Blog
11
10
2016
Personal Trainer, Liverpool Street.

HOW TO PREPARE FOR OBSTACLE COURSE RACING

HOW TO PREPARE FOR OBSTACLE COURSE RACING

PT Manager Matt gives you a head start ahead of the pack, for this winters OCR. 

We’ve all heard the stories. We’ve all heard how hard Obstacle Course Racing (OCR) can be.

So, when you’re offered the opportunity to take part in an OCR, it is understandable if you’re initially reluctant at the prospect of putting your body through some extreme racing conditions. However, Team JDP have provided a thorough training plan to help competitors prepare for their OCR, whether it be short distance, middle distance or long distance.

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Their dedicated training and nutrition plans will have you in excellent shape ahead of the event, with some useful tips on how to get through your OCR without any problems.

JDP Fitness have tailored their training plans to suit the distance that you’re running, with the short distance training plan focusing more on running than strength training.

If you’re attempting a middle distance race then naturally you will face more obstacles, which means building up your strength is vital so that you can overcome the challenges put in front of you. For those braver competitors who want to take on an event lasting 13-20 kilometres, there is an emphasis building a good base level of strength and fitness so you can last the distance.

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SPRINT DISTANCE

So you’ve signed up for your first obstacle course race (OCR) and it’s a sprint distance of 5-7km. Even though it is classed as a sprint doesn’t mean you’ll be expected to be Usain Bolting it around the course! This distance is generally used as a fun introductory to OCRs or for those seasoned racers who want to run a shorter distance.

The program below will be for those who are new to OCRs but not necessarily new to exercise. Training will be split over 4 days with an

optional extra day and will be programmed for 6 weeks. As I have mentioned previously the most important thing is to make sure you can cover the distance, which is why the program is more dominated by running. The running is broken up with walking, jogging and exercises due to the start-stop nature of OCR. The body weight exercises are very general but specific to the movements you will encounter on courses and a good mix of upper and lower body.

MONDAY- 3KM RUN

WEDNESDAY- Body weight training:

A1. 10 x squats
B1. 8 x press ups
C1. 10 x lunges (each leg)

D1. 8 x chest to floor.
Rest 1-2 minutes, repeat 3-4 minutes.

THURSDAY 1.5KM Fast Run

SATURDAY- Running Intervals, 30 seconds sprint/ 30 second rest x10.

Events' next obstacle: playing nice.

MIDDLE DISTANCE

Taking the plunge to up the distance with OCR generally means more obstacles as well more km. So this means more strength training will be included in the program.

The below training plan is going to presume you have completed a short OCR or can comfortably run 6km. The program will be split over 4 days with an optional 5th day over 6 weeks. The step up from the shorter distance should not be taken lightly, which is why this program is a little more intense when it comes to cardiovascular and strength training. However, don’t let that put you off as it is built up steadily and is achievable for anyone. The program has more of an emphasis on OCR specific strength and speed intervals.

MONDAY- 6KM Jog

TUESDAY- Strength training:
A1.2 x pull ups
B1. 8 x press ups
C1. 10 x squat jumps

D1. 2 x pull ups.
30s between exercises, rest 1-2min, repeat 3-4 times.

THURSDAY- Intervals: 50m sprints, walk back to start and rest 10s. Repeat 20 times.

FRIDAY- 6KM Run

SATURDAY- Strength training:
A1. 2 x pull ups
B1. 8 x press ups
C1. 10 x squat jumps

D1. 2 x pull ups.
30s between exercises, rest 1-2min, repeat 3-4 times. (optional)

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LONGER DISTANCE

Choosing to take on the longer distance OCRs is not for the faint hearted and you should expect to encounter more obstacles, varied terrain and of course more
km! The following training plan will presume you have completed a middle distance OCR or can comfortably run 13+km.

From the outset this program is intense but if you have a good base level of strength and fittness then it is very achievable. Apart from the additional mileage, the strength training intensity has increased to take your muscles to overload in each session. This is to prepare you for carrying additional loads likely to occur in the race, for improving lower body strength when it comes to the longer runs and upper body strength for getting over the more difficult obstacles.

MONDAY- 14km Jog

TUESDAY- Strength training:

A1. 10 x goblet squats
B1. 3 x pull ups
C1. 8* 90°step ups
D1. 10 x press ups
E1. 20m x bear crawl
30s between exercises, rest 1-2 min, repeat 3-4 times.

THURSDAY- 8km run – every 5 mins 10 sprawls.

SATURDAY- Strength training:

A1. 10 x goblet squats
B1. 3 x pull ups
C1. 8* 90° step ups
D1. 10 x press ups
E1. 20m x bear crawl
30s between exercises, rest 1-2 min, repeat 3-4 times (optional)

author: Matt Williams

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