If you are headed to North American OCR Championships or OCR World Championships you are probably racing more than once over the course of the weekend. There are up to five events occurring in one weekend for OCRWC:
- Team Relay
- Charity Run
With that many events in one weekend, your pre/intra/post-race fueling needs to be on point.
First 30 minutes post-race:
Don’t pull off your inov-8 race shoes just yet. Immediately post-race conduct a quick cool down consisting of a couple minutes of easy jogging just to help circulate your blood and bring your body back from a period of all-out effort to a resting state.
Drink a liquid recovery drink like Recoverite that consists of 3:1 carbohydrate to protein ratio. Ideally your drink has the amino acid L-Glutamine in it, an amino acid known to promote recovery, like Hammer Nutrition’s Recoverite to help with recovery.
An hour post-race:
If you are staying on site (like you’ve been told to do in the “Five Things You Need to Know About Traveling to NORAM”) you can go back to your room and shower real quick to wash the dirt/mud off, take off your sweaty Akuma race jersey and get comfortable. If not, you might just want to change into some comfortable post-race clothes.
I recommend MudGear socks for compression of your calves (for recovery compression you want it a little tighter than race/active compression. Personally, I go down a size in MudGear so they provide that tight feeling and help return blood flow from the legs. Check out Ashley Samples method of putting on MudGear socks here.) If it’s a little chilly now would be the time to throw on your dryrobe.
That evening post-race:
If you have a fancy recovery system now would be the time to use it. Companies like NormaTec have recovery pants that inflate by zones to help circulate the blood (of note, they are expensive; we are talking in the range of $1500 USD). A little more portable, convenient for travel and at a lower price, companies like Compex offer Electrical Muscle Stimulators (EMS) that help circulate blood via forced muscle contractions (starting at around $80).
If you want to go lower tech (and cheaper) gentle massage via foam roller is a good option. Don’t go too deep though, you don’t want to show up sore from a deep tissue massage.
A hot/cold shower is a great option that requires no equipment or purchasing of bags of ice. Take a shower and do:
- 1 minute of cold water (as cold as the water goes)
- 2 minutes of warm water repeated 3 times
This hot/cold contrast dilates and constricts your blood vessels helping circulate your blood and making your legs feel better recovered.
Morning of the next race:
Your legs might be feeling tight after yesterday’s race. Make sure you do a light warm up job pre-race to get your blood flowing and muscles loosened up again.
Consecutive racing may mean you are expending more calories than usual. Therefore, you are probably going to want to eat something light before your race. Hammer Nutrition recommends giving a three hour gap between breakfast and your race.
During the race:
Make sure to check out the fueling articles for the 3k and 15k races. Having proper fueling during the race will avoid putting you in a huge deficit that could hurt performance the following day.
As always, don’t plan on doing anything new on race day. That includes nutrient timing, food choices, race clothing, shoe types etc. Therefore, practice the above plan on one of your training weeks when doing several challenging workouts back to back.
Keep training and I’ll see you at the finish line!
Looking for more great tips of OCR? Pick up a copy of Strength & Speed’s Guide to Elite Obstacle Course Racing or if you plan on racing Enduro check out Mud Run Guide’s Ultra-OCR Bible
Evan Perperis, NSCA-CPT, is an athlete on the Conquer The Gauntlet Pro Team and author of three books on Obstacle Course Racing. Included in his 39 podium finishes is a 2nd place Pro Coed Team at the 2018 North American OCR Championships and 1st Place Team at 2018 World’s Toughest Mudder. Find more of his content at www.teamstrengthspeed.com.