Training Tips : Tough Pumpkin

July 14, 2015

It’s that time of year again! We begin seeing people running around the neighborhood hoisting watermelons above their head in an attempt to prepare for the Tough Pumpkin challenge this fall. Actually, I have yet to see that. However, if this inspires you to do that, please post a picture of it on our Facebook wall. It would be an amazingly awesome picture!

However, a lot of people ask how to train for Tough Pumpkin. In case you haven’t heard, Tough Pumpkin is an option to add on during the registration process. On race day we will supply you with a pumpkin (up to 15 pounds or so in size) to carry while you venture 3.1 miles through the farm. After crossing the finish line you’ll receive not only the standard (awesome) finisher medal, but also a second, exclusive Tough Pumpkin finisher medal. Yep, two medals!

You have to understand that the Tough Pumpkin option is definitely challenging. Whether you walk or run, 3.1 miles becomes a little tougher when you’re toting an orange pumpkin with you. However, challenges are fun (and this makes for awesome pics!) Here are a few ideas on how to prepare:

-HIIT. This stands for High Intensity Interval Training. HIIT is awesome because it jacks up your cardio and strength all at once. Since Tough Pumpkin requires not only endurance but added strength, HIIT is a perfect way to help prepare. The good news is it can be done anywhere without equipment. Check out some equipment-free HIIT routines here.

-Farmer’s Walk. This is a simple but effective exercise that helps your arms and core carry heavy objects over distances. It’s super simple: grab a pair of heavy dumbbells (or very heavy but easy to hold on to objects) and walk. Your arms should feel the burn. Once you begin losing grip strength, set down and rest. Repeat again but carry the weight farther.

-Watermelon. Like I mentioned in the opening paragraph, carrying large, round fruits while jogging is not a bad idea. Yes, you will look ridiculous (umm who cares..). However, it’s the perfect way to mimic what you will do this fall. Start small (cantaloupe anybody?) and work towards heavier fruits. Perhaps you start with 1/2 mile while carrying fruit and add on distance. Mix it up with different distances and weights. Be sure to hold the object in a comfortable position and stop if you feel strained. And take pictures…


We hope to see you at the farm this fall crushing out the Tough Pumpkin option. Cheers!








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