Running Makeover: Bust Out of a Rut and Find New Motivation

Run a New Type of Race

One of the most fun variations that can impact your entire running schedule is the race you're training to complete.

The 5K, 10K, half marathon and marathon are common for the same reasons: they're popular and elite runners compete in them. But even these races can get boring.

More: How to Find Fun in Every Run

How do you vary your race goal?

One option is to train for an obstacle race like the Warrior Dash, a 3-mile course with obstacles such as the mud pit, wood barriers and tunnels. It might sound intimidating, but these races are fun and accessible to all kinds of runners.

To complete a good obstacle race, there are a few things you do while training:

  • Run on more trails. Most obstacle races are on trails or grass courses. If you're not used to the uneven terrain, you risk getting hurt or not feeling comfortable on the rough ground.
  • You don't need to squat 250 pounds to run a good obstacle race. But you need to be able to scramble up cargo nets and pull yourself over barriers.
  • Improve your flexibility. Dynamic stretches are not only critical for injury prevention, but also for completing all the obstacles too.

I used these principles to outright win the 2012 Maryland Warrior Dash by over one minute. But, looking back, there were a few things I should have done differently during my training to better prepare myself.

So I teamed up with the adrenaline-junkie lovers at Nerve Rush to write a free, 44-page Obstacle Race Training Guide. If you're interested in completing your first obstacle race, it's your go-to resource to help you train correctly.

More: 6 Tips to Tackle an Obstacle-Course Race

No matter what race you're training for remember that variation is crucial in your running program. Shoes, terrain, paces, races, workouts and strength exercises all play key roles in preventing you from getting in a rut.

Motivation is a renewable resource, so plan your training to keep yourself inspired.

More: 10 Obstacle-Course Races to Try in 2013

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