Charles is 24-year-old OCR athlete and personal trainer from Saalfeld, a small town in Germany. He will be competing at The OCR European Championship in Germany in the Elite category. Charles was a swimmer from 2003 until 2008 when he started his career as a biathlon athlete. He finished this career in 2012 and has been doing all kinds of endurance sports ever since. We wanted to know more about this driven young athlete! Check out the interview we did with him.
How did you get involved in Obstacle Course Racing and what was your first obstacle race?
In the summer of 2012 my father was doing some research for small running events in our region. After taking part in a few races we found an event which is called ‘Getting Tough The Race’. This was my first Obstacle Race. Since this time I´m a real OCR addict!
What do you love most about OCR?
Most of all I like the variety of OCR. Each location and race is unique and no competition is like another. The obstacles are constantly evolving, just like the entire OCR community.
What do you think are the most important features for an obstacle racer?
It´s not important to be the fastest runner. If you want to win races you have to be an all-round athlete and work hard to achieve that. You need mental strength, upper body strength and a lot of grip strength.
What do you think makes you such a well-performing bstacle course racer?
Most of my energy is drawn from my mental strength. My ambition drives me to achieve my goals and work very hard. But the most important thing is that I do everything with fun and passion.
What are your OCR goals?
This year I want to reach a top 10 finish at the OCR WC and finish top 5 at OCR EC. Next year my goal is to try the Survival Run in Nicaragua.
How do you prepare for races?
The basis for my training is running. In average, I run 100 km per week. In addition, I have updated some of my running units with strength, agility and balance training. Every week I try to train different obstacles to learn some new techniques.
How did you get sponsors and can you give others some tips and advice about this?
To get sponsors, you have to be able to inspire other people. It is important to show them what it means to be an athlete and why you are doing OCR. Social Media like Facebook and Instagram are getting more and more important for companies. A sponsor supports you when you reach people, so it’s important to focus on this. For some projects like international Championships, crowdfunding is a very interesting alternative.
What kind of mistakes do you often see people make or what kind of misconceptions have you noticed when it comes to training, recovery and or participation in a race?
The most common mistake is unilateral training. A lot of athletes waste their time with lifting weights all the time. This won’t help you as much as being a better runner will. You need to be an all-round athlete and your training should be varied too. To be an all-round athlete also means you need to give your body a break too. During the competition, some competitors act too hastily. Stay cool and do your own race! Don´t care about what the others do. Most important thing: Always compete and train with a smile 🙂
What are your favourite products when it comes to training and obstacle racing?
My favourite shoes for competition are the ASICS GEL Fuji-Lyte. They are lightweight and have an awesome grip. With the drainage, the water runs off very well. To prepare for a better grip strength I often use a Powerball. This is a nice little gadget, which can be taken everywhere.
Charles Franzke will represent Germany in Elite division at The OCR European Championship on June 4. Will he reach his goal to finish top 5? You can follow his OCR adventures and training on Instagram (@pferde_lunge) and www.facebook.com/charles.franzke