Hill & Trail Training

An outdoor strength & conditioning workout

The mountains, or hills for some, are your new best friends when you decide to embark on a journey into the mud run or obstacle race world. Last week, we introduced you to a favorite exercise, the burpee, and this week, we expand on that single movement and incorporate it into a full workout.

Hill & Trail TrainingOne of the best parts about obstacle course racing is training. It offers a chance to get out of the traditional gym environment, off the paved roads and onto the trails. Often, you’ll find yourself seeking out the largest hill or mountain around. Some of the best stories come from the adventures leading up to the actual race.

Hill & Trail TrainingThe root of all obstacle race training starts with running. If you aren’t a strong runner, then walking or hiking is a great place to begin. Since almost every mud run and obstacle course race involves trails, fields, and in many cases, mountains, the first step is to get comfortable on the trails. It’s time to retire from the treadmill and get outside! Whether you live in the middle of a city and find yourself on woodchips or summiting a 10,000-foot mountain here in Salt Lake City, the trails are your new home. Trail running is much different from the road. The entire time you must be looking ahead for the roots, rocks, and sometimes, wildlife that share the trail with you. Also, running on trails is a full body workout. You not only are engaging your legs, you’re using more stabilizer muscles in your ankles, knees and hips. And, you’re getting a great core workout.

Beginner Trail Workout

Hill & Trail TrainingThis beginner trail workout is perfect for you to start to engage your muscles in a new way on the trail and begin to build the upper body strength needed for many of the obstacles in a mud run or obstacle course race. If you are new to trail running, pick an easy to moderate trail in your area that is flat to moderately hilly. If you are more advanced, pick a trail that suits your ability.

Hill & Trail TrainingWorkout Time: 60 Minutes

Every 15 Minutes STOP DROP

15 – Push-ups
15 – Burpees

This workout is fairly simple, but it’s extremely effective! A few tips:

– Pick a trail that will take you about an hour to complete.

– If you are in a park, you may end up doing a couple laps.

– As you start to run, start your watch timer. Every fifteen minutes, STOP running, stop the timer and do 15 push-ups and 15 burpees.

– When you complete the exercises, stand back up, start the timer again and continue running for another fifteen minutes. At the end of the workout, you should have done four sets.

This workout is a great way to not only get accustomed to the trails, but to also strengthen your body for the stop and starts of obstacle course racing and mud runs. This workout can be repeated a couple times a week and will help you to be ready for your first or fortieth race or run! That’s all the dirt for this week! Next week, learn why cotton is never a good idea when mud is involved in an event!

Margaret Schlachter

Margaret Schlachter, the first professional female obstacle course racer, is a top ranked athlete in the Reebok Spartan Race series. She is also an endurance athlete specializing in ultra trail running races, a Spartan SGX Coach, and a CrossFit Level 1 Trainer. She founded DirtinYourSkirt.com, a leading source for all things obstacle course racing and endurance sports. For more information on Margaret, her upcoming book and online coaching services.

Margaret's book "Obstacle Race Training: How to Beat any Course, Compete Like a Champion and Change Your Life" is available for PRE-SALE! Click HERE to reserve your copy.

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