On March 6, I will be making like a bread truck and hauling buns in the second Mudman.
The problem with training for the Mudman is the multi-discipline nature of the event. It’s not like, “Oh ok, let me go for a jog, and see if I collapse from a heart attack… if not, I’m good to go!”
Oh no, dear minions… there’s no shortcut here. If you don’t put in the time, you don’t get there results. You have to apply yourself over a period of time to each discipline. Herewith, the training diary:
Thursday, 24 Feb:
A little late to start training, I know. But none the less, an evening gym session. Began with the bike. Taking my cue from Lance Armstrong, my plan was to ride a low gear and keep a very high cadance. That means, basically, blicksem it as fast as you can. Managed 15 minutes at 100 revolutions per minute. Frik… it hurt. 150 calories in 15 minutes. But then the fun began… because then it’s the treadmill. The next 10 minutes would have looked hilarious on film, as I can only imagine what I must have looked like to passers by: something similar to the running motion of a penguin with a pineapple shoved up its rear end. 12 minutes, 2.2 kilometres.
Friday, 25 Feb:
Slept like the dead last night. The endorphines were still flowing this morning, and I started the day feeling superior. Took to researching about calories, weight loss and gaining a six-pack that will make me even more irresistible to my wife. (Fitness is as much about how much baggage you carry as it is about how fast you can blitz a time trial.) So it all looked doable at 8.06am – only select, fresh, healthy food was on the cards.
By 10.37am, I was starving. Then lunch-time rolled around, and on this particular day it was a company affair, with catering consisting of pies, mini hamburgers and chips.
Bleak. I had two carrots as well.
To redeem myself… hill reps. It works like this: sprint up a long hill (around 100-200 metres), jog back down the hill. Repeat three times.
Experts maintain this is good for strength, cardio and burning fat fast. From my experience, I would add it’s also good for sadistic-type personalities and exorcising demons.
Saturday, 26 Feb:
Lactic acid build up. That means stiffness… and I feel now like I am literally walking like a penguin. No one has said anything, but I wonder whether they’re just being polite. Those hill reps were probably a bit premature. I am stiff in the weirdest places… but we won’t go there.
Rather than wallow in the mire, I decide to push (run?) through the pain barrier, and so set off on a five-kilometre afternoon session. With the sun blazing down in typical February KZN heat, I was not quite 100 metres down the road when I began to wonder whether this was such a good idea. 4.75km… 26 minutes of sheer sweaty throbbing.
Sunday, 27 Feb:
Rest day. Ate pasta. Went to church. Prayed.
Monday, 28 Feb:
Strong in the faith that my prayers would be answered, I resolved that every last achievement from my previous visit to the gym had to be bettered. The plan was to get there in the evening… but phonecalls, work and general life got in the way, so resorted to push ups.
Tuesday, 1 March:
Sore chest. Other commitments during the day and the evening, but planned on getting to gym at lunch for a swim. But by 9pm, I was asking, “Erm… where did this day go again?”
Wednesday, 2 March:
Put aside everything else and after dropping off a CD with popular local DJ Steady Eddie, I found my way to gym. Cycle to begin with. Blasted 15 minutes on the bike. Ok, maybe “blasted” is a generous description. It’s all relative. In comparison to a crippled tortoise, I blasted it. But still thinking, “there’s every chance that I will still come last in the race”.
Perseverence, they say, is the key… so I followed the bike ride with 3 kilometres on the treadmill at a pace of 5:10/km, rounded off by 500-metre swim (completed in 9:30).
Bought wife a McFlurry on the way home, as per her request. Resisted getting myself one. I am so righteous.
Thursday, 3 March:
Another evening session. Same workout as last night, in the hope it would get easier. Man, was I wrong! By the end of the run, I was seeing bright lights and everything seemed other-worldly. I thought exercise was supposed to be good for you? All this seems to be doing is killing me slowly and not-so-softly.
*Sigh!* Perseverance, they tell me. Training is a slow, sanctifying work that somehow, in the end, produces the results. But it all takes an agonising amount of time. Roll on race day…