I had a great time at my third participation with the Crossfit popularized workout called, “Murph”. I did mine at Wildcat crossfit. I also had gone to www.memorialdaymurph.com and ordered the T-shirt. Go on. You can be jealous.
Run 1 mile,
run 1 mile.
If you have a 20 lb weight vest, wear it. You may partition the exercises as you like, but you should start and end with the run.
The workout is in honor of a Navy SEAL who heroically exposed himself to enemy fire to call in air support for his team. They used to do this same workout to prepare for deployments and called it “Body Armor” because they wore their 20lbs of gear doing it.
I had a bit of a rocky warmup but ended up spending extra time with the foam roller getting the legs and shoulders ready. Once we got going, I was unsurprised that I was nearly dead last at the end of the first run. However, as I rolled into the bay doors and looked at the clock I swear I saw something like 7:40. I ran a mile that fast?!? Sweet. I partitioned the exercises into 20 sets. Five kipped pullups, 10 pushups and 15 squats, repeat, repeat, repeat, repeat…. The pushups were a time sink for me. You know how I’ll fix that? More pushups. That last mile is a killer. After all those squats my legs were pretty rocked. But I managed to not stop and walk for any of either run.
This was making me feel good for a few reasons. Last year, I rocked a 59 minute 50 something time. And most of that was because trainer Erin paced me for the second half. I mean, she didn’t just count out reps and set me a good pace, but she did the squats and the first half of the last run with me. She bowed out of the last part of the run saying it was a sort of religious experience. She was right.
This year, I didn’t have so much of the religious experience, I was just trying to tie or beat my old time, but without someone pacing me. Also, I hadn’t been very good at getting to the gym and, of course, my best execuse is …. I’m a year older! So, I was happy that I made it under time and under my own steam. The best part was that it wasn’t such a grind as the first time. I felt kind of optimistic throughout. Also, I recovered a *lot* faster.
One thing that was the same as last year was thinking about the meaning behind the workout. I had read more of Lieutenant Michael Murphy’s story and was, if anything, even more amazed by him that what I knew last year. Either way, thinking about the heroism and tragedy in the story helps you through the workout. I think of it as forging mental toughness.
If you’re interested in scaling such a workout – and I recommend doing it – I would start with 1/4 or 1/2. Just divide the distance and reps into the appropriate fraction. I would also consider setting a time limit of an hour. If it’s taking you 50 minutes to do the first half, just stop and go for a final jog and reward yourself with a lot of stretching and a hot shower. You’ll need it.