Where to Train For An Obstacle Course Race

Good places to train for an obstacle course race are as varied as the obstacles themselves. Don’t assume that the only place you will get a good workout for a mud run is at the gym.  There are plenty of other fantastic training grounds to help you develop functional strength for the race. Just as with fitness in general, you can drop tons of money investing in fancy equipment and gym memberships, or you can take the completely free route and make use of what you have.

Playgrounds are a great place to Train for an Obstacle Course Race

Playgrounds:

A lot of obstacles on an obstacle course are reminiscent of things you used to enjoy on a playground, which is why playgrounds can make for a naturally fun training locale.  Try to go early in the morning or when the kids are at school to avoid weird stares and conflicts of interest on the equipment. Or better yet, enlist your child to train with you. There are endless fun ways to get stronger and improve your agility and balance: climb up poles, walk across the balance beams, do the monkey bars, climb up and down ladders, use the swings to modified pull-ups. For some advanced training, do pull-ups on the rings, do dips on a set of parallel bars climb poles with only your hands.  Find other creative ways to adapt some of the basic exercises discussed in the last chapter to the playground.

The Great Outdoors

The great outdoors provides us with all of the training possibilities we could possibly need to train for an obstacle course. Plenty of obstacle courses use natural obstacles like mud pits and hill climbs anyway.  Plus the peacefulness and fresh air from an outdoor workout can be highly motivating and invigorating. Various regions have different features that you can make use of, so be creative and work with what you have. Try to find a place where you can both run and do various strength-building and agility exercises such as climbing rocks, climbing trees, scrambling up steep trails, jumping over obstacles, and balancing on tree trunks. Be on the lookout for sturdy branches for pull-ups; find trails with downed trees to run over or jump over; and use tree trunks or boulders for bench dips and push-ups. If you only have access to flat grasslands or similar land features, you can still get a great workout with body weight exercises.

Fitness Paths:

You know those fitness trails that have equipment and intervals throughout the trails with signs that describe an exercise? They were a craze back in the 80s that might just still be in your neighborhood. If so, it can make for another great option for obstacle course racers in training. Their design is already very much like an obstacle course in that they combine running and strength building exercises at intervals along the trail.  All fitness paths are arranged slightly differently, but they typically have pull-up bars, parallel bars, benches for sit-ups or leg-raises, modified pull-up bars, and monkey bars.  You can follow the fitness trail exercises exactly, or you can substitute other exercises to have the intensity level fit your needs.

Home

The number one excuse for not working out is not having enough time, but the truth is you can get a perfectly effective workout at your house with 20-30 minutes at your house.  If you are stuck inside at home, or a hotel room or really anywhere else you can think of, there are plenty of effective strength-building exercises you can do without any special equipment. Use chairs for dips and step-ups.  Do push-ups, squats, burpees, jumping jacks. Supplement your strength-building exercises with any kind of cardio you want: running in place, running up your stairs, or jumping rope.

There are of course plenty of other places where you can combine strength-training, cardio activity and fun.  Where do you like to train?

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