I titled this “How to Tackle an Obstacle Course Like A Beast” but I should preface it by saying that the most experience I have running an obstacle course is through a vineyard.  

In fact, the only one I have ran is called Vino & the Beasts and I’ve ran it the last 4 years.  It’s a 5k vineyard trail with your typical obstacles mixed in.  Crawling over nets, through mud and swimming from one side to the other in the “Beast Bath”.  There is no fire.  There is no electricity.  There is nothing incredibly ridiculous or scary but it’s still an obstacle race nonetheless.  

So what business do I have telling you how to do it in a beast-like fashion? Well, for one, most of us (runners and badasses alike) don’t start out running OCR Spartan-style.  

Just as a new runner starts out crossing a 5k off their bucket list, when you’re new to anything obstacle related you start small.  But small can still be intimidating.  The goal of obstacles are to challenge you to overcome which can be rather overwhelming if you’ve only over ran on the road before. 


How to tackle an obstacle course race like a BEAST!

Prepare beforehand.

By preparing I don’t mean literally build or practice on obstacles before the race.  This isn’t American Ninja Warrior and it’s not that intense.  BUT if you have a fear of heights, water or small spaces then checking out the list of obstacles beforehand and MENTALLY preparing yourself is a must.  

Of course there is always that chance that you might psych yourself out a bit but more than likely you’ll realize that pretty much anyone can do these obstacles as long as they don’t mind getting a little dirty. 

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Get strong. 

While a beginner course like Vino & the Beasts is just for fun and not at all serious, if you really want to enjoy the race and be able to participate in the obstacles then strength training is a must.  I was surprised and kind of shocked to see how many runners skipped obstacles that required any form of upper body or core strength…which some truly did.  I found that training the way I do with the DVRT System and Ultimate Sandbag made several of these obstacles feel like a breeze while others were on the struggle bus.  

Training with exercises like these specific upper body moves, Bear Crawl Bag Drags and even Ultimate Sandbag Carries are key to being able to tackle each with strength and confidence. 

Get uncomfortable. 

The entire reason obstacle course races exist are to challenge you to get uncomfortable.  Instead of choosing to skip it because you might get a little dirty or your afraid of the dark or it’s a little too high, tackle those fears head on.  Embrace your inner strength and animal mentality and use it to overcome and better your best.  

The beauty of these obstacles is that they are made for beginners and there is really nothing that unsafe about them.  There’s a life guard near the beast bath and volunteers all along the way to help.  The worst that can happen is you find your inner badass. 

Have fun. 

Really though, don’t take it so seriously you get frustrated or upset.  The goal with these races is to HAVE FUN! Don’t be so concerned with pace or how quickly you can get through the obstacles.  If you have to, pause a moment before taking on an obstacle you don’t feel ready for then summon your inner beast and tackle it head on with strength and humor.  

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  • August 23, 2017
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About me

Annmarie is a self proclaimed foodie, avid long distance runner and functional fitness coach. A DVRT Master Trainer, HKC Instructor and food allergy sufferer, she writes about strength training for runners as well as shares allergy friendly recipes for busy athletes.   She is also the owner of Strength In Motion Studio, mother of two sassy sisters and wife to a chronically busy chiropractor.   Subscribe by email for updates to get the latest workouts, advice and recipes straight to your inbox!