Second day, speed play

2Lt Sam Westlake

2Lt Sam Westlake

Second Lieutenant Sam Westlake blogs from the Infantry Training Centre, Catterick, about the second day of the arduous Pegasus Company training course.

Day 2

I had heard terrible things about Speed Play. I’d gathered information here and there about it that gave me a chance to mentally prepare for the pain to come.  Speed Play is a fast run – approximately 6 miles long – broken down into best effort legs with “pain stations” in between each.  Squats, press-ups and burpees make up the pain stations and although they offer a chance to get some air in your lungs, they also deprive your legs of energy.

We got up at the normal 0600hrs after which I had my usual bowl of Alpen.  I find it’s an ideal breakfast before PT because it’s full of oats, providing you with a slow release of energy throughout the morning.  However, we reported to the P Company lines at 0730hrs and Speed Play did not kick off until 0830hrs after the Commanding Officer’s Opening Brief, leaving many of us pretty hungry. In future we will take food with us to the lines.

The first 2 miles were the fastest and the pack soon spread out.  Officers were expected to motivate soldiers who fell back but were also expected to lead the pack in stages.  Reaching a pain station early sounds like a strange reward but it is a chance to recover and re-set for the next stage.  Maximum effort is expected from all throughout and the staff come down hard on those found “coasting”. We lost another 3 to the unforgiving cut-off times; but no matter how fit you are, Speed Play will hurt.

The afternoon was filled with map reading revision and a very good medical lesson (the first of 4 to come) from a P Company medic.  He also gave us a number of useful tips for the course: snack discreetly on endurance sessions, wear inner socks on tabs, use ice for 15 minutes at a time on injuries and start taking ibuprofen.

5 thoughts on “Second day, speed play

  1. You’re medic’s a bit out of date, Ask for Nabumatone, it’s the same as ibuprofen/diclofenac but without the stomach problems constant use of ibuprofen can cause, take it from a chronic pain sufferer, The details are important!!!!

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  2. There was one fellow who was undergoing p-coy with myself, and when we carried out speed play he was rather ridiculous because he was an ultra marathon runner and was able to keep up with the PTI and never seemed to fall off pace. When I caught up with him back at the lines he said that the PTI was trying to get away at certain points but just couldn’t shake him, and that was with them hounding him every chance they got.
    It is fair to say that the fellow passed, but during the milling he dislocated his shoulder a gruelling sight for any man, but it was rather funny as he was unable to place his beret on and so resembled a week1 recruit ‘Hat’.

    Anyway good luck with the rest of it, and I’m sure from reading your blog so far that you’ll receive an excellent report….if the blisters don’t claim you first.

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  3. How times have changed, a walk in the Park compared to 9 Para SQN RE Pre Para Selection which makes P Company an easy process. Para Brigades would be short of soldiers if they had to do the Engineer process!!

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  4. Love the medic advice! My dad was SMO at the RMAS and was known as ‘The Brufen Doctor’!! Ibuprofen is great for hangovers too… take a couple before you go out, and a couple when you get back in – result, no hangover 😉
    Good luck with the rest of P Company.

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  5. Shut up Dez O’Hat with your 9 Para talk!!
    When you girls go down to do P-Coy, your all already in the forces and should be fit anyway………And, whats with the Engineer process? All-Arms is All-Arms…..no different to any other Ats & Dets doing it!!!

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