8 Tips to Help You Train for an Obstacle Course Race

Today I have a special guest blogger, Jessie Emeric, from It’s a Messy Life

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I will begin by clearly stating that I am no expert on obstacle course races (OCR), nor am I a personal trainer! I’m just an average girl who found she really loves to push her limits and see what she can do. Last year, I did 3 OCR, including Tough Mudder and this year I’m signed up for Tough Mudder again and Super Spartan. I will probably add a few smaller ones too by the end of the year….what can I say, I really do love OCR!

So that being said, I thought I’d share with you a few tips that helped me complete (read: SURVIVE)Tough Mudder last year and what I plan to do in these next 2 months leading to my obstacle course races in April.

•Eat Clean! They say a good workout can’t out-exercise a bad diet and I really believe this. I’ve noticed that when I allow myself a lot of “cheat meals” my workouts suffer. I’m more sluggish and slow and of course, I don’t see the results I want. So, eating clean in the month(s) leading up to your OCR will help you get lean & strong!

•Focus on Building Upper Body Strength! This was huge for me. Most of us ladies tend to have weaker upper body strength and a lot, if not most, of the obstacles you’ll encounter will require strong arms. Army man crawling, pulling yourself up walls & ropes, monkey bars, etc.. these all require strong upper body strength. Find a workout that is best for you and work on getting those muscles! Push ups, tricep dips, and pull ups (Disclaimer: I have yet to master 1 pull up. It’s on my to-do list!)

•Run! You’re not training for a marathon, but you should be able to run at least 3 miles nonstop. Work on sprints and hills to really get those legs ready for the 10 + mile course.

•Interval Training! You’ll be doing all sorts of things on an OCR from jumping over fire, crawling under barbed wire, and balancing on boards. You’ll have to build up your endurance and agility. Tabata, HIIT, Boot Camps, these are all great examples of high intensity training. Get lots of lunges, high knees, mountain climbers, and frog hops done!

•Burpees! I don’t know anyone who loves a burpee, but everyone agrees they get the job done. And if you’re planning on doing a Spartan race, just know that the penalty for not completing an obstacle is 30 burpees..Yikes!!

•Stretch! Don’t forget to stretch after your runs and workouts! This will aid in recovery, flexibility, and help prevent injury!

•Research! Look at the website photos of the race your doing. Most OCR will have a facebook page and will post photos from their latest race on their page. Also, go to YouTube and look for videos of the OCR you’ll be doing, specifically in your city. This will help you visualize what you’re going to be facing and get you pumped up! Tough Mudder has this great Boot Camp Training on their website where you can build your own workout circuit based on your fitness level and it’s designed to get you through their toughest obstacles!

•Have Fun! Obstacle course racing is all about pushing your limits and finding out what you’re made of, but it’s also about building camaraderie and working together as a team. It’s about having fun and trying something new!

I’m hosting a giveaway to 4 free entries to Pretty Muddy Run, a fun women’s only 5K mud run in a city near you. Click HERE for all the details and to sign up! Contest ends February 20, 2014.

Jessie Emeric
blog: http://www.itsamessylife.com
facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ItsAMessyLife
twitter: https://twitter.com/JessieEmeric
instagram: http://instagram.com/jessieemeric

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What you should know about If It Fits Your Macros.

For the last year or so I have heard about If It Fits Your Macros (IIFYM) so I decided to dig a little deeper to find out more information about

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source: google images

IIFYM pays attention to grams of carbohydrates, protein and fats rather than total calorie intake. So many people have misguided notions about following macros rather than eating clean or counting calories. In truth, there are benefits and downfalls to anything you do. I’ve seen people shame others because they aren’t following the same diet.

I used to count calories but I had to stop. It made me crazy because I would follow the caloric intake I was given but I wasn’t seeing the results I wanted. Over time I realized it was because I was given too low of a caloric intake to follow, and those calories were used on so many simple carbs and not enough protein or fat.

I also used to eat clean. I always found ways around it because honestly, that’s just the type of person I am.

So now I follow IIFYM. This is not a license to eat a bunch of junk contrary to popular belief. I don’t eat poptarts, cake, soda and candy just because ‘it fits in my macros.’ I understand that some people do, but I just feel so much better when I eat healthy.

I eat about 85% good foods and 15% not so good foods. For me, if I decide to have a cheat day then I don’t even follow my macros. But on normal days I do follow them because it limits the amount or carbohydrates I eat and it encourages me to eat more protein and fat.

