obstacles at a time after a demonstration of each by a PTI.

    A word or warning here lads, keep jogging on the spot while the demonstrations are going on. Firstly it stops the PTI’s having to tell you to keep jogging on the spot, and also has the benefit of helping your muscles not to stiffen up, which is the last thing you want at this stage of bottom field.

    Don’t underestimate how much doing practise runs of the course can take out of you. At one stage towards the end where you take a long sprint up a slope I was close to throwing up.

    After completing two run through’s at full speed of each block of three obstacles, we were broken into groups of 4 and it was time for the timed run of the assault course.

    For no particular reason (I think) I was in the final group of 4. This meant that with each group setting off 30 seconds apart I had a good two minutes to catch my breath…. while jogging on the spot of course, so I was confident that I could put in a decent effort here.

    As soon as the “Go” order was given we flew out of the start, across the water trap, and straight to the 6ft wall. Now I’m 6’1, and have no issues clambering over a 6ft wall, however this is where my timed run started to unravel.

    As I swung my body over the top of the wall I looked up to see the boot of the bloke to my left just at it contacted the side of head, right on the temple. *text deleted* me did that hurt and everything went a bit hazy! I flopped down the other side of the wall, gritted my teeth and carried on, though I couldn’t really see where I was actually going!

    After the next two obstacles (I think) it was the monkey bars, which I was certain I was going to come off of because I couldn’t see where to put my hands properly. Somehow though I managed to cross them without getting wet. Thank God for small mercies!

    Up until this point I was still managing to keep up with the other lads in my group.

    After the monkey bars were the zigzag walls and I really struggled to balance here and had to slow considerably which only attracted the attention of the PTI’s, who gave me some of the own brand of motivation. I pressed on.

    Onto the chasm I went, still unable to really see anything, I started the crossing and found myself halfway across and about to pass out so I halted for a second to regain composure…. bad move. “Get a *text deleted* move on” came the cries and I found myself more scared of the PTI’s wrath than passing out and falling off the rope.

    The next few obstacles are a bit of a blur. I couldn’t really take anything in around me except for the piercing sound of PTI’s distain for my lack of two footed landings. I carried on, managing to drag my sorry, panting, heap of a 14.5 stone frame up to the final obstacle. The 12 foot wall.

    This obstacle involves a climb up one side using a rope, followed by a bit of a scramble down three large steps on the other side, ending with a two footed jump finish into some gravel, and a final dash to the finishing point.

    I knew I was nearly finished, and was desperate not to give up so I started climbing, actually making it to the top on my first try. I screamed my surname (as required) and started down the other side. Three steps followed by a jump into the gravel, then I ran as fast as I could to the end and yelled my surname again. I’d made it! Thank God!…… was what I was about to start thinking, but then the PTI who’d been following me round the course appeared at my side. “Get the *text deleted* back up there and do that again. I’ve told you about landing on two feet, so you can bloody well do it again until you get it right!”.

    “Ah, not good!” was all I could think as I started sprinting back up to the 12 foot wall and proceeded to climb it again as fast as possible, promptly losing my footing near the top and slipping back down. I cursed loudly. Just as I was about to start my third climb to the top I hear the PTI speaking to me from above, he told me to calm down. I was rushing too much and forgetting the correct technique which had now landed me in the position of a third climb to the top.

    I took a deep breath, tugged the rope and went for it. Before I knew it I was back at the top and heading down the other side, and this time there was no way in hell I was going to forget the two footed landing. I sprinted, or at least what felt like a sprint, to the finishing point and yelled my name again.

    By this point my time was shot, and to be quite honest I really didn’t care. I’d made it round, albeit not very gracefully, and I’d just learnt a valuable lesson. No matter how much pain you’re in, do things properly the first time, or you’ll just find yourself doing them over and over again, in even greater pain, until you get it right!

    After a thorough warm down and some stretching bottom field was done. I was surprised it was over at this point as I’d been preparing mentally to go to my ‘happy place’ while we endured a 30 minute 'extra phys', but it wasn’t to be!

    Don’t get me wrong, I was glad it was over and that I’d survived, but I couldn’t help feeling like I’d let myself down on the timed run and that I wouldn’t have an opportunity to make up for it. I consoled myself with the thought that at least I hadn’t given up and that I would have to make it up in the next event, the RMFA. Then my mind started to wonder…. were they saving the 'extra phys' for before or after the RMFA?

