Memorial day is approaching and before tackling our yearly Murph workout, I wanted to share some words of advice, especially for those who never did a Murph before.

First of all if you have come regularly to the workouts, your conditioning has improved… and even though some of you may have some doubts still, YOU ARE READY!!




The weekend prior to Murph: Keep it light and rest!

Unless you’re an endurance beast, don’t start doing crazy workouts or anything straining. And if you do something, do a light jog, a bicycle ride, a gentle walk or hike. Other than that… rest and make sure you have a good night sleep on Sunday night.


Hydrate before and throughout

I am not sure what the weather will be, but hydration during longer endurance workouts is key. Make sure you hydrate well during the weekend prior to Murph and have your water bottle handy so you can sip water throughout the entire workout.

Also, go easy on alcohol and the crappy food during the weekend. Bad combo! Instead drink plenty of water and make sure you increase your water-intake at least 2 days prior to doing Murph.

Some of you may recall the Murph at the 2015 CrossFit Games. Hydration was by far the biggest problem! It was gruelling hot and elite athletes were just not adequately hydrated for it. And while we all think we’re invincible athletes because we train, it doesn’t mean our body can continue when we run empty on fuel—water in this case. So make sure you are well hydrated. (Water! Not beer !)

Get enough food !

Approach Murph as you would a 10k or a half-marathon: fuel up with carbohydrates, quality protein and electrolytes well beforehand.

On Monday don’t do Murph on an empty stomach —that’s a recipe for passing out—but don’t run on a full stomach, either! So make sure you have some time between your meal and the start of Murph.


May 27th Murph day!

Do not go all out on the first mile!

The first mile is not making the workout, but it can definitely break it!  If you go too fast from the start and having to recover for 2 minutes after your run, you went too hot out of the gate, entered into the red-zone and your workout has hardly started.  It’s an endurance workout, not a sprint, so pace yourself for that initial run!

Break up the sets according to your abilities.

Elite Crossfit athletes might tackle all sets (100 pull ups-200 push-ups-300 squats) one after the other, but for us mortals, our levels of fitness and training volume are nowhere near to elite. So break up the sets (10 rounds of 10 pull-ups / 20 push-ups/ 30 squats OR 20 rounds of 5 pull-ups / 10 push-ups/ 15 squats).

Take min breaks between your sets!

It’s surprisingly common for athletes to get halfway through the workout, realize how winded and tired they are, and then panic. But rather than feeling overwhelmed by the huge number of reps you have to ultimately do, focus on the one rep you have to do next. Take each rep-scheme as a step… advance step by step. If need be do single reps on the movements that challenge you most. Remind yourself that nothing is really a big deal. You can confidently continue moving forward even if it’s a slow pace. As long as you keep moving, you’re good.

Do not go to failure

With this much volume, try to take mini breaks and break before you go to failure. This is a workout that requires a bit of muscle endurance, especially upper body muscle endurance…. Once the fatigue sets in and your arms are gone e.g. during the push-ups, it takes a long time before they come back.

I for myself will use a round timer and go very cautiously during the workout.

Keep it cool !

Like any tough endurance workout, Murph demands a smart strategy to prevent your engine from getting too hot.  Even though we don’t know what the weather will be, going over 90% of your capacity is probably not something you’ll be able to sustain for a long time.

In any case, make sure you have enough water with you (500 ml is a minimum!!!)

Bring a small towel. If the weather is going to be hot, we’ll have some buckets with water near by the rack so you can soak your towel and cool off during the workout.

Don’t feel pressured !

Do what you can. And don’t compete with anybody else but yourself. We all have our limits, stay within those.

Protect your hands !!!! (for those who will do pull ups)

No matter how you slice it, 100 pullups is a lot of wear and tear on your hands. If you have gymnastics-style hand grips. They will help protect your skin from ripping painfully mid-workout.

For shoes, find a balance between a cushioned, flexible running shoe and a shoe with a stable, supportive heel for the squats.

For those who will do the workout with a weightvest: Prepare for some suffering!

Murph is a fairly rough workout as is … wearing a weight vest definitely doesn’t make it easier. It feels uncomfy, it will affect your breathing and in the last mile it may feel as suffocation device. So be prepared to go through some discomfort/pain… I know what I am talking about, I have done quite some Murphs with a vest and it never feels really comfy.  However, the satisfaction of completing the ordeal with a weight vest, makes it a tiny bit sweeter.


After the Murph.

Stretch… Keep hydrating and refuel…!!!

The social events committee will have some refreshments for after the workout and don’t forget we’ll have an apero at 1700 !!!!


Finally for those who have not signed up

Come over to encourage your friends… we have 3 heats. At 07:30, at 12:00 and at 17:00. 

Some words of encouragement can do wonders for someone who is busy suffering… so come over and cheer on your fellow athletes !


Author: Peter Koopmans