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Survival runs – how to join this trendy movement

Survival runs also called an obstacle course racing, although just rapidly growing in popularity from 2011 on worldwide fitness scene, clearly have marked their presence on the map of amateur sporting events. What is it all about?

Survival runs

Survival runs also called obstacle course racing, although just rapidly growing in popularity from 2011 on the worldwide fitness scene, clearly have marked their presence on the map of amateur sporting events. What is it all about? Many organizers advertise such events as a great alternative to normal running that is not challenging enough for you or if you are simply got bored with it. This type of racing is about facing obstacles which include, but are not limited to, climbing over the walls, carrying heavy objects, crawling under a barbed wire or jumping through fire. Many hurdles are similar to those used in military training while others are unique to obstacle racing and are introduced throughout the course to test endurance, strength, speed and dexterity. Contestants can choose between many distances and challenge levels which simply combine trail running, road running and cross country running.

How to prepare for such runs? Is just typical running good enough? Fortunately - no! This is when you can step in with your offer. What you should know is that every potential participant in such a race is a person who is aware of his/her physical condition, aiming to finish the contest as the ultimate goal, and also with the best possible end result, or a person who wants his/her condition to be assessed. All in all, any murderous race should not scare off, it can only motivate. So right from the start you know it will be working and facilitating highly encouraged members who, as you can assume, expect far more than just a typical beginner.

As a gym manager or owner, you have two main options – you can either try to partner up with one of the exact survival race brands and name the training unit after this event. This can clearly bring instant benefits as such classes are immediately recognized, you will be visible as cooperating health club on organizers page and you’ll receive extra know-how. As not many fitness entities can go through that path due to restrictions that survival organizers may have – the size of the club etc. or cannot easily incorporate branded classes only for a short period in the time schedule during busy season or work closely with another fitness brand which will not allow other partners,  then the second option is the answer. Knowing the needs of survival race contestants and trying to win this group of customers, I suggest building a rich fitness offer and building a proper marketing story around it. What should be in it? In addition to a traditional run-off, which we could organize during a summer season as a great option to expand our offer outside premises, every contestant should participate in additional training units such as strength,  aerobics and interval training. This is important because all survival races require a frequent change of pace, as in addition to the cross-sections, participants have to overcome very different obstacles when they drastically change pace, often going into a strong anaerobic, a very intense but also relatively short effort.

If you plan to facilitate this group of customers, you have a variety of activities you can add or emphasize in your time schedule. Starting from cross-fit training which seems pretty obvious, followed by functional and circuit training, not forgetting about HIIT and insanity and ending up with TRX and Pump classes. Seems a lot to incorporate so you have to use dashboard information in PerfectGym management software or pull more detailed reports to answer the most important questions: which of these training is already popular, which time of the day seems the best for it, what is customer potential etc. Check also customers opinions and the comments list from a few months backwards – maybe they have already expressed some needs and you will have part of the job done. Lastly, plan a good marketing campaign with the tools available in your fitness studio software and in social media to make sure you hit in the right moment and with the biggest effect.

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