Obstacle Race Self Endurance

How to train for an obstacle course race

Obstacle course races (OCR) are well-known for testing participants in various physical skills.

Most commonly, the race course is 3km long with about 25 obstacles. But it could go up to 12km long with 100+ obstacles.

In order to compete in obstacle course races, you must have a suitable combination of agility, endurance, speed, power, and strength.

Here are some obstacles you might encounter in one of these races.

  • Rope climb
  • Bear crawl
  • Bucket/sandbag carry
  • Sandpits
  • Drum roll
  • Caterpillar
  • Dip & go
  • Chain drag
  • Tyre wall
  • Tarzan swing
  • Barbed wire crawl

The obstacles in these races need to be overcome by jumping, hanging, crawling, carrying, moving weights, pulling, balancing, climbing, swinging, and much more. So you need well-rounded fitness plans to train for them.

Focus on endurance running first

Running is the main component of obstacle course races. The distance ranges from 3-5km, with some races going up to 12km (so you need to train in running first). Sprinkled on top of these are a variety of obstacles. You must have a good aerobic base to run this long distance, after that you must train to clear the challenges

Train on hanging and pulling your bodyweight

These races also include a lot of hanging and lifting your own bodyweight. Obstacles like caterpillars, rope climbs, and climbing raised platforms challenge you to carry your own bodyweight.

Do full body strength workouts

As an OCR athlete, you will need great overall body strength to perform various tasks without tiring out easily.

Compound training such as the deadlift, bench press, lunges, with weights are important. You have to carry weights like sandbags on your shoulders for certain distances to complete some obstacles. Sometimes it could be uphill. It requires overall body strength to perform such lifting and carrying tasks without cramping.

Practice animal flow and core workouts

Mallika says you need your whole body to work in coordination during an obstacle race. She recommends practicing animal flow to work on the various aspects of your body.

There are obstacles like caterpillar and bear crawl that require core strength and coordination between limbs. I am a huge fan of animal flow workouts; it works very well for the biomechanics required in obstacle course races.

Doing workouts like planks, side planks, glute bridge, superman, bird dog, etc, to strengthen your core muscles. A strong core will help you clear the obstacles that require climbing and also help you maintain good form during the race.

Work on your weaknesses

Obstacle course races require a combination of strength and endurance. To work on those together, carry bags uphill and then do balance workouts. Over years of racing internationally, I know my strengths and weaknesses. Carrying weights difficult so always include that in training.

Simulate race situations in training

Interval training and perform tasks that mimic race obstacles. For example, in training I will run hard and then mix it up by doing pull-ups. It’s difficult to focus on the tasks at an elevated heart rate so this trains me for it. Specificity is important in training so that your body can cope well with the tasks in races.

Pay attention to your recovery and nutrition

Taking in macros is a lot more important than just training. Fuelling right makes a big difference. You should focus on consuming iron, vitamin D, magnesium, manganese, and other important nutrients. It is important to consumer carbs when you are doing hard training sessions. Eating healthy fats and protein will help your body recover quicker and be ready for the next session or race.

Original Post Redbull.com

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