by Joe Vennare
Training for an Event like the CMC should include workouts that are focused on strength, cardio, and race specific skills. Your main training goals should be to increase strength relative to bodyweight, cardiovascular and muscular stamina, durability, and mental toughness.
Look to include compound, functional movements like Olympic lifts. Train under a weight-bearing load, over an extended period of time completing resisted runs, sprints, hill climbs, and stadium stairs. Finally, train skills specific to the race including relative strength, grip strength, core strength/stability, dynamic, unilateral, and non-linear movement, transfer of force/power, and transport a load.
While training for strength, size and brute force should not be your main goal. For a powerlifter or body builder that might be the case, but you are trying to be an athlete; an obstacle athlete. Start with bodyweight exercises to build relative strength then move onto compound movements and athletic or functional exercises like kettlebells.
Cardio should include one longer run that is at least the distance of your race, but focus the majority of your attention on shorter, high intensity workouts that mimic the start and stop nature of an obstacle race. Hill sprints, sled pushes, and hiking or running with a weighted vest or pack are sound choices.
Finally, do not leave out race specific skills. The race is outdoors right? You better be training in the cold and mud if you expect to compete. Find a rope to practice climbing, or use hand towels wrapped around a pull-up bar to train your grip strength. Fill 5 gallon buckets with rocks and weight and perform farmer’s carries. Find heavy, unbalanced objects and lift/move them.
If you want to DOMINATE an obstacle course race get specific and choose/design a training protocol that is designed for obstacle athletes.
(Author Joe Vennare is a successful entrepreneur and accomplished fitness professional. As the co-founder of Hybrid Athlete, www.thehybridathlete.com, Joe develops innovative fitness programming for endurance, multi-sport and obstacle race athletes. Joe is also the co-creator of Race Day Domination,www.racedaydomination.com, a training manual designed to prepare competitors for success in any obstacle course race. In addition to his professional pursuits, Joe is a sponsored endurance athlete competing in triathlon, ultra-marathon, and adventure racing. Joe’s motivation to train and compete in endurance sports is fueled by a desire to test his physical abilities and mental toughness.)