Top 3 Strength Training Exercises for Runners

First and foremost, if you’re a runner and you’re not strength training you need to start.  This in and of itself could be an entire blog article.  But here I go with the synopsis. 

Strength training will indirectly help you run longer and faster.  Strength training exercises can improve your running mechanics, so that you run more efficiently.  Efficient running mechanics will lead to less wasted energy with each step and less injuries. 

Think about it.  You will take 80 to 90 steps per foot each minute you run.  If you have muscular imbalances that lead to joint mobility or stability issues you will move through an improper range of motion with each step. 

When you run for 30 minutes you take 2700 steps with each foot for a combined 5400 steps.  That could be 5400 steps of feet rolling in, rounded shoulders, wasted side to side movement or just pure pain.  Needless to say, when you are an endurance athlete it’s important that each step and every workout is adding to improved performance not to injury or fatigue.

The key to becoming a better runner is consistency.  For most runners, injuries are the biggest disrupter of consistent training.  Runners get a few good weeks or months of training, and then they are injured.   That means time off, loss of motivation, and a decrease in fitness. 

Strength training with proper form 2 to 3 times a week will reduce the onset of injuries and improve your running form.  Here are my top 3 strength training exercises for runners. 

Bulgarian Split Squat

You will need a bench, chair or stepper to perform this exercise.  Start by doing this exercise with just body weight and then progress.  The progression could include holding dumbbells, kettlebells or a barbell.  You can also make this exercise explosive. 




 
  • Place the to top of your back foot on.  If you are having a hard time with balance, flex your back toes and place them on the bench.   
  • Stand in a staggered stance about 2 to 3 feet wide.  This should allow your knee to bend while keeping your knees behind your front toes. 
  • Inhale as you begin to bend both knees. 
  • Focus on your back knee pointing straight down toward the ground and your body weight in your front heel.   
  • Keep your front kneecap inline with the 3rd toe of the front foot. 
  • Exhale as you straighten both knees to come back up to standing.  
Start with 10 repetitions on each leg and progress to 15. 

Calf Lowers

Use a stair or a stepper to perform this exercise.  Start by doing this exercise with just body weight.  The progression would include holding a dumbbell in one hand. 


 


  • Place the ball of your foot on the stair while holding on to the wall or railing.   
  • Rise up on the ball of your foot as high as your heel will go.  Make sure you have weight evenly distributed on all of your toes and that you are not rolling onto one side of your foot. 
  • Slowly, lower you heel back to the starting position.  Try counting 3 to 5 slow counts to ensure you really focus on lowering part of the movement.   
Do 10 reputations on each foot to start.  Work up to doing 20 reputations on each foot. 

Band or Cable Row

How many runners do you see hunched over logging long miles.  This exercise is for improved running posture, which can lead to improved respiration. 

To perform this exercise, use a band or a cable.  This exercise can be done with both arms or with just one arm. 





  • Stand in a staggered stance with relaxed knees.  Make sure your ribs on stacked on top of your hips to ensure good posture. 
  • Grab the handles of the band or the cable in the thumbs up position. 
  • Start the movement by protracting the shoulder blades.
  • Then bend the elbows straight back so that your biceps are close to your rib care.  Keep  your knuckles forward. 
  • To release, begin to straighten your elbows and bring your shoulders back to the starting position. 
Start with 10 repitions and work up to 20.  To increase difficulty, use a more difficult band or more weight on the cable system. 

Here’s to improving your running mechanics so that you can train more consistently.  Can’t wait to hear about the PR at your next race. 

How did Cureality get its start?




In the Cureality program, we embrace information and strategies that empower you in health without drugs, without hospitals, without procedures. We convert your doctor from director of healthcare to your assistant in health. He or she is there when you need help, but you largely direct your own health future.

How did we gain the know-how, information, tools, even chutzpah to take on such an ambitious project?


