2

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Training for 5K Obstacle Races: Should I even bother jogging?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created June 22, 2011 at 9:37 PM

Since I've been primal, I have completed two 5k Obstacle Runs (Warrior Dash-55min and Champions MudBash-39min). I did not really train for either. I signed up for another in October (Iron Mudder), and I want to train for it, but I don't like the chronic cardio approach. Do you think since it's a relatively short distance I could successfully train for it following the primal blueprint approach (walk, sprint, and lift) or is some longer-distance running important?

Also, anyone think these races are anti-primal because of the distance? (Even if they are, I will continue to do them periodically because they are fun--but I'm curious.) I would like my exercise lifestyle to be as primal as possible, while still getting me to a point where I can complete one of these in 25-28 minutes. (This would be a hell of a feat for me, since the best time I have ever had for an individual mile was when I was in high school--around 8:45.)

22fcea5ec4415ff2238c663324aca40f

(556)

on March 21, 2012
at 07:52 PM

Check out Movnat. You are going to need to get you're body used to relaxing what does not need to be used and single out what movements you do need at a given section. Obstacle runs are different, you can ask all the "runners" I passed in the Ga spartan race.

A31b063c5866c08aa9968a8f2f1e9949

(1721)

on June 27, 2011
at 12:57 AM

Warrior Dash obstacles were not that hard. A lot of crawling, running, and climbing: crawling through tunnels (culvert style tubing filled with mud; running through mud and tires; climbing over junk cars, hay-bales, a few walls). I think they make more out of the obstacles than they really are... just good fun that anyone with mental determination can get through (I was 350 pounds when I did it--granted, I come from an athletics background, but I certainly wasn't in shape to complete it). My goal is eventually the Tough Mudder, but I am still 60-70 pounds away from seriously considering it.

A31b063c5866c08aa9968a8f2f1e9949

(1721)

on June 27, 2011
at 12:52 AM

My concern with excessive cardio is more the drop in blood sugar levels and burning of glucose for energy instead of fat. Because I do have a significant amount of weight left to lose, I want to make sure my body is burning fat while I train.

A31b063c5866c08aa9968a8f2f1e9949

(1721)

on June 27, 2011
at 12:48 AM

Per my comment to Thom below, I guess my question could be revised to be asked: Is there a more primal/paleo approach to working out than running 5ks to effectively prepare for 5ks? Chronic cardio isn't as much the concern as aligning all aspects of my life with primal principles to the greatest extent possible.

A31b063c5866c08aa9968a8f2f1e9949

(1721)

on June 27, 2011
at 12:46 AM

I have been thinking about your answer a lot. Initially, it made sense to me, but as I've been thinking more, I've started to think that hitting a baseball is a very specific and difficult skill. Running is almost innate. Being able to run a 5K is a basic athletic skill that--for me, anyway--involves improvements to endurance. That can obviously be done with running 5K's, but I have to think it can be done other ways as effectively, and possibly in a more primal manner.

691f120a3e7a1a036845d105d86c99a3

(3641)

on June 23, 2011
at 12:29 AM

agreed, 5K is short, i think you could train for it sprinting, especially if its really for these obstacle courses, i imagine people are not actually jogging through the mud crawl, but they could sprint from that to the beer chugging station or whatever.

3c7856106195fd0084a06b5892269d36

on June 22, 2011
at 10:20 PM

do interval training and keep your times close to each other on all the reps, 2 times a week, do your primal excercises 5-6 times a week and make sure to do the running work 3 hours after the normal workout, for more information look into crossfit endurance

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9 Answers

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2
1bbcd2122d9c75b07440f22ef57d6448

(2934)

on March 21, 2012
at 05:51 PM

I knocked a massive amount of time off my 5k (currently at 20:21) with nothing but lifting and sprinting/HIIT. Especially for something like an obstacle course where you'll be able to "rest" between running pieces, faster and shorter should be fine. What might be best is a combination of sprints and circuits, in order to get used to using your muscles when winded, and running on worked muscles.

5
Dd293ec9943785a7590cac5ed8760378

(50)

on June 22, 2011
at 09:54 PM

Short answer, not running 5ks to prepare for 5 k events based on the idea that paleolithic man didn't do this makes about as much sense as not swinging a bat while hoping to learn how to hit home runs does since Paleo man didn't have bats. Its a sporting event that you need to train for specifically, yes of course you want to sprint, lift and walk as well. Thats the best way to prepare your body for GENERAL fitness, However when you decide you want a Specific Preparedness it needs to include training that is well SPECIFIC to that event. How you allocate your training time depends on your current level of sport performance and how much general fitness versus specific you desire.