What do I eat? Well I like lean meats & fish like chicken, turkey, tuna, salmon and tilapia and I also use protein powder. For carbs I eat oats, berries, bananas, blood oranges, sweet potatoes, apples, shredded wheat cereal, etc. I also like peanut butter, low fat cheese, skim milk and lots of veggies.

So should I be shamed for using IIFYM? Absolutely not. Some people use it as an excuse to eat like crap, but there are those of us who use it to make sure we get enough of what we need to eat. I’m sick of people telling me that eating clean will work better. Guess what? I do eat pretty clean and this works for me. Just like you shouldn’t body shame, stop diet shaming. It discourages people. Talk to people about how they eat in a loving way. Some people don’t know how to eat healthy and it’s okay to give advice, but you cross a line when you start making them feel badly about their choices.

I encourage all of you to do what’s right for you and your body! Feed yourself with healthy foods to feel great. Never hesitate to email me!

xo

Women Who Lift

Grab a pen and paper and get ready to take some notes!

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There is a huge social stigma about women who lift heavy weights. Apparently we’re supposed to be all weak and frail and needy. Wrong. Women lift heavy because of all different reasons. Personally, I like feeling strong and being able to move heavy objects around my house without worrying. Other reasons include losing fat, sculpting muscles, competing, etc.

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Women who have huge muscles either take steroids, trained for YEARS with amazing nutrition to build up that muscle, or both.

Women naturally do not have enough testosterone to build that much muscle if you’re just going to work out. Testosterone is a hormone, the hormone that men have most of and that’s why it’s so easy for them to put muscle on. Women have more estrogen, which is why we have more fat. But women still have a little testosterone and men still have a little estrogen.

I can’t tell you how many times I have been told “don’t get too big” when I say lifting is my favorite form of exercise. It’s one of my biggest pet peeves. It’s also a huge turnoff to hear it from a man and when they say that I usually discount dating them. Sexist, much?

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In all seriousness though, everyone needs to stop with the “real women lift weights” campaign. It’s great to educate the population on the physical and mental components of women lifting, but it’s not the best thing to say. So runners aren’t real? Yogis and cardio queens aren’t either? Last time I checked, we were ALL real because we aren’t robots.

Guess what I’m going to go do right now? Lift some heavy ass weights.

These photos aren’t mine, I got them all from Pinterest.

First Grad School Test & Sickie Weekend

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My Sunday was spent laying on the couch with my pup who was trying to make me feel better. I have no idea what I have but I think my body is still fighting a fever.

Saturday I started Jamie Eason’s LiveFit program again. I did it when it first came out and loved it, so I’m back again. I’m also tracking it on Bodyspace to make new fitness friends! If you’re on there you can find me. My username is AlyssaClement.

So yesterday morning I was all ready to workout. Then I got worse as the day progressed so I decided not to. I’m feeling a little better today, so I’ll just take it as it goes however I’ll probably take another rest day.

On a happier note I’m proud to announce that I got an A on my first ever grad school test!! That excited me. State’s program is no joke. I have 2 more tests this week so I’ll be studying my butt off for 2 more A’s. I found this awesome app, MyHomework, that I can input all my tasks and when they need to be done, then check them off when they’re completed. Best app I could’ve found!

Tomorrow NC will be getting another snow storm!!

Stay warm,
Xo

1200 Calories

1200 Calories.

Dove VoxBox

Last week I got an email from Influenster saying I was receiving my first VoxBox of Dove Deodorant. Lately, I’ve been obsessed with Dove products so that just added to my excitement! I’ve been using Dove’s ClearTone deodorant for a while so I was happy to use the Dove Advanced Care.

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Here’s my review on it.

Scent: I received Nourished Beauty. It smells really good. I mean, really good. It also doesn’t take a lot to put on! It lasted all day long too.

Exercise: I had no problems with sweating. Let’s be real ladies, we’ve all had that one deodorant that clumps up into little balls when we sweat and everyone can see it fall from our shirt. This is NOT like that. It’s smooth the entire time.

Skin: I’m not sure if it makes me skin all soft and nice. But, I’m never disappointed with Dove Deoderant so I have faith that this will be just as good.

I’ll definitely be buying this when I need to buy deoderant again! It meets all my requirements!!

I received this product complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes.

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