It started around 10 years ago with the awkwardly named Track Your Plaque program. In fact, some of the current followers of the Cureality program are former Track Your Plaque members, having learned of the wonderful list of strategies that can be adopted to gain better control over, even reverse, coronary atherosclerotic plaque and risk for heart attack. They also learned that something special happens when you engage with other people with similar interests, all sharing ideas, insights, and resources to get the self-directed health job done. Over time, what started out as simply a source of better information for coronary health evolved into a self-directed coronary disease management program. We never set out to create something as wildly ambitious as a do-it-yourself-at-home coronary disease risk management program, but that is how it inadvertently turned out.

How we went from Information Provider to Health Empowerment Program

So we never intended to take on something so seemingly impossible as managing coronary risk on your own. But, because we armed people with such empowering, profound insights into better ways to manage their heart disease risk beyond “don’t smoke, cut saturated fat, be active, and take a statin drug”—the typical advice offered by doctors—they returned after an interaction with their doctors disappointed: doctors often declared such strategies unnecessary, or the doctor didn’t understand them—even when there were clear-cut clinical data already available to support their use. In other words, the patients—everyday people, not experts—knew more than their doctors. 

This flip-flop in the balance of knowledge made for some very interesting stories, like “Harold” (not his real name) who, having survived a heart attack and received a stent, was told by his doctor to cut his fat intake, eat more whole grains, exercise, take aspirin and a beta blocker drug, and reduce his cholesterol values with a statin drug. Upon learning all the additional information from the Track Your Plaque program, Harold returned to his doctor and asked “I’m not so ready to just go along with this idea of ‘reducing cholesterol’ to address heart disease risk. Because my goal is to gain as much control over coronary disease as possible, maybe even reverse it, I’d like to address some additional issues that I believe may be important. I’d like to have my advanced lipoproteins drawn to measure the proportion of small LDL particles I have, whether I have lipoprotein(a), an omega-3 fatty acid index and 25-hydroxy vitamin D level, and a thyroid assessment. Oh, and I believe I should also have an assessment of my inflammation status, perhaps a c-reactive protein and phospholipase A2, and my blood sugar status measured with a fasting glucose, insulin, and hemoglobin A1c.” Harold’s doctor was dumbfounded and speechless. Rather than reveal his ignorance, his doctor advised Harold that none of that was necessary, sending him on his way and telling him that he was fine.

But this left Harold with a sour taste in his mouth, having engaged in many online discussions with people who had followed conventional advice that resulted in more heart attack, more heart procedures—the conventional answers simply did not work. He also discussed his situation with people who had successfully obtained the additional information he sought, added it to their program and enjoyed dramatically improved health, including freedom from more heart attacks, heart symptoms, and heart procedures, as well as improved overall health. So Harold found an easy way to obtain the testing on his own. Within a couple of weeks, he returned to his online community and shared all his information. Within moments, he was provided useful discussion to help him understand the values, all leading to changes in nutrition, nutritional supplement choices, how and where to get the simple tools necessary, such as iodine and vitamin D supplements. He even entered his data, choosing which values he was willing to share with others, which remained private, allowing him to compare his own follow-up values several months later. Engaged in this process, self-directed but collaborative, he witnessed marked transformations in his health. Not only did he never again—over several years—ever re-develop heart symptoms nor require any more trips back to the cath lab, he lost weight, reversed a pre-diabetic sugar profile, improved his cholesterol values without drugs, got rid of the acid reflux symptoms he endured for many years, dropped his blood pressure to normal, enjoyed better mood, energy, and sleep. Slender, healthier, all accomplished without his doctor. 

Harold returned to his doctor for a routine follow-up. Slender, energetic, without complaints, on no drugs except the aspirin for his stent, the basic laboratory assessment his doctor ordered in front of him, his doctor admitted,” Well, I don’t know how you’re doing it, but these values look like a 20-year old substituted his blood for yours. They’re unbelievable. What drugs are you taking to do this?” “No drugs,” Harold replied, “I’m following a program to reverse heart disease, but it means doing some things that are different from conventional solutions.” His doctor closed their meeting with the signature response of doctors nationwide: “Well, I don’t understand what you are doing, but just keep doing it.”

