Memorial Day Murph

This Monday on Memorial Day I started my day with Murph.  Last month I did it for my first time and was pleased to complete it in 42 minutes.  This meant a lot to me since my goal was to complete it as prescribed in 45 minutes or less.

This workout is named after Navy Seal Lieutenant Michael Murphy who died in Afghanistan on June 28, 2005.  He was killed while heroically moving into an exposed area so that he could transmit a call into headquarters to get support for his team.  The workout was one of his favorites and he used to call it Body Armor.

The workout is as follows:

  • 1 mile run
  • 100 pull-ups
  • 200 push-ups
  • 300 squats
  • 1 mile run
  • The pull-ups, push-ups and squats can be partitioned any way you want.
  • The entire workout is done while wearing a 20 lb weighted vest or body armor.

I had signed up for the challenge at themurphchallenge.com which is a foundation created by Lt. Michael Murphy’s family.  They raise funds for scholarships and their funding comes from donations and the proceeds from the annual Murph Challenge.

Since I had completed this last month I had some takeaways from that workout that factored into my preparation for Memorial Day:

  • I decided to use the same strategy as last month by running each mile in around 10 minutes and complete the calisthenics in around 20 minutes.  This would leave me 5 minutes of cushion if I needed it in order to finish in under 45 minutes.
  • 1 mile run – Last month my knee started bothering me during the first mile and bothered me throughout the workout.  Due to this I decided to wear a knee brace for the workout.
  • I broke down the calisthenics to 20 rounds of 5 pull-ups, 10 push-ups and 15 squats.  I performed each round every minute on the minute and planned to do this again.

When I woke up Monday morning I was very motivated and ready to go.  I warmed up, got dressed put on my knee brace and headed outside.  I didn’t even hesitate.  I hit start on my watch and started my run.  Right away I noticed I wasn’t having the discomfort in my knee that I had last month.  I also noticed the knee brace wasn’t hindering my stride at all.  It also did not bother my performance in the squats either.

Breakdown of the workout:

  • First mile was completed in 10 minutes and 13 seconds so I was right on pace.
  • As soon as I got back into my garage I jumped on the pull-up bar and started my pull-ups. Last month I did one round per minute but this time when I finished my first round I started my second immediately.  I never checked the clock at all during the pull-ups, push-ups and squats.
  • Pull-ups were better than last month but still need work.
  • Push-ups were once again my best movement.
  • Squats were much better than last time. The knee brace made a huge difference and I didn’t have any pain.
  • I don’t know how long it took me to do the push ups, pull-ups and squats. I also don’t know what my second mile time was.  I was so in the zone during this workout I didn’t look at my watch until the end of the second mile.
  • Completed in 39 minutes and 30 seconds.

I was so excited to complete the workout in the time I did.  Every time I started to think about resting I was able to push those thoughts away and keep going.  I did not rest in between the 20 rounds of push-ups, pull-ups and squats until round 16 or 17 and even then only for a few seconds.  Because of my knee issues I cannot run much faster than a 10 minute mile so it will be difficult for me to improve upon this time and I am fine with that.

Takeaways:

  • Although they improved I still need to improve my pull-ups.
  • My push-ups and squats were very good.
  • The knee brace worked really well.  I did not experience knee pain and it did not negatively impact my running or the squats.
  • I enjoyed this so much I plan on doing this each Memorial Day.

 

Murph

When I started this blog one of the goals I set was to complete the Crossfit workout Murph as prescribed.  At that time I had never done the workout but felt it was a good measuring stick for conditioning.  I hoped at that time to be able to complete it in under 45 minutes.

This workout is named after Navy Seal Lieutenant Michael Murphy who died in Afghanistan on June 28, 2005.  He was killed while heroically moving into an exposed area so that he could transmit a call into headquarters to get support for his team.  The workout was one of his favorites and he used to call it Body Armor.

The workout is as follows:

  • 1 mile run
  • 100 pull-ups
  • 200 push-ups
  • 300 squats
  • 1 mile run
  • The pull-ups, push-ups and squats can be partitioned any way you want.
  • The entire workout is done while wearing a 20 lb weighted vest or body armor.

I have not run further than a tenth of a mile in longer than I can remember due to my knee issues.  I use a Schwinn Airdyne in place of running in most of my workouts now. But I woke up yesterday morning determined to do the workout as prescribed and that included the running.  I knew I had to take a slightly slower pace on the run and be very careful with each stride.

Here is a breakdown of how the workout went:

  • My strategy was to do each mile run in around 10 minutes and complete the calisthenics in around 20 minutes.  This would leave me 5 minutes of cushion if I needed it in order to finish in under 45 minutes.
  • 1 mile run – completed in 10 minutes. My knee started bothering me at around half of a mile in and bothered me throughout the workout.
  • I broke down the calisthenics to 20 rounds of 5 pull-ups, 10 push-ups and 15 squats.
    • It took me 21 minutes to complete the 20 rounds.
    • The pull-ups were very inconsistent.  I knew they would be as I have never been much better than OK at these.  I have improved lately but the 20 lb vest definitely adds a good bit of difficulty to these and even though I have been training with the vest I wasn’t prepared for the volume.  I did some of the reps strict, some of them kipping and a lot of them with reduced range of motion.
    • The push-ups were my best movement.  Once again, I knew this would be the case.  I have always been pretty good at these and like the pull-ups have been training with the vest.
    • Due to my knee bothering me I struggled with the squats.  This was unexpected as I am pretty strong at body-weight or air squats.  I was able to complete them but wasn’t happy with the depth I was getting.
  • 1 mile run- completed in 11 minutes.  I wasn’t upset with this time as once again, I knew I would be slow in the runs and also anticipated the second run being slower than the first.
  • 42 minutes total.

Overall I was pleased with my performance.  I did not anticipate my knee bothering me like it did.   I had been experimenting with my stride for a while to be able to run without aggravating the knee.  Unfortunately I don’t think I was consistent with my stride and this was probably the culprit.  It needed to be perfect and wasn’t.  For me this workout was about testing my conditioning more than anything else and in that respect I was very pleased.

Takeaways:

  • I need to work harder on my pull-ups.
  • I need to have a more consistent stride while running.
  • I will have to wear a knee brace while doing this next time to give my knee some support.
  • I am pleased with the time and will attempt to have better quality reps when I perform this again over Memorial Day weekend.