So you’re thinking about partaking in a race so extreme that you may be unable to move any muscle in your body for a week and possibly sacrifice the ability to have your first born child. Okay, the latter part of that statement may be pushing it a bit much. But as for the intensity of the soreness that will come within completion of this event, a week may even be an understatement.Getting Dirty
That’s right, I’m talking about one of the most popular runs that has engaged all types of athletes and has brought a whole new meaning to the term, “obstacle course”. It’s more than just a run, and it’s more than a few exercises and obstacles. This obstacle course race combines the endurance of running mixed with the strength and agility to overcome obstacles and places them back to back to create the most grueling activity one can put their body through. Some obstacle courses include mud others include fire and other extremities to get the heart racing, the blood pumping, and the adrenaline running to push even the fittest athletes to their maximum extremity. The Men’s Health Urbanathlon takes a city and turns it into an athlete’s playground.Getting Dirty
After running in several races, training for a half marathon, having color thrown in my face while running, and swimming through mud, I decided it was time to take on one of the biggest urban obstacle course races in the world. The Men’s Health Urbanathlon held right here in the heart of New York City. It’s been on my bucketlist for a couple of years and now that I’m living in the city, I decided I had no excuse to pass up the opportunity to put my body and mind to the test and take on the adventure with my New York City soul mate. What exactly does the Men’s Health Urbanathlon entail?Men’s Health Urbanathlon
-10 mile run with a different obstacle every mile
-2 buses with 100 foot cargo net
-1 mile of stairs at Citi Field
-Tires and barricades
-10 feet of monkey bars
-16 feet of parallel bars
-Crawling under, jumping over, and squeezing through a variety of obstacles
-A final 40 yard sprint to the finish line
And to top it all off, every single obstacle must be completed. If one is unable to complete an obstacle, they must perform burpees, pushups, and low rows with the TRX. Hmm…hurdles and climbing or burpees? That could be the most difficult decision I’ll be given that day. Here’s to just completing the set of obstacles the first time!
Source: Getting Dirty
I have given myself a personal goal of completing the course in its entirety in under 1:30:00. That means that in addition to my rigorous schedule with completing my personal training certification and working with clients, I will also begin increasing the intensity of my workouts to involve more strength training, endurance, and high intensity interval training (HIIT). Thinking of doing an obstacle course based race? Here are some things to consider as well as an example of a workout to include in your training that should help you prepare for some of the obstacles.
-Check out the course to mentally prepare yourself for what you’ll be doing so there are no surprises.
-If you see someone else struggling, unless you’re looking to win the whole shebang, offer to help out. You may need it on the next obstacle.
-Give it all you’ve got! But make sure to take proper precaution so you can ensure you are able to give 100% AND complete the course.
- Stay hydrated. While you should be doing this daily anyways, it’s especially important while engaging in strenuous activity to avoid cramping and dizziness.
- Fuel up with a light, but filling and energizing breakfast. Try promeal, toast with peanut butter, sliced bananas, and a couple of eggs, or something else with a balance of carbs, fats, and proteins to help fill you and keep your tank full.
- Dress appropriately. See what the weather will be like that day and dress accordingly. Also, don’t wear your favorite workout attire (we all have our go to running shorts/sports bra/shoes/etc. that make us feel like a champ. Save that for a day when you’re lacking the motivation to train, not when you’re going to putting your body through obstacles that may cause rips, stains, or completely ruining your clothing.)
- Avoid injuries by paying attention to your surroundings, taking your time if you are unsure about an obstacle, and wearing form fitting clothing to help make yourself more agile when going under/over/through obstacles.
- Leading up to the race, include endurance, HIIT, and strength training into your workouts. Here’s an example of a workout to help get you ready.
Get creative and see what other workouts you can do to try and replicate the course you’re partaking in!Men’s Health Urbanathlon
Thinking of signing up for an obstacle course race? Which one?
If you have already done one, what advice would you give a first timer?