Yes, Harold knew more about how to control heart disease than his doctor, more than his cardiologist. The cardiologist knew how to insert a stent or defibrillator. But deliver information that empowered Harold in all aspects of health from head to toe, while also dramatically reducing, perhaps eliminating, his coronary disease risk? As you now know, that is not what conventional healthcare does, nor is it interested in doing so, as it would relinquish control and threaten to cut off this hugely profitable revenue stream that drives “healthcare.”

Having managed to inadvertently create a self-directed coronary risk management program with such spectacular results and in probably one of the most difficult areas of all—heart disease—it became clear that a similar approach could be even more easily applied to many other areas of health, such as weight loss, bone health, cholesterol and blood pressure issues, diabetes and pre-diabetes, hormonal health, autoimmune conditions, and others. You can do it when empowered by safe, effective information, and supported by a community of sharing and collaboration. We don’t fire our doctors; they are there when we need them when, for instance, we get injured or catch pneumonia, or as an occasional resource. But doctors should no longer be able to get away with neglect, misinformation, or blindly directing you to the next revenue-generating procedure because you are empowered by the information and support you receive in Cureality.

As we get more effective in delivering this information and new tools to you, just imagine what we can accomplish in this new age of information and self-empowerment. The future for us is bright with ambitions for better interactive tools with Cureality expert staff, better ways to crowd source health answers, provide more engaging community conversation, all while the health insights that help accomplish our self-directed health goals get better and better. Each person that joins Cureality helps make this service more effective because your wisdom, insights, and experience are added to the collective knowledge. We are more powerful together than we are as individuals.

If you are already a Cureality Member, please add your comments and questions to the growing conversation. If you are not a Member, consider joining our discussions, as each new voice gets us closer and closer to better answers to take back control over health.

Sit Less and Move More.



We sit way too much. Many of us have desk jobs where we sit for 8 to 9 hours a day. After we leave the office, we sit in our car to run errands. We follow that by sitting down to eat dinner. Our day ends by sitting on the couch to unwind by watching some television.

Many of us will be sitting a good 12 to 15 hours each and every day. Unfortunately the research shows that long hours of sitting can lead to obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and even early death. Don’t be fooled that your workout is enough movement. You can still be active and sedentary.

How can you add more movement to your day? First, think about all the times you find yourself sitting during the day. Then come up with a creative way that you can get out of the seat and move your feet.

Here are a couple of examples:

Instead of driving everywhere, jump on your bike. The picture above is of the bike I use to go to work or run errands. Bike riding is great exercise, greener transportation and a great stress relief.

We spend a lot of time at work sitting in front of the computer or the phone. Prop your laptop on a bookshelf to create a standing workstation. You can also purchase a sit-stand workstation you can adjust throughout the day. Get a headset and stand during phone calls.

Walk during your lunch break. Walk to the coffee shop, the mailbox, and the dry cleaners. Get your errands done on foot or just enjoy a stroll outside.

Take a movement break every hour. Do some desk push-ups, squats or walk the stairs. Need to communicate with a coworker? Don't email, walk over and talk to them.

Human beings are meant to move, not sit in chairs all day. I want to challenge you to incorporate more movement into your day. I'd love to read your comments how you move more and sit less.

Have You Had Your Prebiotics Today?



Prebiotics and resistant starch may be the missing link to your digestive health. Indigestible fibers that allow healthy bowel flora to proliferate and thrive are often called prebiotics. They are also known as resistant starches, because they are resistant to human digestion. I recently had a client call the addition of resistance starch to her diet, “the missing link my body needed”.

A starch that resists digestion and reaches the large intestine becomes food for the healthy bacteria in the large intestine. These bacteria can break down and “feed on” the resistant starch thus providing the friendly bacteria with the fuel they need to survive.

Imbalance of the quantity and type of bacteria species present in the gut contributes to gastrointestinal illness, blood sugar imbalance, obesity, mood disorders, and immune system challenges.

