Share this page:

PRMC diary of black 4, 13th March 2007

General discussions on joining & training in the Royal Marines.
Message
Author
offbeatpath
Casual Member
Casual Member
Posts: 59
Joined: Sun 04 Mar, 2007 5:34 pm
Location: Alton, Hampshire

PRMC diary of black 4, 13th March 2007

#1 Post by offbeatpath »

Tuesday

We arrived at about 2 o’clock in the afternoon and there were about 8 of us roughly. We were the first to arrive, which had its positives and negatives. The positives were that we had first refusal on all the kit we were issued so I ended up getting a really good pair of boots in comparison to quite a few people and my combats actually fitted. The negatives are that we had to sort out all the rooms and put all the bedding out etc. Most of Tuesday afternoon was spent polishing our boots, getting kit issued and sorting out our room’s etc. By about 4ish most of my dorm had arrived and already were in good spirits, most of us were very chatty which made the culture transition easier for all of us. I don’t think that mentally there was much difference to my first day at boarding school and my first day there, it gave me similar feelings. The rooms had about 15/16 in them and the beds were amusingly awful. In fact there were a few striking similarities to the bed in the RM museum and the bunk beds we had. The beds had a plastic mattress with a bit of foam or something stuffed in them and the sheets barely fitted the bed and as soon as you lay in it the sheets would slide off anyway because of the plastic material. We were all in the same position though so no one really moaned that much other than just to have a laugh about it. I shared my bunk with a really great guy from Scotland, he had a great sense of humour. The other benefit of being early was that you got to choose the bed you wanted in your assigned dorm so everyone who got there early chose the bottom bunks. Tuesday other than that was spent chatting and mucking around in our rooms just getting to know one another, we found a soft rugby ball and a soft football in one of the cupboards which kept us amused for literally hours! Bedtime was at 10ish.

Tips: Get there early, we had a good 1 hr to choose our kit get bottom bunks and settle in before the waves of people turned up. Getting good boots are essential and by getting there first you have the benefit of choosing the best available, same goes for combats.

Wednesday

We woke up at around 5.20 and all got a shower, the showers were actually really good and we had no problem with the hot water. After breakfast we then had drill which was very basic and did not involve many complicated manoeuvres. Shortly after drill we had a quick lecture explaining what the next few days entailed and then it was time to get changed for the 3-mile run.

3 mile run

We had a fairly long warm up (although have heard worse) involving stretches, sprints, running on the spot etc. The 3-mile run was set up so we would run half way as a troop in 12 minutes 30 seconds and then run back as fast as we can which had to be done in under 10 minutes 30 seconds. The pace for the first half was perfect and did not get me out of breath or really sweat at all but even for some whom had not trained it was too much. So when we got to the halfway point we were told to turn around and run back as fast as possible. Everyone apart from a few people including myself sprinted off which I saw no point in doing because for one it was up hill straight away anyway. I just slowly increased my speed to a point were I had so much energy I managed to overtake roughly 30+ people and I finished in 7th place getting 5 points out of a maximum of 6 for the run. I think I did it in about 8 minutes 30 seconds but can’t be sure. We started the run with about 40 (once again cant be sure exactly) people and I think a few failed and one guy got a hernia. When we finished the run we then just did a few stretches and warmed down and marched back to the PRMC quarters, where the people who were still remaining (about 37 maybe) had to have a shower and get changed in about 20 minutes for a couple of lectures. Considering there are only 4 showers this is not as easy as it sounds!
After that we had a lecture on weapons used by the Royal Marines, Corporal S who was a platoons weapons specialist took this. Then we had a lecture on banking and finances in the Royal Marines so I have had to take out a Barclays account as they have a branch on site and apparently they look after you well (which I need with money!) We then had lunch and cleaned etc and got ready for the first Gym test.

Tips: With the 3 miler, on the second part of the run i.e. the point where you turn around and run back in your best effort. Don’t be the group of lads (unless you’re a very strong runner) that sprint up the hill straight away and knacker themselves out after 500 meters. Just up the pace and continually do so and then pound the shit out of the last 500 meters.

