If you are interested in shaking up your fitness program by taking on an obstacle race, you’ve landed on the right site! MyExerciseCoach.net has training tips, reviews, and activity news.More »

Top 12 in Obstacle Race Training

Thinking of signing up for an obstacle race? If your dedication to your New Year’s Resolution has dwindled, training for a mud run may help you renew your commitment.

If you want to be ready for the Tough Mudder, Spartan Beast, or other obstacle race, integrate as many of these activities to reach peak form.


1. Running

A running program should be your first stop for building endurance for an obstacle race, especially if you have your sights set on the Spartan Beast, Tough Mudder, or other longer run.

If you’re new to running, you can start with the Couch to 5k or other beginner’s programs on coolrunning.com.

If you’re more of a seasoned runner and you’re looking to stay on track with your program, consider joining a local running group or club.


2. Races

What’s your goal in 2012 and when is your obstacle race?

If you’re starting with a local 5k dash or sprint, you can use a traditional 5k race as a test for endurance.

Planning for a long run, try a shorter race like the Warrior Dash or Ruckus beforehand as a milestone in your training.

Lastly, if you’re an OCR die-hard, train to take on all three Spartan day races: Sprint, Super, and Beast.

Check out a regularly updated obstacle race and mud run calendar at mudandadventure.com for events held near you.For a list of local and nationwide events, check out my obstacle race directory.


3. CrossFit

CrossFit is a strength & overall conditioning program that incorporates bodyweight training, kettlebells, powerlifting, plyos, and other modalities to get you in great shape.

It’s been called “the brother of obstacle racing” since many military and elite forces utilize this training system, the same masterminds that developed race courses.


4. High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)

HIIT is a super intense cardiorespiratory workout consisting of short, intense exercise bouts with recovery.

Traditionally used as a fat-burning workout, HIIT can also help build anaerobic capacity, which you’ll need to endure individual obstacles and darting from one challenge to the next.

Most gyms offer HIIT or Tabata classes. Check your club’s schedule. For a home version, try TurboFire®.

Turbo Fire: Greatest Hits (Single 20-minute workout) – $22.90 on Amazon

Turbo Fire: 90-day program – $144.80 (via Beachbody)


5. Boot Camp

Boot Camp has become the “bread & butter” of group exercise programming. This class integrates bodyweight calisthenics, total body exercises, running intervals, and sometimes weights.

Boot Camp can also be used to build up your fitness level for CrossFit.

Available at gyms that offer group exercise and through independent trainers that conduct seasonal/outdoor classes.

For a home version, you could try Insanity. Insanity is probably best suited for an exerciser of intermediate fitness level with healthy knees and joints.

Insanity: Fast & Furious (Single 20-minute workout) – $22.90 on Amazon

Insanity: 60-Day Program – $144.80 on Amazon (via Beachbody)


6. Yoga & Flexibility

With all the rigorous cardio and resistance training you’ll be doing, yoga and flexibility will help keep your muscles loose, limber, and in working order to prevent injuries.

Yoga will also help you build mental focus and tenacity, which will go a long way on game day when you’re reaching past your limits.

Newbies can get started with yoga through a local studio or home videos. If you’ve been doing yoga for a while, you may want to go with a studio or private instruction to keep you challenged.

Yoga For Beginners (Single DVD) – $8.49 on Amazon

Yoga for Beginners (Box Set of 3 DVDs) – $19.49 on Amazon


7. Suspension Training

Suspension training is a rising fitness trend that’s finding it’s way into all-things fitness and sports training.

Developed by a Navy seal (again the connection with military forces), suspension training builds core, total body strength, balance, and joint stabilization.

Some gyms may offer suspension training classes with the TRX or Jungle Gym XT, so be sure to check out your club’s offerings and class schedule.

If not, suspension trainers are also available for home use. The TRX trainer has been the leader, but recent reviews on Amazon show Jungle Gym XT proving to be a competitive alternative.
Jungle Gym XT with Door Anchor – $104.95 on Amazon

Jungle Gym XT with Door Anchor – $99.95 on Perform Better

TRX Pro Pack with Door Anchor – $199.95 on Amazon

8. Other Unconventional Training Methods

Obstacle races are intended to be fun, so don’t hesitate to incorporate unconventional and enjoyable training options into your routine.

Some of the training methods already listed above integrate the non-traditional and fun. If not, don’t be afraid to try a class that utilizes exercise bands, ViPR, Parkour, and/or everything else in between.


9. Personal Training

First race? It may not hurt to hire a trainer for a few sessions to customize a start-up program based on your health history.

Also, if it’s your first time exercising in a while, working with a personal trainer for a month or two will provide you with the guidance you need to re-develop a conditioning base.

Having a coach in your corner will also help you with accountability and adherence to an exercise program structured around your goal of completing an obstacle race.


10. WOD

Initially popular with the CrossFit system, now many obstacle races and training pages will regularly list a WOD.

The WOD may be more suitable for the intermediate-advanced exerciser looking for the occasional intense shake-up to a current routine.

If you’ve gone through a few personal training sessions, then WOD may also be a good thing to include in your weekly training schedule.

Be sure to “Like” the Facebook pages of the Rugged Maniac, Spartan Race, and your favorite obstacle race organizers for a daily challenge.


11. Obstacle Race Training Sites

In just a short time, obstacle racing has developed a large following. And many have been open to sharing their training tips for success.

Training for a race has become as much a community-oriented task as running the actual races.

Beyond the 16-exercise circuit from Tough Mudder, you can also find training tips on adventurerun.net. obstacleracers.com, and mudrunmaniac.

12. Working Out with a Friend(s)

Regardless of whether or not you’ve registered as part of a team, each race requires collaboration with participants. Why not train like it?

Working out with a friend will give you the accountability you may require from training without the strain on your wallet. It will also keep you motivated (provided that your workout buddy is serious about training for a race).

And let’s face it, training with a friend will just be more fun than going it alone.


So there you have it! 12 ways to get you ready for your next adventure run.


© 2009-2015 Melissa Rodriguez
site by: deyodesigns.com