Kristin Saad exploded onto the obstacle racing scene just a few years ago. She quickly made a name for herself on the competitive circuit. In 2017, she finished on the podium during the United States Obstacle Racing Championships (now North American OCR Championships). However, what is more impressive than any race result is her daily routine. Saad is a mother of twins who still finds time to train, compete at the highest levels, and volunteer her time working with a local hospital.
Saad spent most of her life as an athlete. She chased running to some of the highest levels as a Division 1 athlete. After college, she met her husband and 18 months later the two were wed. Only a month into their marriage Saad found out she was pregnant with twins. As she says, “I guess you could say I tend to do things quickly, competitively …maybe even aggressively.”
Twin pregnancy threw her body and mind for a loop. Towards the end of Saad’s pregnancy she spent over two months on bed rest. After giving birth it was another 3 months of recovery before she was able to take her first run. Her body had changed a lot, and she soon after found a trainer to help strengthen some weaknesses in her hamstrings. Her trainer started to incorporate obstacle racing elements into her training. This is where she was unknowingly introduced to OCR. A few months later she competed in her first obstacle course race.
Obstacle Course Racing changed Saad’s life as it brought her back to being an athlete once again. Today, she manages training on nearly a professional level and still makes her children her top priority. She manages her own training around their schedule and her husband’s work schedule. The family is pretty serious about their calendars. When asked how she manages it and what advice she gives to other mothers wanting to compete or qualify for races like the North American OCR Championships or OCR World Championships she said:
Make goals both short and long term, but don’t beat yourself up if things don’t go as planned. Make a schedule so you’re organized! Whatever works for you…Training log, calendar, online applications etc…This way you know the days where you are going to be short on time, are not scheduling a workout that takes more time. Set yourself up for success! Training is time consuming and challenging enough as it is, and being a mom means your schedule is more often than not secondary to your children’s.
Thank and treat your body! As a mom, we are usually putting ourselves second. Make sure you thank your body for the work it’s done to carry and deliver a child, and be sure to keep up with recovery to keep it healthy!
Have fun!! It’s easy to get caught up in the hype, the competition and the pressure, but at the end of the day training and racing should provide joy and be fun!
Lastly, own it! Own that you are a bad a** for getting back out there and not making excuses that you’re tired, too busy…being a mom is hard work! You rock!
Being a mother always comes first for Saad but she loves her experiences as a professional obstacle racer and can be found taking a late flight on a Friday, racing on Saturday then getting home in time to see her kids wake up on Sunday morning. For Saad, balancing and experiencing both creates rewards beyond words.