That evil little word, of course, is ‘running.’
I have never been a long distance runner. Growing up, I was always an athlete—was even on the track team for a few seasons-- but never a distance runner. I was fairly decent at traveling short distances pretty quickly. I could run a mile at a pretty decent speed, but approaching the two-mile marker I’d get gassed and by three miles I’d be completely spent. The shorter the distance, the faster I was.
To me, long distance=bad.
My prior distance running experience includes all of 3 Rugged Maniacs (so I’m basically an expert). It’s a 5k mud-run with an obstacle course. These races are a lot of fun and if you’ve never done one I highly encourage trying it out. Last year I also participated in a 9.11k Memorial run on September 11th and I barely limped myself across the finish line.
If it’s not obvious yet; long distances and I go together about as well as “lamb and a tunafish.” (Bet you weren’t expecting a Big Daddy reference, but you got one anyway).
I love working out and am no stranger to the gym. However, my ideal work out focuses on trying to look good naked, and occasionally I will dabble in picking heavy things up and putting them down. I am not anti-cardio. Obviously as a fitness professional my training style isn’t one-size-fits-all (and I am a large human).
My typical version would involve hopping on the hamster wheel- or if I’m feeling especially squirrelly, the Stair Master- and setting it at a light walking pace for 30 to 45 minutes, five times a week (but twice a week more realistically). All jokes aside, I still enjoy getting out and doing sprints when I am able and try to run cone-and-agility drills a few times a week…once again, short distance=good.
Last week I was introduced to a fella who asked me to join a race team. He was not an agent or a professional athlete; just a regular working dude who enjoys fitness. This team is for an upcoming Spartan race at the end of the summer. So I agreed, thinking it’s just another 5k and what’s the worst that can happen?
Upon further research, it seems the “mud-run” I signed up for in August is actually a half-marathon (13 MILES!) with some obstacles and mud along the way.
“Well, mama didn’t raise no quitter.” So I’m going to do it! Despite already following a periodized bench-press training schedule for the last two months (with 4 months to go), I’ll also add a 20-week marathon program to the mix to get ready for this race. So, if I cut the running program in half and run half the distance, I should be okay… right? (insert *sweating* Emoji, here).
So there you have it; a “bro” turned fitness professional, turned (Spartan) half-marathoner. I’ll be periodically updating this series of posts regarding the training cycle, and I’ll also post a follow-up with the exact strength/endurance programs I’m following. Feel free to follow along and let me know what your own updates are! Or if you’re interested, shoot me a line with any questions (or moral support).
Until next time.
Vincent can be reached at Vincent@freedomfitgym.com