Tough Muddy Road
My journey to from creampuff to mud tough.

Jul
08

Sorry I’ve been a little lazy updating. I usually update at work and for whatever reason WordPress doesn’t really like to play well with my browser there.

Anyway , as you know I’ve been slacking on my motivation but that is all in the past.  I finally bought my ticket this week !!!!!!! Seeing the charge on my credit card is plenty motivation to keep me going. So, I sat down this week and decided on my strategy that was going to help me beat this race.  I’ve worked out a new regiment , detailing week by week .  I’ve set the bar to something challenging but not overly rigorous and ultimately something I wont do.  My new schedule can be found here.

So with my new schedule set up and solidified I feel like I should be able to track my gains and tweak it if necessary. A good variety should keep me from getting bored as well as keep my body guessing “what’s coming next”. So I’m really excited about my new routine. I’m even looking forward to getting up early and getting my cardio out of the way first thing in the morning.  (It’s been 100+ here all week and there is just no other way to run).

New Additions

Kegs, FUCK YEAH !

Ladies and Gentleman, I give you my new training partners. These things are awesome. I will be using them for rolling / lifting / carrying. I’ve even scheduled my new regiment around working with them at least twice a week. Once I figure out how to pop them open I’ll post up a little tutorial on how to open them and what to fill them with. Right now I’m thinking either water or sand.

I did my first training session with a keg tonight. Let me say even with an empty keg these things can fool you. Empty they are about 40 lbs. I’ve decided to add 2.5 lbs a week while increasing reps bi weekly. I think this might be too light of weight to be adding so I might be adding 5 lbs a week. We’ll have to play it by ear. Anywho I’m really stoked about finally getting these and I’m looking for suggestions on what to name them. I think I already know what I want to name one of them.

That’s all the updates for now. It’s getting late and I gotta get ot bed soon so I can get up and run before another 100+ degree day.

Jun
30

I hit a wall this past week. I have been in a real rut over the past week and a half or so. I’ve felt like I’ve been spinning wheels and not really improving or making that many gains. I’ve put on 5 lbs over the past week ( this really killed my motivation). I haven’t been running as much because of the heat (a lame excuse) and all my lifting and training I dread and think of as a chore. I’ve began to take two rest days in a row ( I’m not thinking that this is such a bad idea however). I feel as if I’ve been slacking off and not really as focused as I need to be. I also feel guilty for not training as hard as I know I should. I feel like I’m holding back. I dread my work outs and feel lazy and unmotivated.

Goal Seeking

So I know what my goal is, not just finish the Tough Mudder but to kick it in the balls. While this is my ultimate goal I don’t know how I’m going to get there. This is where I’ve been thinking about what I need to achieve my goal. I need stamina, willpower and strength. How will I achieve excellence in each one of these three ? I realized that while I have my eyes on the prize I need to deconstruct each aspect into accomplish-able mini goals. Not only will I need to set them into mini goals , I’ll need to have a date and hold myself accountable for those goals.

“A goal properly set is halfway reached.” – Abraham Lincoln

Goal Setting

Now that I know my main goal and I am starting to think about what I need to accomplish that goal I’ve decided to break up my goals into accountable and measurable units. I’m going to make up a new excel sheet to track my progress and monitor my performance and set performance goals. I’m going to have dates in which I need to accomplish these goal by and hold myself accountable. If I fail to meet a goal I’ll be upset but won’t let it hinder my over all training.  I think this will be an ample motivator in my training as well as help me realize that by attaining these little goal I will be able to dominate the larger goal.

Goals and Training regiment

I’ve been sticking to the same regiment for almost a full month now. I have to admit while I have gotten stronger, I hate parts of it. Man makers are by god the longest and most boring exercise there is. Doing 30 in a row is a huge pain and feels like forever. So I’m going to start breaking it up into smaller sets and perhaps for time? I need to come up with a new training regiment where I won’t get as bored as easily and I actually look forward to my training activities. I’m going to review the course and figure out a new regiment / strategy to help me overcome the course. I’ll post up my results this weekend when I’ve gotten my new routine honed in. I’ll probably keep the endurance runs since I really enjoy those.

Oh yeah, I also did my first one-armed pull up this week. So all in all it really isn’t that bad.     

Jun
25

I’m in the south , it’s summer here. In the summer it gets hot. I’m not talking like oh it’s 80 degrees outside , time to sip lemonade in the shade. I’m talking face melting, temperature of the sun , egg cooking on sidewalk hot. For example right now it’s 100 degrees with 34 percent humidity. when you step outside you just start melting. The heat permeates everything.So you can imagine this makes doing things outside rather difficult.

