OCR is addictive. We joke about it, but it really is. When you discover the sport, you want more. When you get your first taste of what it could be like to run faster, perform better, you want to grab it. The community is small and friendly, and you want to be a part of it.
I’ve seen it time and time again -and yes I did it myself- overtraining, and over racing. But if you care about performing in OCR -scrap that- if you care about the longevity of your body in sports, don’t do it.
It’s not the difficulty of races, it’s not logistics, it’s not even cash. Nope. the biggest obstacle to your success is you.
Here are some tips on how to get the most out of your race season.
Prioritize your events
Plan your year effectively. What is your goal event, your A race? Let’s say it’s the Obstacle Course Racing World Championships which handily is pretty much at the end of the racing year. You know you’re working up towards this, and you also have to qualify.
Be realistic about qualification. Know your strengths and weaknesses. What you don’t want to be doing is running hard at 6 Spartans across the year hoping to qualify at each one.
That’s not to say you can’t take part in more events, you should, but take it easy, practice, have fun. Don’t race hard at every event.
Take time off
FOMO is huge. We know it. Everyone has the best time at that one event you missed, you could’ve podiumed if you’d been there! We do actually know that’s not true but our brains play tricks on us.
There are multitudinous race weekends throughout the year, often multiple events on the same weekend. Listen to me… You don’t have to do them all. You really don’t. If you’re scared of missing out, then volunteer. It’s a great way to be with people at the event, plus often you can earn a free race.
Build up your training
Don’t jump in with both feet straight away. You’ve done a race and you want to see how much better you can do, plan it in advance and build up your training accordingly.
You want to make sure you don’t burn out, and don’t destroy your body. It may feel good to start being super active, but it won’t last. Give your body time to adjust. Be sensible and see a physio or sports masseuse regularly for check ups.
Treat OCR like any other sport.
Yes it’s accessible but that doesn’t mean it’s not serious. To your body it makes no difference, all it will feel is a huge change in function and it may not take it well. Check out our guides for advice on how to train.
One of the difficulties with OCR is that you need to be proficient in several areas. Treat the distance running training like you would for any running event, but don’t stick to the treadmill or roads, get out on the trails.
Make sure you can factor in strength and obstacle training, and don’t ignore restorative workouts like yoga. Aside from the stretching benefits, it goes a long way towards balance obstacles.
Get the right kit
Specifically trainers. Have your gait analyzed and choose the right shoe. Don’t buy something because it’s cheap, or fashionable. Like a dancer chooses the right pointe shoe, you need the right trainer. Personally I can’t handle anything less than a 6mm drop and it cause me huge knee issues which I ignored for too long.
To help you out, Inov-8 offer a huge range of trail specific shoes, and better news is that OCRWC athletes are eligible for 10% off all inov-8 footwear by using code 9OCR10 at www.inov-8.com
OCR is as much about the community as it is about the racing. Enjoy the experience, there’s nothing like it out there!