I was really not expecting to write this post today – but I’m super pumped that I can!! If you follow my blog or Instagram, you probably know that last Monday (Memorial Day) I decided to do the CrossFit workout “Murph” (1 mile run, 100 pull-ups, 200 push-ups, 300 squats, 1 mile run) for the first time. It took me all of 80 minutes, largely because I had a hard time figuring out how to pace myself. After I finished the workout I made it my goal to do it every Monday for the forseeable future until I could improve my time to under 60 minutes.
I’m happy to say that when I did for the second time last night, not only did I improve my time, but I improved it by 27:53. That’s right, 27 minutes and 53 seconds. I got it done in 52:47!! Honestly that might be the fitness achievement I’m most proud of because it was so incredibly difficult all the way through, and I stuck it out to the end with no regrets. As some of you know, I’m not a huge fan of cardio and endurance work because I get bored so easily, so this workout hit that weakness really hard, for the longest 52 minutes of my life. Let me tell you, I was so glad to collapse on the floor after my last mile run. Best feeling of accomplishment ever.
So what’s the secret for how I improved so much in one week? It’s no secret, really. I just read this fabulous article on How to Not Suck at Murph, implemented his advice, and gave it my all. There are two key things I did differently this time. The first one is that instead of doing the calisthenics straight through, I broke them up into 20 sets of 5 pull-ups, 10 push-ups, and 15 squats. I also didn’t allow myself to rest unless I was nauseous or felt like I would have to take a long break if I didn’t take a brief breather. And yes, for at least the first 20 minutes of the workout I was borderline nauseous. I don’t recommend eating chips and salsa before working out that hard lol, and I don’t recommend working ’til you’re nauseous in general either – I am a rather crazy individual sometimes.
But anyways, it is very tempting to stop and take a break sometimes (even just for a drink of water or to chalk your hands), but if you want to make good time you can’t do that unless you absolutely must.
So if self-discipline and/or endurance are something you need to work on, I can honestly say going through Murph is one of the best ways to improve yourself mentally and physically. But don’t go using the excuse that you “aren’t an athlete” or some such nonsense as to why you can’t do Murph. There are a ton of ways you can modify it to suit your fitness level. Personally, I had to do the push-ups from my knees. Someday I’ll be able to do them all strict and weighted. The point is to do your personal best. Set goals for yourself, but try not to compare yourself to others too much. If you are out of breath and shaky and have no regrets by the end then you killed it and should be pretty darn proud of yourself.
So from here on out I’m planning to do a new benchmark workout every Monday, work on it once a week until I beat my goal time, and then move on to another one. I think that will be a fun way to keep challenging myself.