So you want to do your first OCR or want to improve for your next one? Where do you start training?
There are many aspects of an obstacle course race that you need to train for and all are of importance if you want to do well on the course. So what do we need to train:
- Upper body strength
- General Fitness
- Burpees – (YUK)
In my opinion all of the above are important if you wish to complete an OCR with minimal or preferably no penalties- in Spartan races this would be 30 burpees.
You could group some of these together leaving you with 5 sections to look at:
- Nutrition and recovery
- Energy systems for running
- Bodyweight training
- Strength training
- Tactical training
Nutrition and recovery
As mentioned before all aspects are important, however nutrition and recovery are possibly of most importance. Your nutrition is what is going to fuel your training session, race and help you recover. Also included in the recovery are sleep, re-hab and pre-hab exercises. Keeping yourself fit and healthy is what will get you to the race without and niggles.
Energy systems for running
A big part of Obstacle Course Racing is running, so you will need to work on your running. For OCR you will use all three energy systems; the creatine phosphate system, the anaerobic or lactic acid system and the aerobic system. In terms of training this would be dependant of the distance you are running.
Body weight training
This incorporates crawling, pulling, pushing, climbing, air squats, lunges and much more. Being able to manipulate your own body weight will make the obstacles a lot easier.
Strength training will help you with some of the heavier obstacles such as the atlas stone, tyre flip, sled drag and log carry. Incorporating such exercises as weighted squats, deadlifts, lat pull-down and leg presses will increase your strength to make these objects easier to lift.
Some of the obstacles are more skill based than being strong or fast. This would include the spear throw, monkey bars, the rings, and much more. Practicing these before racing will give you the confidence to do them in a race scenario.
In future blogs I will go into each of these sections in more detail.