    I was then shaken out of my thoughts by the PTI who kindly informed us that would be the easiest bottom field session we ever experienced. I knew he was telling the truth.

    Back at the accommodation it was another quick shower and change into civvi rig ready for our interviews and scran.
     
    • Like Like x 4
  3. Crash_Monkey

    Crash_Monkey Member

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2014
    Posts:
    276
    App Stage:
    Passed PRMC
    Interview

    Not a whole lot to tell here. We’d all been worrying about the kinds of questions we could be asked and how much Corps history would come up, but as it happened these were just short 10 minute discussions with Bristol RMR senior officers on why we wanted to join the RMR, our background, jobs, commitments etc etc. Really nothing to worry about.

    I did cringe when I told the Lieutenant that I couldn’t really explain why I wanted to join the Corps, other than I just had this burning fire within me to do it. Thankfully he could see I knew I sounded like a t*t and laughed, telling me that “we all do”.

    Because the interviews dragged on a bit too long we started to overrun the allotted timings, not too much of a drama you’d think, except that we had to get scran, and then start the RMFA within the next hour and and quarter.

    Because of this I decided not to go for my usual overloaded plate of food at lunch. I wanted something I could keep down and digest quickly and so had a chicken and ham slice with chips. I knew it wouldn’t be enough to keep me going all day, but I’d rather be hungry after the RMFA than vom at level 6 of the bleep test!

    Royal Marines Fitness Assessment (RMFA)
    Standing outside the gym I was nervous.

    I was stiff, tired, and aching, I felt sick from rushing my tiny lunch, and to top it off my head was throbbing. I listened to to Corporal warning us “listen lads, the PTI’s will tell you this anyway but I’ll tell you now. Don’t scratch, fidget, fart, wipe sweat from your face, or generally do anything you haven’t been told to do in the gym. The PTI’s will make you pay if you do”.

    I knew this anyway of course from the two previous PRMC’s I’d undertaken, but there is nothing quite like the pre CTC Gym warning to get the stomach churning!

    The PTI arrived and gave us the same warning, “in the gym there are two speeds. Dead still or 100mph, anything less is not acceptable and we WILL make you pay if you don’t put out in there!”.

    He then preceded to explain the tests we were about to undertake (bleep test, pushups, sit ups, pull ups). When he mentioned the bleep test he pointed at me and said “what is the minimum level?”, now I had no idea what the minimum was and so blurted out “level 13 staff, the maximum!” which earned me a “hmm, fair one”. I instantly regretted the fact that it was me that had to answer that question, I’ve never even been close to making level 13 in a bleep test!

    We charged into the gym to a chorus of PTI’s barking orders at us and were formed up in a long line ready for start of the bleep test. The 'extra phys' must be coming after I thought to myself, and set my mind to the task at hand. I’d worry about that when it happened.

    At this point in time I hadn’t completed a bleep test for over 7 years. They’re aren’t hard to do, just run from point to point with the bleep, but I had no idea what score I was actually likely to make on a good day… let alone after that mornings activities!

    As we set off I was stiff, as I am sure every other lad was, and I was thankful for how slow the first few levels were to allow the blood to start flowing and the aching to subside.

    After the assault course fiasco I was determined not to be the first to come off the bleep test and thankfully wasn’t, despite this however I only managed 10.4. The endurance was there to continue, but I just couldn’t move my legs fast enough to keep up. They felt like lead weights.

    I moved off to the side and walked in circles with the other lads as we watched in awe of a guy who made it to level 13! I was happy someone did, because I was seriously p*ssed off at my performance!

    Next up was max press ups and sit ups in two minutes, followed by pull ups to the bleep. For these I managed 49 press ups, 72 sit ups, and 5 pull ups. I had more pull ups in me but simply slipped off the wooden beam. Not the end of the world, but considering I can do 13 pull-ups on a proper bar I was a little irritated.

    However, that was it, the RMFA was done. Time for a good 'extra phys'!

    “Right lads” said the PTI, “grab your stuff and move down to the swimming pool ready for the swimming assessment”. I kept a straight face on the outside because I didn’t want to violate the gym rules, but on the inside I was grinning like a kid in a toy store and doing a little victory dance!
     
    • Like Like x 3
  4. Crash_Monkey

    Crash_Monkey Member

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2014
    Posts:
    276
    App Stage:
    Passed PRMC
    Swimming Assessment

    There are really no surprises here. Jump off of the 3m board and swim a length of breaststroke, its the easiest test of the entire weekend and as a former Weston Counties swimmer I enjoyed a leisurely bimble up the pool.

