After finishing the Camp Pendleton Mud Run in 13th place as one of the “Talk Dirty to Me” team members this year, one of my teammates, Edith, suggested that we start training for the Tough Mudder this coming February and recruit only serious athletes to join our team. Edith had the feeling that since we finished in 13th place without really training, that with some radical adjustments, we could do much better. Without even knowing what the Tough Mudder was, I agreed.

After a few weeks of Edith writing on my Facebook wall reminding me to register, I looked up the race. After visiting the site, I have to admit, I was more than a little intimidated. It didn’t help that Edith named our team, “The A Team, Pity the Fools.” As someone that used to watch the A Team, I knew that Edith meant business. She is one of the most hardcore athletes I know. Living up to our team’s name and feeling Mr. T’s A Team spirit, I have been training fairly heavily.

It has helped that during an average week, I teach 16 P.E. classes at a local elementary school (and often find myself playing a game of soccer with my students), teach 14 fitness classes at my Encinitas Fitness Studio (half of which I participate in), give 10 personal training sessions, and train on my own at least three times per week. I have dissected my days and the training I do on each that will prepare me for the Tough Mudder. If you follow these workouts, you will get in amazing shape and kick some serious Tough Mudder Grade A Team Booty.

  • Hill intervals:
  • 4x: Sprints (run up and down a hill 4 times)
  • 4x: Walking sideways cross-overs (In a squat position, cross outer leg over the leg facing the hill and do a squat. Take your next step by bringing you back leg out from the front leg, into a normal squat. Continue up the hill. To get down the hill, jog down. Repeat 4 times.)
  • 2x: High knee lunges with a tap down (Beginning at the bottom of the hill with your hands at your hips, bring your left knee up and reach your leg out into a deep lunge. While you are in a deep lunge, bring your hands down to the street touching your finger tips to the pavement, move your back leg forward and your knee up to your chest and repeat all the way up the hill. Jog down the hill.)

Obstacle course with 2 minute intervals:

  • Agility ladder: Perform hopscotch up the ladder (jump in one square and out the next as you would do with hopscotch) and moguls down the ladder (with each jump, have one foot in the square of the ladder and one foot out, alternate all the way)
  • Hula hoop frog jumps (hula hoops are placed down on the ground in a row of 8. Like a frog, perform big jumps in and out of the hula hoops, bringing your hands down to the ground with each jump)
  • Discs: crocodile run (run in a zig zag outside of 12 discs)
  • Skateboard deck hustle (use an old skateboard deck on the sand or grass. With your feet stationed on the each end of the deck, meander up 20 yards and back)
  • Ab workout (10 minutes)
  • Push-ups (50-100)
  • Parking lot lunges for 5 minutes with hand weights (walking lunges performed in a parking lot that is 150 yards long)
  • Parking lot squats for 5 minutes with hand weights (walking squats performed in a parking lot that is 150 yards long)
  • Free weights
  • Power Plate 5-10 minutes
TUESDAY – day of rest.
  • Walking squats and lunge warm up
  • Ab workout
  • 20-25 sets of stairs
  • 6-8 sprints
  • Cross over tap downs (Just like the cross over squats, but you bring your hands down to the ground with each cross over)
  • Lunges
  • Bear crawls (get on all four and walk 10 yards, then hustle back)
  • Spider crawls
  • Walking squat
  • Triceps dips
  • Mountain climbers
  • Russian dancers (find a raised surface like a curb or step and with your forearms together and your opposite hand on each elbow, tap your toes up, the faster you go, the more fun it becomes)
  • Wall push-ups (place the bottom of your feet against a wall and starting in a plank position, lower your self down. Repeat for 20)
  • Parking lot lunges and squats
  • Free weights
  • Easy day
  • 5-7 mile run
FRIDAY – day of rest
  • Free weights
  • 5-7 mile run
  • Every-other Saturday surf
  • Weights
  • 2 mile run
  • 20-25 sets of stairs

Follow my weekly training schedule and you could be participating in a Tough Mudder in no time!

Promax TRAIN LIKE A PRO contest winner, Joe Willy, reflects on training for the Rock ‘n Roll Las Vegas Marathon

Well, I had a good bit of pressure riding on my shoulders to run this world renown distance of 26.2 miles at the 3 hour mark. Experiencing slight tendinitis of my left knee during week two of November set me back on my training and the goal of a consistent 7 minute pace began to fade from my foresight. With only 27 days until marathon day, it held me back from running for just over two weeks, as I began icing it down and trying to gradually step away from the pain. As race day approached, I knew I would be able to complete the marathon with no problem, but the question was; what split times would I be hitting after my lack of training days? Was this due to over-training, under-stretching, insufficient nutrition intake, or just a wrong twist outside of running?

On race day, adrenaline kicked in and I was surrounded by a crowd of roughly 44,000 of my new closest friends. Who knew what pace would be bolting out of my legs as I cruised through the cold Vegas streets on the night of December 4th. You can train all you want, carb and rest up and fully prepare your mind and body for an event, but you never know what is possible when adrenaline steps in and a runner’s high taps you on the shoulders during mile 11 as your favorite tunes are providing the perfect BPM through your headphones.

Being that this was my first full marathon ever, I was happy to reach the finish line either way. Who knew what time I would cross the finish in? I felt as though my body’s endurance was capable of
maintaining my projected pace. The determining factor was whether or not my knee was. Hold strong, little buddy. It’s only a distance.

Never Stop Running,
-Joe Willy