Endurance Workout for Beginners

It’s important to understand that my endurance workout is designed for races that last up to 1 ½ hours. Not that you can’t go longer, but that’s what it’s optimal for.

For beginners who would like to work into my full workout, I would start with something like this:

  • Do my warm-up to the point where I pick up the weights.
  • Then go 3 minutes at a comfortable pace (which could just be power walking, walk/jog, or easy running).
  • Without a rest break, do 5 lunges, 5 burpees, 5 lunges. (Repeat the running/lunges/burpees/lunges 4 times).
  • After you are able to get through the workout without getting sore, do 5 intervals, then 6. Then add 1 minute to each of your intervals, until you get to 6 minutes.
  • Then increase your burpees and lunges until you are doing 10 burpees and 100 meters of lunges between each running interval.
  • Then before you really begin to push the pace/intensity of the workout, I suggest you work the full warm-up into the routine.
  • Once you are able to do the entire workout with the entire warm-up, then you can start to wear a weight vest. I would start with 4 to 6 lbs. and add a pound or 2 each week until you reach your optimal weight.

For those who want to do this workout, but with extra endurance, I would suggest you build up to 12 minutes on the running. If that’s not enough, then I would add a second workout for the same day. Going too long in the same workout will force you to drop the intensity so much that you won’t get as good of results as you will from doing 2 separate workouts.


  1. Mark February 20, 2012 at 11:57 pm

    This is my first year training to run the Spartan Race Trifecta. Haven’t run much since high school back in the 80′s and my body is protesting. I have no real physical issues, but this is a huge mental game to get the body to comply with my desires. Keep up the good work Hobie. You are an inspiration.

    • Hobie Call April 26, 2012 at 6:11 pm

      Well, 25 years of a sedentary lifestyle is a long time. You should expect a few months to really adjust to your workouts. Just build into it slowly and stay consistent, your body will catch up. :)

  2. Jason April 28, 2012 at 2:38 pm

    Let me just get this out of the way and say that I am a big fan. I am just starting to diet and train for an obstacle race after leaving the Army 25 years ago and not exercising since. I quit smoking a little over a year ago after 20 years and am now try to get fit. My body is also non compliant at this point. Going to try for a Warrior dash this June in Elizabethtown, KY and maybe the Tough Mudder in October in Maysville, Ky, Then Spartan race Indiana 2013. OK, here is my question, My boys ran in the one mile Spartan kids race in Indiana 4/21/12. I was so happy and impressed to see you lead both of those races. Very cool of you. My 10 year old is now in love with obstacle racing. Do you know of any other races for kids under 14 in the KY, IN, OH area?

  3. Paul Dow April 29, 2012 at 9:42 pm

    Doing my first Spartan Sprint in August in Mass. I see you’re scheduled to run that one too Hobie. I’m also doing my first Tough Mudder the month before at Mt. Snow in Vermont. I Just got my 5k time down to 26’47. I know that isn’t setting any records but I’m 40 years old am 6’2″ and weigh about 206 right now. I used to be a pretty good runner but got into body building after high school and running is a lot harder when you weigh over 200lbs. I’m especially having trouble on longer runs of around 5 miles or more which has been frustrating me. I’m carrying a lot of muscle but do have some extra body fat and plan on losing around 10 lbs over the next couple months and hope that will help with the longer runs. Any other suggestions Hobie to speed up my progress on longer runs?

    • Hobie Call April 30, 2012 at 6:49 pm

      Paul, let me ask you a question first. Do you run out of energy on your long runs, or do your muscles/joints give out on you?

      • Paul Dow May 1, 2012 at 2:10 am

        I’d say it’s more a case of me running out of energy, but my legs seem to be a part of the problem also. They run out of juice or energy and feel tired on the longer runs. I believe dropping weight like I stated before will help some. I’m mostly just jogging/running every other day sometimes with a 2 day break in between runs and had been doing really high rep squats twice a week. I haven’t been doing burpees or speed work/sprints but plan on incorporating those now. I’m wondering if you recommend anthing including a pre-workout drink of some sort or snack. I eat pretty good but am thinking that maybe I’m missing something that i need to perform well for edurance. Or if I can add some recommended training that may help too. Thanks!!!

        • Hobie Call June 20, 2012 at 7:51 pm

          Diet will definitely play a big role. The pre-workout drink will help a lot. I would make sure to run at least 3 times a week. You want to do a speed/high intensity, mid-distance and endurance workout every week. Also, replace the squats with lunges. Lunges transfer to running very well. Squats (except for hindu squats) don’t transfer over to faster running at all. At first the lunges will only wear you out quicker, but once you start to get used to them, you’ll love the results.

  4. Hobie Call May 8, 2012 at 9:40 pm

    Paul, the pre and post-workout drinks make a big difference, I hope you like them.

  5. Mike Wilson June 11, 2012 at 4:44 pm

    My situation is similar to Mark’s but I probably have 20 years on him. Energy isn’t much of a problem but my knees hurt after a run or a leg workout at the guy. Do you do anything special for your knees? Also I notice you wear glasses but not during races. Do you find that you have a hard time seeing? I’m doing my first Warrior Dash this coming Sunday and wearing glasses seems like a bad idea. Thoughts?

    • Hobie Call June 19, 2012 at 9:16 pm

      Diet is very important for healthy joints. A lot of healthy fats and very little to no processed sugars will help a lot. As for exercises, lunges and hindu squats are excellent for your knees. You need to build into them slowly (especially hindu squats). Also, don’t start doing hindu squats until your already warmed up. My suggestion is to do the leg warm-up on my How to Train for Obstacle Racing DVD. I know it’s long and can get boring, but it’s very effective. That’s why I do it. If nothing else, do it a few times and then take what you like out of it and add it to your routine.

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