How I Got Fit for Ski Season - My One Tip

It's way popular. Everywhere you turn, there's another one just like it. It's trendy. It's...

Obstacle Course Racing. 

I admit, I pre-judged the entire genre. Do you really need mud, barbwire, food coloring, climbing walls and tutus to get you to go out and run? 

Or at least that's what I used to think.

Now, I'm a total devotee to obstacle courses.

But first, let me back up.

Early this spring, I refocused my training on easy, slow movement accumulated over an entire day, something I call Low Intensity Daily Volume (LIDV). Additionally, I focus on moving my entire body through a full range of motion, sometimes with, sometimes without, resistance during the day.

Low Intensity Daily Volume (LIDV)

 Easy body weight squats might be the best exercise you can ever do!

Easy body weight squats might be the best exercise you can ever do!

For example, using a treadmill under my desk, I can walk and work for hours and miles. The increase in Low Intensity Daily Volume pays dividends combined with a few hard efforts throughout the week or once every two weeks. I also add breaks throughout the day, performing a quick set of body weight exercises like squats, push-ups, pull-ups and planks.

Overall, I've gotten back in shape after being very sick for 2 years using an easy training protocol that doesn't overtax my healing immune system. I look and feel a whole lot better than when I slept 16 hours a day, my brain didn't work and I was constantly sick.

Month After Month, I Get Stronger, Inside and Out

 Planks fixed a long time problem in my diagonal stride, classic skiing.

Planks fixed a long time problem in my diagonal stride, classic skiing.

And month after month, I notice that I can do more, lift more, run more, add more sprints. I also notice my posture getting better, aches and pains disappearing and my brain working again! 

And then, I added this 1 thing that revolutionized my training protocol.

The 1 Thing That Made the Biggest Difference

I watched a backyard video of a guy named Ben Greenfield run his homemade obstacle course. Before watching the video, I thought, "Here we go, another cheesy version of running!" 

And it was, at first.

Then my mind changed. I saw the light, so to speak.

 Pick up a rock and throw it! You'll get strong like Kikkanamial!!!

Pick up a rock and throw it! You'll get strong like Kikkanamial!!!

I realized that this obstacle course thing is brilliant. You combine an easy run, stations that make you move through a whole range of motion plus stations that add resistance. AND, you could do an obstacle course without the paint, mud, barbwire, watercolors and tutus! PLUS, you get a complete cardio, strength and anaerobic workout at the same time!

A Workout That Has It All

So my mind went crazy with all the ideas of obstacles that I could create in my own yard that would move my body through an entire range of motion with all kinds of dynamic resistance. I could space the obstacles out so that I also had to run 3 miles during the workout. 

I could get strong like bull, fast like antelope and fit like "Kikkanimal" all in one workout.

So I Built An Obstacle Course

So I built an obstacle course that does everything that I mentioned above, plus it adds a whole dimension of FUN! The obstacle course has taken on a life of its own. Friends come over for Obstacle Course field trips. I've done the course with 8 year olds and with legends of the ski industry. It brings me outside, into the wild and out of the gym.


 You can jump over anything. You can even layout a rope to jump over. Keep it simple so you do it.

You can jump over anything. You can even layout a rope to jump over. Keep it simple so you do it.

That's My Tip

I can't believe I'm writing this, but that's my tip. Build your own obstacle course. Even if you live in the city, find a cinderblock and a park. Go run around the block, perform some kind of exercise at the park on or off the equipment, then go run around the block again. Throw your cinder block, run around the block. Pick-up your cinderblock and carry it around the block. Do some inverted push-ups, run around the block.

You get the idea. 

Combine running, lifting and moving into an obstacle course near your house. 

I did and you can watch it here.

 David Lawrence, owner of XC Ski Academy and obstacle enthusiast! 

David Lawrence, owner of XC Ski Academy and obstacle enthusiast!