Written by Joe Decker
How many times have you watched a sporting event on TV like a football game, tennis match, or even the Olympics –and been in awe of the athletes that are competing? If you’re like me, probably many. Occasionally you’ll hear people say, “Oh they’re just born that way.” Granted, many are born with a innate talent that the average person might not have; however, don’t be fooled. Their obviously talent doesn’t take away from the fact that they not only dedicate their life to their sport but also train their butts off to be the best that they can be. They HAD to train and plan to get where they are at.
While you might never be a professional athlete making millions of dollars or winning race after race, it certainly doesn’t mean that you can’t train to the very best of your ability. Having personally competed in some of the world’s toughest events like the Raid Gauloises, the Badwater 135, the Death Race, Guinness World Records and more, I’ve learned the irreplaceable importance of putting together a thorough training program to help be best prepared. This is probably one of the biggest benefits our clients at Gut Check Fitness take away from their experience with us. They then utilize this first hand information to get them ready for Spartan Races, Tough Mudders, King of the Hill trail races and similar events.
Where do I begin? You’ve probably already signed up for an event with family, friends or coworkers. You’re all excited but have no idea what you’re doing; you’re scared, you’re nervous, you’re not sure where to start., you’re looking for an exit. Fear not. The first thing you have to do is get a plan. There’s an old saying I live by: “Fail to plan and you plan to fail.” Planning ahead is a must. You can get this information from a qualified fitness or race coach, which I recommend, or take your chances and research online. Regardless put a daily, weekly and monthly plan together. This will help keep you on track and hold you accountable. Also it allows you to monitor your progress, or lack of, periodically along the way.
How do I train? This is another question I’ve gotten asked many times over the years. “How do I run longer? “How do I lift more weight?” I always reply, “You run longer or you lift more weight.” Granted it’s a little more complicated than this but you get the point. There’s a fitness principle called “specificity,” meaning, if I want to work on my 40 yd. dash time then this is what I work on –not my marathon time. You must concentrate your efforts where you want to see progress and based on the event you’re participating in. To be prepared for particular events, you must train accordingly – and with races like Spartan and Tough Mudders, you must specifically incorporate hills, walls, monkey bars, low-crawls and more.
Bottom line if you want to reach your true fitness potential, do your absolute best, and reach your goals –while hopefully avoiding injury along the way, you MUST train and you MUST plan. At Gut Check Fitness we’ve trained thousands of people over the years for the more popular obstacle-course races, long-distance trail races to even 12 – 36 hour overnight events. Give us a shout-out, stop by a class, or sign up for an event – take the first step in training and planning for your upcoming event.