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My 2019 challenge

As I mentioned in my New Year’s Resolutions post, in 2019 I’d like to keep on running. Not that that is very hard, I know. You just put your trainers on and make your way out of the door, really… And although randomly going for a run can be a great stress relief and – dare I say it – fun even, I much prefer having a specific goal to train for.

In previous years that has worked really well for me. In 2014 I took up running when I moved to Birmingham with the Start to Run programme. A few months later I managed to run 10km in one go and that kept me going for a while longer. In 2017 it was time for a bigger challenge, and a tripple one to be exact: the 40km St. Basils Walk, the Birmingham Black Country Half Marathon and Tough Mudder North West.

So, what does 2019 have in store for me on the physical challenge front? Well, this year my other half turns 30. In the past few years he has completed 9 Tough Mudders, sometimes even completing two laps on the same day! I knew he’d been wanting to turn that number into a nice round 10, so I got in touch with various team mates he has teamed up with before, and set up a team as a surprise for him. Not to worry, I’m not horrible and told him well in advance so he (and I!) can properly train for it.

What is Tough Mudder you ask? Well, if you ask Tough Mudder then they’ll tell you that “Epic is an understatement. […] Tough Mudder Classic is one 8-10 mile loop of mud-soaked mayhem loaded with 25 best-in-class obstacles, including 10 new or updated 2019 obstacles on Every. Single. Course.” This means running the distance and crawling under/through/over obstacles. It means a whole lotta mud. And the hardest thing last time: being so friggin cold.

So that’s what we’re doing at the end of July: Tough Mudder (TM) Yorkshire with a great team of friends. It will be my second TM and first time doing the one in Yorkshire. This one is apparently hillier, but maybe – just maybe – a little bit less likely to give us hypothermia as it’s in July. Fingers crossed!

In the meantime I designed one hell of a training plan for myself. As I’ll both need to build up strength and run a fair distance, my training programme needs to focus on both aspects. On the running side my aim is to do two runs every week: one short, 5km run and a longer one, adding an extra km every other week. I’ve run those kind of distances before and I actually like running (most days) so this part of the training should be OK.

It’s the building up strenght bit that worries me more. Last time I trained for TM I started doing the Body Boss workouts in an attempt to build up some muscle mass. This time I’ve turned to Instagram phenomenon Kayla Itsines. I found the original Bikini Body Guide (BBG) as a PDF online and have adapted it so that I do 2 of the resistance training sessions per week, aka 4x7min circuits twice a week.

So far so good. I had to push back one week as I hurt my groin and had to rest after that to let it recover, but other than that it has been painful but OK. Sometimes you just have to adapt – like not doing a longer run one week but doing a very intense walk instead. At the end of the day I don’t NEED to do the exercises all perfectly well. What is important is that I get my body in shape for TM. And every extra exercise I do will make TM that little bit easier.

What is your fitness goal for the year? And how do you train for it?



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