Gym test 1

First a few PTI’s warmed us up so we were stretched and a bit tired before we performed the bleep test. When you are in the gym/sports hall it is very strict and your not allowed to do anything wrong, this includes scratching, wiping sweat, fidgeting. If you do any of these you are made to do press-ups or burpees or tuck jumps basically anything that will tire you out. At the beginning of the bleep test I accidentally wiped my nose without thinking so I had to do a load of tuck jumps before we started it which didn’t help! I got to 12.1 on the bleep test which I was happy with (even though I got 13.5 at home but it goes to show you have to allow for tiredness and conditions) so again I got 5 out of a possible 6 points for that. Straight after we were then tested on our press-ups, for this your partner would lie on the ground on his front and put his arm out. His arm would be out stretched with his fist on the floor knuckles facing up, he would be looking away so as not to count press-ups that didn’t touch his knuckles. One press-up was all the way down with your chest touching your partners knuckle and back up again. The press-ups you have to do are Royal Marine press-ups, which are your elbows tight to your ribs, these are much harder than normal press-ups in most peoples opinion. Minimum was 20 to a maximum of 60 for 6 points, I got 65 which I was pleased with so I got maximum points for that. Next were the sit-ups, minimum was 30 to a maximum of 80 for 6 points, your partner would hold your ankles and a full sit-up counts as starting from elbows and shoulder/head touching mat all the way up to your knees. Your elbows have to come up and touch the top of your knees for the sit-up to count, you have to make sure also that your legs are always together and don’t come apart. I completed 83 sit-ups so got maximum points for that as well. They are very particular with the press-ups and sit-ups in terms of form and if you are doing it wrong they will just start knocking your score down so you may do 60 but only 53 actually counted because you had some knocked off from bad form. The PTI’s are walking up and down throughout the exercises and monitoring your form I was told I had good form on my press-ups but they didn’t really comment on my sit-ups. Last but not least were the pull-ups, these are done on a wooden beam that ended up being very slippery plus if you sweat a lot like me it is even harder to grip. Pull-ups can be very effected by grip. You had to get a minimum of 3 Pull-ups to a maximum of 6, I got 6 but because I slipped of the beam without control as I was coming down he only gave me 5. So I got 5 out of a maximum of 6 points on the pull-ups.

That was the physical side over and done with for Tuesday, although straight after gym test we had a swimming assessment, which involved jumping off a high board and swimming 50 meters breaststroke. Under normal circumstances this would have been fine but I got cramp all up my left leg so that was the most painful 50 meters I have ever done! Shortly after we were back in our rooms cleaning the rooms and ourselves. We then had another lecture on health and fitness etc by a naval doctor and just warning us that if we do have an injury during recruit training then we should really speak up. Hiding it (which is normally what happens) ends up far worse and quite often you get back trooped into Hunter Company. This can be for anything up to a year (maybe longer) depending on the severity of the condition. Wednesday night was spent at foundation where you spend your first 3 weeks of recruit training, we were shown around and introduced to a few guys that had already done a couple of weeks but were only one or two steps in front of us in terms of experience. We then spoke to the “diamonds”, the diamonds are senior recruits who are waiting to do their commando tests and their pass out so basically no more than a couple of weeks away from getting the coveted green beret. We just asked them all types of questions, some irrelevant and some useful either way it was productive.

Thursday

Once again we woke up at around 5.30, although today I felt like death warmed up (my mum and sister were ill before I went away and clearly it had caught up with me) and if I were at home I would have stayed in bed all day feeling sorry for myself no doubt! Anyway swallowed a few Beechams flu plus caplets and off we go! We did all the routine cleaning, breakfast etc and then got changed into our combats. The first assessment of the day is the deathslide and high obstacles, followed by Bottomfield. The deathslide is essentially a zip wire but bloody high up, this is not tested its just literally to examine your head for heights – its just a good laugh.

