I ran my first (of many more to come) Warrior Dash this last weekend and it was a load of fun!
That’s my beautiful fiance in the pic who ran the Warrior Dash with me. She did an awesome job and I’m beyond proud of her!
With all the training and running she does, I thought for sure she would crush me on the running parts of the race, but I was a bit mistaken…
The hills are what slowed her down the worst. She kicked major ass on everything else!
For me, there really wasn’t any part of the race that kept me down to much other then a HUGE hill on the back side. I’ll get into that a bit later in this post, but the main thing is when you Train Aggressive all the time, these types of races shouldn’t be that bad.
I did a post a while back when a few gals from Spartan Race stopped through my gym to tear up a training session you can see HERE.
Those girls were mainly runners, but after they stopped through my gym,, I changed their minds on the way they prepared for their mud races forever.
Running or no running, you should be well prepared if you’re training aggressive within your sessions already.
There’s 5 main essentials to any type of training that I think you should know about if you didn’t know already…
Train EXPLOSIVELY, SPRINT, hammer out BODYWEIGHT MOVEMENTS, LIFT HEAVY SH*T, and STRETCH.
Of course, those 5 are just the basics of it all and if you’re doing all of that stuff, you’re well on your way.
Notice I never mentioned, “Run long distance…”
I’m sorry, but forget that sh*t!
You will NEVER catch me running further then a mile at a time unless it’s game day as I can’t stand running.
This was the second longest race I’ve ever done for a while as a few years back, my boy Joe Chizek and I ran a charity 5K and even back then, the running in that race came easy due to the type of training we do.
So, what I want you to take into consideration here is the 5 main essentials I spoke about above and then combine those with the next 4 tips I’m about to share below…
Mud Run Tip #1 – Do Power Running – AKA Sprint Hills!
Nothing will build more strength and power in your legs better the sprinting up hill.
Look at one of the greatest running backs of all time in Walter Payton… This guy knew what was up!
One of the things you can do to add in a bit more within your hills sprints is cutting back on your rest time, especially if you’re prepping for a mud race…
Sprint up to the top of the hill then jog back down and go right back up!
Normally when I run hill sprints I try to let myself recover a bit more so I can attack the hill at near full speed, but if you’re trying to build up more overall endurance, take shorter rest periods like I mentioned above.
Just believe me when I say that 5K races will start to seem like walks in the park after you start doing hill sprints consistently.
Your best bet is to find a hill that’s about 30-45 degrees up and stretches about 30-60 yards up. When you find a good one, go ahead and start hammering out reps!
I would recommend doing hill sprints at least 1 x per week maybe up to 3 with anywhere from 5-10 reps a session depending on your fitness level.
Mud Run Tip #2 – Train Like An Animal!
Now when I say “Train Like An Animal”, what I mean by this is to make sure you’re adding in different “animal movements” into your training sessions.
- Bear Crawls
- Lizard Crawls
- Crab Walks
- Spider Lunges
- Spider Push Ups
- Inch Worms
It’s real easy to fit these into your training session by simply adding them in at the beginning within your warm up or throwing them in at the end of your session for conditioning.
I typically have them in for my warm ups, but if I don’t have them in then, I’ll always try to add in a few of the variations noted above to finish off my workouts hardcore.
Animal movements help you improve overall athleticism, bodyweight strength, mobility, and agility and most importantly, you’ll need solid levels of each of these attributes if you want to kick as at mud races.
Make sure you’re adding in some of the animal movements I mentioned above into your training sessions if you not doing so already.
Mud Run Tip #3 – Build A Motor To Never Stops!
For this tip, what I’m referring to is building up some serious levels of physical strength endurance.
In order to do this, you do workouts that require you to move either your own bodyweight or light to medium weights around for a high amount of reps and volume.
These types of sessions are called “Work Capacity Sessions” and they typically aren’t too fun.
High volume Circuits and Density Set Training sessions are two of the most common forms of capacity workouts I use within my training and athletic programs to help build up more strength endurance.
For example, one of my favorites (or least favorite) capacity workouts is this circuit below, taken from The Mud Run 21 Workout Manual…
I call it “Action From Below and Above”
AMRAP x 20 Mins:
At the bottom of a hill perform the following:
a) 1A Kettlebell OR DB Clean and Press x 5 / arm
b) KB OR DB Goblet Squat x 10
c) KB Or DB Swing x 15
Sprint to top of the hill OR stairs (use a hill or stairs that are roughly 40 yards up in length)
d) Burpee x 20
e) Bear Crawl Down hill backwards
***Repeat until time is up and count the amount of total round completed
That right there is a perfect example of a “Capacity Workout”.
