Training for An Obstacle Course Run

So where do you begin? As always it’s as best to start with an assessment of where you currently are. This assessment should include cardio vascular element, strength elements and core stability as all of these things will come into play. The level of the event will determine how fit/strong you need to be.

Do I need to do running as part of my plan? If you’re doing some of the longer events like Tough Mudder then definitely as there a large part of the course includes running. On short courses then I would do sprint interval training but not heavy mileage.

What type of strength work do I need to do? Obstacle Course Events are generally tougher on the upper body than most other events people enter, so if it’s a weakness of yours, you need to focus on that. You will need to do push and pull exercises in different planes. You will also need to take into consideration how long the event is, so you will need to do strength endurance work as well. And of course we mustn’t skimp on the core work and this needs to be dynamic but you may have to start with static if your core is not that good.

Do I have to go to the gym and lift heavy weights? Generally, the answer is no as a lot can be done with your own body weight but lifting weights are good for general fitness and won’t harm your ability to complete the events. If you’re not into gyms then look at doing classes involving weights like Body Pump, Kettlercise, Circuit or Boot camps as these will be good to improve strength and strength endurance as well as general fitness of course.

Can I practice some of the obstacles? To a certain degree, you can but it obviously depends on what obstacles are in the event e.g. if there’re cargo net crawls then practice crawling. There are hills to run up, logs/tyres that you could carry etc. A lot can be achieved by using your own body weight and by being creative with what’s freely available. Some event providers also do training days on their course so you can practice techniques.

To get a programme designed for you consult your gym instructor or hook up with a Personal Trainer near you. If that’s above your budget then look at doing some freelance classes like the ones I mentioned above.