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Adventure Race Training: Week 8

Mark tailors his training as the race date nears.

Spartan Race Training Blog Post 8
I’m two weeks out of the Citi Field Spartan Race and I’m starting to get kind of anxious. I’m anxious to know how much my body can really give to obstacle racing. I’m excited about the NY Sprint in June because if I do as well as I’m hoping for in both of these Open Heat races, I may just try to race in an Elite Sprint Heat within the next year. The problem is that I’m not a distance runner by any means. I’m not fast; I just have a motor that “stops and goes,” a style more suitable for shorter obstacle races. Nonetheless, I also want to challenge myself and do a Spartan Super at some point. 

This week of training went well, but I feel some type of tightness/pain in the lower region of my thighs. So, basically, the area right above the knee caps facing inwards. I’m thinking that I’m going to switch up Workout B Option 2 (heavy lifting) with a different workout, or just completely rest that day. I didn’t get injured or anything. I just feel like I have shin splints in my thighs, if that makes any sense. With that said, here are my workouts for week 8 of my obstacle race training.

1000 meter sprint
Rest: 2 min.
800 meter sprint:
Rest: 90 sec
600 meter sprint
Rest: 1 min
400 meter spint
Rest: 30 sec. 
200 meter sprint

This workout was performed indoors on a treadmill with the same 9.0 speed and 2% incline. I feel as though I can up the speed on these sprints next time around because I’m now comfortable sprinting at this speed on a treadmill. The main learning experience from a workout like this is learning how to use your breath to recover and neutralize your heart rate. That’s what I focused on at the end of the workout.

Barbell Thruster
Reps: 5
Weight: 135 pounds

Reps: 5

Workout Duration: 30 minutes

Upping the weight on the barbell thrusters really made a difference for me in this workout. My shoulders and traps were sore the next day. For the pullups, I switched it up between chinups, wide-grip pullups and neutral-grip pullups. In the future, I’d like to test my time in the actual CrossFit Fran workout. Since I’m the type of lifter to like to rest between sets, doing reps for time isn’t my strong point, but this workout puts me in the “metcon” mindset.

5 rounds
Row: 500 meters
Bench Press: 195 pounds (bodyweight)
Reps: 10

I must have been feeling better on this day compared to a few weeks ago because I was able to complete five full sets of 10 reps of my bodyweight in the bench press. Incorporating the rower into weightlifting workouts is a great idea and I really feel my lungs opening up when I use the rower. I think I can up the rowing distance to 1,000 meters and still be able to do 50 reps of the bench press. In a way, the motion of the rower is almost like the motion of the “Herculean Hoist” obstacle, where you’re essential pulling a rope that’s affixed to an object downwards. 

In an effort to focus on flexibility, I performed two routines from Gaiam’s new Athletic Yoga DVD series. I performed the progressive warmup and core yoga routine in Yoga For Flexibility with Kevin Love. I still have more routines to do in that DVD and the entire Yoga for Strength with Eddie George DVD. I must say that it’s a tie between child’s pose and Warrior II for my favorite yoga pose. I didn’t get to go on that log run yet, but I’m still thinking that’s a good idea. 

I’m not feeling the 5x5 weightlifting day coming up. I think I may take this day off to do yoga or swap it out with a different routine. Overall, I still think I need to go on one long outdoor run. Also, I have two workout events/classes coming up next week, so I think the strength workout will be the one to hit the backburner. Oh, and about those fitness events, here’s a hint: one is being put on by a major obstacle racing company! Tune in next week and I’ll dish the exclusive details from this obstacle course training event that’s happening in New York City in a few days. 

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