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Adventure Race Training: Week 1

Men’s Fitness contributing editor Mark Barroso starts the Ultimate Mud Run Training Plan.

Training Begins!
February 28 marked the first day of my training for the Citi Field Race. The Ultimate Mud Run Training Plan calls for three training days a week for a beginner or four days a week for the more advanced. Since I’m no elite obstacle course racer, I’m going to train three days, in addition to fitness classes, obstacle preparation and maintenance training I do on my own. The sprinting workouts, such as the one I did Saturday, call for trackwork, but due to the never ending East Coast winter, all of the tracks near me are covered in snow. Therefore, I did the workout on a treadmill. Here’s the indoor version of workout day “A” option “1.”

8 Rounds
Treadmill Sprints
Incline: 2%
Speed: 9 mph
Distance: 0 .25 mile
Reps: 10
I completed each round within three minutes and rested less than five minutes between rounds.

Bodyweight Lunge - 300 meters
I measured a section of the gym floor using the old “one foot in front of the other method,” so my measurements are approximate. In the training plan, bodyweight lunges done for 300 meters are intermediate. 

I know doing this workout on a track is going to be 10 times more intense as a treadmill. As someone who has done maybe two all-out 400 meter sprints on a track ever, the idea of doing 6-8 sprints, burpees and lunges seems like a real challenge. As for the workout on a treadmill, I definitely felt as though I was getting conditioned and since I stopped at 300 meters of lunging, apparently I wasn’t advanced enough for the 400-meter lunge. When doing the sprints around a track, I’ll probably need more than three minutes.

Last week, I took a Spartan Race SGX class at Epic Hybrid Training in New York and it was a great metabolism booster. Circuit training is not what I find difficult. What’s challenging to me is sprinting, because I get short of breath quickly and legs just stop moving forward. I’m going to approach those workouts as a beginner. 

By the time I blog next I will have run through all workout options except option three on workout day “C.” I’m looking forward to seeing where I stand in big lifts on “B” day option 1. An advocate of the fitness lifestyle, I encourage you to continue your healthy habits, and if you need motivation to break a sweat, remember I’ll be working hard to shave minutes off my race time, (and shed fat while doing so.)

Overtraining can limit potential and completely take you out of contention of a win. First, understand the 12 Signs of Overtraining. Second, learn the Six Simple Steps to a Successful New Workout Routine.

Mark Barroso is a contributing writer for Men’s Fitness, an assistant editor at Muscle & Fitness and an associate editor of FLEX. Follow him @Mark_Barroso.

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