How many times have you watched a sporting event on TV like a football game, tennis match or even the Olympics and been in awe of the athletes competing?
Occasionally you'll hear people say, "Oh they're just born that way." Granted, many are born with an innate talent the average person might not have. But don't be fooled.
Talent is only part of the story. They also had to dedicate their life to the sport and train their butts off to be the best they can be. They had to train and plan to get where they're at.
While you might never be a professional athlete who makes millions of dollars or wins race after race, it certainly doesn't mean you can't train to the very best of your ability.
Competing in some of the world's toughest events like the Raid Gauloises, the Badwater 135, the Death Race and Guinness World Records, has taught me the irreplaceable importance of putting together a thorough training program.
You've probably already signed up for an event with family, friends or coworkers. You're all excited but have no idea what you're doing. You're scared, nervous and not exactly sure where to start. You're might also be looking for an exit. Fear not.
1.) Make a Plan
There's an old saying I live by: "Fail to plan and you plan to fail." Planning ahead is a must. You can get this information from a qualified fitness or race coach, which I recommend, or take your chances and research online.
More: Your Mud Run Training Plan
Regardless, put a daily, weekly and monthly plan together. This will help keep you on track and hold you accountable. It also allows you to monitor your progress, or lack of, periodically along the way.
This is another question I've been asked many times over the years. "How do I run longer? "How do I lift more weight?" I always reply, "You run longer or you lift more weight." Granted it's a little more complicated than this, but you get the point.
2.) Get Specific
There's a fitness principle called "specificity," meaning, if I want to work on my 40-yard dash time then this is what I work on—not my marathon time.
More: Marathon Specificity: How to Kickstart Your Training
You must concentrate your efforts where you want to see progress and based on the event you're participating in. To be prepared for particular events, you must train accordingly. With races like Spartan and Tough Mudders, you must incorporate hills, walls, monkey bars, low-crawls and more.
Bottom line: If you want to reach your true fitness potential, do your absolute best, and reach your goals— while hopefully avoiding injury along the way—you must train and plan.
More: Staying Fit on the Road
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