5 tips on how to help prepare for obstacle race such as the Tough Mudder, Spartan Race and more.
Imagine going on a 3 mile run at your go-to cardio spot and then adding some major obstacles like pools of mud, 6-foot walls, 20+ bar monkey bars, and to top it all off 50-pound sandbags. If that at all sounds like a challenge or an event you would like to take on, then you’re in luck. All across the world, there are obstacle races held year-round in just about every climate condition. These fun yet messy races catch the attention of athletes looking to take on a new challenge, but as a newbie to the races, it takes a lot of preparation and discipline sign up, let alone train for and complete. So here are five tips to help prepare for your next obstacle race.
Eat like a Spartan
When training for an obstacle race like the Spartan Race or Tough Mudder, energy is everything. Providing your body with key foods to keep your energy going strong during training and competition will be vital for you as a racer. By eating foods with high levels of carbohydrates and clean fats such as avocados, olive oil or salmon, you are more likely to keep the energy needed to run the obstacle race. Also, hydration is key. Be sure to not only heavily hydrate the days leading up to the race, but consistently hydrate throughout your entire training process. Staying hydrated with water is equally as important as staying hydrated with high electrolyte drinks to help replace those key minerals that your body sweats out when training for periods of time.
Some foods that you can rely on for fueling obstacle races are:
- Whole Wheat Pasta
- Brown Rice
- Sweet Potatoes
Train harder than hard
You probably already know that diet and working out are the most important factors to consider when training for anything new, but consider a new approach to both when you are running an obstacle race like the Spartan or Tough Mudder. Throughout the course of your training experience, focus on endurance and strength.
Spartan races are the real deal when you factor in all of the obstacles you hurdle, muddy trenches you crawl through, and walls you climb. Even doing the 3-mile race versus a 10-mile race can contain as many as 20+ different strength and agility obstacles. By finding yourself a solid training plan to help you conquer your next Spartan or Tough Mudder race, you will have a definite advantage.
Pro Tip- Many resources like training plans are free and available through the race websites.
Motivation – YOU CAN DO IT!
“It is our attitude at the beginning of a difficult task which, more than anything else, will affect its successful outcome.” –William James
If you are a Tough Mudder or Spartan Racer you may feel slightly discouraged when you start your training plan and begin to attack your weekly regimen. Here are a few tips to keep you motivated throughout the intense training process:
- Start with goals! This may be a simple and universal concept but starting with basic goals can help you to measure progress. When you find that training plan that works, be sure to make notes of goals along the way so that you can begin measuring progress!
- Treat Yourself– Small victories go a long way in your mental preparation for the race. Celebrating your goal accomplishments and small victories throughout your training process will keep you looking forward to the next goal you have set. Invest in new training equipment or skip the meal prep for a night and treat yourself to a dinner out.
Pro Tip : If you are looking to invest in new training equipment while training for an obstacle race, we recommend using our very own Wood Plyo Box 3-in-1. This will help you improve your strength and endurance when powering through the rough terrain of a typical obstacle race.
Make a strong commitment
When running an intense race like an obstacle race there is a tendency for nerves to take over and scare you from fulfilling the commitment you made to run the race. Some ways to make a stronger commitment can be:
- Register for the race early– when you register early, you not only get a lower registration rate but you also get the urge to commit earlier in every aspect. Like most race preparation, it’s all mental— accomplishing the first goal of registering starts the commitment process to dedicate time to a training plan, diet plan, and putting in the extra time to complete this race.
- Factor in the elements- Another huge part of obstacle races are the different elements nature provides. In most of the Tough Mudders, you are exposed to large amounts of water and muddy surfaces. As a part of the commitment process, choose to run in muddy and wet elements before the actual race to help prepare.
Push the Limits
Running an obstacle race with names as intimidating as the “Spartan Race” or “Tough Mudder” does not paint the picture that you’re going for an afternoon walk through the woods. These races require every extra ounce of energy and dedication that you have. So most importantly, don’t half-commit to the obstacle race, go all in and push the limits of your body and training schedule. You will certainly be glad that you did once you cross that finish line on race day.