This time we’ve asked Frank van Lieshout, a dutch OCR athlete to share his story and tips. Even though he has only been an obstacle course runner for one year now, he already competed at the OCR EC of 2016 in The Netherlands and OCRWC 2016 in Canada.
Obstacle Course Racing: Why did I start?
A year ago, in February of 2016, I had a goal. My goal was to find a new challenge or sport where I could discover how much I could get out of my physical and mental strength. I was looking for something that would help me push my limits. I have found this in obstacle course racing. I’m an OCR fan for one year now and since then I have been at the OCR EC in The Netherlands and the OCR World Championships in Canada. I am sure that I will be an obstacle course racer for many years to come! Before I discovered OCR I have been climbing, running, hiking and did survival and some other outdoors sports.
How to make the streets & outdoors your training area
Last season I prepared myself for the races by creating my own outdoor workouts. While I was running on the streets I would look around for obstacles. I would use improvised obstacles outside like bridges, walls and other objects where I could train my climbing skills and grip strength. Another thing that I did was taking some ropes with me and then create my own obstacle in a park. Furthermore I have also visited several obstacle and boulder gyms to train a bit more specific. Since I have a survival sports background, which is also a very popular sport in The Netherlands, I already knew a lot of techniques that are very useful for obstacle running.
Not all people have the opportunity to train with the kind of obstacles that are used at OCR runs. Not everyone has OCR training or boulder gym facilities nearby. So it can be difficult to prepare yourself specifically for competitive runs such as the OCR EC or OCRWC.
You can train your basis strength and endurance by training your grip strength, this can be done just like I did: go outside and see which objects are suitable for training your grip strength. In addition regular exercises like push-ups and pull-ups will help you prepare as well. However to fully prepare yourself for such a technical event as OCR EC your have to improve your technique skills. In my opinion the best way to specifically learn this is at a obstacle location or OCR training gym where someone can teach you the required techniques.
My journey to OCR EC 2017
This season I do my training and preparation more professional than last year. I have been on a training camp last winter to prepare myself for this season. In 2016 I finished 19th at the European Championship. This year my goal is to get better results and rank higher. I will train hard to achieve this! Hope to see you at the OCR EC 2017 in Frankfurt! You can follow my journey to the OCR EC 2017 and check out my OCR training activities via Instagram @Frankvanlieshoutathlete and Facebook www.facebook.com/Frankvanlieshoutathlete