5 Tips for beating the Heat

  1. Run early in the morning or late in the evening
  2. Run in the shade if possible
  3. Wear socks if your feet get sweaty.
  4. Take a nice cold shower afterward or go swim.
  5. Use your head

1. Run early in the morning or late in the evening. I personally really enjoy running early in the morning. I really like to be almost finished with my run by the time the sun is rising. It gets your running out of the way and the feeling you get when the sun rises and your blood is pumping is indescribable. Whether you are running early in the morning or later when there is less light I’d recommend wearing a high visibility reflective vest. This will let people see you with greater ease  and if you drop people will be able to see you face down in the ditch easier.

2. Run in the shade if possible.

“Our arrows will blot out the Sun !” – Messenger for Xerxes.

“Then we will fight in the shade”- Dienekes, Bad Ass Spartan at Thermopylae.

If the sun is rising or setting when you are running you’ll save yourself some degrees by running in the shade. It’ll be easier on your eyes and you’ll be able to see various running hazards as well as save some strain on squinting your eyes. If you take a rest it’ll help you to rest in the shade too.

3. Wear socks if your feet get sweaty. Not everyone I know runs with socks. I know a lot of triathlon people like to train with not wearing socks ( to save time and your feet are already pretty moist). Also barefoot runners don’t wear socks. I run in these. When it’s cooler I normally don’t wear socks. Now that the heat has picked up my  feet get really sweaty and I end up developing really bad blisters. This sets back my running training and sidelines me from other activities. I just picked up a pair of Injinji performance socks, let me just say I don’t have a problem with my feet blistering any more. The socks make my VFF’s  more comfortable but make my feet a little bit warmer than usual. I strongly recommend picking up toe socks if you run in minimalist shoes.

4. Take a nice cold shower afterward or go for a swim. I love cold showers after working out. Supposedly cold showering has a lot of therapeutic benefits (Google that shit). I take one so I’m not all hot and sweaty and the cool water helps my muscles after I run. In a while I’m going to be training to incorporate swimming as a session as part of my runs. If you have access to a pool or a place to swim it would probably be pretty awesome to finish running and just jump in and start swimming, it would help cool you off as well as be a great supplemental and relaxing workout .

5. Use your head. This means think when you run. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. Hydrate all day for your run, drink water even if you aren’t thirsty.  If you feel overheated or something just isn’t right stop running and rest up and take your time. Walk for a while and rest. Don’t push yourself for a 6 mile run if normally you are running 3 miles a day. Take a slower pace, take a different (shadier) route. Make your run shorter, Run through sprinklers (my personal favorite). all of these are ways you can use your head to help you beat the heat.

Let me know any extra suggestions you would have to beat the heat or tips or tricks that have worked for you.

Jun
21

So this weekend I received some disappointing news. My friend who had promised me he would be training to enter the Tough Mudder with me has backed out (he’ll be moving back to Denver). While I originally planned on doing this race solo I had tried to recruit two friends to join me. One of them agreed but he is laid up with a broken neck and now the other is backing out to move back across the country.

This means I’m back to training solo. I will admit I was hoping to have a partner to train with but there are some things a man must do alone. Training for this will be amongst them. I run and work out by myself any way so nothing will change in this aspect. It just means I’ll have to work harder to make sure I can beat the obstacles on my own. So for now I only have to rely on my will to get me across the finish line.

Jun
17

So I’ve been pretty good about keeping up with my training. I’ve been keeping the same regiment as I posted before but I’ve made a few modifications. If I’m in a place where I can’t jump rope (my bedroom) I have replaced it with Mountain Climbers. They are about as fun as they look. I’m hoping this will strengthen up my legs for the hill climb.

While my strength training is slowly progressing I’ve started to work more on my endurance by running. Two weeks ago I went running with a friend and essentially ran about 4 miles. I looked up a 5k that was held at the site we were running at the week before. It isn’t just a flat 5k it involves running over a pedestrian footbridge that bows up and down , a wooden bridge and what I estimate as a .5 mile rock hop. While I’m above the 5k stage, I need to be adding at least a half mile a week. So I decided I’ll just run the course twice.

So I ran the first “leg” of my 10k, my calves were a little taut but I was otherwise O.K. then I got that little burning sensation on the ball of my foot. I should have known then to stop but me thinking  “Oh I’ll just stop being a pansy” and continued to run. I kept my pace of 8 minute miles and finished with decent time.

