Jonathan Albon's 10 Training Tips for obstacle races | Women's Running

Jonathan Albon’s 10 Training Tips for obstacle races

Read Time:   |  March 25, 2019

Jonathan Albon's 10 Training Tips for obstacle races

As Spartan announce their UK and Ireland obstacle race dates, previous winner Jonathan Albon shares with us his tips on how best to train for the gruelling race.

Jonathan’s Top Ten Tips

  1. Running training is very important, as obstacle course races are primarily running races, just with some added fun bits! I would focus on three specific sessions a week:
    – Running fast for short intervals of time followed by rest
    – Running at a pace you think you will hold for 1/3 of the race
    – Running a further distance but at a slower pace than your race speed
  2. The events will be taking place on muddy and uneven terrain, so make sure you are running on this type of footing to help prepare for the race.
  3. During the event there will be many obstacles like nets, ditches and small walls to tackle. To prepare for this, ensure your workouts include exercises that will strengthen your whole body. Exercises can be simple and can include calf raises, squats, lunges, plank, crunches, press-ups and burpees.
  4. If you are doing an event in the winter you are going to get cold, especially if there is lots of water involved, so it is important to dress appropriately. If it’s very cold or you are going to be on the course for many hours, then look for neoprene clothes. If it’s a shorter course and not as cold, then Marino wool is perfect for keeping your warm.
  5. Getting warm after the race is very important. Remove all your wet clothes and change into dry clothes and get some warm food/drink into you as soon as possible.
  6. Nutrition during the race is important, how much and what you eat will depend on how hard you are pushing and how long you will be out for. For shorter races (under 45 minutes) I don’t tend to eat anything, maybe some water if it’s hot. For anything over this I would recommend an energy gel every half an hour, along with enough liquid to stay hydrated. If the race will be going on for several hours, I will also eat some solid food to help settle my stomach and provide some slower burning energy.
  7. Considering the terrain of most obstacle races your choice of footwear will be make a big difference to your performance and how much you enjoy your day. If the course is very muddy then I would always recommend a shoe with deep lugs (indentations) as this will help to improve your stability.
  8. Make sure that you do some test runs in all your kit in the weeks leading up to the event to ensure that everything is worn in and comfortable.
  9. With all training and nutrition, it is wise to make small, sustainable changes at a times. This will help to improve the longevity of your training and keep up the good habits.
  10. My biggest piece of advice is to make your training fun. If you find it enjoyable you will do more of it and get better!

For further information and to register for Spartan please visit