Playground or Training Ground?

I can't hang down on this one. It doesn't count if your feet touch

In a previous post I talked about themed running events.  Being unfamiliar with these types of events I was excited by them.  I’ll be honest, I REALLY wanted to do the zombie run, but I was too late to register, so I signed up for the Tough Mudder in October.  

This event was much more intimidating than the zombie one, and I wasn’t entirely sure how to train for it exactly.  After bombing Bloomsday a couple years ago with pulled calf muscle and little road training, I have accepted that I am too old to NOT train anymore for things.  

I tried to follow rather general training principle that I use for any activity, match your workouts as closely as possible to the event in quiestion.   We do this all the time in our programming.  For tennis or golf we incorporate movements which will aid in shoulder mobility and rotation.  A marathoner or triahtlete will build over weeks up to the race day load so that the body is familiar with the stresses placed on it.  And on and on…  However, I just wasn’t sure how to get close to 12 miles and 25 physical obstacles. 

It might seem obvious now, but I’ll admit it took me a week of treadmill/weight lifting circuits to realize that playground equipment was the better fit.  A large open space to run on for about 1/2 mile or so and fixed sturdy equipment that I can use to move my body around on.  

Pullups are hard! Two More!

The event’s obstacles vary but in general the difficult ones emphasize upper body pulling and pushing such as, log carrying, wall climbing, pulling yourself out of the ice-water dunking area, etc.   So, as I come to a stop near the play equipment, I’ll grab the monkeybars and do pull-ups, then switch to pushups or some squats, If there’s a bench I’ll do dips or step ups.  Some challenges also require jumping or leaping so doing a set of short sprints or pretend basketball layups will really boost the heart rate.   It varies and I usually go for about 2 minutes.  After that, I’m back to the field for more jogging.   Yes, it probably looks ridiculous, that’s the nice thing about ear buds….I don’t hear people wondering what the hell I’m doing on a children’s playground.

Since the event is not timed, I’m not really concerned with my running pace, just completing the run/obstacle/run/obstacle format.   The trick to increasing the number of circuits is to use the jog as your rest period.  It’s challenging, so I’m also spending a lot of time stretching out.  



Try the playground workout as a fun change up to a boring road run that incorporates some strength work.  Regular cardio/strength circuits are fun too, but it’s nice to be outside while you can.  

The double bonus was taking Jack with me once and he played with a friend he saw while I worked out.   Initially, he said he would run with me a little bit but when he saw his friend, he was off and gone.  So, working out while he plays pirates beats sitting on a park bench buried in my iPhone.

Elevate the feet to add difficulty

Speaking of iPhone – Needing some new music.  U2 and some Arcade Fire mixes.  Alternative Cardio Pandora station is good too.  Still, I could use something new. Suggestions?

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x