Group of friends enjoying pulling a sled in the snow

How does one properly train for a 5K winter obstacle race, which includes tubing, rope climbing and 10 more obstacles? In less than three weeks’ time, we will be tearing up the snow in the Polar Rush race at Horseshoe Valley resort in Barrie, Ont. So, I figured what better way to train, than taking to the toboggan hill?

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In a recent outing with the kids, I couldn’t help but notice that it was good fitness training while still being a whole lot of fun. We went to the largest toboggan hill in town. It’s a man-made mound that goes straight up and down– there’s nothing at all gradual about its ascent or descent. It was good resistance running as it’s all uphill escalation, with short breaks in between for whizzing down the hill on the toboggan.

From a practical standpoint, I also have to point out that it was a good way to test the durability of our outer-wear to see if our gear will stand up to a winter obstacle race. And since I wound up with snow underneath my jacket and all the way up my bare-skinned back, it looks like I’ve got some rethinking to do… 

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This snow session of ours happened during the night time. With less people flocking to the hill during the late hours of the day, we had much of it to ourselves. It was peaceful, crisp and quiet. We could practically see the whole city alight from the top of the hill. It was breath-taking. It’s during moments like those, when time seems to stand still and precious memories are made.

So next time you are looking to diversify your training in the winter, consider busting out the toboggan. I highly recommend keeping your toboggans in your vehicles in the winter if you have room, for those days you would rather do anything other than go for a run, tobogganing is always a fine, and exhilarating, option.


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