6 TIPS FOR NAVIGATING OBSTACLES
Here are a few things to keep in mind when racing.
Number one: Believe.
Believe in your body and its strength. Your body is capable of doing what your mind tells it that it can accomplish. As you near the next obstacle stare it down like a predator eyeing its prey. Imagine yourself completing the obstacle and you are much more likely to defeat it.
Number two: Plan.
As you approach any obstacle the second thing on your mind should be visualizing how you will conquer it. With just a little forethought about technique before you reach the obstacle you will be more prepared for it.
Number three: Monkey see, monkey do.
Watch other racers ahead of you as they navigate the obstacles. You won't believe how often you will see them use a technique or approach you may not have considered. By watching a few runners encountering the obstacle ahead you can get a leg up on your competition. I recall a race I ran last year and how I gained significant speed on my total course time simply by watching how people interact with the obstacles.
Number four: If you are running as a team take advantage of the buddy system. If not help those around you.
This comes into play largely with obstacles such as walls, mud hills, and net climbs. By working together with your team or fellow racers you can defeat tough obstacles much easier. Chances are the person you helped or whom is helping you will remember you and you may find yourself working with them again later on in the course.
Number five: Take your time...
For any obstacles you feel unprepared for simply taking a moment to think through how you will complete it can be the difference between success and failure. A great example here is stopping to take time to dry off your muddy hands before doing rope climbs or bar crossings. Pausing quickly for a little strategy now can save you major time on your total course completion.
Number six: Don't forget to have fun.
Obstacle racers are insane. Plain and simple. We enjoy doing things others would never do. We enjoy running past the pain and sore muscles. We enjoy being punching bags for the course. When you are on the course make sure to enjoy it. Often racers get so caught up in getting great times or simply completing the course - that they forget to enjoy it.
Obstacle races are like playground for adults. Make sure you have fun at recess. Dive headfirst into the mud pools, yell like an indian war chief, encourage others on the course by shouting positive things like "you can do it, we are beasts!" Other runners will enjoy the encouragement and may very well do the same for you later on in the course.
All in all, the obstacles are always the best part of any course. Embrace their unique challenges, push yourself to stay in the right mental state, and most important of all. Have fun.