Obstacle Race Training Plan – Long Distance


  • 8 week, 7 days per week
  • Designed to maximize performance in long distance obstacle races
  • This plan is the third plan of the 4-Plan Obstacle Race Training Packet
  • Concurrently trains strength, multi-modal work capacity, running speed and endurance, and overall stamina
  • This training plan is one of the 250 Plans included with an Athlete’s Subscription


The “Obstacle Race Training Plan – Long Distance” is the third plan in our 3-Plan, Obstacle Course Race Packet and is specifically designed to prepare an athlete for a 12-14 Mile Obstacle Course Race with 30-35 Obstacles.  This intense, 8-week, for 7 day/week training plan concurrently trains strength (lower body, upper body pressing & pulling, core, grip), multi-modal work capacity, running speed and endurance, and overall stamina. It is designed to be completed the 8 weeks directly before your long distance obstacle race. Week 8 in the plan is an unload/taper week.

This is Version 2 of Obstacle Race Training Plan – Long Distance, updated in December 2019.



This training plan deploys a dumbbell strength built around MTI’s Quadzilla complex and upper body Scotty Bobs, as well as rope climbs. The plan also includes dumbbell and sandbag total body strength exercises and focused grip strength training.

Work Capacity
This plan deploys 10 minute shuttle sprint work capacity events and long, 60-minute, multi-modal work capacity events to sport-specifically prepare the athlete for the combination of obstacles and running which are the primary fitness demands of obstacle course races. These events combine a loaded exercise, some type of loaded carry (sandbag, dumbbells), grip strength, running and step ups.

Running Speed & Endurance
Running Speed is trained via multiple 6-mile running assessments and follow-on threshold 2-mile repeats. Running aerobic base/endurance is trained via bi-weekly 4-10 mile aerobic base runs at an easy pace.

Overall stamina is trained via end of week, long, 180-240 minute “mini-events” which combine multi-modal work capacity events, step ups. loaded and unloaded running. These “mini-events” are specifically designed to train the athlete for the volume and fitness demands of the actual obstacle race. Grip strength is a fundamental component of obstacle course races and many of the mini-event circuits include loaded runs, rope climbs or other means to build grip strength and grip strength endurance. Running endurance is also fundamental, and these Mini-Events are running-intensive.



  • Monday: Strength, Grip Strength, Work Capacity (10-minute event)
  • Tuesday:  6 Mile Run Assessment or 2-mile Repeats
  • Wednesday: 7-10 Mile Aerobic Base Run at an easy pace
  • Thursday: Work Capacity (60-minute event)
  • Friday: 4-8 Mile Aerobic Base Run at an easy pace
  • Saturday: 180-240 Minute Multi-Modal “Mini-Event”



  • Stopwatch with repeating countdown interval timer (smartphone will work)
  • 40# Sandbag (women) or 60# Sandbag (men)
  • Pair of 15# dumbbells (women) or 25# dumbbells (men)
  • 16-18″ Step, box or bench for Step Ups
  • 20″ Plyo Box for Box Jumps
  • Pull Up Bar
  • Rope for Rope Climbs (ideal … if not there is a pull up substitution for rope climbs)
  • Pull Up Bar
  • Foam Roller



How Long will the sessions take?
Gym-Based training sessions should take 60-90 minutes. Aerobic Base Runs will take 40-100 minutes. Mini-Events will push to 240 minutes.

What if I miss a day?
Begin where you left off when you return to training. This program is progressed – each session builds upon the prior session – so don’t skip a session or skip around. Follow the training sessions in order, regardless.

Where do I find unfamiliar exercises?
See our Exercise Library HERE. The Run/Ruck Calculator is listed as an exercise.

What about nutrition?
See our Nutritional Guidelines HERE.

Can I see sample training?
Yes. Click the “Sample Training” tab to see the entire first week of programming.

How do I access the plan?
Access is online, via username and password. You can log in either through our website or through our app (Mtn Tactical Fitness) available for IOS and Android.

Can I print out sessions to take to the gym?
Yes – you can print a week of programming at a time.

More Questions? Email: coach@mtntactical.com


Before beginning any exercise program, consult with your physician to ensure that you are in proper health. Physical training contains inherent risks including, but not limited to, muscle strains, tears, physical and bodily injury up to and including death. This training program is not meant to provide medical advice; you should obtain medical advice from your private health care practitioner. If you are unable to assume these risks then you should not engage in this training program. No liability is assumed by Mountain Tactical Institute, Inc, its owners or employees, and you train at your own risk. Mountain Tactical Institute makes no warranty, express or implied, of any kind in connection with this training program.

