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Want to do an OCR ( Obstacle Course Race)? Here's how to prep for one!

Some events like OCRs are fun and challenging. The format is simple: a short to medium run (most are somewhere between 5 and 14 km) dotted with obstacles along the way (these can range from 12 to 60 obstacles) and tons of mud! These races are a good test of endurance, strength, agility and team work! As a PT, I think they constitute an ideal application of the work I do with my clients in the gym. So on the 5 th November 2022 , I took a couple of clients with me to try Fallout, an OCR organised by Nuclear Races in Brentwood. Here's the low-down on how to train for this!

It is highly recommended to train for these events whether it is to be competitive or simply to be able to finish the race. The run in itself can be challenging because running with trail running shoes produces a heavier step and when combined with water and mud saturation up a hill, the glutes in particular need to work much harder. To prepare for this, we ran twice a week a shorter and a longer distance in the country side to get used to running on grass and mud. Mud in particular, is slippery and focusing on the stability of each step is key. So think endurance and terrain in your training!

Endurance out of the way, we needed to focus on the obstacles themselves. We all know by now there are obligatory runs through muddy ditches and bogs (tie your shoes well!) but there are all sorts of other runs, like vertical runs up ramps, runs on moving objects ( floating or conveyor belt type). There are jump overs and jumps to reach. There are slides onto steep planes and fireman's pole. There are rope climbs and swings from ropes, pendulum type structures. Let's not forget the hanging from and moving to, the walk and carry of heavy objects, the crawling through tunnels, the zip wires, the technical straddles on spinning objects... These, we also worked on in Leila's gym. I looked at the skills required and adapted these to exercises we could do here. We also worked plenty on isolation exercises to strengthen key muscles, especially the triceps!

We briefly looked at the best equipment for this type of event. We all picked good grippy shoes ( trail running shoes), leggings and fast wicking Ts with some extra layering for some of us. We also had a smart watch to keep an eye on our time. The only issue that one of us had, was a split hem in the bottom area happening towards the end of the race. Didn't stop us!

All in all, we prepped well for this. We managed 38/40 obstacles and ran the whole distance , we came 308th out of 739 racers and 47 th (Women). Would we do something like this again? Hell yeah and with a few more clients too!

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