Do you know what it's like to run a 200-mile relay race with 11 other buddies? It's exhausting. It's brutal. It's challenging! But, more importantly, it's incredibly fun. Read how I trained for this event.

I found myself in a really bad couch-potato rut, which isn't like me at all. Especially as a former U.S. Marine with 8 years of service and constant PT ("physical training" for you non-military folks). The motivation to get up and run seemed like a distant spark.

Run Training

I recently got caught up learning and understanding the mission of my new position in Tampa, Florida. Little did I know, the impact of that new position meant taking away time from running and staying in great shape. I very often went a week or two without going for a run at all. I was becoming discouraged when I realized that each run was worse than the last because of the lapse in time. All I was doing was repeating the same injury in my feet and knees, week after week.

A year earlier, I had completed an intense and fun Ragnar relay from Miami to Key West with a great group of friends. I thought, ‚Äčthat would be awesome to do another.‚Äč Then, a few days later, I found a meme of a guy running a trail with the caption "The guy running is busier than you are."

I stopped what I was doing, changed into my running shorts, strapped on my shoes, and went out for a run. Here's what I learned during my progression:

My Training Regiment

I'm not stupid to think that I can pick up where I left off. My gung-ho motivated attitude was not going to ruin a perfectly good plan. So I did what any smart runner would do when starting. I started slow. In my first week, I only ran about 3 miles at a ridiculously slow pace of about 10 minutes a mile.

My First Week

1Ran 3-miles. Stretched before and after (especially after the run!).

2Stayed home and did a routine of squats with a 30lb free weight (20 reps / 3 sets), ab and core exercises (crunches, leg raises, 1 minute planks) (30 reps / 3 sets), and some yoga stretches (downward dog, warrior stances, frog's pose, etc.).

3Ran another 3-miles. This run proved to be a little bit of a challenge. Even though it was the same distance, my legs hadn't completely recovered from the first run. In fact my shins and feet were very sore. I ended the run with heel-to-toe raises in addition to some quad and hamstring stretches on the boardwalk.

4Same exact routine as Day 2 with the exception of 25 squats and 3 sets, and 35 ab and core repetitions and 3 sets. All I did was add 5 more to the repetitions.

5Rested and stretched out. My legs were still sore.

6Ran 4-miles and stretched the quads and hamstrings.

7Same Day 2 routine but added 5 more to the repetitions.

Do you see the pattern? Every day I added just a little more. How much more is really dependent on you. You know your body better than anyone else, so listen to it. If you can go another half mile, do it - but run further the next time.

My RouteBayshore Route

I live in beautiful Tampa, Florida. So I chose a route that was both long and scenic. Bayshore Boulevard provided exactly what I needed. The entire length from end-to-end is actually 4.5 miles, but I chose a turn-around point that cuts it down to 3.9 miles (see map). My end goal is to complete the length from points A-B-A for a total of 7.8 miles.

What's my point?

The big point here is to advance up, not down. Every time you run, go just a little further. Every time you lift some weights, add a few more repetitions. And finally, every time you stretch, stretch a little further. Progression is the key.

Try planning your own training regiment and tell me about it. I'm curious to see how other people train for an epic event when you're starting from the couch. In the meantime, here are few more pictures of awesome Bayshore Blvd.


What do you think?

Got anymore reasons why you think you might be a runner? Let us know in the comments below!