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Adventure Race Training: Week 7

Allergy season wreaks havoc with Mark's training

I started this week of training off not feeling too well physically, as was the case with a lot of my friends and coworkers. My allergies to cats, dogs, pollen and ragweed were in full effect,  so I actually wasn’t up for the sprint and burpees workout. Instead, I jogged a 5K on a treadmill, essentially taking it easy. Aside from the fact I wasn’t 100% this week, I have another reason for tailoring the workouts from week 8 onwards. The Ultimate Mud Run Training Plan is my foundation, but I see no issue changing certain workouts leading into the race because I know what I need to work on for this specific Spartan Race. Here is how a week of workouts performed while recovering from possible sickness went down.


3.12 mile jog (treadmill)
Time: 31.19

I chose a jog as a substitution for Option A (sprints and burpess then lunges) because it was easier on my body. I’d like to jog a 5K outdoors to estimate a pace I should be running at during the Citi Field race. With that said, keeping a pace is kind of difficult since there’s not much straight running at the Citi Field race;it’s often broken up by obstacles and stairs.  


Sets: 5
Reps: 2-5
Weight: 135, 225, 265, 285, 300 (2)

Sets: 5
Reps: 5
Weight: 135, 225, 275, 335, 375 (3), 425 (1)

Push Press
Sets: 5
Reps: 5
Weight: 135, 155, 180, 190, 195

This workout was one of the best strength workouts I’ve had in years and I wasn’t even feeling well. I increased weight on every exercise to the point where I hit a personal record for reps in the deadlift. I know that the 5x5 method is a highly touted way of training, but if I’m doing the deadlift and squat, it’s hard for me not to try to push my limits and go for a 2-3 rep max. 
I hadn’t squatted 300 pounds for a while so getting low on those two reps was a huge relief. My method of microloading (in my opinion, adding less than 10 pounds on a lift each workout) the weight each time I push press is working and I think my front deltoids have grown bigger as a result.

Three Rounds
400-Meter Jog
21 Dips
12 Pullups

Since I don’t own a kettlebell and wanted to do this workout outdoors, I improvised and altered the workout. Instead of doing CrossFit WOD Helen, I went to a local track that also has an outdoor fitness area, complete with a pullup/dip station. I jogged the 400 meters since quite frankly, sprinting more than 200 meters and my body just don’t mix. Instead of the kettlebell swings, I did 21 dips, which is a great upper-body workout and although I didn’t time the workout, it turned out to be good enough for me. This wasn’t the best workout I could’ve gotten this day but it’s sufficient. 
This week, I didn’t do any obstacle specific training or take any fitness classes. However, I did do an extra workout, this one at Bev Francis Powerhouse Gym in Syosset, New York. I worked up to a 285-pound bench press for two reps then did a series of exercises for moderate to high reps (8-15.) While this training may not be ideal for succeeding in the Spartan Race, I look at it this way, if it gets me stronger, I’m happy. And since upper-body strength is essential for some of the obstacles, my time was well spent at the famous bodybuilding gym.

In week 8, I want to focus on flexibility and core more than I have been. With the race being three weeks away, making small flexibility gains, especially in my shoulders and hips, will go a long way in improving range of motion during obstacles. So, that means more stretching at home and at the gym. Another goal is do one long outdoor jog, like 5-6 miles, to mimic the amount of time that’ I’ll actually be moving non-stop on race day. 

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