I think one aspect I overlooked regarding OCR was training. This is mistake #2. I didn’t really know how to train for these events or train in general. In this mile I won’t necessarily cover training tips. I’m hoping once Keith finalizes his OCR training compound I can share those training tips with you. Instead, I’ll talk about the importance of training.
I didn’t really take training seriously until about midway through the 2014 race season. Honestly, I thought I could just wake up on race day and show up. You might be able to do this a few times but eventually everything will catch up to you and risk serious injury.
For the first few races I didn’t do much if any training for those events. The only type of training came in the form of cardio. I didn’t even take that seriously either. My version of cardio training was signing up for local 5k’s and completing those road races. At least it kept my legs moving every so often. I soon realized that I couldn’t continue just to train this way.
If you don’t train you could seriously get hurt. You could also train and still get hurt, but it’s less likely. Following the Spartan Sprint in 2014 I signed up for a full year of personal training. I’m not saying I recommend this, but for someone who knew little about the gym it was needed. I won’t bore with all the details, but we worked a lot on upper body/arms, abs/core and legs. Personal training taught me how to use the gym appropriately and without intimidation. If you don’t use it correctly you either look like a fool or could hurt yourself. Many of the techniques I learned I still use today when I go to the gym.
I’ve mentioned before there is no gym that will prepare you for OCR. There are a few “creative” ways that you can prepare yourself for some obstacles you will encounter on race day. Simply, go to your local park and use the monkey bars. I know a lot of people that do this on a regular basis. Also, you can visit the website of the race you are about to complete for their specific training tips. Usually they have videos of techniques and equipment you can use to conquer each obstacle. I’ve watched a couple of these and they certainly do help.
The most important training you can complete is building cardio and muscle. Yes, every so often you will need to leave the couch and go out and run a few miles. If it’s too cold you can go to the gym or run up and down the stairs in your house. Gyms have plenty of treadmills for your cardio training. They also have different terrain settings to help with mountainous courses. You don’t need to go hardcore, but the more you train the better you will feel. Every time we climb Blue Mountain we always ask each other “how do you train for these?” I’m sure more cardio and hiking will make it easier.
Since I’m still new to OCR I don’t have all the training answers. I can only hope that you take it seriously. You don’t want to end up seriously injured after trying something for fun. As we move forward on this path I hope to give you more training tips. Feel free to share your training tips. Something that works for you could work for someone else. Pizza eating is not a training tip we all know how to do that.
In the next mile I’ll be switching back to another race day experience for the R.O.C. Race.