Training Tips for the 4K Commando Challenge
Posted on April 15th 2016 by Sarah Burden
If you want to conquer the Royal Marines 4K Commando Challenge, the first quality you’ll need is cheerfulness. However, good spirits alone might not be enough when you’re fighting through mud and water, especially if you’re aiming for a respectable time. While the 4K Challenge might not be as gruelling as the tougher 10K and 17K courses, preparation and training are still a must if you want to truly succeed. With that in mind, here are our top training tips for the 4K Commando Challenge.
Don’t Underestimate the Distance
Four kilometres might not sound like a long way, but it will feel a lot longer when you’re cold, wet, and bogged down in mud. This is our shortest course, but don’t lull yourself into a false sense of security- it is still definitely a challenge. It’s important to remember that this is nothing like jogging in a park or on the treadmill, so aim to be comfortable running at least 5K by the time you take on the Challenge.
Plan to Succeed
Before you start doing anything physical, you need a plan. Physical and mental robustness is required in a military environment, and the same applies to the Commando Challenge.
“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” – Benjamin Franklin
This old motto still rings true, so be warned: the Commando Challenge will not be forgiving if you haven’t trained enough to tackle it. If you want to make solid progress, choose and stick to a good plan. We recommend that you start training at least eight weeks before the event. Don’t make it too easy, but be realistic- you don’t want to burn out and abandon your training after a couple of weeks.
To start with, we suggest that you take on our own recommended training programme. This programme will have you running twice per week, combined with a body weight circuit which you’ll also do two times per week. This will give you the endurance to run the distance, and the strength to push, pull, and crawl your way through the various obstacles on the course.
Warming up, cooling down, and stretching are also important if you want to get the most out of your training and minimise the risk of injury.
Increase the Difficulty
The nature of progress means that you have to up the difficulty to continue improving. Every week you should be aiming to push your limits a bit further during your training, e.g. by increasing the running distance, and implementing more challenging or weighted exercises into your workout.
Rest and Nutrition are Essential for Recovery
It’s no use training hard if you don’t give your body time to recover. Aim to get at least eight hours of sleep per night, which will allow your muscles to recover and become stronger. Likewise, your body needs fuel for this recovery, so getting a good balance of nutrients in your diet (including consuming enough protein) is important too. Don’t skip the vegetables! Finally, remember to stay well hydrated at all times, but particularly when you’re exercising.
Mix Up Your Training
Eventually, you might find that your progress starts to stagnate, or you might just want to challenge yourself with something different. In that case, mix up your training programme a bit, for example by trying an overload circuit. Sprints are also a great way to challenge yourself with some intense cardio and to increase your explosive power.
Don’t Give Up!
The Commando Challenge won’t be easy, and neither will the training. If you’re struggling with sticking to your plan, try partnering up with a friend for some extra motivation. Finally, just remind yourself why you’re doing it, and what a great cause you’re supporting!
This entry was posted in Training guides and preparation and tagged , 4K, Devon Air Ambulance, Marines, Mud Run, Obstacle Course, Royal Marines, The Royal Marines Commando Challenge, Commando Challenge, training by Sarah Burden. Bookmark this permalink.