I took some time this weekend to start researching and thinking about training for Tough Mudder. Turns out that reading and thinking is probably the easiest part of the whole endeavour!

This is what I’ve got so far:

  • 5 “sprints” of 5 weeks each, with a reward at the end of each
  • A sprint consists of a set of activities that I must complete (but I’m allowed to catch up if I miss a day) ala Jerry Seinfeld’s chain method
  • Each sprint is planned “just in time” (so I can tailor it accordingly — also so I don’t go “organising” mad and not actually do anything)

So my first Sprint starts next Sunday, giving me this week as a kind of preparatory pre-sprint — to make sure I’ve got laces for my shoes, that my gym membership is tranferable to Sydney, that I’ve gotten back into the MFP food-recording habit, and that I can get up at 5:30am every morning without wanting to kill myself. 25 weeks really isn’t that long, I’m telling myself, and I at least need to be able to run a half-marathon by October — let alone run a half marathon while covered in mud, being electrocuted and/or on fire.

My approach is n-fold and multifaceted. I’m starting with a ten-week (2 sprint) C210K programme, which means 3 runs a week using the Android app RunDouble. After the first week I’ll be adding the “perfect posterior” exercises from Four Hour Body before each run — they’re only 5 to 7 minutes, 3 times a week, as Ferriss is all about the “minimum effective dose” (MED) for results. Apart from that I’ve committed to getting 10,000 steps with Fitbit (gamification is fun!), and I’m going to give Damien’s “greasing the groove” trick a go as well. Food-wise, we’re getting back to Clean & Lean cooking (it will be good to break out the super-blender again), recording everything with MyFitnessPal (required for the Fitbit integration) and I’ve finally ordered the PAGG stack (4HB) — will try adding other supplements in later sprints.

The other aspect is embracing my inner (and outer) geek: I’ve been reading about marathon training tips, joined the “beginner triathlete” forum, browsed a body-building community page on Facebook, mapped out the nearest martial arts places and public exercise stations, and started taking notes on Wikipedia pages.

Seriously, let me know if you have any advice: motivation, technique, training tips. I think I stuck to my training regime solidly for a whole month last time, then waned in month 2 and completely lost it by month 3. This time I’ll be “tapering” in the latter half of Sprint #5, which seems to be the way marathon runners do it, but by then I want to be comfortably running at least 18km I reckon.

I’ve drawn up a calendar and an accompanying instruction page (both in Word docx), printed it out and will stick it up in somewhere prominent to act as a visual cue. I’m telling you so you can keep me accountable. 🙂