So I’ve been competing in obstacle course races (OCR’s) now for 3 years. In that time I have completed a number of X-Runner events, a Born Survivor and a Tough Mudder, and I thought I would share my tips for training for an obstacle course race.

I’ve compiled a short 3 minute video here:

Now unfortunately after completing the Conwy half marathon last year, my knee and ankle ligament have never really fully recovered so I can’t do a lot of running. However aiming to run the full distance of the course you’re taking part in would be my recommendation. Try to vary the landscapes and terrain you run on though to get used to the mud and hills on the day. I will perform a short trail run of 4-5km once a week supplemented with some low impact cardio like the Eliptical machine, stair master, and even walking fast on a treadmill on a max incline.

I also recommend performing strength training for your legs, using traditional movements like squats and lunges. When it comes to strength training, don’t forget your upper body too. A lot of the obstacles will involve climbing, lifting your own body weight, and a monkey bar section is almost guaranteed.  I perform regular pull ups to help with this, and use a frame in the gym to practise my monkey bar technique.

Although most OCR’s don’t involve a lot of swimming, this is another great form of low impact cardio to build up your fitness.  You can also experience “cold shock” when you go through the lakes and water based obstacles, so I regularly use the plunge pool in my gym to get used to the cold sensation.

Finally every OCR will involve crawling through mud! This can be quite tiring and energy sapping if you’re not used to it, so practising your crawling technique ahead of the big day is a good idea.

Ultimately the main thing to remember is to have fun. Although these events are referred to as races, it’s not competitive, and often team based in nature. Just focus on completing the course at your own pace and enjoy yourself!