I just read this article a couple of days ago and it compelled me to share some thoughts. Why Adding Weight to the Bar Is the Whole Damned Point How was it possible that grown-assed men who have been doing CrossFit for over three years were struggling to squat sets of five reps with a [...]
It has been a couple of months since I finished the Tough Mudder NorCal 2011 event in Squaw Valley, CA near Lake Tahoe. I’ve had some time to think about that day, the obstacles that I faced, and the overall experience. All in all, it went very well. I had a great time and, to be honest, it wasn’t that hard for me. That’s a good thing. That means that my training worked and preparation paid off. That doesn’t mean that it was easy. By no means was it easy! It was definitely a test of your strength, endurance, teamwork, and your willpower to continue despite fatigue, hunger, pain, and extreme discomfort. For example, I don’t think there is any way to really be ready to enjoy the icy cold water of the Chernobyl Jacuzzi and the Underwater Tunnels obstacles, unless you’re a member of the Polar Bear Club and get off on that type of thing. I hate being cold, so I was careful about the gear I chose to wear that day (Read more about my Head-to-Toe Gear here).
So, if you’ve read my Tough Mudder training posts before, you know that I have been wearing the Vibram (VFF) FiveFingers Treksport shoes for my trail running. I still love my VFF and now I actually have 3 different pairs (KSO, Trek, Treksport). I wear VFF every day. But, there has been a nagging issue for my more aggressive uphill trail running: My smaller toes keep sliding out of the VFF toe pockets when I sprint uphill. Don’t tell me that I need a smaller size, because I can’t go any smaller. My big toe is already uncomfortably scrunched a bit. I know that I could go one size even smaller and then use a heat gun to heat and stretch the big toe. But, I already did that with this pair and I think it would probably destroy an even smaller pair. There is only so much you can stretch that toe!
I found this article by Lyle McDonald on Bodyrecomposition.com very interesting: How Many Carbohydrates Do You Need? It’s a question that I have been asking myself a lot, since I have been following the Paleo diet and actively do CrossFit every week. I wish there was an easy answer, but there isn’t. The answer is “It Depends“. It depends on who you are, your activity level, and what you want to accomplish (e.g., weight loss, endurance running, muscle building, etc.).
I’m still ramping up my training for the Tough Mudder event in NorCal this September. I’m wearing my Vibram FiveFingers much more regularly and did another 4 mile trail run in a pair of the KSOs. You may recall that I did buy a pair of the KSO Treks earlier and did a trail run in them as well. The fit was a bit too large. They felt fine for walking around, but my smaller toes kept slipping out of their pockets as I started running harder and climbing. So, I bought a size smaller of the KSOs, which are a bit different (better for water, thinner sole). Now my big toe is a bit cramped. Guess I have weird toes.
To continue preparing for the Tough Mudder event, I am still doing CrossFit during the week. But I’ve also added a trail run each weekend to keep improving my endurance and add a bit more cardio work. I ran again in my Vibram FiveFingers to see how they feel on the rocky trail and what it feels like to keep running in cold, wet feet. It was ok. The FiveFingers certainly just let the water come in and your feet are instantly wet and cold. But I found that my feet warmed up as I kept running, so it was tolerable. My feet obviously still need to toughen up more. I felt all of the sharp stones on the trail (it was a really rocky trail). But, the barefoot running style ensures that you are landing lightly on your forefoot and lifting your feet quickly back off the ground again. So, hitting a rock wasn’t nearly as painful as it would be when you stride out and land harder on your heels.
Ever heard of Tough Mudder? It’s an intense teamwork-focused endurance race designed by the British Special Forces. Maybe I’m crazy, but I just signed up for the Tough Mudder event in NorCal with a team. At least I have 7 more months to prepare for it. But, after looking at the videos and reviewing the course map, I’m not sure how to prepare myself for running through fire and 10,000 volt electrical wires!