First Obstacle Course Expectations

So you have signed up for your first obstacle course and not sure what to expect, then this article is for you.

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Whatever the reason may be, you bought a ticket for an obstacle course race. Maybe peer pressure from a friend, looking for a new challenge, or you think it could be fun. Now what?

Something about obstacle course racing creates a bit of fear in people’s minds.

After all, you are signing up to run anywhere from 3 to 8 miles most likely and you are going to have to climb walls, scale through mud, carry heavy random objects, and challenge yourself mentally and physically.

There is often a lot of questions going through people’s minds once they sign up.

What happens on race day? What type of gear should I wear? How should I train? Can I actually do this?

Let’s answer some of that in this article.

What to expect

First off, look at this as a chance to be a kid again. Remember the good ol’ days of climbing monkey bars and getting muddy.

Obstacle course racing is just pure fun.

Most likely if you have signed up for an obstacle course race you have seen a video of the starting line. Someone is out there getting you amped up and ready to go. Gun shot goes off and everyone is racing full speed.

What happens in the video is not completely true. When you are surrounded by a large crown of people, nobody really takes off unless they are up front.

You will have people who might not compete in the elite class but are there to challenge themselves on time. Besides that most people will kind of just tip toe along until they get some breathing room to start sprinting.

Going through the course there will be a lot of simple obstacles and some harder ones. Anything from crawling through mud, running up rock hills, jumping in an ice bath, to climbing to great heights.

Most of these things are there to challenge you mentally just as much as they are there to challenge you physically.

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How to approach your first obstacle course race

Go in with the mind set of finishing.

There is no real race involved unless you are competing. Nobody cares if you take 30 minutes to complete or 3 hours.

The majority of people go to an obstacle course event for the challenge so embrace that side of it.

It is perfectly fine to walk most of the course if needed.

When it comes to obstacles, you definitely should try every obstacle. You don’t have to be successful with them and some events like Spartan have punishment for not completing an obstacle, but that’s not a big deal.

It is always worth trying though. You never know what you can do until you try it. And, there will be things that may scare you.

For instance, I remember the first I had to jump over the fire logs. I did not see the big deal but that scared some people.

Same as I don’t like heights all that much. It does not terrify me but I don’t like it. I remember climbing up this tall wooden pyramid and seeing a women who at the top was terrified.

All the power to her, she did it. That was a great mental challenge and she did it.

If there is something you just can’t do or struggle with, there is no shame in going around the obstacle.

There very often comes a point when it gets tough to continue. You mentally just say “I have had enough.”

Just keep going. It’s not as bad as you think in that moment. Not to mention the reward of finishing is tremendous.

It is always good to have a friend or two to help each other out. It adds enjoyment to the event and gives you a cheering squad to help you along.

At the end, you will be covered in mud from head to toe, you might be manged up a little. Go shower off, grab your medal, and a beer, and enjoy the victory.

Obstacle course events are a blast and there are many to choose from with their own set of challenges.

Grab a friend or two and go there to finish.


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AEon Fitness is owned by CPT Ron Nattress. From the day Ron started walking he was involved in some sort of sport or activity. Tragically at a young age Ron became seriously ill with Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis. For many years he spent his childhood in a wheel chair and watching others enjoy the activities he loved. Determined to get his life back he did everything he could to get out of the wheelchair and back on the field. At around the age of 13 he finally had his condition under control enough to get out of the chair.  Around 15 years old he started lifting weights and doing activities that involved a lot of movement. He also focused a lot of effort on his diet. He quickly fell in love with the feeling it gave him. Finally able to move without pain he realized the change exercise and and nutrition can play in a person's health. From this point, it was decided that he wanted to help others get their health back under control. After getting certified with as a personal trainer he spent the next 15 years helping people achieve their fitness goals. Becoming an expert in special populations, Ron has found key ways to help people with arthritis, PCOS, diabetes, and many other serious health concerns. During these years, he also found a passion for cooking. Ron spent 10 years working as a chef in some of the finest restaurants in California. As a trainer by day and chef by night, he now has shifted his energy to writing cook books that provide healthy and delicious recipes.

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