Required Equipment

  • Stopwatch with repeating countdown interval timer (smartphone will work)

  • 40# Sandbag (women) or 60# Sandbag (men)

  • Pair of 15# dumbbells (women) or 25# dumbbells (men)

  • 16-18" Step, box or bench for Step Ups

  • 20" Plyo Box for Box Jumps

  • Pull Up Bar

  • Rope for Rope Climbs (ideal ... if not there is a pull up substitution for rope climbs)

  • Pull Up Bar

  • Foam Roller

Sample Training

Below is the First Week from this Training Plan:




Obj: Strength, Work Capacity

Warm Up:

3 Rounds

5x In-Place Lunges

5x Hand Release Push Ups

10x Squats

Instep Stretch

Lat + Pec Stretch


(1) 6 Round Grind ...

3x Quadzilla Complex @ 15/25#

3x Scotty Bob @ 15/25#

Rope Climb or 1/3x Tarzan Pull Ups

"Grind" = work steadily not frantically through the exercises in this circuit for the prescribed number of rounds or time

(2) Gi Grip Assessment


(3) 5 Rounds

30% Gi Grip Assessment Score from above

Rest 45 Seconds between Rounds

So.... If your Gi Grip Assessment score was 1:40, break it down in to seconds. 1:40 = 100 seconds.

100 seconds x .30 = 30 seconds

One round will be a 30 second hang from the Gi or towel, with a row every 10 seconds. Rest for 45 seconds, and repeat for a total of 5 Rounds

(4) 8 Rounds

150m Shuttle every 1:15

(5) 2 Rounds

Toe Touch Complex

Foam Roll Legs, Low Back





Obj: Endurance Assessment - Running

Warm Up:

4 Rounds

10x Squats

10x Push Ups

5x In-Place Lunges

Run 100m

Instep Stretch


(1) Run 6 Miles for Time






Obj: Endurance - Aerobic Base


(1) Run 7 Miles at an Easy Pace

"Easy" = you can speak in full sentences while running

(2) Foam Roll Legs, Low Back





Obj: 60-Minute Work Capacity


(1) 60 Minute AMRAP (As Many Rounds as Possible)

2x Sandbag Get Up & Run @ 40/60#

10x Burpees

2/5x Pull Ups

Run 400m

(2) 2 Rounds

Hip Flexor Stretch

Foam Roll Legs, Low Back





Obj: Endurance - Aerobic Base


(1) Run 4 Miles at an Easy Pace

"Easy" = you can speak in full sentences while running

(2) Foam Roll Legs, Low Back





Obj: 180-Minute Mini-Event

Set a Running Clock


(1) Minute 1-90

15x Burpees

Rope Climb or 2/4x Tarzan Pull Ups

Run 800m

(2) Minute 91-180

5x Sandbag Toss & Chase @ 40/60#

10x Backward Sandbag Drag @ 40/60#

Run 800m

(3) Foam Roll Legs, Low Back

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1)  Mission Direct

Gym numbers mean nothing. All that matters is mission performance. 

To this end, MTI’s fitness solutions and programming are not boxed in by convention, tradition, orthodoxy, public opinion or any other artificial constraint driven by inside or outside forces.

We begin with the raw fitness demands of the mission and build a fitness solution which directly prepares the athlete for those demands.


2) Fitness Solutions Built from the Ground Up

MTI’s programming is not “re-tread” bodybuilding, football, CrossFit, kettlebell, strength or general fitness programming. We’ve built our fitness programming for mountain and tactical athletes from the ground up.

The Fluid Periodization methodology we deploy to concurrently train multiple fitness attributes is completely original and has continued to evolve and improve over the years.

Our mid-section training methodology, Chassis Integrity, is also original, as is our endurance programming, 7 strength training progressions, tactical agility, and work capacity programming.

Our mountain sports pre-season training plans, tactical PFT, selection, school, course, and fitness improvement training plans across military, LE and Fire Rescue are MTI-developed, tested and athlete-proven.

Over the years hundreds of athletes and coaches have taken our advanced programming and unit fitness leader programming courses and MTI is widely recognized within the mountain and tactical professions and fitness media as a thought leader in fitness programming for military and tactical athletes.