    I have to be honest, I’d have endured a bit of a 'extra phys' in the pool just for the opportunity to stay in the water a bit longer it was so refreshing. As was the only hot shower of the weekend in the pool changing rooms!

    So that was it, the end of the Day 1 physical tests. We were now 75% of the way through the course and I had mixed feelings about my performance so far, however I was still there and as the trained ranks had said on that first night, I wasn’t there to judge myself. I put everything that had taken place that day out of my head and focussed on our upcoming night in the field …. well, everything except the throbbing lump on the side of my head. I couldn’t quite forget that yet.

    Night in Field

    Having completed most of the Phase 1 exercises during my time in RT in 2007, I can honestly say this was the easiest night in the field…. ever. Thats not a bad thing, it was a perfect opportunity to bond with the lads, have a chat, cook some ration packs, and get an idea of what we’d be doing on our weekends if we were successful on the course by chatting with the training team.

    The Training Team had identified early on in the course the I was an ex Nod (the only one) and so I was asked to put together and organise the sentry rota for that nights roaming sentries. I liked being given that opportunity to demonstrate some of my other qualities other than the physical. Being a Marine is a physical job, but as we all know it takes more than just being fit to do well, and I was happy for the opportunity to show that I could organise a simple roaming sentry, quickly and with as minimal fuss as possible.

    There were 17 of us on the course, each split into bivvy pairs (except for the snorer from the first night who scored a bivvy all to himself!). Sentry was to run from 20:00 - 05:30, this meant that we would all do a 1 hour sentry, but that the single lad would have to do an hour and a half on his own.

    I opted for my bivvy partner and I to take the first hour, and then join the single lad for the last hour and a half as well. My reasoning behind this was that although we would be doing two sentry duties we would also get the most sleep over the course of the night which would make up for it. In addition to this I decided that getting up an hour and a half before anyone else would give us both a chance to limber up before the Endurance Course, and also wake up properly so that at 05:30 we could go straight into breaking down and packing up the shelter while scran was cooking.

    Throughout the whole course, but particularly during the night in the field I found a lot of lads were asking me questions about my time and experiences in training. I’m not going to lie, it was nice to be able to contribute something useful to the course, and be able to show the lads little things like how to pack their sleeping bags in their bergans effectively. Its stuff like that which hopefully will help them a bit later on in training.

    I never used to sleep well in the field while in RT the first time, but I was pleasantly surprised to find I actually slept from around 22:00 through to about 01:30 when some noise on camp woke me up, and then about 02:00 to 04:00. It was definitely much needed rest.
     
    • Like Like x 3
  5. Crash_Monkey

    Crash_Monkey Member

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2014
    Posts:
    276
    App Stage:
    Passed PRMC
    DAY 2
    At 05:30 on Sunday morning we started breaking down the shelter and cooking breakfast from our ration packs. I am happy to report the ration packs have greatly improved over the last 7 years, but the beans and mini sausages breakfast followed by the pineapple in syrup desert I ate certainly wasn’t going to cut it in terms of energy or taste when compared to a full fried breakfast and porridge from the galley.

    We hiked off as a troop back to the accommodation at 06:30 and prepared ourselves for departure at 07:15 for the final physical event of the PRMC, the Endurance Course.

    Endurance Course

    Before setting off for the Endurance Course I drank two full bottles of water and then refilled mine and added in an electrolyte sachet from my ration pack. I also attempted to eat a cookies and cream bar I’d saved from the ration pack but was starting to feel rather sick, whether it was nerves or the breakfast I don’t know!

    I also took, and I don’t advice this, 2 ibuprofen and 2 paracetamol tables to try and limit some of the pain I was now feeling in my hamstrings, calves, and ankles. Put on fresh, dry socks (not that they would stay dry for long) and spent about 15 minutes stretching.

    None of this really helped and most of my body still hurt like a biatch!

    At 07:10 we assembled in the PRMC accommodation hallway ready to move off to Woodbury Common. The Corporal supervising the course gave us a last minute pep talk that I found myself thinking back to during the next couple of hours. Essentially, he told us that the next couple of hours would be hard, especially after all of the phys from Day 1, but if we stuck with it and pulled ourselves through, those two hours of pain could very well change our lives.

    It was an exciting and inspiring thought! We set off to Woodbury.

