Obstacle races are becoming the big thing right now and I have to say that I am a fan of that! They are events that anyone can participate in and you can make them as serious as you like. I love the buzz around the city when Tough Mudder rolls into Whistler and I get so excited to see so many people challenging themselves and having a good time.
You are definitely right that you need to train, especially for the climbing because those exercises require a lot of upper body and core strength. However, do not take the running portion and need for strong legs lightly, as the terrain is known to be challenging with lots of elevation loss and gain. Here is my suggestion: I am going to give you seven exercises that you will do in a circuit to help improve your strength and endurance. You will start them at 30 seconds each with a 10 second break between each exercise and then work up to 1 minute sets with 10 seconds to rest in between each. In between the circuits you will get on the treadmill for a running interval. Start with ¼ mile intervals and work yourself up to ½ mile intervals (400m and 800m). Start with 4-6 intervals and work your way up to 8 near the end of your training.
Do this workout one day per week and then the other days alternate between strength training workouts and cardio workouts. You should be getting out for trail runs or hikes at least twice per week and also add in a spin class. Your other one or two workouts need to be focused on strength so either hit the gym for some weight lifting or join a boot camp.
Follow the circuit below, in the order prescribed, and go through it as many times as you like!
Front plank to side plank
Start in a front plank position, holding for 3-5 seconds then switch to a side plank on the right elbow, again holding for 3-5 seconds. Return back to a front plank and then back into a side plank on the other side. Continue this for 30 to 60 seconds, ensuring that as you switch between the front and side planks you are not allowing your hips to drop.
Jumping Split Squats
Start in a lunge position then explode up and switch your feet in the air, landing back in a lunge position. Repeat for 30-60 seconds focusing on a fast foot switch as you jump up.
Start in a plank on the bosu then push yourself up on your left arm, then your right, then lower yourself back down onto your left arm then back onto your right. Alternate the arm that you start with each time over the 30-60 seconds and focus on not allowing your hips to rock from side to side.
Bosu squat with a shoulder press
Stand about 6 inches away from the bosu with a dumbbell positioned at your chest. Lower yourself down towards the bosu by squatting and positioning your hips near the bottom. You will then do a sit-up before standing back up tall and pressing the dumbbell over your head.
In a push-up position with your body weight positioned directly over your hands, bring one knee into your chest. Using an explosive motion, switch knees while maintaining a stable upper body and a neutral spine position.
Push up with a renegade row
With a dumbbell on the floor under your chest, complete one push-up. When you finish the push-up you will grab the dumbbell with your right hand and row it up towards your hip then towards the ceiling as you slightly rotate your body to the right. Put the weight back down onto the floor and then repeat on the left side. When you have finished both sides start the sequence again with the push up and continue doing this for the 30 – 60 seconds.
Burpee with a jump squat
Bending at your knees, place your hands on the matt and jump your feet away from you while maintaining a strong core. Jump your feet back in and then stand up tall, finishing with a jump squat over the matt. You will then jump 90 degrees, place your hands back onto the matt, and repeat.