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Adventure Race Training: Week 4

Michael and his team do some serious training.
Rope Climb

This was an amazingly fast week in our training for the Spartan. My team had the usual group workout planned for Sunday. I sensed at the outset that people weren’t quite feeling it. It couldn’t be that the workout was interfering with a nice Spring weekend, because we still had snow on the ground and twenty-something degree temperatures. No, we were facing a problem of our own creation. The main issue with having a touchstone workout like the one we created is that we know what’s coming and we know it’s a mountain. As I mentioned, we have been throwing ourselves into out 20/20/5. The previous two weeks, we only performed three rounds of the exercises. Time constraints and a concern for over-doing the training so far out from the actual event dictated that we keep it simple. But this week, we were arranging the schedule so that we could do all five rounds. And there were a bunch of really hesitant people. 

The first and most valuable lesson was that if we are going to do our touchstone training on Sunday, it’s probably best to make Saturday an early evening. One of our proud warriors was down for the count in the second round. I had been out the night before and the number of times I felt like cashing it in were too many to count. Each successive round I was convinced that I needed to stop and rest up: fight and walk away in order to fight another day.

But we kept going and in two hours and five minutes, knocked out all five rounds.  And today I feel a little sluggish but, overall, I’m feeling good. Today will be a Pilates day to help me recover some balance and flexibility, and then tomorrow, I’ll head back into cardio with boxing and rope machine Tabatas. 

The goal for this forthcoming week is going to be nutrition. It is very easy to start pounding calories when you increase your cardio this dramatically. It’s also very easy to lose sight of your water intake. So I am going to be a little more specific with regard to what and when I am eating. Usual when I train hard, I make sure that I always have some sort of snack on my person at all times. A piece of fruit or some nuts come in very handy when I start to feel my energy level lag. And it’s key not to let your blood sugar drop because that is when you start to make—let’s not say stupid, let’s say poorly-formed—decisions regarding what you will consume. I’ll move to eating something six times a day and pace it out every two to two and a half hours. That will keep me set.

Yes, there is the prospect that we are going a bit off the deep end for our Spartan on May 9. The time limit for the entire race is 90 minutes, and we are training at over two hours. But as long as we are having fun and keeping it safe, pushing ourselves to the limit is fun. And pushing so hard as a group makes the whole enterprise that much more enjoyable.

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