How to prepare for an OCR Race: sprint & long distance
OCR EC 2017 will be a multi-facet championship! You will have to focus on endurance, but also strength and speed. From now on we will share tips and experiences from OCR athletes with you. European and international athletes will share their experiences on how they prepare for OCR runs and how they stay fit and get stronger. If you want to share your tips about preparation, exercise routines or nutrition to inspire other athletes, feel free to contact us.
The first athlete to kick off is Tim Laielli. He’s a very passionate OCR athlete from the United States and he describes his approach for training for both a sprint race and long distance run.
The most important skill to master is the ability to prepare
Obstacle course races are all unique, but the most important skill to master is the ability to prepare. A strong finish in a 5-8km race requires explosive speed and strength, while a 20-25km race requires stamina, endurance, and grit. In both scenarios it is important to be able to manage your heart rate in high stress situations.
OCR sprint races
When approaching a sprint-style race, I allocate a lot of energy toward pull-ups, squats, and deadlifts. I’ll play around with farmer/bucket carries to build upper body strength as well, and my time spent running is limited. Short, strong interval runs of 400-800 meters help build on my strength without losing speed. I love 400/800m hill sprints too! Time in the gym represented about 80% of my training, while running was roughly 20%. I really make sure I am eating a lot during this stage of preparation as we are focusing on muscle growth and development.
OCR long distance races
A competitive finish in a 20km race requires a solid training base of distance running. For my last race, I was hardly in the gym because I was running trails 4 days a week. I would average about 50km a week, which allowed me to lean out while building the ability to run for 3+ hours without significant fatigue. My preparation (and success!) on a long distance OCR requires roughly 80% of my training to be spent running through the woods on rocky terrain. The remaining 20% of my training is spent on basic lifts to retain as much strength as possible, because endurance is my primary focus going into races over 2 hours. Make sure to enter these races with proper hydration and nutrition, as you will need to eat on the course.
The human body is capable of incredible things, but preparation is most critical for your success.
Written by: Tim Laielli
Texas, United States
You can follow Tim and his OCR adventures and training on his website www.barefoottim.com and on his Instagram @barefoottim