How To Train For An Obstacle Course Race
There are not many better ways to test how your fitness is coming along than by taking on an obstacle course race or mud run.
But whatever your fitness level, OCRs can still be a tough, gruelling grind to overcome. Here, we’ve compiled a few tips on training for an obstacle course race or mud run.
So, whether you want to tackle the teamwork elements of Tough Mudder or smash the solo slog of a Spartan race, you’ll be in ship shape to be at the finishing podium at the end.
Getting yourself from the starting line to the desired finishing one in an obstacle course race requires a decent level of strength.
The climbing and clambering you’ll have to do in an OCR mean that working on bodyweight exercises will help you be in a stronger position to shift your body weight up and over the various obstacles you’ll face.
A full-scale weightlifting programme isn’t necessarily required. You’d be best off focusing on basic bodyweight exercises like press-ups, sit-ups, and squats to ensure that you can meet the physical demands of your chosen challenge.
Improve muscular endurance
Whether you’re training for a mud run or obstacle course race, having a good level of strength will help see you through to the end.
But that strength won’t count for much if you can’t keep it up over the course of the two hours it takes the average person to finish a 5k Tough Mudder.
Focusing on muscular endurance is a vital part of training for an OCR to ensure your muscles are not only strong but can go the distance.
A simple way to increase muscular endurance is to do higher reps of whatever exercises you are doing.
Whether this is the bodyweight exercises listed above or if you’re pumping iron, the best bet is to increase the number of reps you’re doing rather than the amount of weight you’re lifting.
The benefits of HIIT classes cannot be understated when it comes to building good muscular endurance in a short space of time.
Combine this with the cardiovascular benefits that HIIT brings, and it is a great way to get in prime condition ahead of your big run.
On that note, cardio is a big part of any mud run or OCR. With some people taking over three hours to complete a Spartan race, having a good level of cardio is the difference between a short race time and shortness of breath.
Doing cardio circuit training is an excellent way of boosting your general fitness levels and heart rate.
The relentless nature of circuit training, with its short rest times and nearly continuous cardio exercises, will get you used to the relentless nature of an obstacle course race.
Furthermore, circuit training also skyrockets your metabolism, meaning you burn calories and fat quicker. So, even after you’ve finished exercising, your body still benefits from the training.
One of the most important things to consider when you’re training for an obstacle course race or mud run is staying focused and motivated.
And one of the easiest ways to do this is to train with a friend, or better yet, workout with an entire class of friends.
Group outdoor fitness classes provide a great platform to train on and can cover all your fitness bases when tackling an obstacle course race. If you stick to the tips we’ve given here, you’ll be at the finishing line of your chosen race in no time.