Friday, April 12, 2013

Training Tips for Hell and Back Apollo

Hi there! That's me on the left, looking at you looking at me. This was taken mere minutes before I took part in the first Hell and Back Trojan race in January! You can see my lovely sinister devil fork that I got painted on my face! That did not last long, I assure you!

I had such an amazing time at the first race that I knew the second they announced the Hell and Back Apollo that will take place on the 15th and 16th of June, I just had to partake! If you click here you will see my original post all about my experience of the race and some tips I gave for the event! Here's a link to Hell and Back's official Facebook page and here's a link to their website that contains all the details about the race!

When deciding to run in an event I make sure I train adequately for it and although I'm not psychic I try to prepare myself for all scenarios! I'm not a fan of surprises but the very nature of Hell and Back Apollo is just that! Although we won't be sure what exactly the course entails we can prepare ourselves for all eventualities through training hard and no matter what is thrown at us we'll be prepared and ready to conquer it! When facing a seemingly daunting challenge like the Hell and Back Apollo it is important to understand exactly what your body is required to do and train accordingly. Planning is key! So throughout the next few weeks I will be structuring my training around completing the Hell and Back Apollo course by using my experience and the lessons I learned when I completed the Hell and Back Trojan course back in January! I will be keeping you all up to date with the training I do every week and I will let you in on all the training tips you'll need to help you complete the Hell and Back Apollo! Click here to read the post I wrote on my training for the first Hell and Back! For now, here's a quick synopsis of what you should include in your training:


This is fairly self explanatory, if you want to run a 10km course you gotta be able to run 10km! I would suggest running at least 3 times a week if you can, be it on the roads or in the gym. What I found with the last race was that because there are so many obstacles you are constantly stopping and starting so the actual running part wasn't too intense because you sort of get a break to breath before you get stuck into an obstacle. So if you're not up to 10km I wouldn't worry too much about it as it's more like running in intervals but ultimately the more you can run the easier it will be!


During the first Hell and Back, I realised that when I was running on the muck trails and on the steep grassy hills that I was completely unprepared for that terrain. I had attempted to run on grassy trails for some training before it but I didn't do enough of it at all. So this time round I will be hitting the fields around my house and doing laps on the hills to really get my legs used to it! If you have a field or a local park around you with a grassy hill I suggest running and sprinting up it a few times at least once a week! Failing that, if you're a member of a gym I suggest putting up the incline on the treadmill and doing some interval training! When your legs are burning you know you're doing it right!


I cannot stress enough how important your arm and leg strength will be for this race! If you haven't done any strength or weight training yet I suggest you get on it! You will be dragging yourself through, over and under many an obstacle and without sufficient arm and leg strength it'll prove very difficult! Great exercises for this would be the simple push-up and squat! Got a half an hour in the evening? Do a few sets of push-ups and squats! Push-ups are great for over-all arm strength, as well as serving as an all-purpose body workout! So what are you waiting for, drop and gimme 20! Squats are one of the best functional exercises that you can ever do! Here is an article I wrote about why they are so important and how you can do them properly! They should be a part of your training routine if they aren't already, they will help tone and strengthen the legs making you laugh in the face of any obstacle that comes your way!

If you're a member of a gym start hitting the free weights or some strength machines. What I've been doing recently is assisted pull-ups and tricep dips which are amazing for upper body strength. These are compound exercises that will work every muscle in your upper body. There's also the leg extension and leg curl machines for leg strength! I go into detail about these machines in my post about my training for the Hell and Back Trojan, here.


Saturday: I ran the Bray 10km Cliff Run last Saturday so I was very sore on Sunday! I should have stretched and done a short recovery session on a cross trainer but I didn't! Here's my synopsis of the event!

Monday: Legs were still too sore to run so I didn't run.

30 mins on cross trainer. 
20 mins on spin bike.
Free weights (dumbbell press, dumbbell curl, single arm row, tricep dumbbell curl)
Assisted pull ups and tricep dips.
10mins stretch.

5km road run.

20mins on cross trainer.
7km on treadmill.
10 mins on spin bike.
Core work 

20 mins on cross trainer.
Weights session. 
Core work.

It's very important to listen to your body and know when you can step it up or down a notch with training. The last thing you want is an injury that will lead to not being able to partake! Running is just as much a mental game as it is a fitness one, especially when you enter obstacles into the equation! Try to find the right balance in training where you are doing some form of cardio at least 3 times a week and incorporate some strength training! Quality consistent training is key! It's definitely not easy, but when you cross the finish line it will all be worth it! Thanks for reading!

Do you have any questions about training or the race? Write me a comment down below and I'll get right back to you! Or alternatively, ask me on twitter here:

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