|Obstacle Course Training|
Many years ago, an obstacle course competition took place on a long distance obstacle and rough terrain course. During the first half of the competition, one particular team was trailing behind all other teams. As the event proceeded into the second half of the course, the team that was behind started gradually picking up the pace and eventually passed all other teams to come in first. How were they able go from being the team farthest behind to beating out all other teams to win the obstacle course competition? What was their secret?
1. Food is Your Fuel
Do not attempt a strenuous obstacle course on an empty stomach. Concentrate on fueling your body with high quality carbs, fats and protein. Don’t forget to be well hydrated before and during your obstacle course event. High quality means foods created by nature and not manipulated by man such as fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts and whole grains. Beans, nuts and whole grains will deliver all the protein you need.
2. Listen to your body
Be aware of how your body is performing during the event. Understand that weather conditions will influence performance. If it is hot and humid, fatigue will pay you a visit much earlier and much quicker. You will not only need more water but will also need more electrolytes which also means, among others, sodium and potassium.
3. Get a Check-Up
Make sure you are medically cleared to conduct an obstacle course event. This will prevent unnecessary injury.
4. Train Frequently
Begin training about three months prior to the event. If your obstacle course is over a distance of 3 to 10 miles, you must train frequently. At a minimum, you should be training at least four days per week, 30 to 60 minutes. You will find a 10 week workout plan for an obstacle course at the Merrill Down & Dirty National Mud Run website.
5. Pace Yourself
Keep in mind that a combined strength and endurance event like an obstacle course will get the heart rate up much quicker and you will feel fatigued much sooner. Pace yourself accordingly so that you are able to keep going and finish the obstacle course run. Learn to throttle your pace down while maintaining a running pace. It is possible to recover from fatigue while running if you learn to apply this principle of throttling your pace down and then back up when you recover sufficiently.
You will need complete body strength and good muscle endurance to complete an obstacle course run successfully. Your training should reflect what your body would be required to do while executing the obstacle course. You will therefore need to combine strength training with cardio. Boot camp style classes are an excellent way to combine strength and cardio training. Your core, chest, arms and legs will get the type of workout they need to be prepared for an obstacle course. If you go for a run, drop for push-ups, dips, squats or other exercises intermittently along the way. If you are used to just going for a run, this will be a new experience for you and your body You don’t want this experience to be new when you hit the obstacle course.
7. Muscle Endurance
Muscle endurance is the ability of that muscle to work continuously under fatigue. That is not only a very healthy muscle but also one that will maximize your performance on the day of the obstacle course event.
8. Form Essential for Obstacles
Good form will help you prevent injury and apportion your energy along the way. Good mechanics not only while running but also while executing the obstacles will conserve your energy and give you a better overall time for the event.
Your Action Plan: Start a combined cardio and strength-training regimen to prepare you for the successful completion of an obstacle course run.
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Lt. Col. Bob Weinstein, USAR-Ret is a leading authority on military-style physical fitness for civilians and can be found at http://BeachBootCamp.net. He is nationally known as the Health Colonel and has been featured on the History Channel. He specializes in a military-style workout for all fitness levels on Fort Lauderdale Beach in South Florida. He is the author of Boot Camp Fitness for All Shapes and Sizes, Weight Loss - Twenty Pounds in Ten Weeks, among others. Sign up for his free Health and Fitness Newsletter at http://BeachBootCamp.net.