The first time you do it’s usually the easiest as when you do it again, your goal is to BEAT the amount of rounds you performed the first time through. That’s when it gets a bit more challenging…
You either crush your record or get crushed by the workout… Your choice.
With that being said, it brings us into the forth final Mud Run Tip which is by far the most important…
Mud Run Tip #4 – Have A Mind Like A Steel Trap!
I’ve talk about plenty about mental toughness on my blog in the past and when it comes to running warrior races at a high level, it’s definitely no different and is critical to have.
If you want to be COMPETITIVE at these types of races, you MUST have a tough and unbreakable mind.
Now with all of the different types of training I’ve mentioned above, none of that will be of the greatest value to you unless you know how to be STRONG within your own MIND.
In the Warrior Dash I ran this last weekend, there was a killer hill on the back side that just kept going up and going up and going up… It seemed like it would never end!
All I did was envision myself getting to the top of the hill without stopping no matter what. I created a mini-challenge within my own head and instead of telling myself to stop and rest, I told myself to GO!
Having a great level of Mental Toughness alone will help push you well beyond your physical limits when it comes to Warrior Dashes, Spartan Races, Tough Mudders, and any other mud race for that matter.
When you start to get a little fatigued there’s a small and quite voice that starts to talk to you and as you start to get a bit more fatigued, that voice gets louder, and LOUDER…
It starts saying things like…
“I need to stop for a minute!”
“I can’t go on any further!”
“My legs are burning!”
“I can’t breath!”
“I need to turn back…”
If you train aggressively and are no stranger to pushing yourself to the limits, you know exactly what I’m talking about here.
Vince Lambardi was 110% right on when he said that “Fatigue makes a coward of us all!”
It’s true, but ONLY when you start to believe it!
I’ve let myself believe this far too many times and when you let it happen, you will get CRUSHED!
The best thing you can do is to start BELIEVING yourself more, especially when you start to get tired, find that extra bit of energy you’ve got left and push yourself through the pain.
DON’T be intimidated by fatigue!
Instead, embrace it and push through your personal comfort barriers!
There are many different times that we get ourselves to the 1 or 2 yard line in life.
This can be times within our training sessions, our jobs and career, challenge races, relationships, or whatever else it may be and for some reason we stop short of pushing ourselves over the goal line into the end zone!
If we were to just hang in there for just a bit longer we would SUCCEED a whole lot more!
Remember this next time that your mind tells you to stop and push on for just a bit longer.
Push past your mental comfort barriers and NEVER let the negative stuff creep into your mind. Keep the steel door to your mind shut tight and don’t ever let NEGATIVE anything in!
Once you let the bad stuff in, it will corrupt your mind like the plague.
Make your mind into an impenetrable Steel Trap!
One of the best ways of doing this is by going through aggressive hardcore style training sessions. Sessions that make you want to die half way through them.
Each time you go through one of these types of sessions, you’ll gain that much more on your mental edge.
It’s all about trying to push yourself to the next level every session.
If you can do this consistently, you’ll no doubt be well on your way to building up a more unbreakable mind.
It’s a LIFELONG process. One that you must never lose focus on.
And with that, having a mind like a Steel Trap is the 4th and final Mud Race Tip I can supply you with as of now.
If you got a challenge race coming up in the near future, go ahead and let me know in the comments. Your thoughts are always welcomes as well!
Live Aggressive and Get Strong!
PS – What I can do to further help you prepare yourself for your next mud race / warrior run is supply you with some kickass workouts.
I’ve had a lot of clients prepping themselves for different races within the last year so what I did was come up with The Mud Run 21, which is a training manual composed of 21 different tough and challenging workouts.
Right now until this Tuesday, I’ve got it one sale for the dirt cheap price of ONLY $9.95!
There’s a FULL 12 Week Program in there + A Mud Run Cardio Guide that supplies you with the right type of cardio workouts you should be doing to get ready for your next mud run.
Even if you don’t plan on running a race ever, this is still a solid resource full of workouts that will get you STRONGER, plus LEAN and MEAN
CLICK HERE TO FIND OUT MORE INFO. Sale ENDS this Tuesday!