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​Training for an Obstacle Race

Posted by Gear Beast on June 26, 2017

s running across a finish line not good enough for you? Are you interested in running across a finish line caked in mud? You’re not alone. More than 2 million people complete obstacle races in 2012 and that number is still increasing.

It may seem intimidating to run through mud and dirt while tackling obstacle after obstacle, but the dirty little secret of these races is that participants often walk the majority of the course. There’s no shame in walking during obstacle races, or any race for that matter, but we have a plan to get you running and completing the whole thing.

Follow this program of workouts integrating running with movements similar to that of the obstacle race and you’ll be ready in just six weeks! You’ll be prepared to leap over walls, carry heavy logs or buckets, wiggle through claustrophobic-inducing tubes, dig and climb through tunnels, and have the experience of your life!

 Few Guidelines

Warm up before every workout. An active warm-up is crucial since you’ll be using your entire body. If you feel loose and limber going into every workout by completing a few walking lunges, lateral lunges, planks, arm swings, and hip circles, you’ll feel ready to go.

Get in touch with your inner-child. You’ll have to partake in some childish tasks, such as navigating monkey bars, balancing on beams, climbing walls and traversing ropes. Since most of these things can be found at your local playground, next time your kids want to go play join them!

Run off-road. Obstacle races take place on dirt, so why train on the wrong terrains? Challenge yourself to stay off of cement as much as possible by running on the grass along sidewalks or through parks.

Training Key

Active Rest: This is an off day therefore there’s no formal workout. But if you have time, consider spending 15 minutes in motion on a foam roller or playing your favorite sport. Light physical activity is never a bad thing, but remember it is your rest day!

Interval Run: This speed-focused workout will have you alternating between fast running and walking or slow jogging. A 3-3-2-2-3, for instance, consists of 3 minutes of running at 80-percent effort, followed by 3 minutes of walking, 2 minutes of running, etc.

Obstacle Run: This race-simulation workout will break up a run by mimicking an obstacle every half mile.

Bench Routine: Find a bench (outside, or in the gym if necessary) for this workout. You will alternate between sets of pushups and dips, both performed while leaning on the bottom of the bench. Consider a workout consisting of 10-8-6-4, do a set of 10 of each, a set of 8 of each, etc.

Outdoors: This workout is best performed at a park, beach or playground where you have pull-up bars, park benches, monkey bars and the ability to run on grass or sand.

Weeks 1-3. Don’t forget a 5 minute full-body warm up every day!

Week 1:

Monday

Interval Run: 1-mile easy run, 3-3-2-3-3 intervals, 1 mile easy run

Tuesday

Bench Routine: 400-meter run, pull-ups (5 or to failure), 50 mountain climbers, 400-meter run, 20 push-ups (repeat until reaching 25 minutes)

Wednesday

Active Rest

Thursday

Outdoors: 400-meter run, 15 burpees, 400 meter run, park bench routine 12-10-8-6-4-2 (repeat until reaching 25 minutes)

Friday

Outdoors: 1-mile run, 20 pushups, 50 mountain climbers, 5 pull-ups, 10 burpees (repeat until reaching 25 minutes)

Saturday

Active Rest

Sunday

FULL REST!

Week 2:

Monday

Outdoors: 400-meter run, 20 pushups, 30 mountain climbers, 400-meter run, 20 squat jumps, 20 V-sit crunches (repeat until reaching 35 minutes)

Tuesday

Outdoors: 400-meter run, 20 pushups, 20 squats, 400-meter run, 50 mountain climbers, 5 pull-ups, 400-meter run, 20 burpees, 15 squat jumps. (repeat until reaching 35 minutes)

Wednesday

Active Rest

Thursday

Outdoors: 400-meter run, 20 jumps for height, 400-meter run, 10 monkey bars, park bench routine 12-10-8-6-4-2, 400-meter run, pull-ups to failure, 1-minute plank (repeat until reaching 35 minutes)

Friday

Interval Run: 1-mile easy run, 4-3-3-4 intervals, 1-mile easy run

Saturday

Active Rest

Sunday

FULL REST!

Week 3:

Monday

Outdoors: 400-meter run, 30 push-ups, 50 mountain climbers, 400-meter run, park bench routine 12-10-8-6-4-2, 20 squat jumps, 400-meter run, 20 burpees (repeat until reaching 45 minutes)

Tuesday

Interval Run 1-mile easy run, 4-3-3-4-2 intervals, 1 mile easy run

Wednesday

Active Rest

Thursday

Outdoors: 400-meter run, 20 pushups, 20 squats, 400-meter run, 50 mountain climbers, 5 pull-ups, 400-meter run, 20 burpees, 15 bench jumps (repeat until reaching 45 minutes)

Friday

Outdoors: 400-meter run, swim 50 yards or run 25 minutes and perform 20 burpees, 400-meter run (repeat until reaching 45 minutes)

Saturday

Active Rest

Sunday

FULL REST!

Weeks 4-6. Don’t forget a 5 minute full-body warm up every day!

Week 4:

Monday

Obstacle Run: 4-mile run: 0.5-mile mark (20 pushups), 1-mile (15 burpees), 1.5 mile (20 squats), 2-mile (20 pushups), 2.5-mile (15 burpees), 3-mile (20 jumps for height), 3.5-mile (20 squat jumps), 4-mile (20 burpees)

Tuesday

Outdoors: 800-meter run, PBR 12-10-8-6-4-2 (repeat until reaching 55-minutes)

Wednesday

Active Rest:

Thursday

Interval Run: 2-mile easy run, 3-4-2-4-3 intervals, 2-mile easy run

Friday

Outdoors: 1-mile run, PBR 12-10-8-6-4-2, 30 squats, pull-ups to failure, 2-min plank, 1-mile run, 30 V-sit crunches, PBR 12-10-8-6-4-2

Saturday

Active Rest:

Sunday

FULL REST!

Week 5:

Monday

Interval Run: 3-mile easy run, 3-4-2-4-3 intervals, 2-mile easy run

Tuesday

Outdoors: 2-mile run, 10 jumps for height, 20 squats, 20 pushups, 2-mile run, PBR 12-10-8-6-4-2 (repeat until reaching 65 minutes)

Wednesday

Active Rest:

Thursday

Outdoors: 12-10-8-6-4-2, pull-ups to failure, 20 squats, 2-min plank, 15 monkey bars (repeat until reaching 65 minutes)

Friday

Outdoors: 2-mile run, 15 monkey bars, 20 jumps for height, 20 pushups, 2-mile run, 2-min plank, 15 monkey bars, 20 squats, 2-mile run (repeat until reaching 65 minutes)

Saturday

Active Rest:

Sunday

FULL REST!

Week 6:

Monday

Interval Run: 1-mile easy run, 2-3-3-3-2-3-2 intervals, 1-mile easy

Tuesday

Active Rest:

Wednesday

Outdoors: 400-meter run, 15 burpees, 400 meter run, park bench routine 12-10-8-6-4-2 (repeat until reaching 35 minutes)

Thursday

Active Rest:

Friday

FULL REST!

Saturday

RACE DAY!