Training without purpose is tough and rarely produces results. Setting a specific goal and working toward it acts as an insurance policy to keep you on point. My recommendation? Mix it up this summer and register for a race you’ve never done before. People these days are venturing far beyond the marathons, triathlons, and masters rowing races to endurance contests like Tough Mudder, Spartan Race, and Warrior Dash. These popular events push the mind and body in a competitive yet fun way, combining running and obstacles that test strength and stamina. The names alone are enough to generate interest, but they also cleverly leave you craving details.
As race creator and director of Massachusetts’ Misery Challenge, a four-mile race to Misery Island and back from Manchester-by-the-Sea’s iconic harbor, I know how this goes. I am often told, “Misery Challenge? That sounds horrible.” After filling folks in on the facts—you choose your mode of human-powered transportation, whether swim, kayak, single, or paddle board; you will be greeted with cheers and beers at the finish line—I often can convert a look of despair into a smile and sign-up. In fact, 400 brave souls are expected this July.
So if you’re looking to up your fitness game, I encourage you to put something on the calendar. A 5k or masters race is good, but it may be time to face a little bit of the unknown and get outside your comfort zone. Just get the details, sign up, and start training. To give you a little head start, try this 30-minute speed and intensity conditioning workout and then get after it.
Warm up on the erg or bike for two minutes easy, followed by two minutes at a medium intensity, and one minute hard, and then do 10 to 15 burpees at a slow pace. End with 10-15 jump squats at a slow pace. Stretch and hydrate for two minutes and then go 30 seconds easy, 30 seconds hard at a 24-26 on the ergometer followed by 10-15 burpees and 10-15 jump squats. Rest and recover for two minutes and repeat the entire set two times. Cool down for two to three minutes.
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