Still struggling to get the place or time you want in obstacle course racing? Have you ever thought you may be focusing on the wrong thing in your training?
I recently saw a post on Instagram from Spartan pro athlete Veejay Jones which sparked a thought which is so simple but many do not understand. He posted “I don’t add running to my obstacle training, I add obstacles to my running training”. This is such a basic thing that so many do not practice. Yes, I understand you are doing an obstacle course race but let’s break down what’s included in that race and figure out why adding obstacles to your running training is the correct way to go about things.
Basics – during an obstacle course race you will run for 90% or more of the time from crossing the start line to crossing the finish line. So what do you think you need to spend 90% of your training doing? That’s right, you guessed it, RUNNING!
Not only will you get better at running if you train it more you’ll find that being able to run better you’ll have a higher obstacle completion rate. How you ask? It’s very simple, if you are more comfortable and efficient with running, able to run with a lower heart rate and not have to exert as much energy in that 90% of the time out on the course then you’ll be less fatigued when arriving at obstacles.
My advice for training for your next upcoming obstacle course race is to have at least one strength day per week which is purely strength/obstacle focused and then maybe another session which has both running and strength/obstacles combined. The rest of your training should be based around running. Build an aerobic base so that running feels comfortable for you, don’t make the 90% of the race the struggle, you want that to be the “easy part”. I’m not telling you not to practice obstacle here as this is also vital if you are looking to complete obstacles and compete, however, the key to being good at OCR is that 90%.
By; George Crewe, OCR Coach