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6 Things I Wish I Knew BEFORE Starting to Train Running for Obstacle Course Races!

It’s true running is only a part of that Obstacle Course life - an optional one at that! Walking is always welcomed! Heck, getting through a 5k is pretty deeeyamn impressive however you cross that finish line!

BUT if you are ever interested in competing or if your goal is to run for an entire race (now that is an irreplaceable feeling), running training becomes a part of your programming.

The great news?

It doesn’t have to be the scary, lung busting, knee breaking experience everyone always seems to have a horror story about.

In fact, good running hygiene + a well balanced training program, is a recipe for safe and healthy running that keeps you in it forever and ever. That’s certainly my plan!

So let’s talk 6 Tips I wish I knew before I started training running!

Stick around for a future email with the MY WAY method to meet yourself where you are at when you’re getting started!

My Big 6:

#1: Running is a POWER Exercise

#2: Progressively Overload - Just Like Strength Training

#3: You Shouldn’t Feel Dead at the End of Every Run

#4: You Don’t Become A Faster Runner by Running Faster

#5: A Good Warm Up Makes a HUGE Difference

#6: Carbs are your BFF and Electrolytes are Queen

#1: Running is a POWER exercise

Somehow it got muddled up that running is accessible to anyone right off the bat. A great beginners exercise…

If you LOVE running and it is your only form of exercise I am not knocking you! In fact, I wish I loved running that much! BUT this is running hygiene we’re talking about so this is simply a fact that must be addressed.

The act of running when you break it down is literally launching from one leg and catching yourself with the other single leg before launching again in rapid succession…

For context, a broad jump (a plyometric exercise I do with more advanced clients) is loading into a squat, launching from TWO legs then landing with TWO legs. In terms of progressive overload? The broad jump is technically a more stable and available exercise than a single leg exercise (ahem - running).

Alls this to say, if we aren’t incorporating a strength program that couples with our running, not only are we not optimizing power. We are also not training safely.

Lack of strength and stability in the legs? = Knee injuries, shin splints, hip & low back issues, ankle sprains … to name a few.


Again, I love that! So don’t change what you’re doing necessarily. All I am asking is to add 20 minutes a week into your regime. I promise. You’re body and you're running will THANK YOU!

Oh…and I made it easy for ya and went ahead and made this workout for you!

#2 Progressively Overload - Just Like Strength Training

You wouldn’t walk into a gym after a month or year(s) off and deadlift a 250lbs barbell…I hope.

In strength training we get stronger by adding weight slowly, over time to repeated exercises. This allows our muscles and skeletons to adapt to heavier loads. Yea. Skeletons. Our bones literally get wider when we do hypertrophic training.

Running is nooo different.

Our bones and muscles need time to adapt to both the mileage and impact (foot hitting the ground) put on them over the course of a run.

Last year I got shin splints that took me out for weeks.

I had been running 5ks consistently for a few months and had just started to tackle 10ks. I was invited to do a 15k Tough Mudder (9.3 miles) that took place in two weeks. Loving challenges as I do, I thought, why the heck not? I ran one practice 15k the week before the race just to see if I could. Because I had been doing some serious metabolic conditioning along with my running the last few months - I was pleased to discover both my stamina and lung capacity were strong enough that I made it through the 9 miles. BUT…I had some serious physiological & physical side effects I didn’t love. 1. I got hella sick to my tummy (more on this later). 2. My shins were on FIRE!

For the week leading up to the race, my other training was completely compromised because anytime I landed a jump (even doing high knees), or walked for too long my shins felt like they were getting stabbed.

The day of the race came and I got through it with only a little pain and had a blast. I decided (unwisely and against what I would ever tell a client) that I would just train through the pain and did a 10 mile run two days later.

That. Was. It. My bones had done their best to work for my demands, but the two back to back long runs were the breaking point. Literally. I had to cut all explosive training for 3 weeks.

But lesson learned.

Next time I was up and running. I went SLOW. Now I progress mileage month to month. Listening to my body the whole time.

#3: You Shouldn’t Feel Dead at the End of Every Run

I was always under the impression that if I didn’t feel like I was punched repeatedly in the lungs after a run that I didn’t get a good workout in. Ahhhh, how far I have come.

In fact it is the opposite. By the time you finish your run you should feel as though you could continue running. Literal miles left in the tank.

That’s not to say it is going to be a walk in a park full of sunshine and rainbows…that would be fabulous… BUT instead of finishing your run in a 10/10 effort level. It should be closer to a 4-5/10.

This is how we build sustainability into our runs, get physically stronger, and are able to tack on mileage over time. Not to mention…most people are a lot more likely to run again if they don’t feel miserable every time they finish.

#4: You Don’t Become a Faster Runner by Running Faster!

I know. This one blew my mind too.

Sure training speed can be a part of your programing, but no more than 15 - 20%.

As mentioned in #3, 90% of your runs should be at a 4 or 5 effort level.

Why? So glad you asked.

It is so that we don’t exhaust our nervous system, and are able to start running for longer distances.

This is the secret weapon.

Longer distances make you a faster runner at shorter distances.

The reason being a culmination of all the things we’ve talked about. You are progressively overloading as you build miles. This means your muscles, skeleton and lungs are becoming stronger, and you are building HELLA Stamina.

#5: A Good Warm Up Makes a HUGE Difference!

Wanna be stronger, faster and injury free?

Prime the pump baby!

Waking up your body with a warm up not only gets mobility into the hips and ankles, it also activates your glutes (the power house of running) and your inner and outer thighs (the stabilizers at the knee).

I have come to find that my perfect warm up includes 5 minutes of stretching/squats/lunges and 5 minutes of traveling dynamic running warm ups outside.

#6: Carbs are your BFF and Electrolytes are Queen

Fasted cardio has been a trend in weight loss for forever.

While there is some validity to it…

A. It is only a small percentage in a much larger lifestyle reboot. B. Not everybody’s body does well with it. (Hello female sex organ hormones). C. When you get into longer distances it is straight up dangerous.

Carbs are our main source of energy for endurance exercise.

Period. End.

I have found that my sweet spot is a bowl of high protein oatmeal (cus I am still about that blood sugar regulation life) an hour before my run.

Not only do I feel stronger and more energetic. I don’t feel sick.

Which brings me to electrolytes.

We should all be getting these anyways, but when we run we need to make sure we are supplementing with them because we sweat them out like crazy.

Low electrolytes can cause anything from muscle spasm/charlie horses to Runners' Trots

TRUST me… it is not fun to be miles away from home and have the sudden urge to blow a hole through the back o yer pants.

Been there.

Done that.

Would not recommend it.

So! Hydrate with electrolytes and feed your energy systems!

Here are my Go-To-Electrolytes

As always I am cheerin you on and happy to help with any and all questions, comments, training questions!

Let’s Raid!

AROOOO, Kinsey

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