Willow blog

Warrior training tips

March 5, 2015

If you’re hoping to become one of our Willow Warriors, Paul Kenny has the obstacle training tips you need to get started:

Climbing, jumping, crawling and hauling yourself over the range of obstacles requires a lot more upper body strength than normal running, so it’s important to vary your training accordingly. Check out these great exercises to get you well prepared for your muddy event, ensuring you cross the finishing line fitter, stronger and happier.

1. Bear Walks: To improve your upper body strength, including core, arms and shoulders, you need to train accordingly. Plus you’ll need to practice keeping down low to get underneath crawl obstacles. Start on all fours, with your hands underneath your hips. Keep your back flat and raise your knees off the ground. Move forwards on your hands and toes approximately 10 metres. Then turn through 90 degrees and move sideways back to your starting point. Repeat, facing the other way on the return stretch.

2. Hill Sprints: Great for improving your short burst stamina, cardiovascular & leg strength. Most obstacle races have sections with steep gradients so getting this training done before will pay dividends. Find the steepest hill you can, approx 50 – 100 metres long. After a good 10 minute warm up, sprint up the hill and jog back down. Aim to do this at least 5 times.

3. Burpees: A great total body exercise. Helps to improve the power in your muscles and jump over high obstacles. Start in a standing position, squat down and put your hands on the ground. With a jump, extend both legs out behind you, very quickly bringing them back in and jumping in the air.

4. Bench Jumps: A quality exercise to help build a stronger upper body and create more powerful legs. This will really help to vault tricky areas of the course. Find a stable box or a bench with no sides, approx 12 inches high. Place your hands together at one end, and keep them there for the duration of the exercise. Put your feet together on one side, kick your heels and jump over the box, keeping both feet together. Repeat 20 – 30 times.

5. Single Leg Jumps: Having a strong core and legs, along with good balance and ankle joints will really help get you round an obstacle course. Stand on one leg, raising the other knee. Lean forwards, still standing on the same leg, straightening the other leg out behind out. Drive the ‘free’ leg back up in front of you and jump at the same time. Repeat on both legs 15 – 20 times.

If you’re able to try and complete these exercises three times a week, starting four weeks before your race, you should be in a much better position to get a good time and have a great time. Plenty of time to get match fit for Willow Warrior! 

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