The Marathon Re-Defined: How to Train for Extreme Obstacle Courses
Are you looking for a challenge that takes you to the edge of sanity? Maybe you've completed a half marathon, but you want more. Why not try the latest craze, and sign up for an extreme obstacle course.
The latest fitness craze is sweeping the nation – with events like Tough Mudder and The Inferno – and they're guaranteed to push you to your limits with 10+ mile courses and countless obstacles, from electroshock therapy to scaling walls.
Last month, more than 30 Nautilus employees participated in Tough Mudder to raise money for the Wounded Warrior Project. Tough Mudder is no ordinary fitness challenge. This 10-12 mile obstacle course is designed by British Special Forces to test strength, stamina, mental determination and camaraderie. And it requires a very different approach to training.
Following are some tips from our Bowflex team to get you started:
Mentally prepare and stay confident.
As the saying goes, it's mind over matter. Having a good team that's been training together early on and frequently builds the confidence you need. The goal is not to finish the race with the fastest time, but to get through it as a team. A team that is mentally prepared and properly trained will have the stamina to get through the race.
Step out of your comfort zone.
Tough Mudder courses are created to challenge every aspect of your physical and mental strength. In training, make sure you move outside your comfort zone, add one more rep to your workout, run that extra hill, and prepare to be surprised. This will all serve you well when the time comes!
Change up the training and ensure it's comprehensive.
The key to training for Tough Mudder or other similar races is diversity in your workouts, with a combination of strength and cardio, as well as mock mud runs and obstacle courses up to three times a week. Just like the ever-changing obstacles and environment of the challenge itself, circuit training constantly changes the workout for the participant, combining several different routines to provide a full body workout, without slowing down. It's important not to get stuck in a routine when training, and it helps to train outdoors in varying conditions.
Expect the unexpected.
Prepare to be outside your comfort zone These challenges will bond your team together - and, later on, you can laugh about it as you celebrate surviving the race. The course is meant to test your endurance, your stamina, your strength, and above all, power of will.
If you've participated in an extreme obstacle course or if you're currently training for one, we'd love to hear from you. Leave us your questions and comments on training for these unique physical challenges.