    As is always the case when you’re travelling to a sporting event, or a test of some kind, the journey always passes far too quickly and before we knew it we were running in circles around a large clearing at the start of the Endurance Course completing another thorough warm up. Thankfully I was so stiff that I was actually grateful for the warm up, I think I’d have probably ripped something had we gone straight into the Endurance Course.

    After a bit of wrestling with each other to finish the warm up we were off and running down a slope that marks the start of the course.

    As much as I try to remember details of the route, I really can’t. It wasn’t long before we were at the first tunnel however and crawling through in complete darkness. There really isn’t any way I can think of to prepare for the actual obstacles in the Endurance Course, you just have to accept that your body, I found my knees in particular, are going to take a real pounding and deal with it.

    Peters Pool arrived pretty quickly after the start and we were soon dunking ourselves under the water to fully soak through. I cannot explain how cold that water was! I am certain my balls retracted back up inside my body, and it is the only time my breath has been taken away from me under water as well due to cold.

    A word of advice, as soon as you exit Peters Pool pat down all your pockets and try to empty and trapped water out of your clothes. Almost straight away you are running up what I remember to be quite a long steep hill and the extra weight of water in your boots is enough to slow you down, let alone any extra lurking in your pockets!

    It was actually on this hill that I started to struggle and the battle to finish my PRMC became very real and very mental. As we left Peters Pool and started up the hill I just could not get my legs to turn over at a decent speed and it became a long old slog. I wasn’t the only one that was suffering, which I took some comfort in, however as the course dragged on I was finding it increasingly hard to keep up. I’d fall back going up the hills and then have to sprint to catch the group once at the top, and gradually this took its toll. It wasn’t long before I was blowing out of my a*se and I was fighting just to keep going.

    A PTI appeared beside me, “I want to see you at the front of this group after the next obstacle, do you understand me!?”, I managed to force out a beleaguered “Yes, Staff” before dashing to the front as we slowed for the next obstacle.

    The sheep dip arrived and I was now standing in the first three, so jumped straight in. The water was possibly even colder than Peters Pool, and as I struggled to suck in a breath of air it was soon taken from me by the freezing water when I submerged. The sheep dip takes the least physical effort of the whole endurance course and was over in a matter of seconds, and after everyone had been through we were soon moving on up and over more hills, through more tunnels, and through more water and thick mud. If it wasn’t so damn painful it would be fun at the time, as it happens you only realise its fun once its over!

    Another piece of advice I have, keep your mouth closed as you go thought the ‘smartie tubes’, they are full of some of the most foul smelling, sh*tty water known to man…. a small amount of which I happened to swallow. I had an interesting day on the toilet the following day which I am fairly sure had something to do with this choice of refreshment!

    About 5 minutes after leaving Peters Pool is where things got really difficult for me. I can’t actually remember much more of the course other than it seemed endless and It was a real struggle to keep going. I remember working my way back into the group when another hill started to drag me back and I was really starting to fade, just at that moment a lad who had recently completed a POC slammed his hand on the back of my combat jacket and literally pushed me for the next 20 feet kept me with the group. I pulled him aside later and thanked him for this as it kept me going and snapped me back into focus.

    I now had the Corporal that gave us the short pep talk before setting off to Woodbury running beside me encouraging me to keep going. “Its not far” he said, “just keep going!”. I dug deep and kept putting one foot in front of the other, and soon I saw the clearing we had started in coming up ahead of us. I put my foot down and sprinted to the end with a huge sense of relief.

    As I bent over sucking in the air the Corporal appeared beside me again. “Ok” he said, “Its just a mile sprint now, you just have to finish this run. Don’t quit!” and before I could even respond we were off.

    I think I mentioned at the start of this diary that I’m a realist, and that I’m not a natural runner? Well I’m not, and I soon found myself falling back from the group just as I did on the BFT, and once again I knew this wasn’t a race with the others, it wasn’t ever a race with myself, but rather a battle with my mind to keep going.

    I can’t remember much from that run, other than it hurt a lot, and that despite cramp in one hamstring and the other calf, I kept going.

    What I do remember from the run was that the Corporal stuck next to me the entire way offering encouragement and willing me to finish.

    “We need men like you in the Corps” the told me. “Don’t quit, this is going to change your life’.

