Training for an obstacle race in Vietnam

Champion Dash Vietnam

When Thuymi and I started dating we realized quickly we both love sports and travel. We started to do both, travelling to chase sports events and fitness events. Our first ever series of training sessions as a couple was for the first ever Fitness Race in Vietnam, the Champion Dash.

Looking back now and remembering how hard it was and how much work we put in, makes it well worth it! Our team ended up winning the first edition of the race, which at the time named the Dragon Dash.

Why you should participate in such events once in your life

Since I have stopped playing Football in Australia, I have been struggling with motivation to keep training hard and remaining in the best shape possible. I love my social cricket and footy, but they do not have the same demands and I find it hard to justify going to the gym. We are constantly looking for challenges around the world like the Great Wall of China Marathon, Triathlons, Rugby and Cricket, but Viet Nam was missing such event. In 2015, it finally hosted its first obstacle course race which I knew would push me and give me reason to stay in tip top shape.

Spartan Races, Obstacle courses, Ninja Warrior and Wipeout have led the new revolution in fun fitness and is spreading world wide. You should definitely participate to one in your life to experience the training and the great feeling to finish.

How to chose your team to win obstacle course races

Criteria for good teammates? Tough, Fit, Strong and wanting to win! Get together with a group of people that will work as a team. Our group of gentlemen assisted each other as we climb over walls, army crawl through mud and scaling ropes. This will also be the first time that any of us have ever done an adventure race of this kind. We have all made verbal agreements to go easy on the beers, and start the training regime!

Somewhere deep down inside of each of us is a winner. So we made a goal, lets try to win the team event. Train hard, put in the hours, get specific with training and lets see how far we can go. Who knows, with a little bit of luck maybe we can be semi-successful. At the end, we won against ex-marines because we lift each other up obstacles, something the other teams didn’t do.

How to train for obstacle course races

  1. Train in advance: If you want to win, make sure you give yourself enough time to train hard. Considering you are already strong and in a good running shape, give yourself at least 1 month and a half to work on specific obstacle race training. Think ropes, bear crawls (fast), heavy weight farmers walks, etc. If you aren’t that fit and new to running or in fitness in general, you will need to give yourself at least 3 months to train hard. Again, these are advice to dominate and win the race, not just to do it for fun!
  2. Run a lot, all the time!: Obstacle races … are a run! there is no running away from it haha! So make sure you will be the best runner first because this can definitely help you dominate! Make sure to combine your endurance training with running every singe week of training.
  3.  Build your strength: You will need good strength to go easily through obstacles. Simply work on basics like working with the resistance band, tons of squats, pull-ups, push-ups, and planks. Think of getting that strength mostly to pulling yourself over ropes, walls, climbing monkey bars, jumping over barriers, and crawling down low.

Obstacle Race in Saigon

To be honest, this is pretty much the advice you need for a fun 5k obstacle course race. If you are doing harder obstacle courses like the Spartan Race (not the 5k), we would suggest you more exercises and routine. We will tell you all about that on our upcoming articles about obstacle races! Hope you enjoyed this short read and if you travel over to Viet Nam, make sure to catch the Champion Dash event to have some good fun with the locals and expat community!

Xin Chao


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