The Endurance Course is a 2.5 mile obstacle course through the beautiful woods of Quantico. And passing it in a time limit is a mandatory requirement for completing OCS.
Check out this superb run-through of the OCS Obstacle Course and Endurance Course by our good friend and fellow Marine Tyler:
Here’s how it works:
- First, candidates run the Obstacle Course (O-Course) in boots and utes (just wearing boots and trousers)
- Then candidates put on gear, usually assault vest with canteens, and grab their rifles
- Next is the 2.5 mile run through the wooded trails
- Along the way, there will be many obstacles to navigate, such as rope climbing, a 20-foot high cargo net, multiple walls and logs to go over and under, and barbed wire to crawl under
- Lastly, several water obstacles will slow you down and can be very cold in the winter!
You will run the course several times, and be very familiar with the O-Course. Practice makes perfect, and only the final run counts for your official score.
How to train for the Endurance Course
While you run the course, it is not sprinting but a steady run with a ten pound rifle and maybe 20 pounds at most of gear, in boots. I highly recommend buying boots and slowly increasing intensity and distance in running in boots. Run on trails, on hilly terrain if preferable. I do NOT recommend running through water, as the friction is almost guaranteed to give you painful blisters that will impede your training.
A high-intensity Fartlek of 2.5 miles with box jumps, low crawling, burpees, lunges and similar exercises at the stations would emulate the E-course well.
Running with weight
Unfortunately, civilian gyms and parks frown on running around in military gear with rifles and assault gear. Please don’t run around with a rifle. You don’t need to.