The Burpee Mile – Tips from a survivor

It’s been two days since I completed the burpee mile and DOMS has set up residence in the house of Julia. I’m stiffer than I was yesterday but I still managed to pull off a pretty kick arse workout this morning so I’m pleased with how this old body is hanging in there.

My quads are tight and my left rotator cuff is still letting me know it’s not too pleased about doing over 800 pushups and I’m sore in some random places that I never would have thought about like my tibialis anterior (which is responsible for dorsiflexion of the foot).

But I’m actually feeling much better than I thought I would. And before you tell me that I obviously didn’t work hard enough and that shows I could have gone faster – no I couldn’t have, it just means the glutamine did it’s job.


So for those of you who even after reading that the burpee mile was nearly as painful as child birth yet still want to give it a go here are the tips from a “survivor” ..

Protection, Protection, Protection ..

I am a Mum so the first piece of advice I will give the kidlets one day in the far far distant future will be all about protection ..

However in your case I’m talking about protecting your hands!

Wear gloves preferably ones with padding in the palm area because you spend a lot of time on the ground. I wore weight lifting gloves (basically because I owned some) and Sally wore cycle gloves.

I’ve also heard about people strapping their wrists – because you end up doing a shite load of push ups but I didn’t and my wrists were fine.


Strength in Numbers

Find a friend to do the mile with you. Preferably a friend you know won’t give up on you AND more importantly a friend that you won’t give up on.

I probably could have “forced” James to do the mile with me and because he’s married to me and a happy wife = a happy life.

BUT here is the thing. I would have stopped after one lap because I could get away with it (just like your kids are probably better behaved at school than at home).


Timing is everything

One thing I learned pretty quickly is that the mile would have been easier if I had started out early in the morning.

I spent nearly three hours out in the hot sun with absolutely no shade. Not my best decision.


Prepare yourself

Because this was a spur of the moment decision for us we didn’t give the burpee mile the credit it was due.

Treat it like an endurance event (because it is) and if you can taper any training you are doing the week prior to your attempt so that you go into the mile as fresh as possible.


Food is your friend

Feed yourself, your body is a machine and needs fuel – simple as that.


Have a carb rich meal prior to your mile attempt and refuel with simple carbs at least every hour.


Water water everywhere

Rehydrate! Just in case you missed that .. Rehydrate!

I did the entire first lap with no water because I forgot to grab my bottle and I hadn’t placed any water around the track. I made the first lap, which is usually the hardest anyway even harder than it needed to be.

Anna and I did two laps where we would throw our bottles and then burp to them and one lap with someone carrying our bottles beside us (which I preferred, but not everyone has their very own burpee caddy).

If I had my time over I would have set up a cooler box at every 100m’s with ice cold water, electrolyte replacement sachets, food and towels so that I could wipe down because did I mention it was hot???


Be realistic ..

The mile is hard work and it’s not much fun.

It’s repetitive, long and boring and you WILL want to give up especially after the first lap BUT it gets easier with every lap which makes it harder to give up although I promise you will still want too with every fibre of your being.


Be proud

When you finish (which you will) be proud! You got out there and did it!

Don’t let what anyone says to you diminish your accomplishment because you have joined a pretty special group of nuts. 😉

Till next time

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1 Response

  1. Rupert says:

    Hey there!

    Thanks for the notes. I and a band of lunatics are 1 week off taking on a 1.8km burpee challenge in support of a young family doing it tough ‘Burpees for Brothers 2015 Challenge’. I’ll bee sure to share your thoughts.

    Well done on your effort 🙂


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