I have learned from the comments section on my “About MuddyJ” page (aka as “About MuddyJ and the Zombie Apocalypse”) that I have inspired another blogger, Holly, from sticktoyourgreens.com (chock full of yummy vegan recipes) to run in her very first 5k Obstacle Race….and she picked one of the races I have yet to run, but have been training hard for…
I am also honored and touched to know that I have been nominated for the “Inspiring Blog Award” by Holly. It means a lot to me to know that I have inspired you to get out and get running! I replied to her post in my comments, offering training and race tips and advice, and she responded today with a comment asking how to train for the obstacles… here’s some tips…
- Quadrupedal Movements (QM’s) – get down on all fours and crawl around…. there are different ways to move about on all fours, and different ways work different muscles. Experiment with them a little to see which QM’s really hurt the next day, and do more of them. These will help you when you have to go over or under obstacles, as well as helping to improve your sense of balance and coordination. I have included a video of Jereme Sanders I found on youtube describing some of these and demonstrating them.
- Outdoor Training: Go to a playground (preferably with few children present), and climb around… crawl through tunnels, climb the ladders and poles, jump off of stuff…. remember how all that stuff used to be fun? Obstacles often found in obstacle races will be very similar to playground equipment…they’ll just be bigger…The monkey bars are an excellent tool to train for upper body strength and improve your pull-ups, just watch your head, I have gotten some pretty bad bumps to my noggin from not looking up!
- Watch American Ninja Warrior: and be inspired… once you pick your jaw up off of the floor, take mental notes on how some of these obstacles are successfully completed
- Plyometrics: You are going to be jumping around on the course, as well as getting dirty, practice jumping. Running sprints is also a great training tool, as it will aid you in getting used to restarting a run after completing an obstacle.
- Run Off-Road: find a trail system and run off-road, but be safe, don’t do it alone if you can avoid it, and be sure that someone who is going to look for you knows where you are running. I carry my Samsung Galaxy S2 and use the Endomondo Workout app to track my runs, on and off pavement... a 5k trail run is a lot more taxing then a pavement or track run… you have to deal with things like elevation changes frequently, as well as roots/potholes/etc that will break your normal stride… being comfortable running in a trail environment is essential!
- Last but not least, try running at least a mile while completely and utterly soaking wet…. dump a frigid bucket of water on yourself and go for a jog…. I am not kidding, this will help you get used to what it feels like to run during an obstacle race.
As for the actual race day, I have written another article about race strategy and such that can be found HERE in its entirety… I thought about summing it up, but then I read it again and decided you should too…