What motivates you? How do you manage to push yourself to exercise regularly?
One things’s for sure - it’s not easy. Many people start with a fitness regimen, only to quickly tire out and give up.
Determination. Grit. Sheer force of will.
If you want to test these traits, one of the best ways is at an obstacle course race, mud run, or similar race. These events have gained massive popularity around the world, earning millions of dollars for charitable organizations and pushing participants to the height of their endurance.
What’s so exciting about these events? Should you train for one and participate? What should you expect?
For starters, expect to get dirty. That’s why so many of these events are called “mud runs.” Their namesake obstacles - large muddy tracks that force you to get deep in the dirt - even the playing field quickly. It’s hard to feel ashamed or less-than-worthy of participating when every single person in the race is caked with mud.
Beyond that, common obstacles include crawling under barbed wire, scaling walls, climbing and dropping down large slides, maneuvering across monkey bars, stepping along balance beams, and carrying barrels, tires or logs over specific distances.
As for race distances, they can vary from 5k runs with 10 or fewer obstacles all the way up to marathon distance runs with dozens of intense obstacles on the track.
Obstacle races are fun, but they can also be quite intense. Don’t dive right in to a long, grueling mud run on your first go. Instead, choose one of the sprint distance events - usually about 5k total - to get into the groove of a mud run.
If you’ve got a group or a friend who wants to train with you, even better. Many popular obstacle course events include categories for groups and partners. Some events are even specifically designed to be completed by teams of two - designed with partner obstacles that require teamwork.
Check for events coming to your area and plan to train for a few months ahead of time to be sure you’re ready. That way you’ll enjoy the event and proudly cross the finish line.
Since obstacle course races always include some distance element, running is a good way to train. You don’t need to go on a full marathon training plan. But get used to distance running to help build endurance and stamina for the big event.
Beyond endurance, you’ll also need serious leg and upper body strength. Some of the obstacles will push you to lift, pull, push, and climb with all your might. So make sure you’re building lean muscle now to prepare for the event. Don’t slack on core training either. Strong abs will help you improve your running form and complete movements with more strength and less strain.
As part of your training, you should use the best muscle building supplements. You want to make sure you’re getting plenty of protein, vitamins, and nutrients in your diet so that you’re ready for race day. A whey protein supplement is great for boosting your protein. To train strong and prevent injury, use a pre workout supplement and a post workout recovery drink.
Obstacle course races, mud runs, and other challenges push you to your limits. But it’s not about breaking down - it’s about having fun. Take pride and joy in the knowledge that you are losing weight, building lean muscle, and becoming stronger each day.
When you cross the finish line - covered in mud and totally exhausted - you will have overcome a new challenge and proven to everyone you’re tough as nails.