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Training for Obstacle Races - Part 1

Popularity of road marathons and obstacle races has skyrocketed over the past few years. I have participated in several of these races and have helped prepare a number of my clients for them as well. These races come in all shapes and sizes: triathlons, mudders, zombie runs, prison escape runs, obstacle races, city races, among others. Each of these races will test all energy systems of the body and can be difficult to prepare for.

Two of my clients asked me to participate in the Spartan Sprint a few weeks back. They strapped a Go-Pro Camera to my forehead, and off we went. This race is a shorter version of the Spartan Super and includes four miles of hill-running, rope-climbing, wall-hopping, fire-jumping, mud-bathing fun. The notion of whether or not these races are actually "fun" is still up for debate. However, there is value in participating in these races, and more importantly, training properly for them.

Over the next few weeks, I will post the video footage from the Go-Pro Camera and will include the an example of a workout I put my clients through to prepare for the Spartan Sprint.

If you're thinking about entering a race like this or want to better prepare for your next adventure, give this a try.

Obstacles Shown in Part 1:

- Wall Jump

- Over/Under Barriers

- Mud Hole Walk

- Spear Throw

- Burpees (penalty for not successfully completing an obstacle)

- Tire Drag/Pull

Example Workout for Part 1 Obstacles:

A1) Box Jump - 3x10 (start with lower box and progress to taller)

A2) Offset Hand Pushups - 3x5 each (progress to 3x10 each hand placement)

*A1-A2 should be preformed back to back with 30-45 seconds between sets

B1) Single Arm Row - 3x6 each arm (Heavy) + 1x15 each arm (50% weight used previously)

B2) Mini Band "Monster Walks" - 3x15 yards (if you don't have amini band, preform mountain climbers 3x40).

*For the "Monster Walk" put the band around your ankles, keep some distance between your feet, and walk forward like a monster - this replicates the mud resistance.

**B1-B2 should be performed back to back with 45-60 seconds between sets

Circuit (Start with 3x through circuit, progress up to 5x):

C1- Loaded Burpee (dumbbells in hands) - 10

C2- Step Back lunge with Twist (use dumbbell/medicine ball) - 5 each leg

C3- Bear Crawl - 25 yards (stay low!)

C4- Treadmill "Run" (about 60-70% of max sprint) - 2 min

*Repeat 3-5 times with as minimal rest as you can

If you're looking for more one-on-one training or programing for your next race, let's get in touch. Good Luck!!


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