The blister on my foot after could only be describe as ungodly hell. I haven’t gotten a blister this bad in a long time. I could barely walk on it the following day and couldn’t walk normally for the next 3 days. I haven’t let it really hinder my training ( I took a rest day and then weight trained in regular shoes). For my endurance cardio I switched to riding a recumbent exercise bike at increasing resistance for an hour and a half ( thank god the World Cup was on).

Jun
16

So this week’s film was The Karate Kid, the original film in all it’s glory. It had been a long time since I had seen this master piece and since I will probably take my nephew to see the remake I wanted to re familiarize myself with the classic.  I must say while I didn’t remember all the aspects of the film the first time through, I will admit this movie is awesome.

I liked this image capture way better than the original movie poster, let’s face it the original poster looks like an old Japanese guy is about to make out with Ralph Maccio. Plus , let’s admit it every single one of us has done “Crane Technique” unsuccessfully in our lives.  Not to mention this is probably the best scene in the movie for a multitude of reasons.

While most of us are pretty familiar with the plot of The Karate Kid, I’ll give a brief recap. Daniel Larusso is a whiny southern California transplant by way of New Jersey.  Here he immediately stars to hit on Elizabeth Shue. Turns out she’s the ex girlfriend of the school’s biggest bad ass, Johnny, and Daniel is in over his head. He spends the next twenty minutes or so of the movie getting his ass kicked by this guy and his friends while occasionally getting small amounts of revenge. Daniel vows he will learn “karate” so he can fight back against this bully. He meets this crazy old maintenance guy named Mr. Miyagi. He and Miyagi become friends shortly and he tries to help Daniel with advice. Daniel checks out the local Karate school and it turns out Johnny is the head student and the sensei is a complete merciless dick.

He convinces Daniel to go to the schools Halloween dance, where Daniel tries to get back at Johnny at the dance.  The chase Daniel home and proceed to beat him up until they get whopped by Mr. Miyagi. It’s after this that Miyagi and Daniel figure out that the only way they can stop this bullying is by confronting the sensei and his students. They agree to enter Daniel in a tournament and Miyagi takes him on as his student. The rest of the film he trains Daniel all about karate in most unconventional means.  He gets him to slave labor around his house which Daniel thinks is a waste of time. Little did he know he was falling for the oldest trick in the Karate handbook, the old “bullshit that doesn’t seem like training but actually is training” routine. From here Miyagi teaches him about balance, in all things. He also teaches him the importance of focus and breathing.

What I got out of it:

I was actually inspired by parts of this film. I really liked Mr. Miyagi ( Pat Morita) and can see why he was nominated for an Oscar.  This film taught me about balance between my training and my personal life.  I think I have been over thinking / focusing too much on my training and diet that I’m freaking myself out. I haven’t been as confident lately and making the gains I need to in order to be successful.

“Man who catch fly with chopsticks accomplish anything” – Mr. Miyagi

Next weeks film is: Karate Kid 3 ( I watched two this weekend as well but I don’t feel like posting it).

Jun
08

So I’m in the process of working up my training regiment. I looked at the Tough Mudder site and looked at their “get fit” exercise list. After trying it rather unsuccessfully I’ve decided to make my own which I think will help me prepare all the muscles groups I need in order to be successful.

Here’s essentially a breakdown of my training schedule:

Monday
Morning
HIIT intervals (either bike, running or elliptical. 45 secs Max Sprint 1 minute rest. )
Evening
Man Makers x3 (25, 15,10) with 20lb weights
Jump Rope (1:00)
Dips x3 (30,25,20) or until failure
Pull ups x3 (15,10,5) or until failure

Tuesday
Evening
Endurance Run (6 miles or an hour) I’ll be adding .25 miles a week ( or more if I’m feeling good).

Wednesday
Evening
Man Makers x3 (25, 15,10) with 20lb weights
Jump Rope (1:00)
Dips x3 (30,25,20) or until failure
Pull ups x3 (15,10,5) or until failure

Thursday
Evening
Endurance Run (6 miles or an hour) I’ll be adding .25 miles a week ( or more if I’m feeling good).

Friday
Evening
Man Makers x3 (25, 15,10) with 20lb weights
Jump Rope (1:00)
Dips x3 (30,25,20) or until failure
Pull ups x3 (15,10,5) or until failure

Saturday
I will dedicate this day to specific event training. These days will be for swimming, keg rolling, crawling, keg carries and whatever I generally need to improve upon ( it might be a combo strength / endurance day but at a medium intensity).

