Spring Training: How to Tackle Your First Northwest Obstacle Race

It used to be that doing a 5K or a half-marathon was all the rage. But these days, the dirtier and more extreme the event, the better. New mud runs and bootcamp-inspired off-road races are popping up everywhere.

Mud Splash
So go ahead and join in on the fun! Here are some upcoming adventure races happening near you, plus a few pointers on how to prepare for obstacle races.

What: A 4-mile race is a mud run with a military bootcamp-style obstacle course mixed in. You can participate as an individual or on a team.

How to Train: Find a mud pit and start doing laps. Or hit the gym three times a week and do a combo of strength training and cardio for 30 to 60 minutes.


What: This beginner-friendly sprint distance race covers about four super muddy miles, with creative, yet challenging obstacles, utilizing fire, mud, water, barbed wire and more, scattered throughout.

How to Train: Performing a functional circuit training workout regularly, such as CrossFit, will help you get ready.

What: A day-long event and 3.1-mile race with more than 20 obstacles, such as riding on a swinging pendulums, climbing over towers of shipping containers, jumping over fire, going down a 100-foot water slide and crossing seemingly-endless mud pits.

How to Train: Perform running intervals on the treadmill with total-body strength training moves like squats, lunges and push-ups built right in. For example, run for five minutes, and then perform one move for a minute; repeat the pattern for 30 minutes.


What: A 3 to 4-mile wooded course with a dozen obstacles. These difficult, yet totally doable feats of strength include crawling through trenches, sloshing through mud pits, climbing over barricades, crossing through fire and more.

How to Train: Tackle the monkey bars at your local park, try indoor rock climbing, or do some functional training with kettlebells, sandbags, medicine balls and the TRX.


What: A long 10 to 12 miles of rugged terrain. You’ll run through mud, climb over walls, swim through trenches, swing on ropes, perform  crawls and more.

How to Train: Build up your mileage slow and steady (increasing the total by 10 percent each week) until you have the endurance to log up to 12 total miles.