Over the last few weeks, I have been doing something that I never thought I would do with any kind of regularity…
Just Prior to My Run
While I have done distance running in the past, the last time I actually remember doing it is around 1998 when I was still playing baseball at Mansfield University.
And really, I am not sure all those “counted” because for many of them, the Seniors on the team would lead our group of pitchers out behind a patch of evergreen trees and have wrestling matches with us underclassmen.
I still remember challenging the biggest pitcher on the team to a “match,” thinking it was all going to be fake, but before I knew it, he picked me up, slammed me to the ground and put me in a cradle, along the lines pulling both traps and rhomboid muscles in my upper back so bad I could barely throw…
Anyway, you might be wondering why I would go from no running for over a decade to running consistently multiple times a week for the last couple of months…
The reason is because in July I am signed up for something called a Warrior Challenge.
This Warrior Challenge consists of 4 individual events. I am not sure of the exact order, but I know that there is the following:
- a Mile Run on the Beach with a 40-pound Ruck Pack
- as many burpees as possible in 2 minutes
- as many Pull-ups as possible
- There is also supposed to be a mystery challenge that could be anything…
So, when I found out about this in March, I stepped on a scale and I was 279-lbs. With a 40-lb Pack, I’d be tipping near 320-lbs and I just didn’t think there was any way possible my back, knees, and ankles would be able to handle it, so I decided I needed to start running and clean up my diet in order to get into condition for this challenge and lose some unneeded excess weight.
Now, since I live in Pennsylvania, there are no mile-long beaches to train on. There are a few spots I know of where there is sand near lakes or creeks, but nowhere near long enough to get me ready for a mile run.
Plus, I was DREADING having to jog on the road. Just thinking about it made my knees hurt.
So, I developed another work-around that is allowing me to get as ready as possible for the Warrior Challenge – Field Running.
Behind my house there is a giant field. It is just grass as far as you can see, but there are also hills and of course the occasional woodchuck hole.
I thought about it, and that terrain seemed to be to be the perfect location for me to get my running work in. Not only does it have rolls, slopes, and inclines in it just like a beach could have, I thought it would be perfect for my back, knees, and ankles, because I would be running on the grass, which would reduce some of the shock and jarring of running.
In April, I started out with bouts of jogging with walking intervals mixed in. When I first started, I could only make it 3 minutes before I was out of breath, thinking I was going to collapse. But I have progressed, much quicker than I anticipated by the way, to longer jogs and fewer breaks for walking.
In addition, in May I started adding chains to my body in order to start mimicking the wearing of the pack. I started out with about 25-lbs of chain. Then, last night, I bumped it up to 49.4-lbs of chain.
This is how awesome your body is and how well you can progress if you stay consistent…
When I started, 3 minutes of jogging nearly killed me, and then I had to mix in a 1 minute walk after every 1 minute of jogging. Last night, with nearly 50-lbs in chain on shoulders, I was able to jog for 5 minutes, then walk for 1 minute, then go 4 minutes jogging, with a 1 minute walk, 4 minutes jogging, 1 minute walking, and then finished with a 4 minute jog.
Is it easy? Hell no. Do I love it? No way. But am I happy I am doing it? Absolutely.
I am 100% confident that I will be able to complete the Warrior Challenge in July and I am enjoying seeing the improvement in both my conditioning and the distance I am covering each time I go out.
Now, taking on the extra cardio ONLY would be absolutely insane. Along with this, I have also completely re-done my diet and I am eating cleaner than I ever have before. The improved eating, which I cover here in another recent post, has also seemed to allow me to train more often than I have in years. most weeks I am getting 4 solid sessions and sometimes 5, whereas for the last year or so I was only getting 3 good sessions in.
What’s my weight now? Well, my coach has asked me not to weigh myself the rest of May, and instead look at inches, so I have taken them along with some “Before” shots, and will compare the information once June hits.
The good news is that with all of this weight loss, I have noticed ZERO loss in strength, which was one of my worries. The other major worry was losing a bunch of muscle, which is what happened when I trimmed down in 2008 when I turned 30, but I think I am doing a much better job with my eating and training this time and less of that is going to take place.
If you are in the same boat I am and know that you want to attain some fat loss, whether because you have some kind of challenge coming up, because Summer is coming and you don’t want to be the Fat Guy/Gal, or if you just want to feel better, then stay tuned DIESELS!
All the best in your training.
P.S. My Strength Training Workouts are very similar to what Smitty covers in AMD. If you are looking for a program to help you put on muscle and take off fat, this is one you should check out: Accelerated Muscular Development: