Mud Run Recap and Autism Race Announcement

all muddy

Never looked better...

Last Friday evening I ran in my first race of the year. It was way more fun than I even expected.

I had been training using a program I’ll talk about in a second, but I knew going in I wouldn’t be running the whole time simply because of terrain. It was a 5K cross-country course, and I didn’t know how much country we’d be crossing!

The race recap

It started in a grassy path than shortly took us through a creek and then onto a highway bridge crossing the James River. At the other side of the bridge, we were taken down the hill to the river itself where we went probably 200m over boulders and whatnot. That was probably my favorite part. I’ve always loved climbing and jumping around rocks.

From there we ran through a forest island for what seemed like a mile by itself which ended in the river. As in the barrier went into the river, and we had to wade a bit to get around it and back up the bank on the other side of the barrier. I thought that was the “mud” portion of the mud run, but I’d later find out I was mistaken.

Since we were still on the other side of the river, we had to run back across over a hanging suspension foot bridge. That was a weird experience because with hundreds of people on it at any given time, it swayed like crazy. It was like watching 200 drunk people trying to jog across the river. After the bridge it was a 1/2 mile sprint to the finish line. Before crossing the finish line, though, we had to crawl under a net and alligator it to the other side. I have never been so coated in mud in my life. It was a blast! I can’t wait for next year.

Because of the bottlenecks, my time wasn’t great. I think if it had been a road race, I’d have beaten my 45 min goal. My time for this race was 55:39. I came in 211 out of 218 in my age group, and 1600-something out of over 1800 participants. Not great, but at least now I have a benchmark!

The only problem I have at the moment is that my knee feels kinda worn. It doesn’t really hurt, but it feels tight. If I squat down, that’s when it hurts a fair bit. As a result, I didn’t do my strength workout this morning in hopes that it feels better in the evening to do them when I get home. I also didn’t do any damage control squats on my cheat day (I did hit up wall presses though; something is better than nothing). If I can’t do lunges, I’ll find a different leg exercise to do instead that will take some pressure off my knee.

The training plan

I’m not a runner, but as I’ve said, I’d like to be. I found a popular training plan called Couch to 5K, created by the guys at Cool Running. I am not able to complete them all in the number of weeks they have, but I’m using it as a guide.

It’s basically an incremental running schedule that builds up your endurance over time. It’s probably easier for people who are already thin, but that didn’t mean I needed to ignore it being fat. I made it OK through week 3, but that 3rd week is significantly harder than the first two for me. I’m going to repeat week three until I think it’s easy enough to do before moving on to week four (which has solid 5 minute jogs. If 3 minutes is hard, 5 will be impossible).

If you were able to go straight through, it would take 9 weeks to go from being a couch potato to running a full 5K.

The next event

I’ve already scheduled my next event! It’s going to be a 5K run/walk for Autism, and it takes place on May 28th. We found out (officially, anyway) last year that my nephew has Asperger Syndrome, so autism is close to our family’s heart. I even got my sister excited about it (she’s one of my reasons to want to develop a healthy lifestyle), so my wife and I have signed up. I’ll continue the 5K training as usual, so I’m still looking for a solid 45 mins at the Autism event unless my family walks together.

If you’d like to sponsor us, here’s a link for that! Let me extend my preemptive thanks to anyone who decides to donate to the cause.

If you’re in the Richmond area, why not consider joining our team and running with us?

Do you have any upcoming races? Tell us about them in the comments! I’d even love to hear ways I can help my knee out. ๐Ÿ˜‰


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  1. Nice!

    Rest your knee. I got years of experience of knee injuries from football and other sports. Also stretch your quads and hips, this is the main culprit for knee injuries. and I do it on the couch or use the p90x version of the stretch. Email me if you want more info.

    Not a fan of that couch to 5k plan. HIIT/tabata and deadlifts/plyos/sprints will get you running 5K like it was a Sunday stroll.

    • Thanks for the links, Justin. I’m reading the running section of 4HB and taking notes, so I will be on the right track (wow…seriously, not intended, but good. ๐Ÿ˜‰ ) soon. I did a couple full squats earlier, and I can tell it’s feeling better. I’ll work on my core and upper body meanwhile. ๐Ÿ˜‰

      Why aren’t you a fan of the C25K plan? Like, what about it don’t you like?


      • Training to run by running doesn’t work well because it is very hard on your body and requires a lot of time for recovery.
        Also it doesn’t help you get any (maybe a little) stronger so your stride will not get any bigger.
        Low/moderate training doesn’t help your cardio (VO2 max, anaerobic capacity) as much or as fast as HIIT/Tabata
        Running is not very MED. All the recent stuff I have read (4HB included) say that distance runners train by running only a fraction of the distance that they actually run in a race. Like 400M sprints which are in the book.

        So for you on your running days see if you can do 20 seconds sprint (or partial sprint) then 10 seconds rest (slow walk) for 8 mins. If you can’t sprint full out no problem build up to it, if you can’t do 8 mins no problem build up to that too. If you need longer breaks for your heart rate to come down, that is ok too.
        If running is too hard on your body the bike/elliptical is good too.

        I’ll make an athlete out of you eventually ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Congrats for the run man! And keep posting pictures! Too bad you don’t have someone mid-run… ๐Ÿ˜‰

    For the plan: My first reaction was “WTF? You adapted the plan already?” Then I read on and I have to say you did the right thing. Don’t stress your joints by trying to achieve too much at once. You should try to push your limits every workout, but if you hit a wall, you don’t need to break through head first.

    If you really want to get into running, my advice would still be: stick with 5k. Then add more interval training to boost your fitness. Just my 2ct, as a declared anti-endurance guy. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • Well I can’t physically do the full week 3 yet, so that’s why I modified it. ๐Ÿ˜‰ But my knee is probably going to keep me on it for now. For the longer races, I definitely want to do some things I’ve read about in 4HB and strengthen my legs to be able to carry me, as opposed to just get used to running for a long time.


  3. Jason, I’d like to say congratulations to you, for a good job done. I know that to join in a race is not so easy I can really picture out the moments based on what you’ve said, a very tired and very challenging race indeed but still you continue and finish the race, the pain in your knee is really not the hindrance to quit the race but its your strength to make it to the finish line. So how was your knee then?……the trainings you have right now really helps you a lot for the preparation of the upcoming race…so good luck and may the lord god bless you always..

    • Thank you for that uplifting comment. My knee felt much better about 4 days later, and I even took a jog and haven’t had a problem. I think it was just the ever-changing course conditions and the high impact exercise that sent a joint that already carries too much weight over the edge. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Now if I can just get this tennis elbow (I don’t even play tennis!!) under control, I’ll be right as rain!


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