Sunday
Active Rest
I’ll usually go for a hike or walk around for a while or go for a leisurely bike ride. I know it’s supposed to be a rest day but usually the weather is so nice I don’t want to just sit around my house and do nothing. I won’t be “pushing” myself to get my heart rate rate or lift more. I usually end up eating more on these days and letting my body get plenty of rest.

Is there something I am missing or any critiques of my training regiment. I’d love to learn how to improve.

Jun
08

So every week I’m going to watch an “inspirational” film to help keep me motivated towards my goal and to keep pushing myself. I’ve scheduled one film a week until the week of competition. This week’s film is Rocky Balboa.


“Rocky Balboa” is the last installment in the “Rocky” franchise. It takes place long after the end of Rocky 5. Rocky is now long retired and owns a restaurant where he regales diners with stories of his past. We see an aged Rocky, an aged Paulie and Rocky’s son who is “tired of living in his dad’s shadow”.

The premise behind the movie is that the current heavy weight champion, Mason “The Line ” Dixon can’t find a boxer of his skill set. After a computer prediction of Rocky winning by a knockout his agents decide that they should try to make the fight a reality. They entice Rocky into an exhibition bout under the guise of proceeds going to charity.

Much to everyone’s dismay and their adversity to Rocky’s decision he decides to accept. Rocky claims he wants to keep fighting because “there’s some stuff in the basement”. We see that Rocky wants to prove to himself that he’s still got what it takes to be a champion and prove to the world his worth.

Now we cue up the kick ass training music and gear up for a montage. Rocky’s former trainer “Duke” lists all of the medical problems that Rocky is facing and determines the only way Rocky will win the fight is by beating the ever living shit by wailing on his opponent so hard “his ancestors will feel it”.

Here we get to see Stallone do a fairly awesome work out routine. He does kettle bell swings, tire slams, keg slams, heavy bag work ,pull ups. All kinds of awesome feats of strength. We see him doing dead lifts and squats. I must admit Stallone gets into terrific shape for this film.

After the training montage the main bout begins. You’ll have to see the movie to see what happens to our aging champion.

What I got out of it:

I love the rocky films and have always found them inspirational (well except Rocky 5 , that movie sucked balls). This movie was a good kick off to the whole inspirational track to think that with enough will power and determination you can do what you want and no one can stop you.

There’s a scene where Rocky’s son is expressing to his dad his feelings about being his son. In it Rocky gives the following speech.

Let me tell you something you already know. The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. It’s a very mean and nasty place and I don’t care how tough you are it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain’t about how hard ya hit. It’s about how hard you can get it and keep moving forward. How much you can take and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done!

What this has taught me about my own training is that I need to focus on pushing myself harder and further with every work out. The finish line for this endeavor isn’t going to get any easier by training less. I gotta keep pushing forward. I won’t quit until I make it across the finish line.

Oh and those keg slams look pretty bitchin’ too.

Next week’s film is The Karate Kid.

Jun
03

This is my first post into this blog. I’m going to use this blog as a means to stay motivated and record my performance while I train for the Tough Mudder. I’m hoping you’ll follow me as I track my progress and post my results as I work towards completing my goal of finishing this race. I’ll be looking for any tips, insults, advice and anything else you think will help me along my path as I go from average to “tough Mudder”.

A little background
Enough with the intro. I’ll give you a little background on myself. My name is Adam Gainer. I recently just started paying attention to my health and increasing my fitness. I run and lift generally 6 times a week. While initially my goal was to “lose weight”(I wanted to get down from 210 to 171). Since the beginning of my “journey” I’ve lost 24 lbs and I am still losing fat / weight and becoming leaner and stronger. I figured entry into the Tough Mudder race would be a good goal and motivator for me to keep working out and not be such a fat ass.

What you can expect from this blog
I’ll be using this blog in a number of capacities. Foremost I’ll be using it as a means to track my progress and let others critique my workout. I’ll also be using it as a way to explore my diet and let other people interject their thoughts as well as maybe get some ideas for their own. In the diet portion I’ll also post recipes I come across / make up. Each week I’ll be watching a “motivational” movie and will post my thoughts and what makes that movie awesome. I’ll also include music that I listen to for inspiration.

Well that pretty much sums up the obligatory introductory post. It’s time to get off the computer and start training.

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