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Adventure Race Training: Week One Recap and Into Week Two

Michael Feigin feels it's time for him to take on the race, and he's taking us with him every step of the way.

The first week went remarkably quickly. Here are the pros and the cons:

The pros:

• One of my main goals was to put together a team. I thought a team would be great motivation—constant contact with others training for the event would only inspire me more to train just a little harder. And the team came together very quickly. At the moment, we have 10 people signed up. I am pretty certain that number will increase for week two, so long as there are spots still available in the Citi Field event.
• I wanted to team up with a charity so that we could raise money by taking part in the event, and we were able to connect with Family Reach, a great charity based in New Jersey that provides financial relief for families that are fighting cancer.
• As for the training itself, my goal was to move away from my usual schedule, which includes boxing, weight work and Pilates apparatus work, and start to move toward more High Intensity Interval Work (HIIT) and TRX body weight training. I had some fun with this, going into the basement of my Brooklyn gym, The Fitness Guru, and building a multi-function obstacle course with my 12-year-old. We had an awesome time, throwing ourselves through the obstacles and running ourselves ragged.

The cons:

• Running the obstacle course showed me just how limited my training has been. While I have great sports-specific cardio-vascular endurance—I could go twelve rounds of sparring and feel great—creating challenges for myself that were outside my present wheelhouse showed my just how far I need to go. It felt terrific to be running, jumping and climbing, but I need to get more of that into my training to be prepared for the Spartan.
• The week flew by. I can’t believe that I am sitting here again, going over seven days of training in my mind. It has been so fast, and, though I was able to accomplish a lot of what I had set out to do, it made me realize that if I blink, it could be race day before I know and that would not be good.

So what do I do now? 

• I think it is extremely important to create a binding schedule for myself. I’m really good about exercising regularly for my own wellbeing, but training for an event requires consistency and strategy. One of my teammates and I were discussing the possibility of overtraining. The fear that this race is a monumental undertaking could create an environment where we simply choose to repeatedly fire ourselves out of a canon in the hopes of making ourselves stronger. The downside of that mindset is that it leads to injury. So my goal for week two is to have to HIIT days, one at the top of the week and one at the end of the week. With that schedule, I can take my rest day after the second training day. In between, I work in two days of Pilates/body weight training, a day of boxing (I need that to keep my head on straight), and a day of yoga and stretching.

I wasn’t sure what I was getting into when I agreed to this. As the big picture starts to shape up, it’s starting to look very fun.

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.

Michael Feigin is proprietor of The Fitness Guru gym in Brooklyn. Follow him @TheFitnessGuru.

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