So I’ve decided to enter the Tough Mudder race in Bear Valley this October. It’s a 7 mile race at high altitude (I think Bear’s base elevation is around 5500-6000ft, could be wrong) with 19 different obstacles. Shit like running through mud, swimming through tunnels, crawling through long tunnels made of tires or corrugated drain pipe, carrying big chunks of wood up hill and so on.
I haven’t done shit for cardio in the last several years that will prepare me for this. I’m a naturally good runner and have (when running frequently) run a sub-5 minute mile, completed 3 miles in less than 16 minutes, ran the Bay to Breakers in SF (7.4mi) in under 50 min(drunk as shit, mind you), and even ran 17mi around a track after accepting a challenge to run a marathon with no time to prepare for it. So I have the potential to become a really good distance runner again.
My question is: what sort of cardio do you guys recommend that will return me to this sort of shape without sacrificing a lot of size and strength? I’m about 190 right now but when I was running a lot I was about 170-175lbs. I plan on doing farmer’s walks, sprints while chained to a tire and rope climbing, along with some longer distance running with bricks in my hands. But I want to be able to at least maintain my strength, if not continue to gain it.
Do you guys feel that things like Tabatas, high-rep strip sets and things of that nature will have a carryover effect regarding running performance, provided I am also running some long distances on occasion (5-10 miles a week)? Or am I better off just biting the bullet and running myself into the ground until the race and dropping weightlifting as a major component to my workouts for a while?