A31b063c5866c08aa9968a8f2f1e9949

(1721)

on June 27, 2011
at 12:46 AM

I have been thinking about your answer a lot. Initially, it made sense to me, but as I've been thinking more, I've started to think that hitting a baseball is a very specific and difficult skill. Running is almost innate. Being able to run a 5K is a basic athletic skill that--for me, anyway--involves improvements to endurance. That can obviously be done with running 5K's, but I have to think it can be done other ways as effectively, and possibly in a more primal manner.

4
7d0c3ea9bf8be00b93e6433d8f125ac3

(7540)

on June 22, 2011
at 09:52 PM

It's my understanding that a 5K run is nowhere near approaching "chronic cardio". 5K is a very short distance, really. I think sometimes people go overboard with the cardio-hate, leading to questions like "Is walking for an hour a day/running 10 miles a week too much cardio?" If you like the running and feel fine, I say go for it.

691f120a3e7a1a036845d105d86c99a3

(3641)

on June 23, 2011
at 12:29 AM

agreed, 5K is short, i think you could train for it sprinting, especially if its really for these obstacle courses, i imagine people are not actually jogging through the mud crawl, but they could sprint from that to the beer chugging station or whatever.

A31b063c5866c08aa9968a8f2f1e9949

(1721)

on June 27, 2011
at 12:52 AM

My concern with excessive cardio is more the drop in blood sugar levels and burning of glucose for energy instead of fat. Because I do have a significant amount of weight left to lose, I want to make sure my body is burning fat while I train.

2
510bdda8988ed0d4b0ec0b738b4edb73

(20888)

on June 22, 2011
at 09:54 PM

I do one 10k run a year and never train for it other than my strength-biased crossfit program (i.e. no running longer than a 400). My times have consistently been better than back when I used to run.

I see nothing wrong with the 5k obstacle courses. They sound fun, I just usually skip them because I don't feel like getting THAT dirty :)

1
F5f742cc9228eb5804114d0f3be4e587

(7660)

on June 23, 2011
at 09:40 PM

I'm preparing for one too, and my thoughts are that you need to know, confidently, that you can bang out that distance. 2-3 days a week of moderate cardio isn't excessive, and let's not forget that cardio has significant health benefits too, as long as you don't go overboard.

So I say do whatever races you like. They serve to keep things fun and interesting. But yeah, run the distance at least once or twice to be sure.

I'm more worried about the obstacles in the Warrior Dash. Any advice for how/what to workout ahead of time?

A31b063c5866c08aa9968a8f2f1e9949

(1721)

on June 27, 2011
at 12:57 AM

Warrior Dash obstacles were not that hard. A lot of crawling, running, and climbing: crawling through tunnels (culvert style tubing filled with mud; running through mud and tires; climbing over junk cars, hay-bales, a few walls). I think they make more out of the obstacles than they really are... just good fun that anyone with mental determination can get through (I was 350 pounds when I did it--granted, I come from an athletics background, but I certainly wasn't in shape to complete it). My goal is eventually the Tough Mudder, but I am still 60-70 pounds away from seriously considering it.

0
14304e5e290b9e85f6192ac50ea5fd79

(0)

on February 14, 2013
at 01:31 AM

www.facebook.com/crofit for daily workouts to prepare for any obstacle course race along with getting in great shape all with zero equipment.

0
Df6dabaf4b1ef3d5db980ad64c501a5b

on March 21, 2012
at 07:57 PM

I think the most paleo way to train for a 5k event would be to do training runs in varied terrain - trails, hills, rocks, mud, whatever you have access to.

The other paleo perspective on training to run an event is that I doubt that most paleo people would have engaged in physical "training," they were highly physical when required by their daily lives. Can you work a similar distance into your routine? Jogging to the grocery store? Walking to work and back a few times a week? Heck, you could just get a dog and you'd have no trouble upping your weekly mileage!

0
602980a0b843977742510f4f16382a3d

on March 21, 2012
at 05:19 PM

have you ever tryed the Spartan Race?

0
001cd8e3885a870edc0ea8323ad9c719

(260)

on June 22, 2011
at 10:20 PM

Chronic cardio is loosely defined as 45-60 minutes a day of intense aerobic exercise... Sometimes intense is defined as 75% or more of max heart rate. I think it's safe to train for a 5k with less than that kind of effort if you are seriously concerned about chronic cardio. :-)

/Sean

(This coming from an endurance athlete... But it's what I do for fun. :-) )

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