Bottom Field and friends

High obstacles are fun, you get taught how to do a commando rope cross across a rope that is only about 4 ft off the ground but then you immediately go and do one about 15ft in the air. At the end of that you climb up a bit higher so you’re nearer to 20+ feet (not sure exactly on height but you get the gist that it is high) in the air at least and you then have to confidently walk along a thin plank of wood. Next there is a 2-ft gap between that plank and the next and you have to cross that confidently or you have to do it again (bare in mind there is just a drop either side with nothing stopping you). Once you’ve made your way across the planks you then climb on to another rope that is even higher than the planks and you have to commando cross the rope to a cargo net where you climb down. Once we had completed the high obstacle course we were then shown all the obstacles on the timed assault course. We were shown 2 or 3 obstacles at a time but if we weren’t doing them we would be marking time (jogging on the spot) while watching how they are done and then we would do them. So when the time came to do the timed attempt we would already be quite tired. This was how my assault course went, I cleared the Tank Trap (water obstacle) and the 6ft Wall, came to the Scramble Net (commando crawl under a low net with stones/rocks). Then got to the monkey bars that I love, next it was over the triple Zig Zag Wall with the first being a walk the second being a jog and the third being a sprint. Then the Chasm which was another rope crawl (by this point my crutch was fed up with the rope crawl) then a three-stride sprint over the Swing Bridge obstacle. After this a sprint up the hill towards the 5ft Wall, then more sprinting up the hill towards the Gate Vault. Then sprint into one of the 20yard Tunnels out of them and up the 12ft Wall. I grabbed a rope and climbed up to the top, shouted out my name and jumped down the stairs on the other side and sprinted to the finish. The assault course itself went ok for me without much drama. I have heard of people slipping off the monkey bars and getting a great big gash from the tunnels but nothing for me in fact as far as I know no one had any major problems…probably due to the weather being ok. I don’t know exactly what time I got round in but I know I got 5 out of 6 points so it must have been a relatively ok time. After this was the notorious determination test where they run you ragged. This comprised of sprints to obstacles, marking time, pyramid exercises (press-ups facing down hill, sit-ups facing up hill and squat thrusts facing down hill), running up a very very steep hill and back. The expression "You're only as strong as your weakest man” means there are consequences for the entire squad. Examples of such, candidates not doing required repetitions on the exercises, candidates doing wrong exercises. This lasts about 20-25 minutes and throughout the whole time the Corporals are trying to get us to quit. I think about 6 or 7 did quit so the Corporals got to them thus failing the course. Once the determination test is over you finish it with a piggy back with a self chosen partner to the bottom of the field (100 meters? maybe a bit more) and back up it-this is tough because you dont have much left to give. It is hard to emphasise how tough the determination test is but to put into perspective one Royal Marine Wednesday night said that it is one of the hardest things he has ever done. In total from the start we were probably down there for about 3 hours so that was a tough morning.

After this we went back to the quarters and had our interviews. In terms of corps history etc I was asked about the commando units and where they are based. Then I had to name a VC winner then I was asked to name another one but explain what he got it for and whether he died or not. It is worth reading up about the history etc as they will try and catch you out, I found after talking to the other guys that some of us got it easier than others, I was kind of in the middle in terms of difficulty. So mine went well and I answered all my corps history questions and corps general knowledge questions fine I was then told that I had joint highest points with some other guy in my group which I was pleased with, I was also told that I was passing the course. So provided I didn’t quit I would pass which I was pleased with as well.

Gym Test 2

In the afternoon we had gym test 2 which under normal circumstances would have been ok but I was pretty tired, sore and still feeling ill so it was a matter of survival! And knowing that provided I didn’t quit I would pass I was not too bothered about showing off or going hell for leather. Gym test 2 is made up of 5 obstacles in the sports hall, they are a bit too complicated to explain writing them down but they are tough to say the least. It is supposed to provoke teamwork as the obstacles are done individually, in pairs and as a team and you spend 3 minutes (I think) on each obstacle, the games are quite basic and repetitive. After gym test 2 it is the sprint session, this is done using the full length of the sports hall. Once again it is hard to explain but it’s a matter of sprinting on command back and forth and you’re always marking time if you’re not sprinting. They also did a twist at the end, which involved them making us race each other…the prize…getting to miss out on the next race, you needed to either win or come second to qualify. I managed to get close a couple of times but after a while of sprinting my arse off I gave up trying to win as that was clearly not working for me. So I decided to still sprint but tone it down a bit as I was hanging anyway and really didn’t want to push it so far my body gave up on it all together. The sprinting session must have lasted at least 20 mins but once again cant be sure it may have been longer. The sprints just like the determination test is there to test the candidates determination and if you drop out you will fail. No one dropped out of the sprints, I think everyone knew that it would not last forever and that it is the last physical test of the course. Later on we had a few more lectures, all of which I really enjoyed. The first was about physical preparation for the gruelling 32 weeks and also diet and what to do and what not to do. The second was on specialisation’s you can do once you have completed training, I really like the look of landing craft specialist myself. The final lecture of the night was with Corporal S and he told us his life story, it was really interesting to hear a life of a Royal Marine.

