Training for the Barber Beast on the Bay - WICU12 HD WSEE Erie, PA News, Sports, Weather, Events

Training for the Barber Beast on the Bay

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The Barber Beast on the Bay is coming up in September, but if you plan to take part, you may want to start training now.

Taking on a 12- mile military style obstacle course is something you don't want to go into cold. It's a wake up call for every part of your body.

"You need to have good quad strength, hip flexor strength, you need a lot of ab strength as well," said personal trainer Lisa Oberacker. "With the climbing you're gonna need some tricep strength, and shoulder strength especially." Oberacker works for Executive Personal Fitness, the gym working with the Barber National Institute to plan the Beast.

The full course is 12 miles long, so cardio needs to be an important part of your training. Remember the whole thing is in the beach, though, so you want to clock some miles on the sand, because come race day that could pose an unexpected challenge.

"When you train on normal ground you can get a good push off, you get a lot of equal force back up into your feet," said Oberacker. "When you have the sand it slips behind you and it makes your legs a lot more tired."

A trial run this past weekend gave challengers a small sampling of what they're up against.

"I think the best part was when everyone came back they felt challenged, they felt like they got a good workout in and they're just amped up for the big one," said John Walker, a former U.S. Navy SEAL who designed the obstacles. 

If you're not sure about the twelve miles in the sand, not to mention the 20 plus obstacles along the way, that's okay. There will be turning points at the four, six, and eight mile markers as well.

It's about challenging yourself, testing your limits, and feeling satisfaction.

"We wanna challenge them mentally and physically a little, but that's half the fun," said Walker. 

When you're an hour in with your face in the sand and sweat in your eyes, the most important tool will be mental strength.

"It's definitely a mental battle because you're gonna face some tough challenges, so you have to figure out your mental barriers and try to work past them," said Oberacker. "It's all about distracting your mind."

To follow reporter Emily Welsh as she trains for the Beast, and to get some tips, check out her blog here.

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