The obstacle course racing and mud run season have started to pick up speed in North America as the snow continues to melt across the country. It is springtime which means it's time to clear the dust off the gym equipment, get out to the kids playground, and pull out the hay bales to practice those spear throws in the backyard. For most of the community, obstacle racing and mud runs are a chance to get out in nature and get dirty on the weekend. Below are five simple changes you can start making today which will help you at your next mud run or obstacle course race.
Cut out Soda, Drink Water
Most adults do not drink enough water. We are drawn to the sweet, bubbly taste of a cold soda as the weather continues to warm up. One of the easiest changes to make in your life is to cut the soda out and instead replace it with water while at the office all day. If you love your soda start by cutting out one soda a day for a week, then two, then three, until you have cut the sugary beverage out of your life. Or you can go at it cold turkey, replace your soda with a reusable bottle of water that can sit next to your desk all day long.
Ditch the Cart – Carry a Basket
Next time you head to the grocery store after work ditch the cart and instead opt for the basket. This not only will help you on your grocery bills but will also help you with that next farmer carry or another heavy carry in the next obstacle race or mud run. It's simple, it's practical, and you can start changing this habit today. Just be sure to switch arms as you carry your basket to balance out. Need to get more at the grocery store? If you are brave, try for carrying two baskets and aim to balance the load as you shop.
30 Day Burpee Challenge
Burpees are the unofficial body weight movement of obstacle course racing and mud runs. Spartan Race was the first to adopt this movement as a penalty for a failed obstacle and since that time, other races have adopted the same movement or a variation as penalties. The 30 Day Burpee Challenge is easy, when you get up in the morning on day 1 do a single burpee. As the days progress continue adding one burpee each day until you hit 30 burpees on day 30. If you are unfamiliar with the movement, this will help you feel comfortable with the movement while at the same time building strength. For those more advanced start at ten burpees on day 1 and add 2 or 5 each day.
Take the Stairs
When given the choice always opt for the stairs, skip the escalator or elevator. It is a straightforward and easy way to get more miles in each day while going about our daily activities. No matter your fitness level taking the stairs can help your fitness. For those starting out on their journey just walking the stairs can be enough of a challenge and for those who are more advanced try skipping every other step or lunging up or down the stairs. Whatever you plan to do your fitness will thank you, in the long run. Also that mountain at the next race might feel a little smaller.
Choose Your Side Wisely
Next time you are out to eat opt for the salad as your side instead of the french fries of other normally greasy side dish. Additionally, ask for the dressing on the side of that salad. This way you can control the amount of dressing on the salad or even better, just ask for oil and vinegar. This simple change can help add more veggies into your diet and also cut out some of the greasy sides we have all come to love. Save those for a treat after race day to celebrate your accomplishment.
Overall, it is the simple little changes that you can make each day that will help you on race day. For more information on prepping for your first obstacle course race or mud run check out the OCR 101 section of Mud Run Guide and use our Mud Run Guide Race Calendar to plan your next race.