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Adventure Race Training: Week 6

Mark is up for pullups but down on sprints.
Man doing Pullups


The takeaways of this week of training for the Citi Field Spartan Race are my ability to do a lot more strict pullups than I usually do and my inability to do 400-meter sprints. This week I spent some time figuring out which of my friends and colleagues are also running the Citi Field Spartan Race and it looks like I’ll know several people there. I enjoy obstacle races, not only because they’re fun, but also because they provide a tangible goal to set each year. My goal is complete the obstacles I failed last year and improve my time but if I don’t do those things, the experience is still fun for me. Here’s a look at my workouts this week, the most challenging being the first one.

1000-meter jog
Rest: 2 min.
800 meter jog
Rest: 90 sec.
600-meter jog
Rest: 60 sec.
400-meter jog
Rest: 30 sec.
200-meter jog


Instead of sprinting, I chose to jog because I simply can’t sprint all those distances without my legs slowing down to a jog. I never sprinted more than 100 yards at a time throughout my high school/college football practices, so I’m not surprised that my body doesn’t know what to do once it starts sprinting. The fact I was jogging and the fact that it was outdoors on a track during good weather made this workout a pleasant one.


Barbell Thurster (115 pounds)
Reps: 5
Reps: 5
Total workout time: 30 minutes


I increased the barbell load by 10 pounds again this week and I also incorporated some dips into this workout. On some rounds, I replaced the five pullups with five dips just to switch things up and give my triceps some love. This workout really gets me in the zone and I’m sweating a decent amount by the end. Next time, I may bump the weight up to 135 instead of 125.


20 Box Jumps
10 Pullups
400-meter stair climb/sprint


I chose to start this workout off with box jumps because the 20 box jumps were an obstacle last year. My box jump technique is to stand all the way up after the jump and to step down one foot at a time. I don’t remember how tall the jumps were last year but during this workout I was jumping on a box that was at least 24 inches, most likely more. Since there was no convenient treadmill access when I started this workout, I did 400-meter stair climbs on the Stairmaster Stepmill machine. Then, when the treadmill opened up, I did the 400-meter sprints. I feel like the Stairclimber is a great exercise to prepare for any athletic event, especially the Citi Field Spartan Race, because we run through the bleachers, a lot.


I did some farmer’s walks, but not with dumbbells, with a trap deadlift bar. I placed 100-pound plates on each side and walked a few feet back and forth with the bar for a few rounds. The water jug carry requires you to carry two heavy jugs of water up and down stairs and they’re actually pretty heavy. I completed this obstacle last year without dropping the jugs to rest so I’m aiming for the same outcome.


I haven’t made much mention of injuries in this blog, but the reality of the situation is that I can’t get injured. My goals moving forward are to not overdo it so I don’t sprain, tweak or pull anything that would hinder my performance on race day. Of course, I want to continue to improve on my numbers but with four training weeks left, I’m thinking of how I’m going to approach the week leading to the race. Will I ramp up the intensity or take it easy and save my energy for the race?



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