Train with the Team: WEEK 9
The 2015 Citi Field Spartan Race is one week away and I’ve learned that I am running in the 7:30 am “CONFIRMED” heat. While this isn’t an “Elite” heat, I assume there will be minimal racer “congestion” since it would seem the more popular time slots would be later in the day. Racing this early will give me a good idea as to how fast I can really complete the course and it well help me consider doing an “Elite” race one day. This week was the 10th week of the Ultimate Mud Training Plan and while I altered some of the workouts, I feel as though the plan gave me a solid base of strength and conditioning. Here is how my second to last week of training fared.
400 meter jog
Duration: 20 minutes
HOW IT FELT
The jogging and burpees portion of this workout was performed outdoors on a track. The stair climbs were literally running up and down the steps of bleachers at a local football stadium. This really simulated what I will be doing at the Citi Field Spartan Race. Once again, I had to jog the 400 meters due my inability to sprint that far without my body shutting down. I definitely want to incorporate stair runninginto my routine more often since it’s a great way to burn fat and improve lower body strength. Time flies when you’re running through bleachers repeatedly.
HOW IT FELT
I finally did a long jog. I jogged five miles in about 44 minutes, so my pace was 8:41. This was probably my most enjoyable outdoor workout yet for two reasons: the weather was so amazing and I felt like I could have jogged even longer. I hadn’t gone on an outdoor jog for that long since December so it was great to get back into running.
20 Slam Balls
400 meter sprint (treadmill)
Duration: AMRAP 20 minutes
Stairmaster Stepmill: Duration= 20 minutes
HOW IT FELT
I increased my speed on the treadmill to 9.5 with an incline of 2% and I was perfectly comfortable with the ¼ mile sprints. I incorporated the slam balls because last year, this was an obstacle at Citi Field. You had to do 20 med ball “squat throws.” So, you start standing holding the medicine ball with arms extended overhead, squat as you bring ball down, throw the ball into the ground, catch it on one bounce, then drive your hips back up to the starting position. I’m glad I went through this movement because now I’ll have a better idea of how to do it more in a more fluid motion during the Spartan Race.
I decided to do hop on the Stairmaster Stepmill after this workout and the tight feeling that I’ve been getting in my lower quads returned. It’s not that painful, it’s just slightly uncomfortable.
As I mentioned last week, I attended an event put on by a major mud run organization, perhaps the biggest of them all: Tough Mudder. The event took place in Tough Mudder’s headquarters and showcased their new Mudder Training series, which is a four-week plan to prepare for a Tough Mudder. At the event, the attendees previewed the training program by doing a circuit of exercises for two minutes each. It was a very fun time and the instructor of the obstacle training series, nicknamed “The Coach,” was a vibrant and hilarious figure.
The other event I attended this week was a straight-up workout. I attended an editor’s workout at TheRUN, a new indoor treadmill studio in NYC that has “smart” TechnoGym treadmills. The treadmills literally change incline and speed on their own, based on the pace and other data you enter prior to the workout. The workout was about 45-minutes, with about 15 minutes of dynamic stretching, around 20 minutes of running, and probably 10 minutes of bodyweight movements like squats and planks. Between this workout and the 5-mile jog earlier in the week, it’s safe to say it was a good week of cardio for me.
My next and final post will provide my official race results and hopefully I’ll reporting zero failed obstacles. As for gear, I’ll be wearing Reebok Spartan Race training shorts, a Spartan Race-logoed shirt, and the Reebok All-Terrain Series Thunder shoes. I’ve got the perfect gear to accomplish my goal of improving my time from last year. I’m ready to push myself to the limit. I’m ready to go all in and sell out. AROO!