After running in my first ever Spartan Race in Palmerton, PA on July 17th, I took part in my first BattleFrog race two weeks later on July 30th. I think it's pretty safe to say, I've caught the OCR (Obstacle Course Racing) bug. I'll talk about both experiences on episode 10 of BeachPod: Health & Fitness, but I've already begun to look ahead at future races. As far as 2016 goes, it seems like I should be able to squeeze in one more race. That race is going to be another BattleFrog Series race on October 8th, this time in New Jersey. 
Because October will have cooler temps than the July race, I'll be running in an afternoon open heat. Not only will it be the warmer part of a likely cool fall day, but the later heats are also less expensive. Plus, I'll be using promo code BFW10847 for another $20 off. You can also use that promo code for $20 off any BattleFrog adult race.

Generally, training programs run about 8 weeks. This isn't a training program. I'm not saying you should follow what I do leading up to a race. This is only my 3rd advanced OCR, and 5th overall. Over the next several weeks, I'm going to share with you my journey in preparing for one of the most physically demanding races out there. Look for a new post weekly with that week's training. Let's start with the week of 8/7-8/13. 

Sunday 8/7
Today is actually a scheduled rest day. I took a week off after BattleFrog Philly. For the first time in a while I did next to no exercise. It felt a bit odd, so I was excited yesterday when I got to run 4 miles. Felt pretty sluggish because of the humidity and time off. It was a mostly flat run so a good way to ease back into it. Today my goal was just to stretch it out and hit 10,000 steps. 

Monday 8/8
Back on BeachPod episode 8, BF CMO Kevin Jones mentioned the training program you can follow on their website. I gave one of the MetCon workouts ("Runnin' to the Ground") a shot. 
  • 5 min run
  • 50 burpees
  • 4 min run
  • 40 burpees
  • 3 min run
  • 30 burpees
  • 2 min run
  • 20 burpees
  • 1 min run
  • 10 burpees

Overall, it took about 35-40 minutes to complete. Which says a lot considering it's only 15 minutes of running. Burpees are wonderful and horrible at the same time. I'm not sure you can ever be "good" at doing lots of burpees. But I do think anyone training for an OCR should train with a decent volume of them. This one definitely kicked my ass. 

Tuesday 8/9
Decided to give another BattleFrog workout a go today since yesterday's was a good one. This time, I grabbed one from the Strength & Skill category ("Picnic Time"). 
Complete for time:
  • 10 Bulgarian split squats (per leg)
  • 20 Step ups (per leg)
  • 30 Push-ups
  • 40 Dips
  • 50 Flutterkicks
  • 60 Calf raises
  • 50 Flutterkicks
  • 40 Dips
  • 30 Push-ups
  • 20 step-ups (per leg)
  • 10 Bulgarian split squats (per leg)

I don't remember the exact time it took to complete, but it was close to 20 minutes. Not a lengthy workout at all. There were definitely some challenging parts but, compared to yesterday, this one was lighter. Since there were no pull-ups included, I did a few towel pull-up variations to finish off my workout. 

Wednesday 8/10
I had planned on doing a hill sprint workout, but plans changed and I had to do a workout at home. Unfortunately, there are no good hills in the immediate area. So, I checked out the BF site again and put my own variation on one of their Speedwork workouts ("Moving Along"). Rest  was 2 minutes in between and I went through it 5 times.
  • 2 stair sprints (run up stairs as fast as possible, the first run hitting every step, the other going every other step)
  • Jog down
  • Bunny hop up steps (keep feet together, hitting every step)
  • Run down
  • Weighted carry up and down (45lb plate)
  • Lunge up steps (skip a step or two)
  • Jog down
  • Farmer's carry up and down (50lb dumbbells)

Thursday 8/11
Thursdays are fun because my brother-in-law comes up. He ran Spartan Palmerton with me and ran a different heat for BattleFrog Philly. I always recommend working out with a partner. It just gives you more motivation and forces you to workout in case you're not in the mood. After doing two races in 3 weeks, I realized what my strengths/weaknesses are. You'll see me do a lot of weighted carries, because I struggled with those a bit. The goal today was to work on my strength, but keep my heart rate up. We performed this as a circuit. Took about 3 minutes rest in between and did it two times through. If time allows, I'll do 3.
  • Farmer's walk up and down stairs 3 times (50 lb dumbbells)
  • Towel pull-up variation (One hand, both hands, wide, narrow, etc) x8
  • 1 min plank
  • Decline bench press x20 (35 lb dumbbells)
  • Hanging Knee Raise x10
  • Weighted step-up x10/leg (I put two 10 lb plates on one side of Olympic dumbbell handles pictured right. I held the dumbbells at the wider end with the weights, one in each hand. This challenges the grip strength more than a standard grip).
  • Weighted sit-up x20 (25 lb plate)
  • Weighted stair climb x10 up and down (45 lb plate)

Friday 8/12
Scheduled rest day today. During my lunch break at work, I made use of the gym by doing some time on the treadmill and elliptical, followed up with some static and dynamic stretching. As I do on all recovery days, I aim to hit at least 10,000 steps. 

Saturday 8/13
The plan today was for a longer endurance run. I still have 8 weeks until race day so no rush on the miles. The heat index today was scheduled to be very hot and very humid, so I tried to get out as early as possible. Apparently 9 a.m. was still too late for Pennsylvanian August. 

I felt pretty good through the first 3 miles, then hit a wall. Maybe it was the heat catching up to me or the fact that, at that point, I had the sun directly in front of me. Either way, I had to slow down the pace. At this stage, I'm okay with that. I really just wanted to make sure to get in the miles and keep an easier pace anyway. Ended up getting in just over 4.5 miles on a mainly flat surface to finish the week. 



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