Urbanathlons are some of the most hardcore adventure racing events ever. They are the extension of Primal Quest –an expedition-length race mixing sports endurance such as running and biking with navigation skills. Urbanathlons are riddled with obstacles and mental challenges that require strength—physically and mentally, agility, balance, coordination and an iron sheer of will.
Therefore, whether you’re looking to lose weight, boost fitness level or nail a personal best, here is what you need to know about urbanathlon training.
1: Build Endurance
Like in any other race, training is the first key.
For most part, the urbanathlon is a foot-race. Don’t get me wrong, completing an urbanathlon event does not require killer marathon stamina, but you’re expected to cover the whole course without losing it to fatigue.
Therefore, you need to incorporate ample cardio into your training program.
Running is the best option. It’s a cardiovascular exercise per excellence that will not only help you nail your upcoming urbanathlon, it’ll also help you lose weight, ward off heart trouble, reduce stress and help you get into the best shape ever.
If you’re a new comer to the sport of running, then you need to be very careful. Start with a walk-run-walk program (interspersing between sets of running and walking), and gradually increase the time spent running and take less for the walking. Opting for this training recipe helps you boost fitness level without risking injury or burnout.
Keep adding more running until you’re able to run for more than 40 minutes without much trouble. That’s basic cardio endurance. After that, you can up the ante by opting for interval running.
Here is how to proceed with interval sprints
First step – Go for a 30- to 45-second sprint at 80 percent of your max.
Second step – jog slowly for one full minute to allow for recovery
Third step – repeat the process 6-10 times
Start off each workout with a 5-minute jog for warm-up and finish them up with another 5-minute slow jog as cool down.
To get more bangs out of your running bucks, do hill interval running workouts.
Here is how to proceed on the hill
First step – Find a hill that’s steep enough and feel confident that you can conquer with some effort. And choose a hill distance that you can go all the way to the top without succumbing to fatigue.
Second step – Run up the hill at 80 percent of your maximum speed. Walk down for recovery.
Third step – Repeat the process the 6-10 times
2: Build agility, strength and speed
Endurance is just one piece of the puzzle. To nail your upcoming urbanathlon you need strength, agility and plenty of speed. The combination of these elements will help you overcome the obstacles and other challenges without succumbing to discomfort or exhaustion.
Here are a few drills that can help.
The Walking lunge
Put your hands behind your head
Keep your torso upright while stepping forward with your left leg
Lower your body as much as possible, keep your left knee bent at 90 degrees.
Step forward to a standing position.
Repeat on the other side.
For this drill, do 20 repetitions to complete one set. Perform 3 sets.
Running high knees
Stand upright and on the balls of your feet, with your chest up
Drive your knees up as high as you can
Then drive them down as quickly as you can without losing form
Do as many repetitions as you can without losing form. To make it more challenging, perform this drill over dummy bags or an agility ladder for more control and speed.
The reverse burpee (for the upper body)
Take a standing position
Squat and lean forward at the same time.
Move straightly into a pushup position, then lower your chest to the floor.
Explode back, in a fluid motion, into your starting position.
This exercise helps you build strength and agility in the core and upper body. Do 12 repetitions to complete one set. Perform 3 sets.
- Stand straight beneath a pull-up bar
Jump up and grab the pull-up bar.
Pull yourself up until your chest touches the bar.
Pull-ups are the best tool for building upper body strength. Do 5 to 8 repetitions to complete one set. Perform 3-5 sets.
3: Overcome the Obstacles
The above training guidelines can surely help you nail your upcoming urbanathlon. But some useful how-to for overcoming the obstacles can come in handy on the racing day. Here a few tips to help you get through the obstacles unscathed.
The hill and sprints intervals are about building enough lung power to climb the stairs. To get up with relative ease, take stutter and fast steps. If you’re feeling too tired, then walk up and control your breathing.
This is where most urbanathletes face a big challenge. To overcome the wall, you need power and ample strength in the upper body. That’s why pull-ups are key. Nonetheless, here a trick you can do: jump up and grab the ledge, then kick a foot over the edge.
The Burn Rubber
The tire stutter obstacle tests your agility and coordination like nothing else. To get through them, keep your head down and your knees up while using a high knee drive. Also take one tire at a time. Focus on the placement of your foot.
The Monkey Bars
To get through the monkey bars unscathed, you need to concentrate on starting off momentum and keeping it by swinging your legs as much as you can, while keeping your arms straight (just like a monkey!)
Here you have it. Racing is one of the best tools to boost your motivation and keep it running high throughout the year. Therefore, whether you’re trying to lose weight, or just keep in better shape, the urbanathlon training program can surely help you get there.