Green unripe bananas and plantains are one of best sources for prebiotic fiber content with 27 to 30 grams of fiber in one medium banana. Green bananas are essentially inedible. They are most easily incorporated into diet by blending into a smoothie.

One mistake frequently made incorporating prebiotic fibers from bananas is consuming bananas that are too ripe. Once the banana ripens the resistant starch is degraded and become a digestible starch. Thus, no longer a good prebiotic fiber source. In fact, the riper the banana becomes the higher the glycemic (blood sugar) response.

It can be difficult to find bananas that are very green. I made several trips to my local grocery store to find these bowel flora champions. I find it helpful to ask the produce clerk to take a look at the shipment that just arrived, noting the day the shipment arrives, for the best chance to gobble up these green beauties.

In an effort to keep green bananas green I tried a few strategies. One that sounded promising was wrapping the end of the banana to prevent the ethylene gas, which ripens the fruit, from dissipating. You can see from the image this clearly did not work. After a mere two days the green bananas were no longer green. What I found works best is placing the green bananas in the fridge. This halts the ripening process. The skin of the banana will turn brown, which is normal, but the fruit inside is still good. I’ve kept bananas in my fridge for up to 8 days and they hold up well other than the brownish black discoloring that develops on the skin. The banana will be firm and require a knife to cut the skin off the banana.

If you’d like to learn more about prebiotics and strategies to support resolution of common gastrointestinal complaints read the recently release Cureality Guide to Healthy Bowel Flora by Dr. Davis. This guide is one of the many valuable resources available exclusively to Cureality.com members.
---Lisa Grudzielanek, MS, RDN,CD,CDE
Cureality Nutrition Specialist

Something is Better Than Nothing



This past weekend I attended a fitness conference with an amazing lineup of presenters. Even after 11 years in the fitness industry, I love attending these events. I’m a lifetime student always learning more and honing my craft.

I went to a presentation by Al Vermeil about joint mobility, not knowing anything about him. To my surprise, Al was the strength and conditioning coach for the Chicago Bulls and the San Francisco 49ers the years these teams won championships in their respective sports. That’s a pretty impressive resume.

Al was a great presenter, full of fun and practical advice. During his presentation, Al said the following statement:

“Every time you miss a workout, the next one is easier to miss.”

This statement really hit home because I’ve seen this time and time again working in the fitness industry and in my own life. One workout is missed, then an entire week of workouts are missed, then it’s been an entire month of never setting foot back into the gym.

It’s easy to get thrown off your workout routine when life gets busy and days get long. So what do you do? Do you just trash your workout plan?

The all or nothing attitude is common when it comes to making health changes. Either you’re following your plan 100% or you not. I’m here to tell you that doing something is better than nothing. Doing part of your workout or a mini workout is better than missing an entire workout.

The other day I had the choice to do something or nothing. I had a full day of work meetings, video, and family commitments. Here is what happened. I did shorter variation of my joint mobility routine. I followed that with a quick kettlebell circuit of 25 kettlebell swings, 12 kettlebell overhead presses, and 12 kettlebell goblet squats. I did three rounds of this circuit. That’s it! The following day, I got back to my regular exercise routine.

Be consistent with movement and you’ll always see improvements. That’s the magic of exercise. You'll get better if you just do it.

What’s the Problem with My “Healthy” Bowl of Oatmeal?



Food manufacturers have clever ways to market foods to us. Unfortunately, many foods that have a reputation for being healthy are no more than junk food disguised as a healthy food choice. I commonly see people under the influence of a “health halo” effect. This is due to strategic marketing efforts. People overestimate the nutritional value of a food that is labeled “good for you” or they underestimate the negative impact of a food because it contains a healthful ingredient, like flaxseed or fiber. In fact, a recent study from the University of Houston found that terms on food labels such as antioxidants, all-natural, and gluten-free often are used to give an otherwise standard food a "healthy" halo, and influence consumption from the well- intended consumer.

