So, you want to try your hand at some extreme obstacle course races and you’re having troubles figuring out how to train for them? Obstacle course races come in all shapes and sizes, but for the majority of them, you can train the same (unless it is the ridiculously long ones; that is a whole other level). The following are 5 training tips to help guide you through what it takes to successfully complete extreme obstacle course races and not kill yourself in the process. These are to help you figure out what you should be working on to get ready for the challenges that await you.
Obstacle Course Training Tip #1 – Sprint! Don’t Run or Jog
Even though these obstacle course races have some mileage to them (3-10 miles at times), it’s not about running long distance; you have to think that there are multiple obstacles in between your running, so you are never really “running” more than a mile at a time. Doing sprints will help build the muscle and endurance you need for the quick running in between the obstacles. Try going to a track and start off with 4 Laps (1 mile). On these 4 laps, on the straight parts sprint at your best, then slow down to a jog around the bends. You can add on from there or add intervals of High Knees or quick feet in place to your normal workouts. These will prepare your heart rate going up and down as needed.
Obstacle Course Training Tip #2 – Work on Agility Training!
How is your jumping ability? There are tires, mud pits, walls, hurdles, and rocks to get through. Working on your agility is great because it allows you to practice how to safely jump and land. Working in things like Jump Squats, Calf Raises, Ankle Mobility, High Knees, and general jumping is a great thing to do. Make sure that you are bending into the jump when you land each time to help build stability as well.
Obstacle Course Training Tip #3 – Work on the Pull up!
There are usually high walls, monkey bars, climbing ropes, and many things to climb up on, so working on the ability to pull yourself up is a great thing. Pull Ups/Chin ups are a good to start working to build that strength. You can also do Bar Hangs, Overhead Presses, and Waiter Walks to help on the shoulder strength that is needed. Rope Climbs are also a great thing to start doing if you have access to one.
Obstacle Course Training Tip #4 – Start Interval Training!
Because of the nature of the obstacle course race, you are changing what you are doing constantly; your training should reflect that fact. Interval/Circuit training combining strength and endurance is great for getting ready. Adding things like Burpees, Jump Squats, High Knees, Push Ups, and Overheard Presses into a Tabata Drill or other circuit is a wonderful way to prepare for obstacle course races.
Obstacle Course Training Tip #5 – Get a Partner or Team!
Through all the obstacle course race training above, nothing is better than having a person to do it with or a team behind you. They will help drive you forward and many obstacles can take at least two people to complete, so always having a person with you at them is best. You will find no better motivation than another person.
Workout Vid for Obstacle Course Training
Workouts that utilize dynamic, explosive agility movements are excellent for preparing your boy for obstacle course races. Stunt training has many of the same demands as obstacle course training; give this workout a shot to prepare yourself for both.