What is OCR?
Obstacle Course Racing (OCR) has exploded in popularity the world over in the past four years. Just in the United States, over 2 million men and women participated in obstacles races or mud runs in 2012. OCR harkens back to what we used to do as kids on the playground, run around, jump over stuff, climb things, and get dirty while doing it.
Although still in it’s infancy, the sport is gaining ground, with races popping up all over the country and athletes becoming professionals in the sport. Margaret “Dirt in your Skirt” Schlachter gave up her day job last July to ‘go OCR pro’ on a full time basis. And Hobie Call (http://www.hobiecall.com) is “the Man’ when it comes to Spartan races, having placed 1st in 22 out of the 31 races in which he competed over the past year. You know a sport is serious business when there’s a magazine dedicated to it: Obstacle Racing Magazine (hotlink: http://www.obstacleracingmagazine.com).
A mix of trail and cross country running along with road racing intermingled with random, crazy obstacles that test your agility, speed, endurance, strength and overall chutzpah.
How to Train:
Preparing for an obstacle race or mud run requires you channel your inner child along with your rebellious nature. It’s about letting go, having fun, and pushing yourself to limits you never knew you had.
Training is best done on a course that includes a mixture of running, climbing and crawling. The race terrain should vary and the challenges will include monkey bars, cargo nets and ropes, hurdle jumps, water obstacles and wriggling your way through some serious mud pits.
Training courses are modified to fit beginners to hard-core OCR participants, allowing each to build stamina, strength and speed.
Tips to Get Race-Ready:
- Race with a team of friends or family.
- A positive mental outlook is just as important as your physical readiness.
- Don’t train to the point of stressing yourself out.
- Put your body through a similar workout regimen as the race you’re running.
- Perform circuits of running and include sets of burpees, jumping, push-ups, pull-ups, crawling and climbing.
- Above all, have FUN!
Benefits of Obstacle Course Fitness:
As with all sports, there are many physical (and mental) perks to OCR. Besides incredible stress relief, social interaction, and having a whole heckuva lotta fun, Obstacle Course Racing benefits your fitness in these ways.
- Overall body strength
- Core strength
- Tough Mudder
- Muddy Buddy
- Spartan Race
- Iron Warrior Dash
- GoRuck Challenge
- Superhero Scramble
- Hero Rush
- Epic Race Arena
- Foam Fest 5K
- Big Sur Mud Run
- Hollister Ranch Romp