|By Jonathan Compton
Editor Obstacle Racing Magazine
7th April 2013
‘How did that feel?’
‘About 8 out of 10’ I replied, out of breath at the top of a steep hill.
‘Ok, now try it like this…’
And suddenly what felt like a max effort hill climb became more like a 6 out of 10. And faster!
This was the Eureka moment for me on a recent sunny April morning. I had made the 50 minute drive from home to Bracknell and one of the Wild Forest Gym venues, and was in the company of Michael Cohen, functional and natural movement evangelist.
Michael had invited me for a free taster session during a conversation we had about him writing a training column for Obstacle Racing Magazine UK. And I can tell you I had a great time. Talk about functional training. The warm up was a number of hill sprints and ditch jumps. We talked about crawling, rolling, jumping, and we practiced them all. And just when I thought it was safe to relax we reached an innocent looking patch of watery grass.
Less then a minute later I was up to my chest in freezing water trying my best not to go under (luckily Michael had told me to bring a change of clothes). Any obstacle race worth its salt has a number of water-based obstacles and if you’re not ready for them you face the multiple enemies of panic, fear and possible hypothermia. So what best place to encounter this natural obstacle than in the safe hands of an obstacle race coach with experience of a winter Tough Guy under his belt?
Michael’s and Wild Forest Gym’s motto for obstacle race training is Race Fit, Race Safe, Race Ready. This moto resonates with me and is so important in obstacle racing. If you’ve done one you’ll know that. We’ve all seen our fair share of people at one event or another that have clearly done little or no preparation and have probably turned-up at the behest of their mates.
Michael’s mission is to reach these people and help them to enjoy a Spartan Sprint, Zombie Evacuation or Nuts Challenge (to name but a few) and to complete these events as safely as can reasonably be expected.
“The forest to me is like my second home…” Says Michael Cohen.
And I can well believe him.
Posted by Jonathan Compton at 01:29