Swarms of Canberrans will be climbing, jumping, swinging, pushing and pulling one another around a 5km loop full of obstacles when Canberra hosts its first ever Spartan event on 26 October.
In the lead-up, I’ll be offering some great tips for taking on the event’s obstacle course, with a training program that will ensure you smash the course and enjoy it.
I love obstacle training and events – I’ve been teaching and instructing for obstacle courses for over 30 years, and at B.Firm HQ here in Canberra we have a fulltime obstacle course, The Arena.
One of the first things to consider when doing an obstacle course is how you land when jumping down from walls, into pits or off an obstacle. Get this wrong and your part in the event may be over! Always think of safety and take your time when landing – you can always make those few seconds back up on the run.
Let’s look at how we jump on, and off, a 1.2-1.5m wall:
- Look at the ground as you approach the wall to make sure there are no holes or objects.
- Run at the wall with a steady speed.
- Place a foot onto the wall (this will act as a ‘spring’). Place your hands on the top of the wall, and push up simultaneously with your leg, pulling up with your hands.
- As you move up onto or over the wall, keep your balance! If you need to, stop and sit on top of the wall to rebalance and position ready to jump.
- As you’re moving off the wall, keep your feet shoulder-width apart and bend your knees. This is the safest and best position to land as your body weight is evenly distributed. Bent knees will act as a spring, absorbing the impact of the landing. As you land, have your hands up with your arms slightly bent to help with balance.
- Once you clear the wall (or any obstacle), clear the landing area straight away. People will be following you and you want to avoid a collision.
For this one, you’ll need a skipping rope and a box or bench. Repeat each of the following exercises three times:
- 20m run at 60%
- 100 x skips
- 20m run back to starting position
- 10 x jump from one foot to land on two feet (legs shoulder-width apart)
- 10 x squat jumps (as you jump, imagine you are landing from an obstacle)
- 10 x step ups (each leg)
- 5 x jump down from the box or bench (prepare yourself to jump, feet shoulder-width apart, focus on your landing)
- 5 x 30m run at 70%
- 10 x dips