Innovative Ways to Use Urban Landscapes for Obstacle Training

Innovative Ways to Use Urban Landscapes for Obstacle Training

Urban landscapes offer a unique and dynamic environment for obstacle race training. By creatively utilizing the various elements found in cityscapes, you can design innovative and effective workouts that prepare you for the challenges of urban races like Metro Dash®. Here are several ways to make the most of your urban surroundings:

1. Stair Climbing Workouts

  • High-Rise Buildings: Use staircases in high-rise buildings for intense cardio workouts. Running up and down stairs improves cardiovascular endurance and leg strength.
  • Stadiums and Arenas: If accessible, stadium steps provide an excellent venue for stair climbing exercises. They often have varying step heights and longer runs, adding diversity to your workout.

2. Parkour Techniques

  • Urban Parkour: Incorporate basic parkour moves into your training. Use benches, rails, walls, and other urban structures to practice vaults, jumps, and climbs, enhancing agility and functional strength.
  • Freerunning: Explore freerunning, which emphasizes creativity and fluidity in movement. Navigate urban landscapes with a focus on style and efficiency, improving your ability to tackle unpredictable obstacles.

3. Playgrounds and Parks

  • Playground Equipment: Utilize playgrounds for strength and agility training. Monkey bars, swings, and climbing frames can be used to practice grip strength, upper body endurance, and coordination.
  • Outdoor Gyms: Many parks have outdoor gym equipment, such as pull-up bars, dip bars, and climbing walls. These are perfect for bodyweight exercises and obstacle-specific training.
Innovative Ways to Use Urban Landscapes for Obstacle Training
Innovative Ways to Use Urban Landscapes for Obstacle Training

4. Public Art and Architecture

  • Art Installations: Use large sculptures, statues, and public art installations for climbing, balancing, and maneuvering drills. These unique structures add variety to your training.
  • Architectural Features: Look for architectural features like ledges, columns, and stair railings. They can be incorporated into workouts for balance, precision jumping, and climbing practice.

5. Urban Trails and Greenways

  • Running Paths: Utilize urban trails and greenways for running workouts. These paths often have varied terrain, including pavement, gravel, and grass, which helps prepare you for different surfaces during races.
  • Nature Integration: Incorporate natural elements found along trails, such as trees and rocks, for obstacle simulation. Climbing trees, jumping over rocks, and navigating uneven ground improve agility and balance.

6. City Parks and Recreational Areas

  • Circuit Training: Create circuit training routines using park features. Combine running with exercises like push-ups, lunges, and burpees at different stations around the park.
  • Obstacle Simulation: Design obstacle courses using park amenities. For example, use picnic tables for crawl-unders, park benches for box jumps, and trees for rope climbs.

7. Parking Garages and Structures

  • Multi-Level Workouts: Utilize parking garages for multi-level training. Run up and down ramps, practice stair climbs, and use the varied levels for interval sprints.
  • Urban Exploration: Incorporate elements of urban exploration by navigating the different areas and features of the garage. This helps build spatial awareness and adaptability.

8. Water Features

  • Fountains and Streams: If safe and allowed, use fountains, streams, and other water features for balance and agility drills. Walking or jumping over water adds an extra challenge to your training.
  • Riverbanks and Lakesides: Use the natural terrain around urban water bodies for off-road running and obstacle practice. Sandy or rocky shores provide excellent training for varied terrain navigation.

9. Urban Hiking

  • City Hikes: Plan urban hiking routes that take you through diverse parts of the city, including steep streets, stairs, and uneven sidewalks. Urban hiking builds endurance and simulates the varying elevations of an obstacle race.
  • Historical Tours: Combine fitness with learning by incorporating historical landmarks and points of interest into your routes. This makes training more engaging and educational.

10. Public Transit Elements

  • Bus Stops and Train Stations: Use public transit stops and stations for plyometric exercises. Jump on and off benches, perform step-ups, and use railings for pull-ups and dips.
  • Commute Integration: Integrate training into your daily commute by running or cycling part of the way, incorporating stairs, and using urban features along your route for quick workout stops.


Urban landscapes provide a wealth of opportunities for innovative and engaging obstacle race training. By creatively using the elements found in city environments, you can develop a versatile and effective training regimen that prepares you for the diverse challenges of urban races. Embrace the unique features of your surroundings, incorporate variety into your workouts, and enjoy the dynamic experience of training in the urban jungle.