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Assault course

Assault course

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An assault course is a special sort of trail
A trail is a path with a rough beaten or dirt/stone surface used for travel. Trails may be for use only by walkers and in some places are the main access route to remote settlements...

 that combines running
Running is a means of terrestrial locomotion allowing humans and other animals to move rapidly on foot. It is simply defined in athletics terms as a gait in which at regular points during the running cycle both feet are off the ground...

 and exercising
Physical exercise
Physical exercise is any bodily activity that enhances or maintains physical fitness and overall health and wellness. It is performed for various reasons including strengthening muscles and the cardiovascular system, honing athletic skills, weight loss or maintenance, as well as for the purpose of...

. It was more popular in the 1970s than it is now. It is heavily used in military training. The prime use is to evaluate progress and weaknesses within the team involved.

Military training

Assault courses are used in military training to increase fitness, to demonstrate techniques that can be used for crossing very rough terrain, and to increase teamwork and self confidence.

Often military assault courses will be standardised, and will have, for example (in the UK), a six foot and a ten foot wall, a climbing net, some type of bar to climb over, and a high rope or net that must be crossed (these being or representing the most likely difficult terrain that a soldier will come across). The standardisation means that every course will be to the same quality, though it also means that there will be certain parts that may be familiar if practised.

However, they have different purposes. For example, they can be short (less than a minute) with a range on the end (e.g. Junior Leaders, Folkestone), or long (five minutes) as at Thetford. This is partially because of space restraints and training objectives. The short one can be run as an individual course and a warmup for the range. The long Thetford course is more of an exercise in endurance and teamwork.