The Beast Race: 10 top tips for Taming the Beast

1. Training: Move as much as possible

Cross training is a fantastic way to build overall fitness, confidence and prevent boredom or repetitive strain injuries that often occur with doing just one form of exercise all the time.
Personally, I love to do outdoor body fitness classes, go to the gym, dance, walk, and hike up mountains when I can to complement my swimming, cycling and running training for a triathlon.
Your whole body will be tested in different ways whilst doing the Beast race so mixing up your training is a great way to allow your body to get used to being used in different ways.
Basically, as long as you are moving, it is beneficial.

2. Get your friends involved

Find friends or a group of people to train and race with.
This is one of the best ways to do an obstacle race like this!
Naturally, you will probably find yourself feeling like you are out of your comfort zone. Do not worry, everyone is.
As the race goes on you begin to realise that everyone is having a laugh and that everyone is in it together.
You will also make friends along the way.
There is a real banter among everyone before, during and after the race.
Helping each other over the high walls whilst having a giggle makes it all worthwhile.

3. You are way more capable than you think

Obstacle races aren’t the kind of races where you can easily tick off the distance step by step.
You will find that you will have no idea what obstacle is coming up next even if you have studied the course meticulously beforehand. Yes, it's great to have some idea of what is to come, but remembering the order whilst waist deep in mud is somewhat of a challenge in itself.
Basically, you will find out as you do it.
More than likely, you will be faced with an obstacle that you don't think you will manage.
However, you will find a way! It is amazing how far we can push ourselves physically and mentally.
The human body can do far more than you can imagine. So to put things simply, GO FOR IT! Whatever is thrown at you, you will find a way.

4. Make your training slightly uncomfortable and different

We often find ourselves taking the easy route in life.
However, we should get used to being uncomfortable, especially in preparation for the Beast race.
Go out in the rain, run through puddles, go without music (as you won't be able to do this during the race) and run on different terrain than you are used to.
Run through trails, up hills and even on sand and water. Basically, bring out the inner child in you.
Building up your tolerances should help make you feel more comfortable and confident come Beast day where nothing will stop you.

5. Cold water emersions
The Beast races involve giant water slides, icy loch water, thick mud and swamp crossings so its probably going to be quite cold at points.
Try having colder showers than you are used to in the morning. Doing this means you have already started your day getting out of your comfort zone.
Even get into a loch near you and do some cold water emersions. Head along to Knockburn Sports Loch or Loch Ness and see what it is like having a dip.
Doing this is a great way to allow your body to get a little more used to the shock of the cold water.

6. Go Grippy!

I would highly recommend wearing a pair of grippy or ‘aggressive’ trail running shoes that drain water quickly. You should, however, find a pair that is also comfy.
Blisters are the last thing you need to be worrying about.
You need to cover surfaces including grass, mud, stones, sand etc. More often than not, you will see people running the course with one or even no shoes at all. This is because thick mud has sucked them off never to be seen again. I would recommend using strong laces and tie them as tight as you can without making your feet numb! There is nothing worse than losing a shoe when you are waist deep in mud and there are people trampling through right behind you.

7. Clothes, getting it right

Now a lot of people do this race in fancy dress. Tutus, onesies, morph-suits etc which is fun but maybe not the greatest as far as comfort is concerned. You are going to be running 10km in clothes that are going to be soaking wet and covered in mud. Be as comfy as you can so you can enjoy it even more.
Avoid cotton as it stores water, weighs you down and will get really cold if the weather turns.
Leggings and under armour style or synthetic running t-shirt are great for keeping you warm and shedding water.

8. Post race clothing

Before you head off to the start line, get your dry clothes ready at the top of your bag or in your car! Searching around for dry clothes is a nightmare when you are covered in mud head to toe. Take lots of warm clothes as you may be a little chilly and tired afterwards. I like to take big thick layers that are very quick and easy to get on. Don't forget a spare pair of shoes!

9. Food and drink

Now what you eat and drink before, during and after racing is a very personal thing. I like to make sure that I don't eat anything two hours before I race. Depending on how early the race starts, I try to have my normal breakfast. If in doubt I like to eat at least a banana and some dates. Keep yourself hydrated as much as you can before the race.
Quite often you find you sweat it all out pretty quickly so don't be scared about fearing you will need to go to the toilet mid-race. Just make sure you have plenty of food and water ready at the end so you can re-fuel!

10. Enjoy it

Most importantly, enjoy it! The more fun something is, the more likely you will want to do more of it. Find ways of enjoying the training and the racing experience. Doing anything like this with friends should be a laugh. Equally, if you are running it by yourself and are aiming for a quick time, remember to relax and know each obstacle comes with different challenges. It is as tough as you make it, but there is no better feeling than the endorphin hit when crossing that finish line knowing you have tamed the Beast.

About The Author
Coralie Arthur

2017 & 2018 Loch Ness Beast Race Female Winner, represented GB in the Cross Triathlon 2018 World Champs in Denmark and all round fitness badass!


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