The new racing fads now involve obstacles courses along the way to not only challenge your endurance, but also your strength! I am excited to say that a week from today I will be participating in my first ever Warrior Dash!!
The Warrior Dash is a 5K obstacle race which includes 10 obstacles. You are not required to complete each obstacle but they provide pictures of the obstacles in order to help you prepare for the race.
Another well known event is The Spartan Race which is an obstacle race series that offers different distances to allow for different skill levels, styles, and racing. They pride themselves on keeping the participant guessing. The race does not provide a map or pictures of the obstacles to keep the participant surprised during the race.
Both of these events attract many people to participate and I believe it is because of the intense competitive atmosphere. Although is it a competitive race, it is also high-energy fun! Last summer I was able to watch my best friend compete in the Warrior Dash and even if people were competing throughout the race, by the end everyone was laughing and socializing having a great time. I like these events because not only to they promote physical activity and challenges, but they do it in a way that makes it fun. People need to know regular physical activity and exercise can be just as fun. Now that is just my side note on the new obstacle racing and what I really want to help with is how to train for these events!
These races are challenging your cardiovascular endurance, muscular endurance and muscular strength. In order to prepare yourself in each of these components, here are my four tips for training.
#1- Change up your course
Running on pavement will not prepare you for running on a grassy, hilly, muddy course. When you go out for runs change it up a little. Find some hills to run or grass to run on so that when it comes to race day you aren’t a newbie to the course
#2- Try some circuit training
Circuit training will help build your muscular strength and muscular endurance. Make sure you do these circuits for around the time it would take you to complete the 5K (~30 minutes). the exercises included in the circuits should be targeting all major muscle groups because the obstacles will challenge your legs
#3- Go for longer runs
You don’t want to only run the length of the race in obstacle racing because when it comes to race day you will be surprised how easily the obstacles can slow you down. Increase the time of each run you go on when training for obstacle racing that way your cardiovascular endurance is ready for the course.
#4- Do not “milk” any of your workouts
A lot of what comes along with the physical aspects of racing is the mental aspects. You have to be mentally tough along with physically prepared. Make sure you complete every workout of your training with 100% effort and do not modify any workouts because on race day, nothing will be changed for you.
Have a great race!!