Conqueror the Iron Viking!
Does the 19k track no longer hold any secrets for you? Is it perhaps starting to occur in your mind to conqueror the Iron Viking ‘The Toughest Marathon in the World?’ Two enthusiastic sports instructors from one of our partner club Play X: Dirk and Joeri took on the challenge on April 9. 2022 at the Mud Edition in Wijchen. 42+ kilometres, 100+ obstacles and just 7,5 hours to finish! They are happy to tell you how they prepared for this challenge and share their best tips with you!
‘As real sports fanatics, a physical challenge is not a punishment for us. In fact, we have dedicated our lives to sports and actually cannot live without it. Our passion is to make people perform better, push boundaries and make them more resilient physically and mentally.’
We are really going to do it!
For a while now, we have been actively participating in sports events where we always want to get the most out of ourselves. After all, you only have one opponent and that is yourself! Of course in a responsible way so that our body, that ‘machine’ over which only YOU have control, can handle it.
By now we have already successfully completed many kilometres on different Strong Viking courses. That is doesn’t always comes easy was evident on our way to the finish line of the Iron Viking. But in the end, that’s also what makes it fun!
Every distance is different and requires different preparation. But the moment you get your ticket and say to each other ‘We are going to do this!’ immediately gives you that first motivation boost to get going with a battle plan.
If you want to be a real Iron Viking, you need to face the challenge with a good battle plan. Proper preparation for a long-distance obstacle run consists of several stages. We started our training for the Iron Viking 24 weeks prior to the event. During these weeks we focused on interval training combined with running. We reduced our speed and extended the distances. We ran distances up to 27,5km during our preparation. Given our sports background, this distance was enough for us to eventually complete the Iron Viking. In this situation it is important that the schedule is tailored to yourself and that you keep listening to your own body. In addition to making meters we trained an average of four times a week at outdoor locations. And never forget: relax regularly to give your body enough rest. A minimum of seven hours of sleep per night and regular walks in the nature helped us with this.
The last week… almost time for the Iron Viking!
One more week to go. Unlike the other weeks, this last week was not about sports. In this last week the following things were extremely important:
- Little to no stress, take care of rest and relaxation
- Do not exercise intensively. Focus on full recovery with adequate exercise.
- Get enough sleep the night before the event. This can be difficult because of the nerves, but a good night’s sleep is important for your body and your mental state on the day of the challenge.
“I LEAVE NO BROTHER BEHIND!”
And there you stand… taking the official Strong Viking oath with goosebumps in front of the Valhalla Steps. The most important thing is that you run at your own pace. If you sticked to your battle plan and have the capacity to show willpower towards yourself, the adrenaline will give you the final push to cross that finish line.
One of our runners got the first cramps already after 19km. By listening to each other, helping and definitely motivating each other we managed to get further and further towards the finish as a group. To make our challenge even more exciting, the weather gods released Heaven and Earth on us. After hailstorms, rain, freezing winds and an occasional glorious sunshine, we fought ourselves toward the finish line.
Wracked to the bone, tears behind your eyes from happiness and fatigue, giving everything you have and feeling that your body is so strong that it can make this effort. Achieving the Iron Viking within the 7,5 hours, this feeling is MAGIC!
PURE PRIDE AND A PRIMAL FEELING! ON TO THE NEXT CHALLENGE, OORAH!!
Are you ready for this ultimate challenge too? There is an Iron Viking at every edition in 2023!
Is your sports club not a Strong Viking partner club yet? Let them sign up using this form!