Tough Mudder Prep. Blog 4/5

Prepping for the Tough Mudder has proven to be less tough than I thought. I’m not setting crazy performance records (in fact I’m slow as hell), but I know I’ll be able to finish the event without stopping or faltering. I decided to climb Cloud’s Rest during the winter and run a full marathon just to take advantage of the upped conditioning. We’ll see. Anyways….

Here is the layout:

Tuesday: 5.86 miles

My mph pace this time around was 8:55 min/mile. In Week 1 it was 10:18 min/mile. Still slow as hell, no doubt, but that’s a minute and twenty three seconds faster per mile than two weeks prior. Foam rolling and really stretching my legs out thoroughly after each run has really helped running be a comfortable and painless process. In the past I used to get knee pain all the time from running. Also, I read this book a while back and it really helped me understand running a little better.

Thursday: 11:09 miles

Thursdays are always my long runs. Today I ran 11 miles at a pace of 11:05min/mile. I burned about 2000 calories. The terrain was fairly hilly, but the run was overall pretty easy. I’ve become better and better at relaxing my body during the run, keeping my breathing under control, and keeping my heart rate low. Every time my heart accelerates a little too fast, I simply focus on controlling my breathing and relaxing my muscles and it returns back to normal. I’ve come to learn that during a run, when your body and mind start getting tired, you can focus on one of two things:

A.      You can focus on how tired you are, how fast your heart is going, or how much your legs are burning. If your focus goes in this direction, you will usually just continue to feel even more fatigued, as your legs burn even more and your technique gives way. This will definitely hurt your performance and make the run a miserable experience. Option A will only lead you further away from success.


B.      You can focus on keeping your heart rate low, keeping your muscles relaxed, focus on your running technique, how great you’re going to feel after finishing the run without stopping, etc. If your focus goes in this direction, you will not only run with better technique, but the run itself will actually become easier for you. Option B will bring you closer to success.

So next time you’re running, practice channeling your focus in a productive way and pick option B.

Sunday: 7.85 miles in the hills

The hills were still brutal, but honestly, they weren’t nearly as bad as the first week. First and foremost, I learned that sprinting up hills that range from 30-45 degrees is almost useless. Even if you make it up, you only make it up slightly faster than if you just power walked up the hills. However, you save WAY more energy when you power walk up the hills versus full-on running or sprinting up the hills. I got this tip from Eric Smith, and it actually helped a lot. At the end of the trip, we did an Indian Run uphill for a total of 1.5 miles or so. The hill elevation ranged from 30 degrees to 45 degrees. After my week 2 run, I didn’t stretch out my legs after the run. They were really sore for 3-4 days after that. I didn’t make that mistake this time around. I did a thorough stretch-down and foam rolled my legs a lot. I didn’t experience any soreness after the run. I also got a massage and took a long bath that night as well. That probably also helped with the recovery.

Lesson learned from week 3:

1.       Good running technique, stretching and foam rolling legs after every run, and getting a leg massage once a week eliminated all discomfort while running, as well as all of my knee pain. I don’t have any knee pain whatsoever.

2.       Continue to master the skill of controlling your breathing and keeping your muscles relaxed during the run. Try not to muscle through your run. It should feel like you are gliding along the ground.

3.       Not doing any weight lifting exercises on my legs until Tough Mudder is done. This keeps my legs relaxed, so I don’t have to overstrain during my run. I’m definitely going to hit legs again, but I’m going to lay off until I finish the Tough Mudder.

4.       Drinking at least 1 gallon of water daily has proven to make my runs a lot easier.

 Week Four routine: Notice, as compared to week 1 routine, all I did was up my running quantity.

              Main goal is still to work on increasing my cardiovascular engine.

Monday: (Morning: cardio/off) Evening: weight training/chest: 3 exercises with a rep/set setup of 3,2,1,3 for each exercise with a rest interval of 2-3min)

Tuesday: (Morning: cardio/6 miles as fast as possible)

Wednesday: (Morning: cardio/off) Evening: weight training/back/calves: 3 exercises with a rep/set setup of 3,2,1,3 for each exercise with a rest interval of 2-3min)

Thursday: (Morning: cardio/ long steady distance run of 12 miles) Evening: off)

Friday: (Morning: cardio/off) Evening: weight training/chest/arms: 4-5 exercises with a rep/set setup of 3,2,1,3 for each exercise with a rest interval of 2-3min)

Saturday: (Morning: cardio/off) Evening: weight training/shoulders/calves: 4-5 exercises with a rep/set setup of 3,2,1,3 for each exercise with a rest interval of 2-3min)

Sunday: (Tough Mudder)