OCR (Obstacle Course Racing) is becoming more mainstream recently. You will more than likely have come across someone who has taken on a ‘Tough Mudder’ or something similar.
So what is an OCR race?
An OCR race typically tests all aspects of your fitness, endurance, strength and mental grit. As the popularity of these races has risen so has the choice in events.
Tough Guy was the first renown ‘Tough OCR’ race in the UK. Having raced around I’ve since come to really enjoy the Spartan Race circuit and this is the race I’m going to concentrate on in this article.
The Spartan Trifecta.
A spartan trifecta consists of three races. Sprint, Super and Beast.
The distance and difficulty increase with each race and all have to be completed within a year. I have just completed my first of this year with aim of doing the double before the year is out, this is of course around my working life (I am a fight trainer on films, having recently been away on a Hollywood action movie in Cape Town and I of course teach as a personal trainer in Genesis being my main base), but back to the trifecta...
Sprint - Is a great first race for someone wanting to get a feel of OCR. For beginners the 5k distance isn’t to daunting and for competitors this is a great course for upping your pace and getting some speed in.
Super - Is a little more challenging the distance this time 13k with more obstacles. This is
good for someone with a good level of overall fitness who is looking for a slightly harder challenge.
Beast - 20k+ is for someone who’s experienced in OCR racing and looking to take on a harder challenge. This race will certainly test your mental and physical endurance.
There are then Ultra Beasts, Hurricane Heats and more brutal options but these are definitely for the professional racers. I must also say that there is the option to just take on one individual race. i.e - Sprint.
Now don’t be mistaken each race will absolutely reveal any weaknesses in your overall strength and endurance. I regularly have to go back and tweek training post race. Even for an entry level sprint I would highly recommend you are in good overall shape. Be prepared to throw yourself over 8ft walls, endless log, bucket and sand bag carries and even your javelin throw needs to be on point.
Because one important thing I haven’t mentioned yet. Every obstacle you fail or slip up on its 30 burpees. But who doesn’t love a burpee or 30 !
Something I offer with my services is training for these specific events. As an experienced OCR competitor I know the field, from prep to being on the field and it’s something I’m passionate about. Often I will train a client or a group and we will take on a course together. Team work and bonding at its best.
For those victorious, at the end of each spartan race is a well deserved medal, t-shirt and free beer or protein shake.
Plus you’ll have one bad ass fire jump facebook picture! What’s not to love.
You learn a lot about yourself when taking on these races. Beast especially is not to be underestimated. With the already horrendous hills and terrain at the Edinburgh beast, we saw a lot of very fit and able racers pull out due to the cold weather. A reminder to all that preparation is key. But for those that do survive the taste of glory is the sweetest.
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