3) The MTI Method

→ Research: MTI begins program design with extensive research of the fitness demands of the mission, sport or event, identifies the exercises and progressions which sport-specifically meet those demands, chose end-of-cycle goals, and program backward to design the training plan.

→ Deploy & Assess: We deploy the training plan “Lab Rats” at our Wyoming facility. Training session and cycle issues are identified and fixed as we work through the training plan. Post cycle we assess the programming’s effectiveness and efficiency. We keep the stuff that works, and fix or toss the stuff that doesn’t.

→ Publish & Assess Again: Plan is published for purchase as an individual training plan and made available to our subscribers. Feedback/results are assessed.

→ Iterate: We take what we learn from lab rats and athletes, re-visit, update and improve already published training plans. Several of our individual training plans are on their 4th or 5th version.


4) Mission-Direct Research

MTI exists to “Improve Mountain and Tactical Athletes mission performance and keep them safe.” To that end, we have developed a unique research methodology aimed at identifying real world areas of improvement and identifying immediately deployable mission-direct solutions. Click HERE to learn more about MTI’s Mission-Direct Research methodology, and Here to read about just few of our research efforts.

5) Field Proven

Our stuff works. Weekly we receive unsolicited reviews of our programming and testimonials to its effectiveness.


6) Programming Breadth

MTI’s library of 200+ sport-specific fitness plans for mountain and tactical athletes is unmatched. Resources range from specific programming for tactical special forces selections, to specific plans for climbing Rainier and Denali, to general fitness solutions such as running improvement, to post-rehab from injury.

Over the past decade, MTI has partnered with hundreds of athletes throughout their individual mountain and tactical careers, and provided fitness solutions as they face new mountain objectives, tactical schools, selections, PFTs and deployments, and came back from injury.


7) Worldwide Influence

Our work is not limited to US Athletes.

We’ve developed selection-specific training plans for Canadian, UK, Australian and German Special Forces Selections and worked with individual military personnel from Scandinavia, South, and Central America.

Canadian, Australian, UK and western European law enforcement and fire/rescue athletes have used MTI programming for mission-direct fitness.

On the mountain side, Alpinists from Japan to Slovakia have consulted with MTI and used MTI’s programming to prepare for mountain objectives.


8) Mission Performance beyond Fitness

MTI’s exists is to improve Mission Performance for mountain and tactical athletes and keep them safe. 

This focus on “mission direct” solutions, enhancements and improvements drives our work and research and extends beyond fitness solutions to include training, leadership, gear, team culture, and safety. 

Fitness is just one area of our work.

Our non-fitness research has included tactical cultures, combat uniforms, and gore-tex performance, and effect of stress on marksmanship.

Our work on defining what it means to be a Quiet Professional has had penetrating influence and driven healthy conversations with both mountain and tactical professionals.


9) Direct, Honest, Clear Answers

Since 2007 we’ve taken and answered dozens of questions weekly from mountain and tactical athletes. We’ve saved these individual Q&A’s and now thousands are archived on our site.

We’re not salesmen, and our answers are noted for their directness, honesty, and clarity. Our stuff isn’t for everyone. If we can help, we’ll let you know. If we can’t, we’ll let you know that, too.

– Rob Shaul, Founder


All of the Above is Backed Up By Our Promise: Our Stuff Works. Guaranteed.

Our Stuff Works. Guaranteed.

By Rob Shaul

I received notes frequently from athletes hesitant to purchase a subscription or training plans asking me to sell them on why they should make the purchase.

While I understand the question, I’m not a salesman – so I can’t put a hard sale on anyone for our programming.

I can tell them the process we go through to design our programming.

We begin with extensive research on the fitness demands of the event, identify the exercises and progressions which sport specifically meet those demands, chose end-of-cycle goals, and program backward to design the plan.

Then we test the cycle on ourselves and our lab rats here in Wyoming. We document, note what works and doesn’t work, re-assess, and make changes and modifications.

Then we publish the programming in the form of one of our plans or as part of our subscription daily training sessions for tactical and mountain athletes.
We don’t stop there – our daily programming is the “tip of the spear” for our programming evolution. We use these sessions to learn and make continuous improvement.

As we learn more and improve, we go back, and update the sport-specific training plans on the website. For example, we’re currently on Version 5 of our Ruck Based Selection Training Plan and Version 3 of our Dryland Ski Training Plan and Version 4 of our Big Game Back Country Hunting Training Plan.

