With the most important problem — a roof over our heads — now settled, it’s time to start thinking about the future: particularly the Tough Mudder challenge. I need to get training!

It was pretty much fate: I’d been looking for something to get me motivated, and then saw that the next Sydney Mudder was on the 12th and 13th of October. The day before my 35th birthday, then! I immediately signed up, before I had a chance to reconsider. I then proceeded to forget all about it, since it was suitably distant in the future and we had so much other stuff to deal with.

Except it’s not that far away, now is it? Almost May already, and then it’s 5 and a half months. Yeah, that’s not long to prepare for a 20km run, let alone one with the all the devilish obstacles that TMHQ see fit to torment us with … so I better get training! I’ve had an absolutely crap week dietwise, but it means I’m feeling motivated to do better and so I’ve been sitting here watching TV and reading various sites and blogs: body-building, marathon training, mountain-biking … anything to geek-out on.

Last time I wrote up a calendar, crammed as many training sessions in as I could, and tried to stick to it. Even worked, for the first month and a half (lost it completely on month 3, and then it was go-time). So this time I’m thinking about a calendar but also how I can avoid losing focus. Any ideas?

There are two aspects to the challenge, and consequently two (maybe three) areas I need to train on. The first is running, which should be pretty straightforward (but still difficult) — I just need to go running 3 to 5 times a week, building up my distance and stamina. I’ve got the same C25K app that I used last time, as well as a fun little game called “Zombies, Run!”. It’s just a matter a picking the best time: when I’m not too tired, too distracted, too engrossed by the computer, too unmotivated. Dee and I talked about it tonight, and we’ve agreed to put aside 30 minutes a day each to doing something fun and physical. Exercise-alone-time.

The second type of training is for all the obstacles. TMHQ provides a “boot camp” training plan which seems pretty good. In theory, I could do some/all of these combined with a morning run, kind of a half-way. Especially if there is a playground or some open-air gym equipment in one of the many parks near our new place. I think having a good plan written down for that is probably important, so I don’t just try to make it up (and then feel silly, and then just stop doing it).

The last thing I definitely need to do is more stretching. We had a stretching class at Palantir for a while, and it was pretty apparent to the trainer that my knees were out of alignment and lacking the kind of strength I’ll need to actually run for the full 20km. (Last time I ran 5km, tops, before my knees started hurting. I ended up walking most of the course. Not this time!) She gave me some stretches to do, but I’m not going to do them unless I specifically put time aside and it’s on my training plan.

So that’s it. Anyone got any good advice on how to stay motivated, what exercises I should be doing, food for training? As mentioned, there are parks near our new place, and we’ve both got a Palantir gym membership (at Fitness First — still got to make sure we can use the Sydney gyms), as well as our bikes. Food-wise, I think we know what to do (even if it’s hard to do it) with good, natural food and the perfect combination of Fitbit and MyFitnessPal; provided we get decent sleep, and are together to keep each other strong, we won’t fall off the wagon. Fact is, I don’t have TIME to fall off the wagon again. So I guess I’m hoping you can keep me on the straight and narrow!

And after you’re done … this is how a Mudder recovers:

Tough Mudder Boot Camp Trainingâ„  | Tough Mudder