Case in point-- oatmeal. We’ve all heard about the cholesterol lower benefits from soluble fiber contained in oatmeal. It’s blasted all over packages with a paid endorsement from The American Heart Association. However, that’s not the whole story. Most people enjoy a cup of oatmeal with one to two tablespoons of added sugar and fruit such as a ripe, yellow banana. In other words, let’s enjoy a bowl of “send my blood sugar through the roof” high glycemic oatmeal. The glycemic index of oatmeal is 55, and instant oatmeal is 83. Top that with more table sugar, glycemic index 58-65 and better yet top that with a high glycemic, ripe banana with a GI of 62.

Preparing one packet of regular instant oatmeal with one tablespoon of sugar and a medium ripe banana five days per week would result in the sugar equivalent of more than 5 1/2 cups of sugar per month!

Furthermore, the story many Americans are missing is all of that sugar intake, from their so-called “healthy” bowl of oatmeal, actually raises small-dense LDL cholesterol particles, increases blood sugar and contributes to insulin resistance, faulty gut flora, and belly fat.

How do we improve upon our bowl of oatmeal? Enjoy a bowl of hot coconut flaxseed cereal, eggs any variety of ways, or last night’s leftover salmon and vegetables.

The Cureality program provides tools, guidance, and support that does not follow the party line but rather offers nutrition solutions that address the underlying causes for proliferation of many chronic diseases.

Power in Numbers



In his book, The Wisdom of Crowds, author James Surowiecki begins with the story of an ox judging competition in which 800 people—not ox experts nor breeders, just ordinary people attending a county fair—were asked to guess the weight of the ox. The competition was conducted by a scientist, Francis Galton, who held a low opinion of the intelligence of the average person, remarking that “the stupidity and wrong-headedness of many men and women being so great as to be scarcely credible.” He hoped to prove, by examining the various guesses, that the average person had no idea of how to judge the real answer. After all participants casted their written votes, Galton tallied up the total and averaged the result: 1,197 pounds—just one pound off from the real weight of 1,198 pounds. Few individuals actually guessed the correct weight themselves but, when the opinions of many were combined, the result was near-perfect.

Crowds can also be a source of irrational behavior, panic, and stampede. Witness any modern football or soccer game, for instance, in which fights break out over an issue as minor as a disputed call or a heckle. Or go back through history to the countless events when mass hysteria ruled, such as the Salem Witch Trials or Orson Welles’ War of the Worlds radio broadcast.

Let’s put aside examples of mass emotional chaos of the sort that causes crowds to stampede store doors on Black Friday. Let’s focus instead on conscious, considered, thoughtful opinions. We all accept that there are as many opinions on issues as there are people, not uncommonly with widely divergent views. But can we, as Galton’s famous experiment did, combine the opinions of many and come away with some fruitful insight—the correct answer? Just as the people participating in Galton’s experiment were not experts, so Cureality participants—a crowd-sourced collection of opinions—are not experts. If we were to poll everyone to identify their area of expertise or experience, it would likely include finance, the retail industry, raising children, or teaching—but not health. Yes, we have experts curating the direction of content, but we also crowd-source collective opinion.

Right now, Cureality is based on existing science, the philosophy of self-directed health, combined with guidance and community to help the participant along in the sometimes complex world of health questions. But as our processes and procedures improve, can we—like Galton’s ox weight guessers—come away with coalescent wisdom, answers to our health questions, near-perfect solutions to health conditions that have eluded the “experts” for centuries?

I think that we can. No, I know that we can. We enter a new age in information and harness the power of the crowd-sourcing of solutions, even when no single individual has the complete answer herself.

Use This Trick to Boost Exercise Motivation



Are you been struggling to get your workouts in? 

Do you belong to a gym and find that you're not going?

Do you have exercise equipment sitting in your basement collecting dust because you find that you just can’t get yourself down there?

If you answered, “yes” to any of these questions you are not alone. Many people struggle with finding the motivation to exercise.

The problem here is that you have head trash going on. Head trash is that voice inside your head coming up with a million excuses that inhibit you from carving out a bit of time to take care of yourself.

