You just signed up for your first obstacle course race (a.k.a. "mud run"), but do you know how to prepare for it? Many folks just go out and pick a random workout that they think is hard core and will improve their race results. I applaud their efforts, but random workouts, no matter how tough, will yield random results.
Although obstacle course races are a lot of fun, they're very challenging for most people. They require a variety of athletic skills and capabilities—like sprinting, lifting, jumping, climbing and crawling—all of which must be accounted for during your training. Neglecting any one of these skills can leave you struggling on a specific obstacle and can hurt your ability to complete a race.
Setting up a training program is the one of the keys to success in obstacle course racing. A training program encourages you to set goals and train specifically to accomplish them. Keep it simple. The more complicated your program, the harder it will be to follow. I recommend the following four-day training schedule, which is specifically designed to prepare you for the various components of an obstacle course race. Depending on your personal schedule, you may need to adjust the days that you train. The idea is to organize your training to maximize your results.
Monday: Total-Body Strength
Tuesday: Anaerobic Conditioning
Wednesday: Recovery Day, Mobility/Recovery Methods
Thursday: Long Trail Running
Friday: Total-Body Strength
Start your training with Part 2 in the series on strength training.