How to train for a race!

(The muddy way!)

Well, week one is well under way. I know I’ve mentioned my appendicitis a few times on this site already and well, back on January 18, 2013 I randomly had a case of acute appendicitis. The injury was one week from the date I was supposed to compete in the Southern California Super Spartan. The timing couldn’t have been worse. I had done so much training for the race – I felt like I was in the best shape of my life at that point. To add insult to injury was that I couldn’t even really “work out” for the next eight weeks at all. With the way I train and lift weights there was no way I wanted to take the chance of tearing a weakened abdominal muscle or ending up with a hernia through an unhealed abdominal wall.

Truth be told, since the injury I’m back into weights but I honestly do hate running – almost with a passion. It’s boring, it’s terrible for joints – and it’s just not needed to keep the cardiovascular system healthy. I prefer weights and Crossfit style circuits. However, on the flip side, I love doing mud runs. They’re fun, they’re different, and they don’t usually involve JUST running.

So fast forward to May 8, 2013. There’s less than 30 days to go until race day. Aside from running for warm ups and doing sprints as a part of my workout, I haven’t actually logged any good miles since I was training for the Super Spartan which was around a 10 mile race. So, now that I’m immediately being thrown into training mode, here’s how week one is going:

May 7, 2013 (day one):
I think I’ll start my training off with logging some good serious miles of the first time – 6.6 miles to be exact. Here’s how that went:

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Alright not too bad – I was able to do the race distance on a multi-level/multi-surface terrain. Only downside (I wasn’t able to do the whole thing without stopping a couple times to rest).

May 8, 2013 (day two):
Oh, how I feel the lactic acid build up in the legs today. After yesterday’s going the distance, today started off with a quick warm-up jog to help relieve some of the lactic acid build up followed up with massive a flexibility routine focusing on the lats, hips, and legs (it’s important to get that mobility in check to help have optimal stride length and muscle performance). Aside from the mobility it was mostly a chest day working on strength and technique for the bench press. So I don’t bore you, my workouts are only typically an hour long but for the race specifics, I’m bumping up my workouts to last an hour and a half with more metabolic conditioning involved.

Here was the main WOD after the strength conditioning:
1. Pushups (feet on a stability ball and hands on a medicine ball) – as many reps as possible.
2. Pullups – as many reps as possible.
3. Burpees – 10
Perform as many sets as possible in seven minutes.

May 9, 2013: Rest and flexibility day.

May 10, 2013: Up the workout time!
Time to get used to having a heavy workout load. My workouts typically consist of a time somewhere around 60-75 minutes at the most. Running a 10K race is a pretty easy feat if you’re adequately in shape and could be done in around 60 minutes or so. However, throw in a multi-level terrain with multiple obstacle courses and the time usually rises. TO get used to this and prep my body for race day, I’m upping my workout time for a minimum of 90 minutes. My goal is anywhere between 90-120 minutes.

Here’s today’s workout:
Active warm up/stretch routine
Weight training
1. Barbell push press – 4×8 with 85% of max weight
2. Toes to bar 8 reps followed by 10 reps knee tuck rotational push ups

The run:

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UGH!! The run – going the distance and more. I went 7.1 miles – just a far cry longer than last time but without stopping. But how on earth was my time time longer on the second run without the stops to rest in the first run!? I need to focus on opening up hip movement so my strides become longer and my time decreases. On the plus side, my workout lasted about an one hour and forty-five minutes. One thing to keep in mind when training for a race: the post-nutrition is more important than the workout itself!

Between weight training and cardio-conditioning a between workout meal consisted of a banana and a protein shake. The banana helps to replenish and my particular protein shake has sodium in it. The sodium and potassium both help to prevent dehydration and muscle cramping. The banana fuels the next portion of my workout with sugar and the protein helps give my muscles an extra boost. At the very end of the workout it’s important to do the same thing as soon as possible.

If you have any questions about race training or pre, middle, or post-workout nutrition as always, you can contact us.
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