Friday

Woke up at 6.00 (lie in!) Friday was mainly spent frantically cleaning and getting all the gear we wore over to the stores. We had a couple more meetings that morning, the first was to fill in a questionnaire about our experience and also to let them know what we thought of our armed forces careers office. We then were told our results and given our certificates. Out of the 40 that started (roughly-maybe a bit more) 26 passed. We then went to collect a new pair of boots and socks and do some more cleaning. Once everything was squared up we were given a dvd, T-shirt, Royal Marine history book, fitness schedule and Royal Marines water bottle. We were also given a questionable lunch pack for the train home!

Scran

I didn’t talk about eating much because…I forgot! Scran is amazing and really fills the hole, I decided in the mornings due to previous warnings by PRMC’ers saying you will be sick not to have the fry up although their theory was proved wrong by a number of the guys who had no problems. As for lunch it was a good idea to eat light as there is a good chance you will be doing something within the hour. When it comes to supper/dinner eat everything…you will need to replace lost energy etc.

General Tips:

Use your initiative and put your towel in the drying room once you have used it. Take Speedo’s and not swimming shorts for the swimming assessment, as that’s what they want even though on my kit list it didn’t specify. All that will happen is unwanted attention will be drawn to you if you take board/swimming shorts. Although its hard because everything is happening around you a million miles an hour, try and keep alert and don’t let nerves get the better of you. Take a little makeshift medical kit, I took some flu tablets (as I had a feeling I might get ill because of my mum and sister being ill before I went down to Lympstone), Nurofen, blister plasters and some Lucozade energy tablets. All of which were shared round the room at some point or another. Make sure you have legitimate running shoes with you or you will be picked out and made an example of. Don’t call the Corporal’s Sir! I think we all made that mistake at least once, this will be explained to you there but just to give you a heads up. It has been said before in other diaries but I would like to reiterate that although alot of the time you are running around like headless chickens with one purpose and that is to please, there is also a hell of a lot of standing around so be prepared! My legs always seized up at that point but i was not alone and neither will you. And that brings me on to my final point, it is tough but everyone will be finding it tough. If ever you think "I cant handle this anymore"...turn to your right...turn to your left... if you think you are suffering more than those men next to you think again.

Last but not least

If you have genuinely trained and not just talked about it you will be fine, not saying you won’t be shattered but you should pass. I genuinely trained and got either maximum points or one off maximum for every assessment. The point scoring tests are not that taxing if you have trained, the idea of them is to prove to the PTI’s that you have taken training seriously and you are not a lazy all mouth bloke. It’s the sprints and the determination test that is purely down to sheer belief of yourself and how much you want recruit training. Last but not least meet your dorm mates and get to know them, they will be your best mates and family for the next few days and will probably get you through some of the harder assessments i.e. bottom field.

I hope this is of some help (if not a read to pass the time?) and that it is as accurate as possible, please remember that the three days are a blur to everyone so I’ve done my best to recollect it.

Advertise your company or services here and contact us today!

offbeatpath
Casual Member
Casual Member
Posts: 59
Joined: Sun 04 Mar, 2007 5:34 pm
Location: Alton, Hampshire

#3 Post by offbeatpath »

Thanks mate. Yes i did, and i would recomend it in the future so thanks for the advise. Just waiting for RT now...

digitalfreefall
New Member
New Member
Posts: 12
Joined: Wed 26 Apr, 2006 8:56 pm
Location: Glasgow

#4 Post by digitalfreefall »

Well done mate.

