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How to train for an obstacle race (first timers)

By November 30, 20115 Comments2 min read

So a large number of my friends are doing the Warrior Dash for the first time this weekend, and it made me realize that they could use some advice from their favorite person (ME!). So running an adventure race or obstacle race or mud run (whatever you want to call it) requires a bit different planning and prep than a standard 5k or 10k or longer.

Here are my quick and dirty tips if you’re running something shorter than a Spartan Race Super Spartan distance (8Miles). If you crossfit, then you’re way ahead and can skip this.

Ok here we go:
Remember this is about having fun.
Running 5 miles non-stop won’t help that much, but running intervals WILL
Remember to train your core before you go into the race, as it will test your entire body
When designing your costume, try to avoid things that will impede your movement (capes can get caught on things)
Quick workout plan:
Run 5 minutes
Do 25 pushups
Run 5 minutes
Do 25 situps
Run 5 minutes
Do pullups (if you have access to them, if not, monkey bars, if none, go back to pushups)
repeat the first steps until you hit 3.5 miles or 35 minutes.

Now if you stick to this, and alternate it between running a 5k via something like Couch to 5k program, you should be golden when it comes to a short distance race like Warrior Dash. Grab water when its offered, and consider drinking 2 cups, not one, some courses are notoriously stingy on water (cough race cough).

Try to vary your workouts for longer runs. If you’ve got a medecine ball or a big rock (20lb), try adding in some full body standups to the mix on the workout plan.

In case you’re wondering, I’ve competed in: Warrior Dash, Spartan Race, Columbia Muddy Buddy, Merrell Down n Dirty, and several other mud runs.