Step up to get results

Guide to obstacle racing

Four weeks into your training and you should be feeling fitter, stronger and possible a little lighter – so now it’s time to take your training up to next level. Now this doesn’t mean a dramatic increase in your mileage and resistance training, but it does mean a conscious increase in the difficulty of your sessions.

Here’s three simple ways to do it:

  • Do more

Add an additional session. A great way to do this is to attend a class, that way you don’t need to think about what you’re going to do – simply turn up and sweat! Try a bootcamp, circuit or kettlebells class as each of these will complement training for an obstacle race.

  • Go harder

Boost the intensity. This can be done in two different ways, first of which is to reduce the rest periods between exercises or secondly use more dynamic or explosive movements such as box jumps, squat thrusts or battle ropes etc.

  • Go longer

Increase the duration. This one is simple, keep doing what you are doing, only for longer! For those of you who have signed up to a race which is beyond 10km, this advice would be aimed at you. 

Getting results

Tracking your progression is an extremely important part of your training. You have some cold hard facts which outline your progress, and provide some great bragging rights if you so wish! 

Use your first session in the second four week block to get down some facts and figures for some standard fitness tests. I’d suggest a push-up test, 30 second jump test, pull up test and either the cooper 12 minute run test (run as far as possible at a steady speed for 12 minutes) or a bleep test.  

Keep these results safe and then four weeks later perform the test again. You’ll see how far you have progressed and can brag until your heart’s content. 


You might also be interested in the other blog posts in the obstacle racing series: Don't be stuck in the mudKeeping your eyes on the prize and Race day.

About the author
Jacob Salt-Berrymen is a philosophy graduate, personal trainer, regular triathlete and enthusiastic obstacle racer. As a Fitness Tutor for YMCAfit - the UK's leading activity for health charity - Jacob specialises in outdoor fitness, suspension training, and anatomy and physiology. You can read more from Jacob in his Central YMCA Guide Run, Jump, Climb and Crawl.

ymca | 27 May 2014