Building your ability to recover on the run is imperative to the obstacle racer. .
Depending on the length of the race, the length of time you spend running between obstacles varies. The key to success is minimizing the transition time from obstacle to race pace running without redlining. This means trying to reduce the recovery time you need after an especially taxing obstacle. Obstacle Racing causes you to switch energy systems from aerobic or threshhold running to upper body or whole body strength and muscular endurance in a heavy carry or pulling obstacle and then back to aerobic running rapidly. To optimize your performance in a race you must train these transitions.
Your ability to recover quickly can be trained.
There will be a point in your run training where you won't be able to, or need to, increase your run distance by 10% in a given week. This point is a good time to start mixing up modalities to force your body to adapt and work toward your greatest potential. It can be as simple as breaking up your runs into stages and incorporating other movements into your training.
Mixing some strength work into your runs or speed workouts helps you work multiple systems and build your capacity to recover on the run. Incorporating some strength work during your runs to build your ability to recover quickly after a strength obstacle. We love doing speed intervals with burpees or pull ups or some distance of sandbag carry and a shorter rest interval (it’s a great time to incorporate some grip training too).
Some of my favorite, and most effective Intervals:
- Heavy Bag Cleans/Throws combined with long sprint intervals.
- Flipping a Log/Caber or tire flip several times also combined with long sprints
- Farmer Carry in the rest interval of a sprint interval work.
The variety this adds to your training helps protect you from breaking down as your mileage increases. Your cartilage and connective tissue takes weeks to adapt to increases in stressors and mileage. You will be well served to pay attention to your recovery between workouts and less attention to your total mileage.