WOD for Tuesday, Feb 14th presented by Gaspari Nutrition
~By Hobie Call & James Villepigue CSCS

The Best Of Both Worlds

Mid-distance Workout & Progression

A mid-distance workout is designed to link your speed and endurance workouts together. I once trained with only speed and endurance workouts. I figured that if my speed was phenomenal, and I had plenty of endurance, then on race day, I would be able to combine the 2 and perform well. But as it turned out, the body doesn’t work that way.

If you want to run a 5-k obstacle race in 30 minutes, you need to train as close to that pace and intensity as you can in one of your workouts. As a matter of fact, for most race distances, this is your most important workout. Your endurance workout is designed to make sure you have the energy, muscular, and structural reserves to get through this workout. And your speed workout is designed to give you speed and intensity reserves.

My workout goes like this.

-20 to 30 minutes before I start my workout, I take my pre-workout drink to make sure my body is primed, pumped and ready to go once the “fun” begins.

-Then I do my full warm-up. It’s not just a warm-up, but part of the workout. It is designed to make sure all of the muscles and joints that I will be using during the workout are fully warmed up and fully loosened up. (Here is an example of a dynamic warm-up that we’ve touched on before.)

-Then, wearing a 10 lb. weight vest, I run 5X 3:20 intervals with a 40 second rest break between. Then I run 2X 30 second “controlled sprints” with a 15 second rest between them.

-Then wearing a 30 lb. weight vest, I put on some ankle weights, knee pads, grab a 60 lb. barbell, and lunge for 80 meters. Drop the barbell, and lunge 80 more meters.

Take off the weight vest, and lunge another 80 meters, do 15 burpees (where the jump is a standing long jump), lunge 80 meters again, and then 15 more burpees.

-When lunging, I alternate doing butt kickers with high knees to fully engage my hamstrings and hip flexors.

-The lunges and burpees are intended to be fast paced with no rest breaks.

-I then do my cool-down routine.

-And finish by drinking my post-workout drink to help make sure I recover as quickly as possible.

How to begin and progress this workout

A beginners version of this workout might go something like this:

- Start with my warm-up to the point where I pick up the dumbbells. Remember to keep the range of motion comfortable with the squats, lunges, and stretches.

-Do the 5X3:20 intervals with 40 seconds rest between. If you have to walk/jog the intervals, that’s fine. Find a pace that you’re comfortable with.

-Lunge for as far as you think you can with only getting a little sore the next day.

-Perform 10 burpees

I would recommend progressing the workout like this:

-1st Work up to 80 meters lunges, 15 burpees, 80 meters lunges, 15 burpees

-2nd Work into the full warm-up

-3rd Build up to 80 meters lunging with 10 lbs. before your other lunges/burpees

-4th Build up to 80 meters lunging with 20 lbs. before your lunges with 10 lbs.

-5th Add the 2X 30 second sprints to the end of the run.

-6th Begin wearing a weight vest during your running intervals. Start with 4 to 6 lbs., and slowly build up from there. You want to get to where you are wearing as much weight as you can handle while still running your goal race pace. (As you become experienced in racing Obstacle races, you’ll know how to balance how much weight to use with how fast to run).

-7th Meanwhile while you’re working on #6, begin adding weight to your first 2 sets of lunges until your lunging with as much weight as you can handle while still holding a decent pace.

-8th If you stick with this workout long enough, you’ll realize that you can no longer control your pace well enough when running to ensure a positive adaptive response.

This is when you’ll want to begin running on a treadmill where you can slowly increase your speed in a controlled manner. If you really hate treadmills, you could alternate one week on the treadmill the next week outdoors. But ultimately you will be able to progress farther with a treadmill than you otherwise could.

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