We recently posted on Instagram and Facebook asking “What advice do you have for people new to obstacle racing?” The answers not only apply to those new to the sport but to all of us as well. From the OCR Community to you, here is your advice.
Shoes and Footwear
“I’ve seen a lot of people have a miserable day racing because they wore their street running shoes. Noting
worse than not being able to get out of a mud pit.”
- The right shoes can make all the difference!
- Proper footwear is paramount! It’s all about the shoes.
- Make sure you have the correct footwear, so you don’t slip and slide while running in mud.
- Find a sturdy trail/OCR shoe that works best for you.
- No regular trainers unless you are doing a Stadion or City race.
- Don’t bother trying to get “one last run” out of your battered oldest pair of trainers… You will end up (if you are lucky) running in gaffer tape shoes… Or just your socks.
- Buy decent trainers that you know suit your feet
Fun – Have it and Enjoy it
“Have fun. Finishing is the main objective. Not time.”
- Have fun!
- Have fun Most important – have fun!
- Enjoy the journey and have fun first and foremost.
- Don’t take it to seriously
- If you aren’t having fun you will surely wear your frustrations like a 50lb sand bag on or off the course.
- Have fun.
- ENJOY IT… Just have fun
- Just have fun
It’s Also About the People
“This is an amazing sport with amazing athletes that are more than happy to go outta their way to help you.”
- Make friends. We are some of the most badass people, but we are also some of the nicest people you will meet.
- Make friends and help others.
- Join a team
- Join a group that will help you and cheers for you.
- Have your friends with you for extra fun!
- Try to have fun.
- Try different race organizations to see which ones are a good fit for you.
- Have fun.
Prepare, and Have the Right Gear
“Proper attire; proper gear; proper training and above all knowledge. It is NOT just run and conquer!!”
- Proper gear.
- Grip strength training.
- Practice burpees.
- Running is huge.
- Be willing to learn. Listen to your body, also hydrate.
- Work in grip and do lots of trail running.
- Practice landing so when you jump off your first obstacle you don’t injure yourself.
- Make sure you can run the distance, so train for endurance.
- Make sure you have explosive power and strength to jump, lift, and carry. .
- If possible practice obstacles skills, e.g. foot locks for rope climbing. or spear-throwing technique Anything beyond a sprint requires some training to properly enjoy!
- Follow a structured, sport-specific training plan, start attending an OCR gym and start small with an entry level race or two before trying one of the more competitive ones.
- Pull-ups. Carry heavy things. Learn rope climb technique. The rest will come.
- Watch different YouTubes of previous events. Check out training videos.
- Get some compression gear, compression socks, and OCR shoes.
- Work on pull-ups. Work on the upper body!
- Take it easy when starting to run, or obstacles will burn you quickly!
- Run often, but run slow. People get too caught up on speed at first. Stay at a comfortable conversation pace. If you can’t talk, you are going too fast. For obstacles, work on pull-ups, pull-ups, and more pull-ups
- Learn technique rather than relying on brute strength
- Vary your run training across different surfaces, from grass, mud, rock, tree routes.
- Grip strength training regularly.
- Take care of your hands.
- Work on pull-ups.
- Best gloves = no gloves.
- Pull-ups, switch grips, and dead hangs
“There will be moments of disappointment and doubt, but don’t give up, it will pay off.”
- Be careful, very addictive.
- Take naps.
- Just show up and in every race you will notice improvements.
- Try more than one brand.
- You don’t need to do all of the races.
- If you’re looking to achieve the most of your athletic career, a race a weekend will not get you there.
- Quality over Quantity.
- DNFing, losing your band, knowing your limits, is braver and stronger than “being tough” and pushing through injury, health issues, etc
- . Remember you don’t have to race in the Elite to enjoy OCR
- Don’t drink the water. If the water is warm, don’t ask.
- Drink at every water station.
- Listen to the marshalls (volunteers)
- Check the weather
- Start saving money
- Go that way really fast. If something gets in your way, go over, under, through or around it.
- Just show up and in every race, you will notice improvements.
Advice for Adaptive Athletes
“OCR race organizers need us to learn from.”
- Disabilities should not stop you from getting involved with OCR
- Marshaling (volunteering) is a good way to learn about OCR
- Just get involved.
- Tell race directors/organizers your needs; for example, wheelchair access.
Cheap Shameless Plugs
- Download OCR Buddy
- And of course, download OCR Buddy