SHAPING UP: Make sure you’re prepared to meet the exercise challenges you’ve set

With organised outdoor events having been able to re-start from May 17, lots of people have been starting to, and will continue to, sign up for fitness events and fun runs this summer.

Stay hydrated, before, during and after exercising. Aim for at least two litres of water a day and up to three litres on the days that you’re training.
Stay hydrated, before, during and after exercising. Aim for at least two litres of water a day and up to three litres on the days that you’re training.

Thousands of people all over the county are taking part in these events, from athletes to average Joes, to families and corporate groups.

Designed to get your heart pumping by challenging you both physically and mentally, events like Tough Mudder and Total Warrior are packed full of 20-plus obstacles including mud slides as well as climbing over walls and crawling under cargo nets.

In other events, like the Colour Obstacle Rush, you can expect to climb over inflatable obstacles, run through ball pits and get covered in powder paint.These events are brilliant for team bonding, or individual challenges, and provide a great way to get fit and have fun doing it.

However, you shouldn’t dive into the challenge without some training first. Like any fitness challenge it’s important to prepare yourself physically and mentally.

So, if you’re taking part in an obstacle race this year here are some of my training tips to help you meet the challenge.


Don’t exercise on an empty stomach. You will need fuel in your tank, both when you are preparing and when you are competing.

So, make sure you eat a nutritionally rich, high energy food, like healthy fats, lean proteins, nuts and seeds in order to ensure you reach your exercise goal.

Breakfast is the key to success, so make sure it is packed full of healthy proteins and fats.

Avoid sugary cereals and go for something like avocado on toast instead.

Stay hydrated, before, during and after exercising. Aim for at least two litres of water a day and up to three litres on the days that you’re training.

Give your body time to digest, it takes two to three hours to digest a regular meal so give yourself time to do this before exercising.

If you are looking for a detailed plan when it comes to nutrition, visit the various race websites as most have free training plans and nutritional guides.

Here's a bit about Graham’s story. He says: “When my football career ended due to injury I qualified as a personal trainer and moved to Dubai where I worked in a huge gym.

“Working in Dubai was a priceless experience; I instructed over 1,000 personal training sessions in one year and helped over 50 people achieve their fitness goals.

"The experience I gained in one year in Dubai would have taken at least five in the UK.

“When I returned from Dubai I took on the role of gym supervisor and personal trainer at the five-star Seaham Hall Hotel and Serenity Spa. It was at Seaham Hall that I set up my first boot camp.

"They went from strength to strength and grew very quickly.

"While I was there I won the Leisure Excellence Award at the North East Hotels Association.

“I left Seaham Hall in 2012 to focus on running my own business.

"I held the boot camp sessions in local car parks and travelled to PT clients to train them at home.

“Then in 2015 I opened my first Personal Training studio, East Coast Fitness at Seaham Harbour Marina, where I now run boot camps and personal training.

“In 2015 I was shortlisted for Small Business of the Year and Leisure Award at the Sunderland Echo Portfolio Awards.

“In 2016 East Coast Fitness won Sole Trader of the Year at the Sunderland Echo Portfolio Awards and retained it again in 2017.

“My aim is to keep developing my knowledge, growing the business, and helping as many people as I can get in shape and stay in shape.