I’m a veteran of many different extreme races. I’ve run the Warrior Dash and Tough Mudder three times. I discovered the Savage Race through a friend and thought it looked promising. I liked it because, at about five miles, was a middle distance race between the short Warrior Dash and longer Tough Mudder.
I’m going to discuss my Savage Race training (and eating) regimen. I finished in the top percentages of the Savage Race itself and completed every obstacle with ease. For more information about the race itself, check out my Savage Race review. It should be helpful.
Savage Race Training
It’s impossible when doing Savage Race training to actually emulate the event itself, unless, of course, you have unlimited money! So, obviously, you’ll have to improvise.
The easiest “obstacle” to mimic is the running. Yes, these extreme races are mostly running. So, if you want to succeed in them, you have to pound the pavement (or better yet the trails). Figure out the distance of your race and try to work up to running that mileage. Make sure you run the distance of your race a couple times before the actual event to make sure you can do it.
My race was extremely hilly and the organizers tend to choose locations with hills. So, you also should practice running (or at least jogging) hilly areas if you can find some in your location. Hills are tough to complete if you’ve never trained on them.
A lot of people try to mimic the obstacles in their backyard. But, this isn’t the best idea. What you need to do is strengthen the core muscle groups that the obstacles require. So, try to do complete workouts that challenge the upper and lower body and the core.
The core is especially important if you want to master the Savage Race (or any obstacle course run for that matter). You’ll need stability, especially on the obstacles and the hills, and a strong core really helps in that regard.
When I ran the Tough Mudder, I saw scores of people fall on the hills and the obstacles because they couldn’t stabilize themselves in the wet, muddy conditions. Find a way to work the core and you’ll be in good shape.
I recommend Beachbody’s Insanity products to work the core. You can see my review of Insanity (the original) to find out more. However, any program that works the core or requires intense bursts of activity will help you with Savage Race training (and the race itself). A good general example is a general tabata workout.
Savage Race Nutrition
Regarding nutrition, your Savage Race training could be anything that helps you shed fat and add lean muscle. Typically, this means you need to consume fewer calories than you burn. So, that means cutting back on your eating. Since you’re trying to get healthier and fitter, make sure to avoid junk food too.
Since your goal is training and not just dieting, it’s also important to feed your body the necessary nutrients for success. This means eating enough protein to build your muscles. If you don’t eat enough protein your body will simply destroy muscle to build muscle which will result in no net muscle gain.
While you can run the Savage Race while overweight or obese, the extra fat will slow you down and add weight to your joints. That isn’t good. Do yourself a big favor and lose excess weight. It will not only help you in the race, but also in life (and you’ll look better).
So, best of luck with your Savage Race training. Train well, kick butt at the race, and enjoy the fun times afterward. I had a blast! But, I was sore for a few days. It really is challenging.