Can you give us a brief outline of what your training schedule was in preperation for your PRMC, by the sounds of it your a fit lad so it would be good to know what you were doing.

offbeatpath
Casual Member
Casual Member
Posts: 59
Joined: Sun 04 Mar, 2007 5:34 pm
Location: Alton, Hampshire

#5 Post by offbeatpath »

thanks mate. Well i posted my fitness schedule on here : http://www.prmc.co.uk/viewtopic.php?t=7

I put it there to give another bloke an idea of what other lads are doing to get fit. I am more than happy to email across my complete programme as well if you want more but that link should give you an idea of what my programme was like. Ive had to increase it a bit more now to prepare for RT though.

Ps. You need to scroll down a few posts to find it, im called offbeatpath on there as well.

jarhead
Familiar Member
Familiar Member
Posts: 232
Joined: Thu 16 Feb, 2006 7:42 pm
Location: london

#6 Post by jarhead »

The first assessment of the day is the deathslide and high obstacles, followed by Bottomfield. The deathslide is essentially a zip wire but bloody high up, this is not tested its just literally to examine your head for heights – its just a good laugh.
when i did PRMC, a while back we never did that, ur lucky, we just did looking at guns which was good, but no high ropes, maybe it depends on how muhc thePTI likes the ppl, sinse we had a pretty strict one who made us do market time non stop while others in other PTIs didnt do market time but just running on stop,

well done how long do u recon it took for you to get upto 3 miles at decent pace? ie weeks/ amount of running per week to get to ur time?


p.s were u a good runner before u started training.?

p.s.s how old are u mate? not tryign to be rude or anything if u dont mind. thanks

dwarfy
Casual Member
Casual Member
Posts: 99
Joined: Wed 23 Nov, 2005 12:05 pm
Location: somerset

#7 Post by dwarfy »

OBP,

Nice work mate, congrats on passing and good effort on the diary. The PRMC has changed alot over the years, even recent years as its a lot different to when i did it in 2003. Timings have changed as have the days on which the tests are done, and the layout is different, so its good to have an up to date verison.

Best of luck with RT,

Dwarfy,

offbeatpath
Casual Member
Casual Member
Posts: 59
Joined: Sun 04 Mar, 2007 5:34 pm
Location: Alton, Hampshire

#8 Post by offbeatpath »

Hi Jarhead, I’m pretty sure that the high ropes and death slide are now part of the course. Although the deathslide is not an assessment and it is not obligatory to do, it would probably be frowned up on if you bottled out and refused to take part. During the physical assessments as far as I remember we were marking time constantly especially on bottom field with the assault course and in the gym tests.

I’m 21, and was an ok runner before I started. I naturally run at quite a fast pace anyway so it was not too tough to tune it properly. I didn’t concentrate that hard on just running, maybe once a week to test my time. What I did instead was Fartlek training, Bleep test and gym CV equipment that focused on things like recovery rate. If you click on the link above it has my weekly schedule that I did. Hope this helps a bit?

jarhead
Familiar Member
Familiar Member
Posts: 232
Joined: Thu 16 Feb, 2006 7:42 pm
Location: london

#9 Post by jarhead »

thanks im just turned 18, and suck bad at running, sinse i allways been a swimmer, so lucky i have good cv and breathing, i just find pain in shins when run for a bit, probaly nothin.

do u think for a novice runner, though resombaly fit, i can do 3 mile time in about 1 -2 months of running 3-4 times a week?

offbeatpath
Casual Member
Casual Member
Posts: 59
Joined: Sun 04 Mar, 2007 5:34 pm
Location: Alton, Hampshire

#10 Post by offbeatpath »

Well mate firstly if you are having pain in your shins hold the running and check it out with your doctor (just in case). When you say 3-4 times a week what would those sessions include? Ie, distance/type of programme(fartlek,hill sprints)/terrain?

jarhead
Familiar Member
Familiar Member
Posts: 232
Joined: Thu 16 Feb, 2006 7:42 pm
Location: london

#11 Post by jarhead »

well i have a nice route,tarmack,ie road which can be 2-4+ miles long.

it uphill/normal so pretty varid, u think it possible ? also how many miles do u recon i need to do and how many times per week to be PRMC 3 miles time ready u recon???

phenom
New Member
New Member
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue 27 Mar, 2007 2:33 pm
Location: UK