We understand our programing isn’t cheap, but we believe it’s a great value. The $79 for the Ruck Based Selection Training Plan, and $39 for the Dryland Ski Training Plan reflect the, research, work, innovative theory, iteration, testing and feedback we’ve put in and received to make these plans effective.

All that matters for us is outside performance, and we feel strongly that Our Stuff Works in the real world.

Here’s our guarantee:

1) Individual Training Plan Purchase:
If you purchase an individual training plan, follow it as prescribed before your season/event/pft/selection, and if you don’t feel you were physically ready for your season/event/pft/selection, and/or didn’t see dramatic improvements in your early season performance, we’ll refund your money, no questions asked.

2) Athlete’s Subscription
If you purchase an Athletes’ Subscription, follow the training sessions as prescribed, and are not satisfied with the quality of the programming, notify us within 30 days of purchase, and we’ll refund your money, no questions asked.

Email: rob@mtntactical.com


Do you have any reviews or testimonials from athletes who have used your Athlete’s Subscription
Yes. Click HERE.

Is it true you guarantee your stuff works?
Yes. If you purchase an Athletes’ Subscription, follow the training sessions as prescribed, and are not satisfied with the quality of the programming, notify us within 30 days of purchase, and we’ll refund your money, no questions asked.

How is MTI programming different than CrossFit?
This is a common question. Read our answer HERE.

You have a lot of competitors. Why should I choose MTI?
MTI is driven to improve mountain and tactical athletes’ mission performance and keep them safe. This emphasis and focus on mission performance sets us apart. Read about more that sets us apart HERE.

If I purchase a plan or subscription, how do I access the programming?
All of our plans are online, accessible via username and password.
You can log in through our →Website  or Mobile App →IOS and Android.

Do you have downloadable .pdf’s of the training plans?
No. But you can print the programming, by week, from your browser. You access individual training plans online via a username and password.

Do you have a mobile app?
Yes, we do. Available for IOS and Android.

What is the difference between purchasing an individual training plan, packet of plans or an Athlete’s Subscription?

  • Plan – Like purchasing the DVD of the first Star Wars movie. You own it forever, including any updates we make to the plan.
  • Packet – Like purchasing the DVD’s of all the Star Wars movies. You own them forever, including any updates we make to the plans.
  • Athlete’s Subscription – Like subscribing to Netflix. You get access to all 200+ plan in our library, but lose access if you unsubscribe.

If I purchase an Athletes Subscription Can I cancel on my own, anytime?

Do I have to contact MTI to cancel or can I do it myself?
You can do it yourself. Instructions HERE.

If I purchase a subscription and have questions about where to start or what plans(s) to use for my goals, will you help?
Yes. We answer dozens of training questions from athletes weekly. Email coach@mtntactical.com.

If you add new plans or update existing plans after I subscribe will I have access to them?
Yes. We are continuously adding training plans and packets (2-5/month) and updating plans. With your subscription you’ll have access to all new plans, new courses and plan updates.

What Equipment is Required?
Click the “Required Equipment” tab to find out what equipment is required for the specific plan you are interested in.

Where do I find unfamiliar exercises?
See our Exercise Library HERE. The Run and Ruck Calculators are listed as exercises.

What about nutrition?
See our Nutritional Guidelines HERE.

Can I see sample training?
Click the “Sample Training” tab to see the entire first week of programming.
You are encouraged to do it before purchasing.

What if I have more questions?
Email rob@mtntactical.com


"Thanks for awesome programming. I used the BC ski preseason Plan last fall and loved it, this year I used most of the long course OCR plan and won my age group at Spartan Killington Ultra, then placed in the top 10 in my age group at OCR World Championships 15K, and last weekend completed an intense OCR program at my gym that involved 36-hrs to complete 4 challenges: 7.5mi w 135 obstacles (3 courses, 3 laps, hard to easy) 2.5mi w 45 obstacles 3x each (3 courses, 1 lap, all 3 difficulties of each obstacle); 7.5mi w 135 obstacles (laps went easy to hard); 2.5mi w 45 obstacles of extra hard difficulty and extra heavy carries. Besides the creator of that Punisher Series program, and among 3 other athletes to attempt it, I’m the only finisher. Killington, Worlds, and Punisher all took place in a 6-week span. I’m 51 and 130#- old and small but mighty. I credit your programming and regular workouts at the ocr facility with my success. Looking forward to defining next year’s goals in the coming weeks and finding the right plan to incorporate into my training."
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