    Thats all I can remember. The pain, and the Corporal. The rest is a blur.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  6. Crash_Monkey

    Crash_Monkey Member

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2014
    Posts:
    276
    App Stage:
    Passed PRMC
    After what seemed like an eternity we were now running along a long, straight, muddy track and I’d managed to start catching lads at the back of the group and had even passed a couple. Just like on the BFT this gave me a burst of something because the next thing I knew I was charging down the lane past a few more guys yelling “coming through!” like some kind of sp*z!

    As we reached the end of the lane we came to a main road and I saw the mini bus we’d travelled up on parked at the side of the road. We’d made it, we’d finished the Endurance Course.

    Due to the time limits of the PRMC we didn’t do the three mile run back to CTC. I don’t know that if we had whether I would have made it all the way. But what I can say is that my body would have given up before I did! I’d certainly have tried, regardless of the state I was in.

    Before I climbed on the mini bus I found the Corporal than thanked him. Yes, it was me that made the run and kept going, but without that encouragement who knows what would have happened. I was truly thankful regardless.

    I can’t really explain the mix of feelings I had as we drove back to camp. I was proud to have made it round, but also a bit ashamed that I’d struggled as much as I had on this final test. I resigned myself to the fact that whether I passed or failed, I’d given it my all. And I certainly had. This PRMC pushed my further than I was pushed on my prior PRMC’s, and as far as I can remember, further than when I was in RT.

    Once back at camp it was a case of sorting out and cleaning all the kit and the accommodation. This took a good couple of hours and we were then left to wait in the accommodation while the training staff deliberated on the results. I remember being fairly chirpy despite the fact that I wasn’t sure whether I had done enough to pass, I guess I was just happy to have made it through the weekend and would take whatever experience I could for my next attempt if need be.

    After about half an hour of waiting the PRMC Sgt appeared in the doorway and began to call out names. I knew from previous experience that these would be the lads that hadn’t been successful and just waited to hear my name, but it didn’t come. I couldn’t believe it, and refused to believe I’d been successful until I was officially told I’d passed, but when I was it was the best feeling I’ve had in years!

    Out of the 35 lads who were meant to attend this PRMCR, 17 turned up, 14 passed, and 3 failed.

    One of the lads that failed was due to a hamstring injury that meant he had to sit out the bleep test and Endurance Course. Another lad didn’t reach the minimum 3 pull-ups in the RMFA, despite achieving 5 in the warmup prior to the BFT. The third lad, I’m not sure exactly why he failed. He was just ahead of me on the BFT and I think he just finished ahead of me on the Endurance Course so I did feel for him, and I’ve actually directed him to this site since to help in preparation for his next attempt in March.

    Since passing my PRMC(R) I now know exactly what I need to work on before I begin training in March 2015: LEG STRENGTH, LEG STRENGTH, LEG STRENGTH! This really let me down on the Endurance Course and I know that we launch straight into a 4 mile speed march on our first training weekend in March, so I want to know that I’ll be able to cope physically, and not just rely on will power to succeed.

    In addition to this I’m building greater endurance with longer runs, and doing a lot more circuits such as Fintan and Murph etc.

    I apologise for how long this diary is. I wanted to get as much information down as I could about the course and my experiences. It was something I felt was not available to me when I was preparing for PRMC(R) and if this information can give a lad looking for information on what to expect a heads up then its worth the effort to write.

    If anyone has any questions please feel free to ask.
     
    • Like Like x 9
    • Hoofin Hoofin x 5
  7. GreyWing

    GreyWing Nobody

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2007
    Posts:
    4,458
    Cracking diary mate and well done on passing.
     
  8. sd2014

    sd2014 New Member

    Joined:
    May 29, 2014
    Posts:
    44
    Great diary mate, thanks for taking the time to write up on it.
     
  9. Froggers

    Froggers Member

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2012
    Posts:
    134
    App Stage:
    Passed AIB
    Absolute winner mate! I'll be joining 115 troop in the new year and will have my PRMCR in march so this has helped loads!

    Did you attend holding troop? if so do you feel it helped with PRMC?
     
  10. R4Robotics

    R4Robotics Spectator

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2010
    Posts:
    1,109
    Something I was going to stress, as it was the only caveat missing at the top and with this question being along the similar lines. I will butt in on the answer.

    As stated this diary covers a RMR Bristol PRMC. So any lads looking at this from another unit needs to do so with a pinch of salt, as your units do not use CTC for PRMC.

