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Top Tips for Novice Obstacle Course Runners

Tips and Advice

Hey  guys and girls,

Here is our 1st blog post of 2014 on our newly designed website which I must give credit to A.P.T athlete Richard O’Connor for his re-design work.

This is a guest blog post from another A.P.T athlete and seasoned obstacle course/mud runner Julie Norris which I thought would be useful with so many of our athletes about to undertake this years Winter Major Series run in just a few short weeks and the start of the 2014 season with loads of other runs that you may be interested in…..

1.¬† ¬†Get the footwear right – it’s easy to be like Bambi on ice unless you are prepared. Whichever race you choose there will be mud and there will be¬†¬†¬† hills; staying upright isn’t as easy as you think. Ideally go for a pair of cheap trail shoes which you keep for obstacle races so you don’t mind them getting ruined. Oh, and tie those laces with an extra knot or two!

2. Make sure you’re dressed appropriately – compression tops are ideal as they won’t get stuck on obstacles, they dry out quick and they will keep you warm. A lot of these events involve water and a lot are run in the winter. Don’t underestimate how cold the water may be. Avoid anything cotton and go for quick drying materials.

3. It’s difficult to train for these events as you never quite know what to expect. Don’t feel you have to be able to run the whole distance before the day – although a 10k race obviously covers 10k, the obstacles break it up. The training at A.P.T will be ideal as it will make you generally strong all over as well as improving your general fitness and most importantly stamina, so you’re ready to take on whatever they decide to throw at you. Add a couple of off road runs with some hills in and you should be confident of finishing strong.

4. These events are great fun – but it can be a bit daunting when you get to the start and see some of the obstacles. Not to mention the pre race briefings and the waiver forms where you literally sign your life away!! That’s the insurance culture for you… Don’t be put off – get out there and enjoy it, and I’m sure you will surprise yourself at how much you will love it. You will always see someone who is less fit than you are. Encourage them and help them. Someone else will do the same for you when you need

5. Bring a spare set of warm clothes easy to change into afterwards! You might be stripping in a car park and you might be shivering… (My sister learned that skinny jeans weren’t ideal after she needed help getting dressed!)

6. Challenge yourself; the sense of achievement every time you up the intensity/difficulty/distance is well worth it. It’s amazing how quick you can get the bug for mud and ice cold water. There’s loads of races from 5k right up to 20 miles, and people are always willing to help you if you’re struggling. These events are not about a finishing time – I’ve never checked mine, and many events now don’t even give you a timing chip. Forget the time, do your best, and if you found it easy choose a harder one next time. And if you found it tough choose a harder one next time and look forward to the challenge :)

7. Take a can of coke for afterwards!! A tip I picked up off some outward bounds instructors. I’m not suggesting you will drinking from the lake, but it’s almost impossible to avoid swallowing some water on these courses which can upset your stomach. Coke and all it’s ‘goodness’ helps kill off bacteria – not exactly scientific research but it’s widely used by canoeists and triathletes and they swear by it. Makes you wonder what’s in it! I’ve had one after every race and not been sick yet – but a few friends have so they now carry a can for future races.

So there you have it, hopefully, you can learn a thing or two from someone who lives for this kind of thing………

Thanks Jules ;)