Crawling under truck tires, climbing over a cargo net, swinging from monkey bars, and making your way over cars. Sounds like a party right?
Obstacle course races are all the rage these days. From Tough Mudder to Spartan Races, it seems the trend is to put yourself through complete agony for several hours all in the name of bragging rights… and a killer after party.
Not wanting to be left out of the action, Toronto has it’s very own extreme sporting event coming this fall.
A less muddy affair, Urban Warrior is 10k race through the city’s waterfront with 8 “fun” obstacle challenges throughout the course just to make things interesting. You can put your athleticism to the ultimate test without having to leave the city. Plus your registration fee includes entry to the after party and a beer ticket. With live bands and Steamwhistle on tap, it’s shaping up to be a can’t-miss affair.
Interested in signing up but not sure how to start training? Here are a few tips on prepping yourself for an obstacle race:
1. Speed work
With plenty of stopping and starting throughout the course being able to get from obstacle to obstacle in a timely manner can make or break your race. Be sure to keep your running workouts varied with sprint intervals mixed in with recovery runs.
2. Practice crawling
A major component of all obstacle races, you can be sure to expect lots of crawling throughout the Urban Warrior course. It’s also a great full body workout as it requires upper and lower body strength as well as a strong core. Practice crawling with your hips low to the ground. Crawl for 20-50 yards and repeat 3 times.
3. Perfect your pullups
Getting over obstacles and climbing across monkey bars requires a lot of upper body strength. The ultimate exercise for this is the pullup. Ideally ladies should be able to complete 5-8 pullups in succession and men should be able to power through 12-15 to be ready for an obstacle course race. If you can’t complete one unassisted yet, try using a band or practice jumping pullups.
4. Train with friends!
Races like Urban Warrior are different from your standard running race as they rely a lot on teamwork. It’s a social event rather than an every man for himself scenario. Join a training group or team up with some friends to make your training more fun. Challenge each other to sprints and plank-offs. Carry your friend on your back for a 100 metre dash (and make them carry you for 200m). Whatever you do make sure it’s enjoyable – you are more likely to stick to a fun training plan than a monotamous one. (Can I add in a shameless plug for Fit Streets here? With intervals of full body strength training mixed into a 5k run it’s the perfect training program for your next obstacle race!)
For more information on Urban Warrior check out: http://gourbanwarrior.com