by Mbio Staff September 11, 2018


Despite the common misconception, did you know that a lot of Americans enjoy participating in races?

Every year, around 4.5 million people participate in races. While the growth of participants slowed down, it's still around 7% so it's still viable to host events that involve other athletic feats and marathons.

There are a lot of ways to succeed in obstacle course race training.

Do you want to be the best you can be? Read on and find out the things you can do to ensure that you're on top of your game once you start participating in obstacle course races.

1. Get Yourself the Right Outfit

When you're aiming to become effective in outdoor obstacle course races, leave your cotton T-shirts and baggy sweat outfits behind. There are a lot of things that can get you when you're wearing these as you go through the obstacle course:

  • Chafing
  • Water-logged shoes
  • Risk of scrapes and bruises

It's a common occurrence in these sports events and having the wrong type of gear will make you have a bad time. You can minimize these with the use of the right outfit as you train.

Always opt for a breathable material that wards off moisture and sweat since they're the most essential part of your entire gear set.

The reason you need to pick this is the fact that the fabric will pull the sweat away from your body. It dries at a rapid rate when you get wet from one of the obstacles you might encounter.

Aside from this, you need a set of tight-fitting clothes (compression clothes, specifically) since it stays close to your body while moving, lowering the risk of you getting snagged on an obstacle.

You also need to have full-length pants to get that added layer of protection, but if you feel too warm, you can always opt for fitted shorts coupled with knee-high compression socks.

As for shoes, ensure that the pair you'll use is something you're willing to give away while maintaining its grip. After all, most of these races have donation areas that let you donate your shoes for the less fortunate.

2. Treat Training Like the Race Day

If you aim to be the champion, simple exercises and easy jogs around the park is not enough. The right obstacle course training is to integrate the right exercises you'll use to ensure that you're doing the same performance once the race day arrives.

The best way how to train is to make preparations for anything since race organizers often spice things by changing up the courses and adding new ones each year.

Of course, there are some of the staples that you can use as a basis for your workout regime. Some of the great all-around exercises around include pull-ups or hanging knee raises. You need to do this 2-3 times a week since it will help you a lot with your rope climbs as well as scaling walls.

If you want to specialize your training regime to wall climbing, start doing those zombie crawls. At its most basic form, you need to lie face down and use your upper body as a means of crawling over a smooth surface like gym floors.

As much as possible, don't use your legs since you're focusing on developing your upper body strength.

3. Practice Balance

When you're hoping to last the entirety of the race, you need to focus on both cardio and strength training for your preparation. You need to balance both especially if you're new to the whole fitness idea.

Once you get to the rhythm of training, you can now start branching off and pay more attention to the deficiencies you find along the way.

You might be someone who needs some work on their flexibility and mobility. Otherwise, you might need a more intense strength training regimen to make up for your lack of athleticism.

If you want better results, devote an extra day each week and resolve your weaknesses no matter what it might be.

4. Customize Your Cardio

Running is a great way to lose weight, especially to the 41% of Americans that make New Year's resolutions that focus on exercise as well as eating healthier food. But if you're used to long, steady-state runs, it's time to change that up since doing intervals is the best way to achieve your cardio needs.

Combine high and low-intensity circuits while spreading out short periods of rest will condition your body to function at its peak condition while in an obstacle race.

It's more likely for you to run less than a mile in between the obstacles you have to face. This varies depending on the entire distance covered by your race. Doing intervals ensures that you get as close to that experience as you can.

You need to prepare for the uneven terrain that you might experience with the various running exercises you'll do. Mix your slow distance runs with sprinting hills or other short intense circuits.

Combine that with hiking and running through trails to prepare your body for short bursts of power and other unexpected situations you'll find yourself in obstacle races.

5. Make Your Training Varied

An obstacle course doesn't require brute strength alone. Always remember that while it helps you a lot, you need a lot of other things to ensure that you get through it without straining or injuring yourself. It requires you to hone your agility, balance, and the understanding of what momentum is.

You need to stop using the treadmill for a bit and go outside to master all those skills. Perform a large variety of exercises like cone sprints, ladder drills, and box jumps.

These workouts are great when you want to use the muscles that don't get honed when you're doing the usual cardio or strength training.

6. Don't Forget Your Walks

A lot of people agree that the primary objective of obstacle races is to actually overcome the obstacles. What this means for you is that you don't need to stress yourself out with running. Walking in between the obstacles is acceptable if that gives you enough energy to get over them.

Remember, a vast majority of obstacle races don't have time limits, so relax and enjoy the experience to its fullest. It even becomes better when you have friends and loved ones to share it with.

If you aim to train with a lot of distance running, do what you think is right and jog to the next obstacle and have fun.

7. Rest Days Are Important Too

You might get tempted to train every single day and give it your own. However, if you have experience with fitness, you know that doing this will bring you more harm than good. You need at least one or two rest days on a weekly basis.

However, if you're feeling a lot of pain while doing your workouts, you might need more time to rest and recover. It's important to make a distinction between actual pain and soreness. If you feel the former, you need to relax--you've earned it.

8. Never Skip Out on Hydration

If you've been in marathons, you know there are lots of water stations spread out across the entire track. However, the same isn't apparent to most obstacle races since they only have one. There are times when you don't even have the luxury of having one.

That's why it's important to stay hydrated at all times, especially when you're in front of the starting line.

You need to start drinking more water and increasing your electrolytes intake two days before the event. Most people don't know the number of electrolytes they lose when they sweat, so it's important that you're hydrating as much as you could.

Depending on the race you're participating in, you might end up munching on other energy sources instead. Check the website if they offer other alternatives like energy chews and the like. Practice consuming those and see your stomach's reaction to it.

9. Try Different Carb-loads

As pre-race dinners, you often have the option to get large servings of pasta and pizza. Don't cut yourself off from these carbs since it helps replace your glycogen after working out.

But if you want the best out of your carbs, opt for a nutrient-rich meal with sweet potatoes, beets, wild rice, and quinoa.

As for breakfast, eat something satisfying enough but won't weigh you down during the race. You have obstacles to overcome--don't let your food hinder you from your goals.

Learn Obstacle Course Race Training Today!

You don't need to make overcomplicated regimens for your obstacle course race training needs. Follow these tips and you'll have a great time preparing for your upcoming race, regardless of whether you're alone or with your friends. Remember, it's the experience and enjoyment that counts the most.

Do you need the right apparel for your obstacle race event? You can contact us today and we'll help you get started.

Mbio Staff
Mbio Staff

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