These 6 top tips will prepare you for your next obstacle course challenge.
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 running to your training schedule. Try for one long run, one shorter run and one hill interval training session in your weekly plan. You could also add in some off-road runs to give you some confidence for event-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 — similar to event day. 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 so ditch the running shoes and get yourself a pair with lots of underfoot grip. Investing in some will help you tackle the steep hills and the thick mud that coats everything but make sure you train in them before event-day to have them well worn in.
4. Rope in your friends
Find a bunch of people that you can train with 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, like Tough Mudder, are all about teamwork and camaraderie so bringing people together who are going to help, support and push you to do the best you can are a definite plus.
For most obstacle events, new obstacles are introduced every year, but there are some obstacles that are far more common and that will appear in most courses. Things like monkey bars, high walls, net climbs and crawls are worth practising beforehand if you can. Or even if you can’t practise them, have a look at technique videos online that show the best way to tackle them. This will save you time, energy and reduce the risk of injury on event day.
6. Accept the mud and enjoy it
Mud is a given. It’s going to get everywhere. You’ll need to accept this and embrace this. Try and attempt every obstacle so that afterwards you can feel that you’ve given it your all. Get covered in mud, keep going and enjoy the whole experience.