You may think that obstacle course racing is a sport you need to spend all your time practicing obstacles. This is wrong. Obstacles are normally only around 10% or less of a race. The rest of this time you are or at least should be running.
- Run fast. If you are a frequent & fast runner you’ll probably find you’ll have a pretty decent obstacle completion rate. Arriving at an obstacle less fatigued from running is going to give you a much higher chance to complete it. Don’t make running the obstacle. Train it often.
- Be able to run on trails and hills. I’m yet to race a completely flat obstacle race. If you can’t run up or down hills well then you’ll struggle in a race. If you’ve never run on a trail before then start doing it. Most obstacle races are held on trails which have uneven ground and hills to climb up and down. Mix up your training, don’t just hit the flat pavement every day. I’ve seen so many great road runners come into OCR because they are fast but without any trail or hill work in the legs they get their ass handed to them. Don’t be that person. Mix up your training and have some fun with it. Start looking at “elevation” on your garmin instead of “mins/km”.
- Learn how to run in “race conditions”. By this I mean if you are training for a race in snowy conditions then get yourself into Ski Dubai for some training sessions (they do allow this). If you are training for a race which you know will be full of sand running (e.g Spartan World championships in Liwa) then get lots of sand running done. The more specifically you train for your particular ‘A’ race, the better you’ll get on come race day. Don’t kick back and think it will be alright on the day. It won’t, you’ll kick yourself for not training it previously.
George, OCR Coach