OCR workout: Hanging out

With mud run and obstacle course race season well underway warm temperatures here to stay it’s time to take your training to the the great outdoors.   Here is another workout featured from our partner site Daily Outdoor Workouts.  

This is a buddy workout.  You need at least one other person to complete this workout or else plan on doing a TON of reps!If you have kids, no excuses!  They can ride in the stroller, bike or run with you!  Plan on 60-90 minutes for this one…

NEEDED:

  •  A running route that passes at least 2 playgrounds or parks.  The further away the parks you choose, the longer/harder your workout!
  • A bar or tree with a branch you can hang from
  • Park bench

Warm-up and then……….
Run to the first park and complete the following with your partner (split the reps however you choose):

100 Tree donkey kicks* 
75 Dips
50 Hanging knees to elbows
25
Lunge hops

Run to park #2 and complete the following (split the reps with your partner):

100 meter alligator crawl (do this one together)*
75 park bench box jumps (or step-ups for level 1)
50 Tree hugger situps*
25 burpee pop-ups or pullups

OPTION 1:  Run home- great job!
OPTION 2:  Run 1 mile away from the last park and back THEN repeat the entire workout in reverse (starting with the 25 burpee pop-ups and going up from there) before heading home. You are a rock star!

“Tree hugger” sit-ups:

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Best trails near Denver for intermediate trail runners

You’ve conquered all of the beginner trail runs across the front range.  Now it is time to raise the stakes a bit and try out some more technical terrain.   In this post, we will highlight our 5 favorite trails appropriate for intermediate trail runners.
These runs were chosen because of their proximity to the greater Denver metro area (all within 20-40 minutes). There are many more amazing trails to explore further west (Conifer, Genesee, Idaho springs)  north (Boulder, Longmont, Fort Collins) and South (Monument, CO springs) which we hope to cover in future posts.

Please share your favorites in the comment section below!

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Grip strength workout for Obstacle course race training!

This is a workout I put together for our sister site.  It’s a perfect workout to build upper body and grip strength needed to conquer the monkey bars, rigs, rope/wall climbs and cargo nets for your obstacle course race.  Plus, working out on the playground is fun!!

grip

Needed:

Set of monkey bars

Warm-up:
Walk/jog 1 minute
20 arm circles each direction
20 straight leg lifts each leg
10 pushups
repeat 1 time

Monkey bar set (1 of each):
Forwards
Side-ways
Backwards
Hand over hand
Skipping a bar
Crawl using feet (video demonstration below)

Hanging set:
40 Pop-ups
30 hanging bicycles (video demonstration below)
20 knees to elbows
10 burpee pullups

REPEAT BOTH SETS 2 MORE TIMES!

VIDEOS:

Monkey bar “crawl”:

Hanging bicycles: 

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“Me and My Buddy” workout for trail runners and Obstacle course racers

This is a workout taken from Daily Outdoor Workouts, one of our sister sites.  Enjoy!

ME AND MY BUDDY

Walking with a friend in the dark is better than walking alone in the light.   – Helen Keller

NEEDED: 
A “Buddy” AKA:  A rock, log or hand-weight that is 10% or more of your body weight.

COMPLETE THE FOLLOWING WITH YOUR “BUDDY”

Standard Strength warm-up and then….

  • 3 mile hike/run
  • 50 walking lunges
  • 50 overhead presses
  • 50 russian twists
  • 50 ground to overhead squats

—->  The workout can be completed in any order, just don’t drop or put down your Buddy the entire workout!
—->  If you are really looking for a suffer fest, repeat the workout twice!

*A note from Lauren: 
I came up with this workout when I was training for the Warrior Dash World championships race last summer.  We drove up to Guanella pass (near the base of Mnt Bierstadt, a front range 14,000 foot peak) and I completed this workout at altitude.   Whether you are training for an OCR event or just love trail running, this workout will help you gain strength and fitness to run stronger, longer!

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2 tough workouts that will help you to conquer steep hills

2 tough workouts that will help you to conquer steep hills

Are hills your nemesis?   Maybe you just can’t seem to catch your breath on the ups or are tentative on the downs.  Try out these workouts to improve your skills and fitness so you can conquer those hills with confidence!

Stair add-ons:

You need to find a location that has multiple flights of stairs.  An office building, stadium or if you live in the Denver metro area Red Rocks Amphitheatre.

Stair work is one of the best ways to improve cardiovascular fitness but more importantly it helps to improve your motor skills and turnover (or cadence).

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Fort Carson Spartan Super race recap: The good, the bad and the reality check

A couple of weekends ago I competed in my first obstacle race of the season and my first Spartan race in the elite category.

There have been plenty of people posting race reports recapping the event so I wanted to compose a post that details more about what worked and what didn’t in my training in the hopes there might be some takeaways that will help others properly prepare and train for such an event.

To start, let me say that you can never be perfectly prepared for any obstacle course race, let alone a Spartan race for that matter.  Even if the race is at the same venue year after year, the course and the obstacles themselves can change drastically.

I am also training for some long distance trail races, culminating with an ultra marathon run of the Grand Canyon or the Rim to Rim to Rim.  With 42 miles and 11,000 feet elevation gain, this is a Goliath of an event and so running will always take the priority when it comes to training.

My strategy back in 2015 was to train for speed.  I was having some pretty major health issues back then so I wasn’t able to really put in the time to build a good running base.  So I spent several hours a week doing crossfit classes and speed work on the track.  And it paid off, compared to this year I was definitely much stronger and faster.

me at fear the deer
Racing in the Fear the Deer trail 1/2 marathon. I placed 6th overall for females!

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Best Denver area parks for beginner trail runners

Best Denver area parks for beginner trail runners

Trail running is one of the fastest growing sports in the world and for one main reason: it is so much fun!   We are fortunate to live in a place with a myriad of park systems and literally hundreds of miles of trails right in our backyard.  However, not all front range trails are suitable for beginners.  Steep climbs, descents and technical terrain are a veteran trail runner’s delight but those new to trail running may find themselves beyond their ability level and at higher risk for injury.

So how to know where to start?  We’ve compiled a list of the 7 best trails in Southwest Denver (within 20-30 minutes of Denver proper) for runners looking to hit the trails for the first time.

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South Valley Park
90 South Valley Rd., Littleton Read more

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How to train for an obstacle course race, parent style

Obstacle course racing.  There is no denying it: the sport is here to stay.  It is now the fastest growing sport in the world and for a good reason:  it is so much fun!

Parents have a unique skill set that gives them some particular advantages when it comes to obstacle racing.  For example, we are used to:

bag-lady
Carrying heavy, awkward loads….

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5 exercises runners should be doing everyday

5 exercises runners should be doing everyday

You love to run.  Or maybe you don’t.  Wherever you are on the spectrum, if you are planning on adding more mileage or training for an event, you need to make sure that your body is adequately prepared to take on the additional stresses running places on the body.

What do we mean by this?
Strength training!

Many runners neglect strengthening the muscles they use when running.  And not only those muscles, but the opposing muscles too. In order to prevent injury and run at your best, you need to ensure that your body is strong and your training plan is well balanced.

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