How To Train For KEEN’s Obstacle Run
Add 5 sets of each of these exercises to your usual workout
When you imagine an obstacle race, what do you dread? The wall climb? Us too. Pulling yourself over a wall is an expected hurdle in any obstacle race, and let’s be honest, one of the toughest parts of the course. In order to get your pull ups in shape before the day, try this exercise.
Lunge your left foot forward, and your right foot behind you. Hold a dumbbell of comfortable weight in your right hand with your left elbow resting on your knee. Pull the weight up to your chest, bending your elbow to 90 degrees and return. Do 2 sets of 20 reps on each arms.
If there’s one thing you can be sure of, it’s that this obstacle race will involve at least one cargo net. Are you ready to race along the ground faster than the rest?
The zombie crawl is similar the the bear crawl, but with one big difference. Unlike with the bear crawl, where you use both your arms and legs to make your way across the floor, with the zombie, your legs are totally still, and it’s your arms, core and shoulders that are doing all the work.
Go into a push up plank, with your back straight and your core engaged. Then keep this position while pulling yourself along the floor with just your arms. this exercise works best on a wooden floor, with a piece of material under your feet to allow them to slide along with you.
Forearm to Push-up Plank
The forearm to push up plank is great as it works out your entire body, while strengthening your core and arms.
Begin in a Push-up Plank position, with hands flat on the floor under your shoulders, then carefully lower yourself to the Forearm Plank position. Alternate between positions for the duration of the exercise, switching which arm “leads” the way.
Skater exercises, in which you perform a lateral jump, are great for strengthen your legs and improve stability and balance, great for jumping between steps and boxes on an obstacle course. Not only does this exercise strengthen your glutes and thighs, it also improves knee strength.
Begin with your legs slightly wider than shoulder distance apart and arms at the sides. Bring one leg behind at a slight angle into a reverse lunge. The front knee will naturally come to a 90-degree angle. As you do this, swing the arms in front of that bent knee and leap the back leg forward to switch sides. Repeat, alternating arms with your leading legs, in a movement like a speed skater.
Along the course, there will be more than one instance where your balance will be tested, just as much as your agility. Practice this easy move to make sure you’re rock solid with minimal shakes.
Keep a chair or a wall within an arm’s reach. With feet together, pick up one foot with the knee facing forward or to the side. Hold the position with eyes open, then closed. Switch feet and repeat for four reps on each foot. As your balance gets better, attempt this while in a squat position, on your balancing leg.
Interval Running, With Hills
When we think about obstacle courses, most of us probably assume that we need to work on our upper body and core strength above else, however the thing that most people forget to train when preparing for an obstacle race, is intensity in cardio power and the ability to apply short bursts of power.
The thing to remember about obstacle races is that, whilst there is still a large amount of running, it is broken up regularly with other elements, so you will not be expected to do any long periods of running.
If you’re not a runner at all, then map out a route and walk it, jogging small sections at a time to start to get used to running. Repeat this a few times, slowly building up the amount you jog until you’re comfortable to run for 90 seconds, to each of your two minutes of walking.
Once feeling comfortable with running, focus on mixing your steady runs with speed interval training and hill climbs, to get your legs and breathing prepared for when you need bring out the speed on the obstacle course, to power past your competitors to the Camp Wildfire Cup!
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