Head trash will tell you that you’re too tired, even though a workout would give you a boost of energy.

Head trash will tell you that you’re too busy, even though you just spent a half hour on Facebook.

Head trash is barking at you to take care of others, even thought you know your health is important for you well being.

Head trash is a real conflict that can get in the way of our health and fitness goals. We start an exercise program with the intentions of a long-term commitment. But after the initial excitement wears off, we find our workouts occurring less frequently. Head trash begins to take over and soon we find ourselves not exercising at all.

Here is my secret for winning the battle over the head trash that keeps getting in way of your workouts. Tell yourself that you are only going to exercise for 10 minutes and evaluate if you want to continue. If you're truly too tired you can stop after 10 minutes. If you're truly too busy you can stop and move onto a task that needs your attention.

Making this deal with your mind that you are only going to exercise for 10 minutes seems reasonable. The head trash will become quite because your mind is convinced it has an out within 10 minutes.

I've used this 10-minute trick myself. I grind through the first few minutes, but then the magic happens. Once you hit the 10-minute mark your body takes over. Exercise feels amazing and your body is energized and enjoying the movement. You have tricked your mind to get over the hurdle of starting and now you’re in the exercise groove.

Try the 10-minute trick next time your head trash is getting in the way of your workout. You'll be amazed how your workout consistency improves.

Are Your Cosmetics Safe?



If you are reading The Cureality blog chances are you care about your health. You care about what you eat. You want to remain healthy, free of disease, feel good and possibly even want to look and feel as vibrant as you were when you were 20. Many of us think of food all day long. Many of us love to eat. We plant gardens so we know our food is free of pesticides and other toxic chemicals. Food can be a cause of disease and it can minimize our chances of disease. We try and take care of our insides but did you ever wonder what in the world you apply to your skin on a daily basis? What do these products contain and are they safe? Why are there more endocrine disorders popping up. Could it be that some of things we apply to our skin every single day may be harmful to our insides?

A portion of the skin health section of Cureality will take a look at skincare products and cosmetics. Are the products we apply to our skin gluten-free, paraben-free and free of other harsh chemicals that can cause skin irritations and possible other unwanted diseases. I came across Mirabella cosmetics and I wanted to learn more about this particular product line so I tracked down John Maly, founder and CEO of Mirabella Cosmetics. Mr. Maly was gracious enough to take time out and answer my questions.This is what Mr. Maly has to say about Mirabella:

DD: Tell us about some key features about Mirabella, gluten-free cosmetics. What made you get started in a gluten-free line?

JM: We didn't start as gluten-free. Over time we have continued to make our line more beautiful AND more healthy for women. First we began with a mineral foundation. Then as we introduced new products, we made sure they were as clean and healthy, while still being fashion forward. We saw the benefits to our clients to take out those ingredients that didn't help them look and feel their best such as glutens, parabens and talcs.

DD: Some cosmetic companies carry partially gluten-free cosmetics. Are all of Mirabella products gluten-free, paraben-free and talc-free?

JM: Everything is paraben-free and talc free. And our brand is all gluten-free except our Skin Tint Creme foundation. That is a product that women love and we just cannot make the formula without a wheat protein to perform as well...yet! We will continue to work on it!

DD: Are there other ingredients in cosmetics that women should be cautious of using if they have skin sensitivities or allergies?

JM: Some women are sensitive to fragrance as well.This is another thing that we avoid with our brand. The biggest ingredients that women find that helps with their skin health is mineral products. They are natural and very breathable on a woman's skin.

DD: I think your velvet lip pencils are by far the most extraordinary lip pencil on the market. What are some of your other standout products your customers love?

JM: Pure Press Mineral Foundation is still our #1product. But the fastest growing product is Magic Marker Eyeliner. It is easy to use, doesn't smudge and lasts all day.

DD: Anything new on the horizon for Mirabella that you can share with us?