    Likewise with Dets each Det has a training pipeline passed to them by the HQ, but how this is delivered can vary. I personally think Holding troop does help in many ways. People think that the phys will square you away, but it is merely a tool for assessing and helping you on your way.

    Having said that I would be interested in Crash's answer be it positive or constructive so that the unit can learn for future intakes
     
    • Like Like x 1
  11. Crash_Monkey

    Crash_Monkey Member

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2014
    Posts:
    276
    App Stage:
    Passed PRMC
    Thank you mate, glad it was of some use!

    I did attend Holding Troop. I didn't go every week, and in the New Year do intend to start going every week, but regarding the phys found the most useful thing was the intensity of it.

    By this I mean, before I started going to HT I was cracking out BFT runs, doing bodyweight phys etc and just focussing on times and stats. My first HT session had nifty little 30 min circuit which was a bit like a Fintan. This, combined with 15 mins on the ropes really wiped me out and I realised I needed a lot more circuits in my program.

    I posted a little thread (see below) on some bodyweight circuits I did during my training. This includes a couple from HT.

    http://www.royalmarines.uk/threads/circuit-training-fun.73414/

    As well as phys, we also did basic map reading skills etc. This will certainly give a little bit of an edge once you start training.

    I'd definitely recommend attending Holding Troop if possible. As well as the above you'll also get an idea for how everything works etc and will give you an insight into RMR in general.

    Sorry, totally forgot to mention this in my diary! R4 is right though, if you live further afield you may find your PRMC is a little bit more along the lines of the below:



    Cheers.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  12. Grogsey

    Grogsey Member

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2011
    Posts:
    145
    App Stage:
    Passed PRMC
    Brilliant diary thanks for that. I'm hoping to do the PRMC in March and hopefully get on 115 troop
     
  13. Crash_Monkey

    Crash_Monkey Member

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2014
    Posts:
    276
    App Stage:
    Passed PRMC
    What is/will be your local Det mate?
     
  14. Grogsey

    Grogsey Member

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2011
    Posts:
    145
    App Stage:
    Passed PRMC
    Lympstone buddy same as you I think? I'm an ex nod aswell
     
  15. R4Robotics

    R4Robotics Spectator

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2010
    Posts:
    1,109
    Being a kill joy can we try and keep this thread to the PRMC diary only.
     
  16. doddsy84

    doddsy84 Member

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2011
    Posts:
    360
    App Stage:
    Passed AIB
    @Crash_Monkey just got chance to read all of this and what a cracking diary mate!! Really good for a 30 year old, 6ft1, 14 stone old man like myself to read and relate to for hopefully my up and coming prmrc. Thanks for doing that mate and good luck with rt, keep us all regularly informed pal
     
  17. Crash_Monkey

    Crash_Monkey Member

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2014
    Posts:
    276
    App Stage:
    Passed PRMC
    No problem mate, happy its been useful.

    Out of interest @R4Robotics, @Ninja_Stoker, or any other trained ranks, what would be the deal with the above suggestion of keeping people updated with something like a training diary or blog as Reserve RT progresses, obviously adhering to security rules with regards to PERSEC, weapons capabilities, tactics etc etc?
     
    • Like Like x 1
  18. Ninja_Stoker

    Ninja_Stoker Careers Adviser

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2007
    Posts:
    30,417
    There's no reason not to run a RMR RT diary for anyone with the time & inclination to do so. Obviously, although certain elements are mandatory, the sequence & timescales may differ between units due to logistics.

    The only thing I would caution is most people in the RMR are juggling civilian jobs, living at home & trying to crack an intensive military training package - free time is at an optimum, but if anyone has the ability to write a recruit training diary, it would certainly be a really big bonus for those that follow & certainly an eye-opener for anyone that thinks it an easier option than the regulars.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  19. doddsy84

    doddsy84 Member

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2011
    Posts:
    360
    App Stage:
    Passed AIB
    @Crash_Monkey looks like you have just put yourself forward for this job mate, seems though you done such a cracking job on the prmrc diary
     
  20. Crash_Monkey

    Crash_Monkey Member

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2014
    Posts:
    276
    App Stage:
    Passed PRMC
    @doddsy84 haha I don't mind mate. I used to write as a hobby and wanted to get back into doing some this year. Two birds, on stone ;).

    I'd like to try and do something, I just wanted to make sure the Mods, or and trained ranks on the forum didn't have an issue with it. Certainly don't want to end up inviting extra beastings for it :D.
     
    • Like Like x 2

Share This Page