My first HYROX race

first time HYROX

You’ve made the decision to attempt your first HYROX, congrats!

Hang on, what's a HYROX?

HYROX is a competitive fitness event that has been called the “world series of fitness racing”. The format is the same wherever you compete around the world — there are eight 1 km runs interspersed with eight workout stations in this order:

HYROX station order

  • Ski Erg
  • Sled Pull
  • Sled Push
  • Burpee Broad Jumps
  • Rowing
  • Farmers Carry
  • Sandbag Lunges
  • Wall Balls
YouTube video

STEP 1: Committing

First choose your location

You can see a full list of events on their official website, but be sure to book early as they can sell out quickly.

how to participate in HYROX

Then choose your division

Our advice for your first HYROX is to choose one of the doubles options. It makes it a lot more enjoyable to be able to share the suffering with a friend.

hyrox divisions to choose

PRO or OPEN?

The running remains the same, so the main factor is the stations.

If you are used to CrossFit training you will be absolutely fine, however if you have mainly been focused on running or other activities we would recommend the Open division.

If you choose mixed doubles be aware that the female will be expected to do a heavier weight than in female doubles.

Booking info

When you sign up you will only be able to select the day, but not the actual time so be sure you can be flexible for the whole day when booking.

You will have a better idea of when you will start the week before when HYROX announces the division start times, and then three days before the event you receive an email with your start time.

Be aware that unlike a lot of competitions HYROX start times are very accurate, and punctual. If they say 10.45 they mean 10.45!

STEP 2: Preparing for the big day

Firstly: HYROX is a running race.

Or more specifically, HYROX is a compromised running race (more about that later).

So in preparing for the race, if you normally train CrossFit then you are going to have to increase your running volume.

first time HYROX tips

Conversely, if you are a runner you will also have to work on your strength (the sleds) and your mobility (the lunges and wall balls).

Don’t underestimate the 8 x 1km format

After the first run of 1 km, the next 7 rounds are all done “compromised”. By that we mean your legs will be busy dealing with lactic acid which has accumulated at each of the workout stations.

But you know what is coming!

Unlike a CrossFit competition, you have plenty of warning of what your test will consist of, so you can get some practice in. Get to know the HYROX movement standards, especially the Burpee Broad Jumps and Wall Balls.

We have a full selection of Training Programmes that help with training and tapering for your first HYROX.

If you want to prepare for a HYROX competition we have a training course for you!

Hyrox program
  • 4 training sessions per week for 6 weeks.
  • Detailed video tutorials with drills and progressions for tackling the eight HYROX challenges.
  • Tips to improve your running technique and performance.
  • Improved strength, endurance, and aerobic capacity.
  • Valuable advice by experienced coaches about what you should do leading up to race day.

Strategise with your pair. If you ARE doing your first HYROX as a double, you should also be training together as time permits, and getting used to each other’s pace.

It is important to note that when you compete as a pair you can receive a penalty if the pair get separated so don’t run off and leave your buddy in the dust!

You should also read the rules around how and where your partner should be standing when you are working on the station, and vice versa.

We also recommend that you memorise the order of the stations, doing them in the wrong order will mean you receive a time penalty.

STEP 3: Countdown

The day before

Nutrition

In the days before the event make sure you are consuming slow-release carbs such as brown rice, and wholewheat pasta. And keep yourself well hydrated. We recommend an early night after a solid session with your GOWOD Mobility app.

Packing list for race day

  • Running shoes and kit: Don’t wear a new pair of running shoes on race day. Make sure you have already tried them out and got comfortable in them. Your shoes should be designed for running as well as functional fitness, and choose a pair which won’t slip on the carpets during the sled push. Make sure you lace them up to the closest eyelet to your ankles to prevent them from slipping off when you are pushing the sled. Also, bear in mind that cushioned running shoes can be difficult to stay stable in on the last station, wall balls, where you will already be fatigued and no-reps become a possibility.
  • Snacks: Bring some easily digested carbs for pre and post-event.
  • Plenty of water

STEP 4: The big day

Check in

We recommend you arrive 90 minutes before, just so you are not rushed. Firstly you will go to the check in desk and receive your number and chip timer which is a very simple process.

Every HYROX is the same but different.

The event remains the same, but the layout will vary depending on the venue, and the amount of laps of the venue will also vary, so now is the time to establish (and remember!) how many laps it will be each time you go out on your 1 km runs. If you don’t run the laps and come in too early then you receive time penalties, so pay attention.

At first glance the transition area (called the ROXZONE) can seem quite confusing, but everything is sign posted, and being aware of the route will help. Realise as well that this area is a potential time suck as valuable minutes can be lost here. You can grab a drink in this area, but do you need to do it for every station? Talk to your partner, make a plan before you begin.

You can then go to the bag drop where you can leave everything until after the race.

STEP 5: Final prep

Warm up. Pre Race.

Before the race you will have time to warm up with the equipment. We have a full warm up guide on our training programmes page here.

However make sure you are aware of the time as you will not get called to the start line. Ten minutes before your exact start time, you can go into the RedBull start line, this is where you will be able to listen to some cool music, and get hyped up before the 3,2,1 countdown.

HYROX beginners tips

STEP 6: Let’s Do It!

The race

Our biggest piece of advice: START OUT SLOWER THAN YOU WANT.

After standing at the start line, with the music playing and being with all your competitors it is very easy to go out hot and make the race a lot harder than it needs to be. It is the most common mistake we see in newbies on their first HYROX.

Stay out of trouble on the runs. If you are not a confident runner then be mindful of where you are in the lanes. Don’t get too close to the boundaries as you could see some of the other runners being quite pushy. Give yourself some space on the inside, and stay out of the way. When you start your race you will be released into the circuit and could get caught up in the previous group which is now pushing hard for the finish, stick with your partner and try not to get separated.

And, COUNT YOUR LAPS. It is easy to get confused about which lap you are on, but if you are running a consistent pace then you should be able to roughly gauge your lap time. There is also a big screen which is powered by your time chip, and your name will flash up with your lap number.

At the end of each 1 km run, head for the “IN”. The magic word! And then work your way through your stations, remembering the order. They are also numbered from 1 to 8 to save you from confusion.

If you want to prepare for a HYROX competition we have a training course for you!

Hyrox program
  • 4 training sessions per week for 6 weeks.
  • Detailed video tutorials with drills and progressions for tackling the eight HYROX challenges.
  • Tips to improve your running technique and performance.
  • Improved strength, endurance, and aerobic capacity.
  • Valuable advice by experienced coaches about what you should do leading up to race day.

STEP 7: You’ve Done It!

Celebrate!

The atmosphere at HYROX events is getting a reputation for being infectious and exciting. The last station, the wall balls, is normally packed with spectators supporting their friends. That can get you through your last reps and then you just have a few steps up the ramp to the finish line.

ENJOY THE MOMENT! It’s a huge achievement and one you should be very proud of!

HYROX first time tips

Make sure to get a photo and grab a drink in the cool down area to celebrate. After the race stretch out (fire up GOWOD Mobility on your phone) and get some of the excess lactic acid out of those thighs! The more you stretch and move now, the less they will bother you later.

Enjoy that post race glow, and when you are ready, reflect on how you did, and what challenge you will tackle next.