The Fitness Zone
In the midst of Adventure Race season, we caught up with current Master Trainer student and fitness influencer Bec Chambers along with fitness professionals and Institute graduates Becky Bergman, Nick Cheadle and Jason Fleming to give us the scoop on how to get race ready.
Preparing for an adventure race is a lot like preparing for any sporting activity. If you genuinely want to compete, you have to lay the groundwork and train to build up your/your client’s physical requirements so you’re in competition condition.
Sports enthusiasts know you can’t just rock up to the first game of the year and expect to perform the same as you did in the last game the season before, without putting in any work. Your body has been resting, and your muscular and aerobic condition just isn’t ‘game ready’. You can still play – you just might need a few stints on the bench.
It’s pretty much the same with preparing for an adventure race. You need to put in the work to make sure you don’t get injured, can physically last the distance and complete each obstacle. Sure, you can show up, take it on and make it through, but who wants to be doing a 20-burpee penalty when you can dominate the obstacle instead?
Train to build your/your client’s strength, stability and fitness, concentrating on explosive movements and exercises that might be mirrored in the event.
Preparation timing is completely dependent on the individual and the event they do. Whether a 7km, 14km or 21km event, you should be able to jog the required distance. The event will present small breaks along the way so if you can master that distance comfortably and can lift your own body weight (lat pull-down/chin up) you should be able to take on the event with confidence.
Whether you participate in a group or as an individual is completely up to you/ your client, but if it is your first time we’d recommend doing it as a group. Not only can you help each other tackle the obstacles and provide moral support, you can share in the fun and make it a really enjoyable and memorable experience.
If you’re a seasoned athlete and want to genuinely compete, competing as an individual will allow you to push yourself to your absolute limit,to not be affected by slower team members, and to know your success was the result of your own hard work.
On the day, warming up is a must! You need to ensure your muscles are warm and joints lubricated before tackling each obstacle. If you have a recurring injury such as a weak ankle, make sure it’s taped (correctly) to limit any range of movement that will cause further damage, and have adequate First Aid equipment to attend to it post race. If you reach an obstacle and genuinely don’t think you can overcome it, avoid what you know you physically can’t do. We’re all for giving everything a go but sometimes we may have specific limitations and if so, there is no shame in bowing out.
At the end of the race, your cool down is just as important. If you make a conscious effort to keep walking once you cross that finish line, and do a few stretches before you go off and celebrate, you’ll thank yourself later.But if you’re like us and tend to get caught up in the post-race excitement and forget to cool down at the finish line, hot-cold showers can be a practical recovery technique, followed by a proper stretching session.
If you are thinking of competing in an adventure race our advice, Just do it! The biggest obstacle you’ll face is your fear of the unknown. If you’re a fitness beginner, events such as Miss Muddy will introduce you to the types of obstacles on offer, and you’ll have a ball.
Events have all evolved to cater for the beginner as well as the advanced competitor, so do your research and see which events (and their obstacles) appeal to you.
Make sure your training includes a variety of disciplines and don’t be afraid to try something new. Monkey bars are a staple obstacle so if you can master the bars, the rest of the course will be a breeze. For more info on adventure race training head to our Warrior Workout we created just for you!
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