Get over it
Obstacle races, mud runs, call them what you will, they are springing up all over the country. If you’ve got one on your list for 2013, you need to make sure your body can cope.
The explosion in the US of obstacle races has begun to spill over into the UK with the advent of Tough Mudder, Spartan Race and Total Warrior to name just three series, all treading in the footsteps of Tough Guy, the UK event synonymous with forcing competitors well outside their comfort zone.
The appeal is simple, runners - and blokes in particular - are always looking for the next challenge. To some, they will have run a marathon, maybe even some trail races, and want to turn the dial up on the thrills and spills. For others, mile after mile of road running just isn’t their thing. Throw them into a field with burning bales of hay, walls higher than your average double decker and pits of freezing water, and they’re hooked.
If you fancy setting foot in the crazy world of obstacle racing, your training needs to reflect that. While core strength and stability is vital to endurance road runners, overall body strength and agility plays an even more important part when the event you have signed up for will tax every aspect of your physical fitness.
“Running an obstacle race requires more than being able to run a distance,” says Hollie Miles, personal trainer at Pure Gym (puregym.com). “It requires many components of fitness. Cardiovascular endurance and stamina are the fundamental areas, but strength, flexibility, speed, agility, co-ordination and balance all contribute to excelling in a race where you have to do more than just put one foot in front of the other, so it’s essential to undergo training which will challenge and develop these areas.”
The top two inches also need to be trained to get you through an event that could see you go from wading through arctic waters to being electrocuted by live wires, says Miles.
“Components that will help to mentally prepare you include visualising yourself being successful, crossing the finish line and how rewarding this will be; viewing the course and gathering as much information as possible prior to training and the event; learn to get comfortable with discomfort challenge yourself and talking to yourself, saying ‘I will, I can do this’. Erase negative thoughts.”
Perform these exercises for total body strength allied to your running endurance programme and you’ll be able to tackle those obstacles head on
10 to try
5 miles £23.00
10 miles £26.00
The Witches’ Revenge 10K Obstacle Challenge
The Wolf Run
Tough Guy Mud Battles
- 7K Screwball
13/04/2013 - 14/04/2013
Commando Course of Action 10K
£29 + £60 minimum charity sponsor
Tough Mudder - South East
08/06/2013 - 09/06/2013
Tough Guy 10K
Mud Runner - Oblivion
P: Flat/Undulating T: Multiterrain
London Spartan Sprint
Solo: £45.00, 4-person £42.00, 10-person £40.00