I like gyms. In the perfect world I'd have a dirt-cheap local where the free weights are always available. Unfortunately  I don't, but it really doesn't bother me. The world is my gymnasium and I love finding ways to build fitness and strength on every day objects.

I'm sure I could be a lot bigger and stronger with the use of gym weights, but is that really necessary for endurance and obstacle events? On event day, all you'll be doing is lugging your own body-weight around, so I believe your own body weight can be a useful tool to train with!

I live on the outskirts of London and, although there's a lot of grey urban sprawl going on, there are also a fair amount of parks and commons to make use of. Once you start making use of benches, railings, etc. you can see beyond a flat bit of grass and create a circuit that will give you an all-body workout.

One of my favourite places to train is Richmond Park, I'm sure I'll spend a fair amount of time rambling on about it in upcoming blogs. It's ideal in that it's a real taste of the countryside, it has varied terrain, woodland, hills and loads of fallen trees. Every time we go there we find a new feature to help prepare us for obstacle events. Whether that be a new hill to run up, or something new to climb or jump over.

Tree bowOne of the biggest events on the horizon is Tough Guy Nettle Warrior, which is a really challenging event. As well as being 19km long, it's got to be the most obstacle heavy events out there, plus there's a draining hill slalom section. So in our park run today we wanted to get a fair amount of running distance underneath us and tackle a few challenges along the way.

After a few sets of press-ups, dips, etc. we stumbled upon an interesting tree. It had a pretty solid branch bowing horizontally from the main trunk at around head hight and was perfect for vaulting over. Getting over it was challenging but achievable. Handley located in the area were a few other large tree stumps to climb and jump over, so we set up a circuit of obstacles.

Ten laps in quick succession certainly was enough to get the blood pumping and really helped hone a few techniques that will come in useful at the upcoming events.

Tree jumping

Not all city parks have a decent hill, but Richmond is an exception. Finding a hill to run circuits up and down is great preparation for Nettle Warrior's hill slalom. So we finished off the day with a a few laps up and down. Not as many as we normally would - there were a few niggling injuries flaring up amongst the group, but it was enough to get the thighs burning!

Hill run
Getting the thighs burning with a few hill run circuits

There we have it, a decent days training out the way!

Are there any obstacles that you like to use to train for events? Or any good locations? Let me know - I'd like to give them a go!



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