JM: In August we launch CC crème. This product has all the good for you ingredients to help with Anti-Aging like avocado oil, argan oil and Acai (Assai) berry. Plus it is a mineral formula, gluten-free, and paraben-free. And it has an SPF of 20. One of the biggest issues that women have with aging is lips. That is why we put Litchi Chinesis Fruit Extract in our Colour Vinyl lipstick. Then in your favorite Velvet Lip Pencil, we put Pomegranate Extract, Vitamin C and E in to assist with in Anti-Aging.

DD: Is Mirabella only sold in the US or do you have international distribution as well.

JM: We are sold in Canada, Australia, Finland and Russia.

DD: Where can we purchase your cosmetics?

JM: Our products are available at www.mirabellabeauty.com and at over 1,500 of the finest salons and spas. Go to our salon locator to find a retailer near you.

Top 5 Tips to Get Ready for Tough Mudder


When it comes to mud runs, Tough Mudder is a big deal.  This event covers ten to twelve miles of muddy running interspersed with challenging obstacles.  Using the word “challenging” when describing the obstacles along the course is an understatement.  Obstacles include getting an electrical shock, running through ice-cold water, jumping over fire, climbing over walls, and things you’ve seen when watching American Ninja Warrior.  Plus these obstacles are all done on a rugged, muddy terrain.  So, maybe the word dirty-insane-challenging would be a better fit to describe the Tough Mudder.

Don’t let this description lead you to think that this is an impossible feat.   The Tough Mudder website states that 1.3 million people have completed this event since it’s inauguration.  If Tough Mudder is on your bucket list, know that if they can do it so can you.  Here are 5 tips to get you ready to tackle the Tough Mudder.

1) Train: This tip seems obvious, but it’s not.  Many people are standing at the start line hoping for the best.  This strategy puts you at high risk for injury and not completing the event.  You need to train anywhere from 8 to 12 weeks for the Tough Mudder.  Use this guideline if you have a regular workout routine established.  If you’re new to exercise or have been on a workout hiatus you may need 4 to 6 months to get ready.  Carve out time in your schedule to train 3 to 5 days a week to prepare for this event.  If you need some guidance, join a training program to provide a road map to Tough Mudder success.

2) Run:  Tough Mudder is like a half-marathon on steroids.  Running is critical component when you find that you’re traveling up to a mile between obstacles.  Incorporate running intervals, hills, and fartleks into your training program.  Start your training off with a new pair of running or minimalist shoes so that by the time your Tough Mudder comes around your shoes are ready to get trashed.

3) Simulate Obstacles:  To feel confident at the start line of Tough Mudder, you need to practice skills that can help you with the obstacles.  This will reduce your risk of obtaining any injuries during the event.  Utilizing stairs, fences, playgrounds, rock climbing walls, football fields, lakes, and beaches are great places to start when looking to simulate obstacles.  Check out the Tough Mudder website to see a list obstacles.  Use your imagination to find ways to incorporate obstacle training in your workouts.   

4) Simulate Terrain: Running covered in mud with wet shoes is much different from running on the treadmill.  Running in the grass, on the sand and through the water is much different from running on asphalt.  Get ready to be a little uncomfortable.  Your shoes will begin to slide around on your feet and your clothes will cling to your body.  Get ready to work a little harder.  Your stride will be affected by the changes in terrain.  Practice running on the grass, in the water, and in the sand.  Make sure you get wet and run with soaked shoes and clothes. You’ll realize what shoes and clothes to wear on race day to be the most comfortable and effective.

5) Team: Teamwork is what Tough Mudder is about.  Teamwork is what keeps drawing people back to the Tough Mudder venue.  From the start to the finish, it’s about getting everyone across the finish line.  If you’re struggling to get over a wall, a hand is there to help pull you up.  When fatigue is setting in, another person is there to bring up your spirits.  You’re not alone out there.  At other races you find you’re left in the dust.  At Tough Mudder you are overcoming challenges with your muddy buddies. Get together with friends or a training group to form a team bond that will keep you accountable with your training and support you to the finish line.

Want personalized training???  Schedule a virtual appointment with Amber.