Your first obstacle race: what to expect

By guest blogger, Miss Muddy ambassador and reality TV star, Lynzey Murphy

There’s nothing like completing an obstacle race (you know, the ones where you climb, crawl and jump things, along with running), then rejoicing about it afterwards.

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Everyone thinks you’re a hero and so you should be, as completing an obstacle race is no walk in the park. However, there are few hard miles you need to put in beforehand to make sure you don’t end up ‘dragging yourself through the mud’.

Here’s what you can expect but even better, here’s how to prepare for it too!

How to prepare for an obstacle race

The Obstacles!

Mitchum walls, cargo nets and monkey bars certainly aren’t your average gym equipment. These “obstacles” are designed to challenge your body in a way it has most likely never experienced. Knowing what to expect can help you tailor your regular exercise regime to train certain areas in your body to help you master these obstacles.

The Mitchum Walls are a few metres high and the objective is to climb over to the other side. Although volunteers are likely to be on standby to help coach you through all of the obstacles, the most effective way of making it over the wall is to run up and jump your way into a ‘muscle up’. Once the top of your body is over the wall, swing your legs over one at the time.

Miss muddy, Lynzey Murphy

To prepare for this obstacle, you will need to work on your upper body and core strength. Should you fall flat on the day, use the support of a fellow race goer to help you over. There’s nothing like a good hand lock to foot hoist!

The Cargo Net can be best described as a pirate’s ladder. If you’ve never channeled your inner Captain Jack Sparrow, take care of your footing as it is very easy to put your leg through the hole instead of your foot when you are moving fast. Grip with your hands and feel your way up like a spider monkey. Once again, you will want to work on your core but also your balance, stability and concentration.

The Monkey Bars may be way harder than the ones you remember from your playground years, possibly because you are carrying far more weight than your primary school self. You’ll want to attack these bars with dry hands and move quickly to avoid hanging and subsequently falling into the mud (not desirable mid race!). Not only do these bars require upper body strength, but they also require grip strength. Furthermore, if you are covered in mud, it may make the monkey bars even more difficult.

What to bring

Or better yet, what not to bring, which in this case would be your brand new pair of Lululemon leggings and Lorna Jane racer back. Make no mistake; you are going to get dirty!

One on the most popular all-female obstacle races is Miss Muddy and of course it contains a lot of, you guessed it, MUD as well as foam, colour and a lot of obstacles.

I recommend a change of clothes for the road home. You may have just completed a race with your friends or loved ones, but you don’t need to smell each other the entire trip home too.

Finally, here are my top 5 tips for getting through the course (so you don’t sweat the small stuff)

  1. You may have done your training but there may be some fellow Miss Muddies who haven’t, so be a good sport and help your teammates and fellow racers.
  2. Although it is a “race” there’s no need to hurry your way through it and risk incurring an injury. With the unfamiliar obstacles try not to compromise your posture or load by taking on too much.
  3. Pack an old pair of runners. It is guaranteed you will need to give them a good bath after so avoid running in your fresh kicks.
  4. Race for a cause. If an obstacle race is a big feat, have your friends and family support you so you can raise some money for a charity of your choice.
  5. This one’s obvious, but have fun! There’s no point putting yourself through mud and getting sulky over it. Enjoy it, because really, how often do you have the opportunity to roll through mud like a warrior?!

Miss muddy, Lynzey Murphy

About Lynzey Murphy:

Lynzey Murphy is a Sydney-based trainer who starred on the latest series of My Kitchen Rules with her dad Robert. She is also the current ambassador of Miss Muddy, along with one of her friends, former elite gymnast, now fitness professional, Lauren Hannaford.

Image credit: iStock