Ask the Trainer: Adventure Race Training

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There are nearly two dozen adventure races lined up across Colorado this summer. But, before you embark on an obstacle course, you may want to do a little training first.

Whether you’re romping through mud, scampering through obstacles, climbing walls of rope and darting to the finish line, adventure racing is the thing to do for fun fitness. If you’re not careful though, you can get hurt, which is why Doug Quinlivan; a trainer at Ascent Fitness; says you need to train outdoors, not just in the gym. “Since it’s an outdoor activity, you’re going to be running over uneven terrain and you don’t want to hurt yourself,” he said. “Do some hikes, do some outdoor jogging. Clamber over some boulders, all that kind of thing is really going to help.”

When you are in the gym, work on body weight exercise like lunges, burpees and air squats.  “So explosive movements, we’re going to do a bit of plyometric work here,” Doug said.

Try a squat jump onto a bench, just make sure to land with bent knees. You can even have some fun with it. Try jumping up and doing a 180 turn in the air.  Doug said, “Get your body used to jumping and landing and get used to moving in different directions and things like that.”

Doug also suggests doing a weighted ball slam. “This is a great exercise because we’re using leg strength, arm strength, back strength, shoulder strength, core strength, a little bit of everything.” Just squat, pick up the ball and in one motion pull it over your head and slam it down as hard as you can.

Another good one is a jumping lunge. Doug says that will build your quad strength and core strength so that you can tackle all of those outdoor obstacles with ease.

If you’re interested in joining an adventure race with a team, Ascent Fitness is putting together a group this summer. You can send Heather a message at

If you have a question for the trainer, email

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