The guys at x-runner asked us to develop a training program for their entrants; here's the first instalment...
Prior to starting any training, it is recommended you have a medical examination to ensure it is safe for you to do so. Any training program needs to be specific to the individual and event and you need time to develop, build and enhance fitness levels so we advise a minimum of 12 weeks to give the best available progression.
Building you up to a moderate level of fitness; introduction to training methods and core skills (3 weeks)
Test, recovery and adjustment of the training program (1 week) Building you up to higher level of fitness; more specific and functional (3 weeks) Test, recovery and adjustment of the training program (1 week) Building you up to an even higher level of fitness; enhancing specific attributes (3 weeks)
You need to set SMART goals and the best way to start is to do a fitness test before you commence your training program so that you can accurately measure progress. It can be a simple like a 12 minute cooper test run, more complicated like a specific 5K predictor test or quite specific; designed to test components you will need to compete in an adventure race such as upper body strength, cardiovascular endurance and balance.
The first eight weeks of the run program are based on time. The time suggested should be spent exercising, which at this stage can mean walking and running. The last four weeks of the run program are based on distance. At this point in the program you should be able to run pretty much the entire distance without any walking.
For core and strength exercises see our obstacle race circuit training program. Remember to include stretching in your sessions; dynamic before your strength session and static after every session (see our guide to stretching for inspiration). Many athletes will progress faster than this program is set up for, which is fine.