#12 Post by phenom »

Thanks for the post. Very insightful.

offbeatpath
Casual Member
Casual Member
Posts: 59
Joined: Sun 04 Mar, 2007 5:34 pm
Location: Alton, Hampshire

#13 Post by offbeatpath »

Hi Jarhead well I have to be honest I worked on my all round fitness which in itself helped my running. When I first started training I could pretty much do the desired 3 miles in under 22 minutes 30 seconds, the only difference was that I was shattered afterwards and would not have been able to do anything. So I needed to tune my running so I was able to do it quicker, more comfortably and as soon as I finished the run to be able to crack onto something else with minimal rest.

I think that you would be able to tune your running in a very short space of time, but you need to vary your running programmes. I’ll assume as you haven’t mentioned having one that you don’t have a gym membership, so ill mention some things to help that doesn’t involve the gym. I would definitely do fartlek training at least once a week, hill sprints as well as maybe a 4-mile run. I think judging by the current structure of the PRMC it may be worth testing yourself each week by using the format they are doing. So run out to a point roughly 1.5 miles away at a medium pace (so you make it in 12 minutes 30 seconds) and then run back as quick as you can. Try to run back in a way that you’re just upping the pace gradually and getting quicker and quicker so hopefully you will have a sprint left in you at the end.

I hope this is of some help but please remember that I predominantly used a gym to get fit as well as some outside running so I may not be the best person to ask. I’m sure other guys on here would be more than happy to help you who have trained outside themselves. I think you will be fine though mate but stay off the running until you have had your legs checked. All the best mate

_chris
Familiar Member
Familiar Member
Posts: 168
Joined: Tue 03 Oct, 2006 6:17 pm
Location: Cornwall

#14 Post by _chris »

Jarhead

As OBP says vary your training, I've not been to CTC but have trained for many running events - training for 75 miler at the moment.

If your looking for 3/4 sessions a week perhaps try one speed work, one medium paced, and one endurance, and then a testing session. Always do runs on time not distance, but aim to push slightly further every week, although don't beat yourself up if you can't as everyone has off days.

Speed session - Do interval traing perhaps 2 mins effort 4 mins jogging to start then every week lower the jogging stage by a min until its down to 1 min then up the effort every week by one. so 2:4,2:3,2:2,2:1,3:1,4:1,5:1
Do slow 15 mins then 30 min interval training then another slow 15 mins for a good hours session.

Medium paced - Self explanatory, go out on your route and run at a medium pace, proberly about 30-45 mins for this. This should be done on a hilly route.

Endurance - Slow to medium paced, 90+ minutes. (I like to do these runs off road, but only because I find it delays the point at which I get bored anough to jump on a bus- and theres no bus to jump on :lol: )

Test - I would do as OBP suggests as thats the way what your aiming for will be done. Warm up for about 15min before you test though and cool down the same.

Obviously this is just a suggested program, perhaps people who've been to PRMC might want to suggest you work more on something else. ANd after a bit you'll get a feel on what you need to work on yourself.

Tips - Try as often as possible to choose a new route its amazing how much just a simple route change can improve your running.

When you reach the first point where you really start to feel like stoping or slowing, speed up slightly and push hard for 30 seconds or so, then slow down. Pushing through this barrier will proberly avoid you having to slow as much, and I found when I was a new runner that it does actually help the run that follows. Slow down at this point and you may find the rest of the run harder as you keep reaching your barrier over and over.

Edit: Without knowing quite how slow your 3 mile is at the moment I can't be sure but I would say 2 months would be fine to get you doing it at a reasonable pace, especially if you do stick to all 4 sessions a week.

You say you have good CV so its just really a case of building up your running specific muscles, with a good CV base this is alot easier than trying to get good at running when your CVs poor aswell.

Chas
Familiar Member
Familiar Member
Posts: 193
Joined: Sun 11 Feb, 2007 4:18 pm
Location: UK & France

#15 Post by Chas »

Concice, well written and descriptive.
Well done it omens well for the future.
Finally every aspirant should know as
much Corps history as possible since
it always stands them in good stead.
Chas. :roll:
RM., Colonial Police & Queen's Regt HSF.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 10 guests