Training Tips for the 10K Commando Challenge
Posted on May 20th 2016 by Sarah Burden
Royal Marine Commandos are some of the most courageous people on the planet. When you’re dragging yourself through dark tunnels and fighting through freezing water - not to mention the distance - you’ll get a real taste of the challenges that Commandos have to overcome. If you want to succeed, you might need our training tips for the 10K Commando Challenge.
Go the Distance
Our 10K Courage course is the closest in distance to the 9K Royal Marines Endurance Course, the first of The Commando Tests that challenge future Commandos. It should go without saying that training for this distance is essential, and jogging every other weekend isn’t going to cut it.
You should be comfortable running at least 12K before taking on the Challenge, assuming you don’t usually spend energy crawling through tunnels on your normal running route. 12 kilometres (or about 7.5 miles) is further than a quarter marathon, so don’t expect it to be easy.
So, You Need a Training Plan…
You can try training hard a few times per week, but what you really need to do is train well- and that includes appropriate rest. For the 10K course, you should start training at least 12 weeks before the Challenge if you’re not used to running, or around 8 weeks before if you’re more experienced.
Training for the 10k won’t be easy, so you’ll need some good self-discipline to make sure you get enough preparation. Training with your team is a great way to make sure that you’re all putting enough effort in, and will act as some great motivation if you’re struggling to follow your plan.
Our Commando Workout will be a good starting point for your training, but you’ll probably need to adjust it to ramp up the difficulty as your fitness improves. However, those rest days are still important! We recommend that you increase your running distance by approximately 10% every week, even if your pace slows down a bit. Aside from running, some weighted exercises will be great for improving your speed and strength through the obstacles.
Add to the Challenge
When you get to the later stages of your training, you might want to implement some different training techniques to get the edge on the competition. Our overload circuits are a great way to mix things up, and you can increase the intensity of these for even more of a challenge. You could even try supersets of cardio and bodyweight exercises, to prepare for running and completing challenging obstacles back-to-back.
Warm Up, Cool Down, Stretch
All three of these steps are crucial, especially when you’re running longer distances. Firstly, these activities are important for both preventing serious injury and reducing general wear and tear over time. Secondly, these can improve your recovery, and even help to reduce any soreness you might feel the next day. Finally, stretching improves your flexibility, which itself reduces the risk of injury, and could also come in handy when you’re navigating tight tunnels on the course.
Fix Your Sleep and Diet
If you’re used to sleeping 6 hours per night, that might not be enough to get the most out of your training. Aim for 8 hours, or even 9 if you’ve had a particularly taxing training session. You’ll have the added bonus of feeling fresher the next day, which could make the difference between setting a new personal best and giving up after a few kilometres.
Diet is just as important for recovery, especially when you’re training for longer distances. As well as a good balance of nutrients (yes, that means fruit and vegetables), aim to consume around 0.5 grams of protein for every pound of your bodyweight, which is approximately 1 gram per kilogram.
Get the Right Gear
Your worn-out, all-purpose trainers aren’t the right choice if you want to optimise your running performance… although you might not want to wear them on the course if you hope to use them afterwards. Generally, some light and comfortable running shoes are what you should aim for, and finding the right fit is essential.
Hopefully these training tips for the 10K Commando Challenge will help you to get the most out of the hard work you put in. Stay tuned for advice from our experts as we move closer to the big event. Until then, train like a real Commando.