Obstacle Race Magazine – Cold Weather & Cold Water Acclimatisation Training

Obstacle Race Magazine Interview with Michael Cohen
Obstacle Racing Magazine

Cold Weather & Cold Water Acclimatisation Training

by Michael Cohen

Issue 1
February 2014

Cold weather training for an event can be very daunting if you haven’t done one before. We are in the UK, so we have to be prepared. At Tough Guy on January 29 2013 it was -10 degrees in the water and the ice was 1cm thick.  In March it was no better at The Nuts Challenge, it was frigid. Hundreds of contenders at last winter obstacle race (OCR) events around the country experienced hypothermia. Many were miserable and just cold. Where’s the fun in that! Continue reading

Am I Spartan?

Posted on Jun 5, 2013 by on Marcus Travels


I am up to my chin in cold, dark, murky water, and the petite woman next to me is on the verge of a panic attack. She does not know how to swim, and the water is getting deeper and deeper. Branches are entangling her legs and blocking her in all directions.When I first saw her, what feels like days earlier in the bright afternoon sunshine of Pippingford Park, she was all smiles, and greeted everyone jokingly with: “I’m cold and scared! How about you?” When I pulled up in my car, I nearly turned round and drove home again, because there were such extremely fit-looking people standing around – and there was no way my dignity or self-respect was going to survive intact with them for company. These are, after all, my first forays into the world of sports for leisure and pleasure, so one might forgive my self-confidence for being a little shaky. My old habits of plotting ways to avoid P.E. class back in my school days are not far gone. Continue reading

Marathon des Sables ultra-athlete Tobias Mews review

Spartan Race Camp_ZayneandTobias

If you’ve read Part 1 to this post, then you’ll know that just getting to the start of Spartan Race Training Camp was a bit of an adventure, but what happened during the course of 4 hours in Pippingford Park in the company of 8 or so other obstacle nutters, deserves a post of its own!

Having spent 6 years in the regular army, including officer training at Sandhurst, I figured I had a good grasp on how obstacle courses work.  And since leaving the Army 5 years ago, I’ve reached the peak of my physical fitness, having just returned in April from completing the Marathon des Sables, where I came 15th and the following weekend running 2.51 at the London Marathon.  Add to this that my girlfriend Zayne has been serving in the Army Reserves for 10 years,  I would not normally have thought we’d need to do an obstacle course training camp.  So, why on earth were we there? Continue reading

New TEAM Wild Forest Gym Training Venues

obstacle course

Somewhat closer than this training camp in Afghanistan 😉

We have some great news to report. We have now secured two additional awesome training venues!

Hills, Hills and Hills – We have found the most incredible hills to get you race ready. To say they are steep, rugged and perfect for OCR training is no understatement. This terrain is optimum for your training schedule for Anaerobic Endurance Training. Continue reading

Training Day for Tough Mudder Part 1

tough mudder training day

Was it to be a typical session?

Firstly, there is no such thing as typical. Every Obstacle Course Training Session is unique.  This is determined by weather, participants abilities and group dynamics. But one thing that can be guaranteed is that no 2 sessions are the same. This is an important starting point to training. Repetition is like walking around blinkered. It is confining and is a form of isolation that limits the way your mind and body functions and how it can develop. Continue reading

Tracking and orienteering whilst running a muddy trail

tough guy runner

The question of how do you select what part of a trail to run came up with one of my students today. We were running through a woodland enclosure where you had to be aware of the terrain, obstacles,  branches and undergrowth. We were training in the dark with headtorches. One of the objectives of the training was to learn to read and understand the environment so that you can take the most effective route, plus not injury yourself on the obstacles.

Relating this situation to one of my students forthcoming Tough Mudder Obstacle Course event I was trying to install the need to be able to orientate and make the decision of the best route. So here’s the situation. You are on your obstacle course trail. Already 2,000 runners have already turned and toiled the trail. What route do you take. Do you take the well trodden or the less used areas? I asked. Continue reading

Are you training for an Obstacle Course Challenge?

Spartan Race Obstacle

Obstacle Course Challenges and Adventure Races are not for the light-hearted. They will test ever fibre inside you!

How ready are you?

Training for the known, unknown and unknowable!

You can learn to climb those cargo nets, ropes and jump over fire through sport specific training but will that be enough. You see, Sports Specific Preparedness (SPP) training will teach you the skills of the individual disciplines and obstacles, but what they do not do is train you in an all-weather environment that challenges you with the cold, the mud, the rain, the ice, frozen ground, rutted, rooted and slippery surfaces. Neither how to deal with the thousands of competitors and lunatics (there is always some) around you. Just consider about how the terrain is going to be once 2,000 competitors have ploughed through and left the remnants on the obstacles. Continue reading

Tough Mudder meets Tough Guy

Tough Guy Obstacle Course Challenge

I have been training hard for some months and today I decided it was time to test / evaluate fitness levels for the forthcoming Tough Guy Extreme Obstacle Course Challenge coming up for the 27 January 2013. First race for 2013.

I thought I should test it out on myself before putting any of my warriors through it!

tough_mudder_logo_2As much as you can prepare yourself, until you get out on the obstacle course you never know what you are up against and how ready you are. I couldn’t find anything about training on the Tough Guy Website.

So I went onto the Tough Mudder website, which is another extreme obstacle course challenge and found their training program. Continue reading