Health/Fitness

Obstacle and Mud Races

by Kyle Washburn
Health & Fitness Editor
Wednesday Oct 31, 2012
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This week, I was reading an interesting article about obstacle and mud runs. They have become increasingly popular and draw in a range of participants, from hard-core athletes, gym regulars, military, police and fire department workers all the way to recreational exercisers to complete novices in the health arena.

I admit, I have done Tough Mudder and Urbanathlons, and my friends and siblings competed in Spartan and Warrior Dashes, to name a few. I had a blast competing in them, as have others. They are a different type of challenge and fun to do with friends and also solo.

I have many years under my belt competing in endurance sports, triathlons, marathons and even body building competitions. Now, I am no expert in obstacle course and mud events, but I have done a few and have performed well. I am aware that it takes a certain amount of conditioning to complete and do well in such events.

However, although there are really no prerequisites to participate, other than signing a waiver of liability, you should be in relative good physical conditioning. Now what does that statement, "relative good physical conditioning" really mean?

There is no true definition, but it does help if you have been participating in some sort of physical activity leading up to the event. Plus if you were to go see your doctor, he or she should without hesitation clear you to do such an event.

With easy to follow workouts, energizing pep talks, and extensive course descriptions, this training program gives readers the physical strength and fearless mental endurance essential to crush any course.

Now if you really want to conquer the event, or just be more assured that you could finish the event with a smile throughout the race and at the end, it behooves you to train and train appropriately.

The book "Ultimate Obstacle Race Training" by Brett Stewart is a great place to start. It has training programs designed to help you understand the events, the obstacles, and how to train to succeed.

Even if you have already completed some of these events, this book can help you increase your performance not only at the event but also in daily tasks.

The book contains many other great features. There is a question and answer section. There is a gear guide section. There are descriptions of many events for men, women, teams, groups and kids.

The best section I found was the functional training guides. These programs are not designed to be completed in the gym, although some could be, but they are designed to be done outside and prepare you for the actual and types of events you are sure to encounter. There are even some good core and functional body weight exercises.

If you are looking for a heads up for an obstacle of mud event, this book is a great place to start.

Kyle Washburn is the National Health and Fitness Editor at Edge Publications, Inc. He earned a BS in Physiology, M.Ed in Sport Psychology and Counseling and an MBA. He is a certified personal trainer through NASM and ACE and has been training for over ten years. He is an avid triathlete, softball and tennis player, runner, hiker and enjoys the outdoors.

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