Tapering off

Tough Mudder Austin 2011

Tough Mudder Austin 2011 (Photo credit: glennharper)

The hardest thing I have been able to swallow in my training for the Tough Mudder is that I am now in the tapering phase. “What? I can’t workout hard the week before the event?” Apparently, it is ill-advised. Tapering is what you do before an athletic event (in my case the Tough Mudder) to avoid over-training. It involves a gradual reduction of one’s workout. During this time the body rests and recovers from any stress previous training has created. The length of the tapering phase varies from event to event. Obviously, an Olympic athlete is going to have a different tapering schedule than me! The end result is the same: a recovered body that can perform its best on the big day.

I just wasn’t sure about how much or little I had to do. This was the only article I could find on tapering for the Tough Mudder.  The article advises to not do any extreme training the week before. You really can’t make and significant change to your fitness level in a week.  At this point all you can really do is hurt yourself. The article also advises to take two full days off of exercise before the Tough Mudder. I recently injured my right quad so I have tapered off from continuous running for two weeks now. I also added an extra rest day in my week. This week will be a mental test for me. I need to repeat the following to myself every morning, “Marisol, working out hard at the gym will not help you it will hurt you and your team. You have prepared since May and have worked your ASS off especially hard these past 8 weeks. You are ready! Have faith in yourself and everything will be ok. Also remember you are part of a team. Your team will help you if you falter.”

With that in mind here is my plan for the week. Yesterday was my last run/walk before the day of reckoning. I will do a Restorative Yoga class today, light strength exercises on Tuesday and a Light Ashtanga class on Wednesday.  I WILL DO NOTHING on Thursday and Friday and I will enjoy it!

If you have trained for a race or obstacle challenge how did your tapering phase go? Did you find it hard to just relax?

I hope you all have a great week! xoxo

“Listen To Your Body.”

One of the best phrases I have learned in recent memory is “listen to your body”.  I have been rigorously training for the past 7 weeks for a Tough Mudder I am doing at the end of the month. For 7 weeks I have worked out  incredibly hard for 6 days and allowed myself one rest day a week.  At the end of last week I could feel my body starting to break down. It was getting tired and old injuries were starting to rear their ugly heads. So I listened to my body and this week I have taken it easy. I have not run (which is where a big source of my pain comes from), and have made my work outs lighter and stretched for a longer amount of time. Instead of 1 day of rest I have given myself 2 and you know what I am ok with that. I am going to train strong next week and take it easy the week of. I am proud of the hard work I have done and I am confident my body and mind are ready!

When do you allow yourselves rest when you are training? Do you ever feel bad about resting?

 

Tough Mudder is 1 Month Away (insert scream)

Tough Mudder logo

Tough Mudder logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

My husband and I signed up for our local Tough Mudder back in May. Since then I have greatly increased the intensity of my workouts. Our intention is not to set any record. We want to go out there and have fun with our team. My intention is to most importantly finish and to not end up in the back of an EMS vehicle.  Since the beginning of May I have greatly increased the intensity of my workouts. About 6 weeks ago I really got more serious about it. I started to really watch what I eat and am working out 6 days a week ( my normal was 4-5 days a week).

The bulk of my workouts is Crossfit, TRX classes and running.  I try to also squeeze in a yoga class. I have been doing TRX for about 2 years now and I have always enjoyed it  (well, not during the class). It’s hard and humbling, but I feel like a million bucks when I am done. It also creates (well at least on me) lean muscles, I haven’t bulked up at all and I am a hell of a lot stronger.

My gym also offers Crossfit. At first I was a little hesitant to do it. I was intimidated, but I started doing the WOD’s (workout of the day) with my trainer. He coached me through it for a while. It took about a month or so until I felt comfortable to do them without him. Now I do the WOD everyday but Sunday. What I love about it is that they are no longer than 30 minutes (normally), you get a total body work out in a short amount of time. The exercise also varies day by day so you aren’t doing the same thing. It’s also very social. I have met so many cool people by doing crossfit. I guess misery loves company. In the six weeks that I have been doing it 5 days a week I have greatly increased my endurance and I am a lot stronger, especially in my core (which is my weakest spot).

These are the accomplishments I am most proud of…

-I have lost 4  pounds (which is huge for me). Now I can say I only need to lose 6 more (sounds so much better than saying 10). My Fitness Pal app is so awesome! It is so easy to follow your calories and your progress.

-I ran 2 miles ( regularly now for a few weeks)without stopping and I wasn’t dead at the end. I have also been wanting to run which is huge. I have also started running on the street which is so out of my comfort zone. Running and I have always had a hate/hate relationship. I have even signed up to do a 5k in November and a 4 miler in December.

-I have really kept at it. If I can’t make it to the gym in the morning, I’ll go in the afternoon and -gasp- even on a Saturday!

-Finally my hard work is starting to show. My arms and back are more defined and over all my body is tighter.

Now hoping I survive another month!

Have you set up any fitness goals for yourself recently?  I hope you all have a wonderful weekend! xoxo

Calling All Mudders!

Tough Mudder logo

Tough Mudder logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

One of my new years resolutions was to do a race ( I know a tough mudder is not a race it is a competition) with my husband this year. Originally we were going to do our local St. Paddy’s day 5K , but I got a hip injury in early February. I couldn’t run on it for about 6 weeks. After a month of consistent acupuncture and realizing I need to stretch better, my hip recovered. As long as I only run a few times a week and listen to my body I have been ok. In my mind though I thought a straight running race might be too much.

A friend of mine said she and her husband were starting a Tough Mudder team. It piqued my interest. I saw the video below and thought sure this is better than a straight running race. HA!!! I think I am in for a rude awakening. We registered for the race back in May.

To be clear, we aren’t doing this to set any time records. We are doing this to have fun and say we did it. My goal is to finish and to not break a bone.

I consider myself in good shape. I go to the gym regularly. I have been doing more cross fit and trx classes.  I train weekly with a trainer and my sessions have been harder to prepare. My achilles’ heel is running. I hate it. I have never enjoyed it and it’s such a mental battle for me. I know I have to incorporate running in my mudder training. I have been running intervals. I just hate running without stopping. I can probably run 1.5 miles straight right now.  I have  2 months until the Tough Mudder and I really need to kick up my training.  My plan is to go to the gym 4-5 days a week do 30 min of cardio (mostly running) and then a trx or crossfit class.

I know it is going to probably be the hardest thing I have ever done. So mentally I am prepared for that aspect. I just don’t want my body to go through shock. I am excited, but a part of me is also scared.  Have any of you done a Tough Mudder competition? If yes, any advice on training?