Once we signed up, there was no turning back, as soon as we paid and submitted our application we were committed.
Training intensified by adding in a few extra sessions a week, aiming to build strength, core stability and endurance. We also signed up to as many other obstacle courses as we could to try and get as much practice and training in as possible. Nothing was too big nor too small, with everything that we were doing having a focus on what lay ahead. Of course, never having done a True Grit course before we had no idea what was in store for us but had a general idea that the usual culprits will raise there heads including monkey bars, high walls and a rope climb, all being my nemesis obstacles and the ones that I usually fail.
Each of the obstacle training sessions helped with the overall preparation of True Grit, also it helped that this is when we started meeting others that had completed it last year. This was the greatest thing, as before Going Long we didn’t know where else to go, so we ended up asking a lot of questions and trying to get as much information as possible.
The more practice we had on the obstacle courses the more prepared we felt. It didnt really help that every time I did a race I got overcome with nerves and spend a lot of the time in the bathroom pre race. So trying to overcome this was also a challenge for me.
- Muddy Hell (The first time we had the pleasure of meeting Matt McDowell OCRVIC, he also witnessed my epic fail on the rope climb).
- Hellfit 4.0 – night training event (this is where we met Jackie Morrisson who had done True Grit enduro the year before, so we gained a lot of information from her)
- Heavy Haulers – all day event (an all day charity event doing tyre / ball slam exercises. This helped with building endurance and testing out nutrition)
- Miss Muddy (this one really helped me iron out those obstacles that I struggled with including wall climbs/jumps, getting the right technique and getting over – also it helped that Linda Dent was volunteering at the wall giving us really helpful tips)
- Operation Blackhawk
- True Grit Adelaide (gave us a taster of what we had in store for True Grit Sydney, although a different course, it was good to gain an idea on what it was all about)
- Tough Mudder Testing Event
- The Compound Training x 2 (gained some invaluable tips on technique that were carried through to race day, from how to climb a rope to a more swift movement doing the rope traverse, also some tips on the wall climbs and mounts)
The core exercises that I focused on included a lot of dead lifts and squats, prowler runs, monkey bar training and interval training. These all helped with every aspect of my overall training capabilities, focus and preparation for True Grit.
Within 6 months I felt stronger and fitter then ever before. A few aspects I was unable to conquer such as the rope climb as there wasn’t one available at the gym, so I took the opportunity to practice these at The Compound Training centre (Mornington Peninsula), Clem and Allyson helped me with my overall rope climbing technique, they also gave us tips on the rope traverse, wall climbs and net flips, which were invaluable during True Grit.
There was some sort of training everyday trying to get as much variety as possible, some days were more intensive than others, however I continued to incorporate my knee and ankle rehabilitation to minimise any potential risk of ITB or ankle strains, I also focused on rolling out my legs and back for at least 15 minutes every day. Even on a rest day, we tried to stay moving, only doing light exercises but at least we were doing something, even if it included going to the beach, paddle boarding (great for the core) or going to a dog friendly park, finding some monkey bars, the main thing was we were doing something even though it was not as intensive.
1 minute on x 3 rounds
In 6 months, I cannot believe how far I progressed, from someone that could not even complete a rope climb, get across monkey bars, nor complete a pull up or get over a wall on her own, managed to achieve all of these things with continued practice, practice and more practice. Going into True Grit I felt that I was more than capable of completing all the obstacles (with the exception of the high wall – still need some practice with this one, but could get over with some help). With the walls, its great to practice negative pull ups, just so you are used to lowering your body weight, instead of just falling, which can cause injury.
Next year we will focus on a lot more distance running as well as heavy carries going up hill, long distance training and grip strength.
- Train with your equipment including doing practice runs in your wetsuit
- Test out your nutrition, what works for you and what doesn’t
- Practice your weak points, if your not confident with heights start indoor rock climbing to get over your fears
- Don’t forget about looking after your body, ensure you are rolling out your muscles, incorporate any rehabilitation exercises, see an osteopath for some advice and tips which will help minimise any potential risks
- Get some practice on some obstacle courses – ideally another True Grit course just to get familiar with some of the obstacles
- Test and train everything, don’t go in blind, don’t go and buy a new pair of runners and use Enduro as a testing ground
- You need to prepared both physically and mentally