People who know me know that my passion is for adventure racing (obstacle racing or mud runs) this said I am by no means running to win just to finish and have fun.
My favourite events in the UK are the http://www.spartanrace.com events with their sense of fun, plenty of mud (and a bit of fire) there is plenty there for beginners and advanced alike, especially with the variety of distances available.
With the popularity of these events I thought I’d share a few tips for new people wishing to give these races a go.
Firstly obviously there is running, this of course is the core of any training program for a run, however, not in the sense that most people think. You will not be running for the whole 5/10km in any race so whilst getting some steady state cardio base training in it is not how you will run on the day. During your race you will be stopping and starting a LOT, generally the organisers will create a bottleneck near the start of the run to spread everyone out then you will get to the obstacles so you’ll be stopping and starting all through, this coupled with the time doing the obstacles means HiiT is by far more beneficial.
Obstacles: in all of the races I’ve done there are certain obstacles that recite, along with the brutally steep hills there will undoubtedly be some ‘carrying’ obstacles, think tyres, sandbags, logs, breeze blocks and even traffic cones. Whilst lifting weights will help with strength you need to be able to carry these types of objects and more importantly move, so next time your out grab a sandbag, log or even big stone and carry it along for a way.
This brings me to throwing, so find a nice spot and practice chucking said object, I like to throw it, sprint to it and repeat for a bit of short sprint training.
Other than this is climbing and crawling and the only way to get better at this is to practice, find a nice wall and get jumping up and over it, for crawling a bit of walking plank doesn’t hurt.
I think the biggest point is to think about what is actually involved and train accordingly, you won’t be running miles and miles on concrete so find some trails with steep hills and get hurting !! Cant find steep hills then use stairs, get creative AROOO!!!
I think the advent of the ‘mud run’ challenges has been fantastic, and who doesn’t like a roll in the mud? We have Tough Mudder coming up in about 1 month, can’t wait! Cheers…