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Where I Run

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Today’s post will be a few pictures from my long run last weekend.

I usually go out for my runs early in the morning before sunrise and run a couple laps around a jogging trail where I always see turtles, bunnies and beautiful red birds. Since these runs are usually 3 miles or so, I don’t mind running that loop a few times, but with longer runs I would go crazy seeing the same thing over and over with each mile.

Since I was doing 7 miles last weekend, I decided to do my 2 miles on the trail, then head out on the local roads once the sun began to rise.

I headed over to a local fishing pond and captured this picture as the sun was coming up.

sun

As I continued along the fishing pond I saw a few ducks headed back to the water.

duck

I looped around the pond and then continued on my run.

A few miles later I captured what has become one of my favorite pictures from my runs — a little red barn at sunrise. There was still some low fog in the area, but the sun was coming up and gave a nice glow on the grass.

barn

I enjoy my short runs, but its my long runs that I really cherish.

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Training Update – mid July

I am officially just under 3 weeks out from my first mud run, but I haven’t been training too much for it. I know I should we working on my upper body strength or something like that, but lately I have just been focusing on running. I have a goal set for 60 miles this month, and looking at my mileage so far, I think I should be able to make that.

I am doing Jeff Galloway’s half marathon training method with run/walk intervals. Why half marathon training and not training more specific to Tower of Terror 10 miler?? Well, I figure since I am running a half marathon in early December, I need to be not only getting my mileage up for Tower of Terror, but also for the half. By mid October I will be finished with my half marathon training, then at that point I will reassess where I need to go from there to keep me ready for December.

As of right now, 6 miles has been my farthest run. Next weekend I am scheduled to do 7 miles. I have been trying to get out of the house more and run outside just before the sun comes up, instead of so many miles on the treadmill. It’s funny, I never had an issue with the treadmill until I started running outside over the last few weeks, now I despise the treadmill and have officially given it that lovely “dreadmill” title as so many others have.

I’ve been going out to a local trail that is perfectly measured out to 1 mile. I always see turtles and bunnies on my run in the morning, but I have already been scoping out how to make that run longer for next weekends 7 miles without having to run around that trail 7 times.

I’ve also done a little bit of ladder work on the treadmill, but I really find I do better with my speed when I am outside (at least that’s what Garmin tells me).

Don’t get me wrong though, I haven’t completely forgotten about my upper body strength that I will need for some of these obstacles. I’ve been doing push ups…and…planks (those count for upper body strength right??) Ok, I really need to do some work in the next couple weeks.

So, how has your training been going? What race are you training for if any?

How to Train For A Mud Run??

Now that I am all signed up for my first mud run, I have been researching and trying to come up with recommended training. Since a mud run incorporates running AND obstacles, it is important to train for both aspects of the race.

This information was taken from Philadelphia’s Magazine “Be Well Philly”.

In what ways is training for a mud run different than training for, say, a marathon?

In a way, the training is very similar. Anyone who has trained for a distance run knows the importance of working up to where you can do a run of 18-plus miles. When training for a mud run, the challenge is to simulate the race with training sessions that last as long as the race itself. A three-mile obstacle mud run takes many athletes 45 minutes to an hour to complete. It’s important to include not just running but also strength training in each workout. Mud runs, by the nature of what they are, test not only your running endurance but also your strength endurance.

Okay, so let’s talk running versus strength training. Is one more important than the other when it comes to training for a mud run?

You absolutely need to train for both, but one of the most common mistakes made by first-time mud runners is that they underestimate the amount of running involved; just because there are obstacles to focus on doesn’t mean the running distance is any less. That being said, both running and functional strength training are equally important. Functional strength training is a fancy term for strength, flexibility, speed and agility. I would focus on plyometrics (exercises that help build explosive power and speed, like box jumps, burpees and jumping lunges) paired with strength exercises (push-ups, pull-ups, planks and squats) with minimal breaks between exercises to build your cardiovascular endurance.

Besides the physical training, what kind of mental training should you do leading up to a mud run?

No matter how much you train, strength and speed will only take you so far in a mud run. These obstacle races also take a good amount of pure determination, since they will take most people out of their comfort zone and include moves you don’t typically incorporate into your gym routine. So heading into a mud run, you have to be mentally prepared to step outside of what you know and push through the challenges. Also, don’t underestimate the power of just having fun. Enjoying yourself while participating in a mud run will help you through some of the tougher obstacles even more than sheer determination.

In your experience, what is the one feature of the mud run that people find most intimidating?

The element of the unknown, especially if you’re a first timer. Most mud runs list the obstacles on their website so use that as a tool to guide your training. As long as you strength train while increasing your running distance, you shouldn’t have any problems. On race day, if you come across an obstacle you think you can’t do, ask for help, whether climbing a wall or a rope. The camaraderie of mud runners is amazing.

Do you have clothing suggestions for race day?

Wear something that is somewhat snug and fast drying and that you wouldn’t mind throwing away at the end. As far as sneakers go, wear what you trained in. Most races have a shoe donation pile at the end that will put those muddy kicks to good use instead of simply throwing them away.

So, with this race coming up in August, it looks like I will be increasing my Insanity workouts to really get the heart pumping as well as adding those awful burpees into the mix.

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