Why it’s great: “It’s a great conditioning exercise* interspersed with running,” Magida says. “Plus, you’re going to have to do them as penalties in a lot of races,” so it’s best to just get used to them now. Burpees build great cardiovascular endurance.
*Junyong Pak has come up with what he considers the most ruthlessly efficient version of this workout, the Burpee 5K. A timed 5K run with five burpees added in every quarter mile, it perfectly mimics the physiological reality of obstacle racing, in which powerful anaerobic exercises—obstacles—routinely force you into the red, depleting your glycogen reserves and causing lactic acid to build up in your muscles, sapping your running efficiency. “If you can break 20:00,” Pak says, “you’re probably going to find yourself on the podium.”
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