Saturday, October 20, 2012

Why people think they can't train for an obstacle course race

Howdy folks, I have heard this question many times, how do you train for an obstacle course race?  Many people say you can't, but I'm saying you can.

First of all, an obstacle course race takes many physical attributes, from balance, agility, power, and endurance, as well as mental attributes in confidence and sheer will and determination.  So how do you train for the mental aspect?  That is simple, train the body and the confidence will follow.

But most people want that magic workout which will give them success on the course.  But there is no 'magic workout.'  Confused?  I think many people are, but here are a couple of observations I have made about people's training habits.

You can get fit to look good, or you can get fit to be good.  An obstacle course race is a true test of how good your fitness program is working if you want to 'be good.'   The problem I see with most training programs is that the endurance athlete does not lift weights and the weight lifting crowd doesn't do any endurance training.   I know, I know, I've heard it.  The gym rat says they run on the treadmill for a mile three times a week, or even does a little interval work on the elliptical.  Or, the runner, cyclist, or even triathlete talks about going to the local boot camp.  This may seem like an oversimplification, but it's true, in order to do well at an obstacle course race, you have to train just as hard at both.  This means lifting real weights AND doing real endurance work such as running, biking, swimming, and hiking.

The next observation is fear of the unknown.  You are good at what you do, but don't want to jump in the weight room and look inexperienced, or be the guy who looks fit, but can't jog 5k without walking. You just have to get over it, and JUST DO IT, as the popular slogan says.  As quick as I say that, I want to emphasize jumping into a new training program increases the likelihood you will get hurt tremendously.  Seek professional help with a personal trainer or fitness coach.  Don't just assume they know what they are doing, interview them to make sure they understand human performance.  Many trainers specialize in weight loss and bodybuilding type 'look good' fitness.  It is imperative to find a good trainer or you will waste your time and money.

The next way you can learn to train for an obstacle course race is to continue to read Filthy Clean Living.  Over the winter months I will be posting more specific articles on training, including video of workouts and exercises.

Stay tuned, and thanks for reading,

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