|Our team avatar. We're not this old and crotchety, but|
In a previous post, I reviewed what the obstacles are that we are most likely to encounter and characterized them by the dominant quality they would require to complete. It went something like this: this will suck because it will make your legs tired, this will suck because it will make your arms tired, this will suck because it will make your core tired, this will suck because its mean and scary . . .
|Some obstacles are impossible without teamwork.|
So, what are the obstacle stations? I designed eight stations that focus not only on obstacle course specific strength and skills, but injury prevention. Hypothermia and injuries are the primary reason people drop out of these races. No need to get injured if we can avoid it and there are some very simple things we can do to improve our chances.
|Maxine had no troubles with the wall.|
|You can't tell, but Suzanne hates the prowler. I think we|
|Not breaking or spraining an ankle is a good priority.|
|Can you move slowly and keep your balance?|
A station I have not yet built, but will be constructed this week is the Over/Under challenge. This kind of obstacle is present in a lot of obstacle course races and it is deceptively exhausting. It generally requires that you continually hoist yourself over an object such as a fence, a car, or a dumpster, and then get low enough to crawl under a fence, a log, or through a pipe. Sometimes its just "over", sometimes its just "under, but when its both, you will get worn out easily. These obstacles require a good bit of strength and flexibility, but a lot of conditioning as well.
|Terry has accessorized his climbing outfit with|
socks picked out by our six year old.
We finished up with the last two stations of bear crawls up the hill in the backyard and monkey bar practice. Bear crawls, like the prowler, are great for hip and full body strength and conditioning. They also help with mobility and we will eventually mix these with low belly crawls under rope. The monkey bars are a Tough Mudder obstacle and require both upper body strength and grip strength, but also a bit of technique.
|A close up of one of my bruises. I have three large ones|
from the wall and the climbing rope. The color is
So, overall, we didn't run that far, but we were out there working for about two hours. The challenge itself will probably take us closer to three hours to complete, but we will gradually increase our running distances, the number of times we attempt each obstacle station, and the overall training time. The most important part of this gradual approach is that we will have enough recovery to continue to allow us to train effectively between these weekly conditioning sessions. The hard work has just begun, but it will pay off in eight weeks.