If you told me 3 years ago that I would be into obstacle course racing I probably would have laughed at you. Little to my knowledge at the time, obstacle course racing has turned into something that I love doing at least once a year. It’s a great way to push yourself, and to come together as a team with your friends and help each other through very challenging situations. Once you’re out the other end you feel amazing that you were able to push through everything you just did and make it to the end. It’s about pushing yourself to the limits, having grit, and proving to yourself you can get through any challenge put in front of you. But how do you prepare for an obstacle course race? Can you really go from couch potato to obstacle course racer? I’m here to tell you that you can! Obstacle course racing is all about doing your personal best, there’s no need to compare yourself to others. As long as you’re doing the best you can then that’s all that matters. I’ve teamed up with Woman 2 Warrior to bring you this guide on how to prepare for an obstacle course race with an added giveaway including team registration for Woman 2 Warrior and a bunch of healthy goodies. Details will be at the end of the post.
Disclaimer: I’m not a health expert, or a personal trainer. I’m simply a girl who likes to stay fit and healthy, and enjoys obstacle course racing and other gym alternatives. I’ve completed 2 Tough Mudder’s, a local obstacle course race, Mud Mulisha, and am excited to take on Woman 2 Warrior in just a couple weeks. These are all tips that have helped me and my teams. Do not take this for professional advice, and if you’re worried about anything it’s always a good idea to speak with your doctor.
HOW TO PREPARE
Yes you may already be signed up with your team, but make it more than just a team for the event. Use each other to stay accountable for working out. Go for runs together, vent with each other when it gets hard, and celebrate with each other when you’re starting to see improvements.
FIND OUT WHAT YOU’RE GETTING YOURSELF INTO
Every obstacle course race is different, meant for different skill levels, with different focuses for obstacles. You can generally find out information from their website for the length of the race and what kind of obstacles there will be, or through blogger reviews. YouTube is another great way to see first hand what to expect by watching GoPro footage of people going through all of the obstacles.
The first step to figuring out your workout schedule is deciding how you want to train. Many obstacle course races give you access to training guides through their website or some sort of sign up. The guides can be helpful but they’re not the be all, end all of your training program. The main thing to keep in mind is to workout your entire body. Make sure you focus fairly evenly between lower body, core, upper body, and cardio. You don’t have to stick to the gym or a trail run to work out either. There’s tons of alternatives like doing a playground workout, fast paced hike, or an at home Jillian Michaels workout dvd. As Woman 2 Warrior says, “you should be prepared to lift, climb, crawl, jump, [and] run/walk”.
Once you know how you want to workout you need to put it in writing. Scheduling your workouts increases the likelihood of you actually going out and doing what you set out to. So do what you gotta do, write it in a planner, post it on a fridge, or put reminders in your phone. Attending regular workout classes like local bootcamps is another great way to keep you on track by committing you to a particular time and place. Locally in Victoria BDHQ has an awesome outdoor bootcamp class that totally kicks your butt.
Keep yourself motivated. If you’re a visual person like me you can put up pictures, hang up clothes you want to fit in, or put your tickets somewhere you will look at all the time. If you’re goal oriented you can write out goals and track your progress in a journal or notebook. Buddies or online groups can be another great way to keep you motivated. Some people find it really helpful to have somewhere to turn when you’re feeling unmotivated or tempted to sway away from your goal.
Drinking water is so so important for overall health. When you’re training for an event it’s really important to keep up your water intake, especially if you’ll be training in the heat. There’s fitness apps that help you stay on track with your water intake. One summer I worked out too hard in the heat with too little water and paid for it, the phone app really helped with staying on track of hitting my water goals.
Now it’s giveaway time! I’ve partnered with Woman 2 Warrior to bring you this fun Instagram giveaway. On Instagram you can enter to win team registration for the August 28th, 2016 event, plus some fitness goodies like a box of Clif Bars, Vega One shake mix, subway gift card, tshirt, and a headband. All you have to do is go to the Instagram post, tag a friend and follow @Woman2WarriorBC and @HappyStylishFit. Giveaway closes at 6:00 pm PST on Sunday, August 21st. Good luck!
If you’re already signed up for your event then I wish you all the best of luck on your obstacle course race adventure! Stay focused, remember your goals, and drink lot’s of water. You’ll have tons of fun during the event, and you’ll feel so great after you’ve completed it. If you’re thinking about signing up for one just go do it! You’ll have a blast and be so impressed with yourself and your team once you’re done.