I did my first Hyrox last weekend and it was a great experience. My main concern was not being able to finish it having not run for over a month beforehand due to my calf and only a couple of non-running training session in November.
The Hyrox is a multi-fitness event, where you run 8 x 1km with an exercise in between each of the runs. This includes 1000m row, sled pushes, sled pulls, farmers carry, lunges, burpees and more. The event was held in Excel, taking over a huge area of the building. It was a very impressive set up, able to handle the 10000 competitors over the two days, as you can see in these photos:
I enjoyed the event throughout, I started off really slowly with the first two runs as was worried about my calf. After that I gave it a fairly good effort as the calf loosened, albeit I still felt it throughout, but fatigue was the biggest limiter. The great thing about Hyrox is that you get ranked for your overall time but also for each of the individual exercise stations. So even if you are tired you have a ‘8 solo efforts’ which you are focused on getting your goal time, your ranking place or simply completing it. This helps a lot with motivation and effort. It is also good being around people of all abilities. The final quarter my body tired quickly through inadequate nutrition and a lack of preparation for that duration of fitness.
I was on for 1 hour 20 mins but took the 30 minutes for the final quarter, ending in a time of 1 hour 31 mins. This ranked me 1230 of the 1900 competitors, 220th out of 360 in my age grade. I am happy I managed to finish the race and I have signed up to another in May where I will look to give it my best effort. I set a new record for max heart rate (182bpm) and spent around 1 hour 17 minutes in heart rate zone 5.
The most interesting thing for me was how much my training plans correlated to my performance. While it may seem obvious the details really crossed over into the event. For example, any field event I had done a lot of I was ranking around 300th of the 1900 people. Where I hadn’t practised so much I did much worse. Almost all my fitness sessions were about an hour long, which is why I really fell off as I got past this mark into the final quarter. even small details like wall balls, my gym does not have a target so I just hit the ceiling which is roughly the same height. This meant on the day I threw the ball over the top of the target at least 4-5 times (which count as no throws). I will use this to prepare more thoroughly this time round, hopefully without an injuries getting in the way.
Nutrition wise, I never take on any food during a session nor do I drink much if any water. This really caught me out as I went past the 75-minute mark. Next time I will have some sort of gel and take more water on during the race. I feel this cost me a few minutes in itself.
What Does This Mean For You?
If you are thinking of doing a Hyrox be it solo or in a doubles or relay setting then hopefully my insights will be of use. For those who do not want to do it, I would still take heed of the power of using fitness challenges which I discussed in the last newsletter. They really can drive you to new levels of motivation and consistency as well as getting you around people of a similar like mind. There are all sorts of options in regards to what to do, I gave you a detailed list here>>>
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