A Murph is a Crossfit-style workout, done for speed. You run a mile, do 100 pull-ups, 200 push-ups, and 300 squats, then run another mile. At this point in my life I was good for maybe 40 or so push-ups, broken into sets. I'd never tried to do anywhere near that many squats, and I could only do assisted pull-ups. Chas agreed that I could do assisted pull-ups, but otherwise I would have to do a full Murph.
Over the next month I did a lot of Murph-specific training -- meaning I did a lot of push-ups and squats. Because I was traveling in Ireland for much of this time, I wasn't able to do many pull-ups. But eventually I worked my way up to being able to do half of a Murph in a single workout.
This morning, Chas and I attempted a full Murph. Chas has done them before, but this was my first try. I knew I could get halfway there, but I had no idea if I could complete the whole thing. My plan was to do the workout in 20 sets of 5 pull-ups, 10 push-ups, and 15 squats. I would shoot for two minutes a set. That's 40 minutes, which would mean that all I'd need to do to complete the workout in under an hour is run 10-minute miles.
Here's a photo of the two of us getting ready to start:
So far, so good. Just 19 more sets to go. I knew Chas would be a lot faster than me (and he was doing real pull-ups), but I kept to my own pace and just kept plugging away at it. After a few sets, a pool of sweat began to form under my chin during the push-ups.
Occasionally someone needed the pull-up machine, but fortunately they were able to cycle in without interrupting my workout. Unfortunately sometimes I forgot to re-adjust the weight of the assist, which led to some tough reps! (I was giving myself a 60-pound assist). Every four sets, I gave myself a short water break, walking 40 feet to the fountain, taking a sip, and walking back.
Everything was going okay but the pull-ups were starting to get tough. I told myself I could bump up to a 70-pound assist when I was halfway through the workout. I hit halfway, adjusted the weight, and kept going.
With five sets left, Chas said he was done with his and was going to go ahead and do his run. I figured he'd get back in time to see me finish; he'd probably run an 8-minute mile and I was taking just about 2 minutes per set, so I should take 10 minutes.
But as I got closer to the end, I just wanted it to be over, so I sped up. I finished those final sets in 1:43, 1:57, 1:32, 2:00, and 1:40. Chas didn't make it back in time for the last set, so I made a crude selfie to document the effort:
[Insert bad porn joke here]. Yeah, that was awkward, but you do get to see my pool of sweat. I headed downstairs to do the run. Chas was there and joined me. As we started, I could see that all I needed was a 10:30 mile to finish in under an hour. Unfortunately, my first hundred yards or so was at a 14:00 pace! But after that I settled in and ended up completing the mile in 9:22, which meant I had completed a Murph in 58:53. Not bad for a first try. That's 100 more push-ups than I'd ever done in a single session, and 150 more squats. Here we are at the finish:
|Two soaking-wet Murphers|
Afterwards I treated myself to a cookie with my coffee. I think I earned it, don't you?
Below is the Garmin record of the workout.