Muddy finishers

6 top tips for your next obstacle course run

These 6 top tips will prepare you for your next obstacle course challenge. A little prep will save you time, energy and reduce the risk of injury on event day.

1. Run. A lot.

All obstacle course events will include a fair amount of running–normally up to 80% of the event itself–so make sure you are adding consistent running to your training schedule. Try to include at least one long run and one shorter run in your weekly plan. You could also add in some off-road runs to give you confidence on unfamiliar terrain on the big day.

2. Circuit training

Circuits should be a key part of obstacle course training as it will help your overall fitness but also replicate exercises you’ll likely be doing on event day. The best exercises for this revolve around working with your bodyweight . Try adding press-ups, squats, burpees, planks, pull-ups and sit-ups into your training sessions.

3. Wear the right shoes

Shoes can have a huge impact on how comfortable your event is and also how well you perform. Ditch the running shoes and get yourself a pair with lots of underfoot grip. Investing in suitable footwear will help you tackle the steep hills, water or thick mud that coats everything–but make sure you train in them before event day so that they’re well worn in.

Photo by Tough Mudder

4. Rope in your friends

Find a bunch of people that you can train and cross the finish line with and you’re guaranteed to have a good time. Training as a team can help boost motivation and help push you to achieve new personal bests. A lot of obstacle course events are all about teamwork and camaraderie so bring people together who are going to help, support and push you to do the best you can do!

5. Technique

There are some obstacles that are common and will appear in most obstacle race courses. Things like monkey bars, high walls, net climbs and crawls are worth practising beforehand if you can. When it comes to races with inflatables, the obstacles can be harder to replicate. If you incorporate hill sprints and interval training into your race preparation, you’ll stand yourself in good stead for tackling anything that requires a climb! You can also check out technique videos online that show the best way to tackle inflatable obstacles.

Photo by Tough Mudder

6. Accept the mud and embrace the challenge

If you’re on a muddy course: mud is going to get everywhere so the sooner you learn to love it, the better. If you’re on an inflatable course: it’s very unlikely you’ll have faced a challenge like this before, but be ready to give it your all and attempt every obstacle with grit, determination and a sense of humour!

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