Olympic fever? Try obstacle course racing
Are you glued to the television? Are you practicing your sprint when you take out the bins? Does the mention of gold bring you out in an excited rash? If so, you have Olympic fever. Great Britain’s phenomenal performance in this year’s Olympic Games seems to have captured everyone’s attention and imagination, and more than a few of us have been inspired by the blood, sweat and tears we’ve see under the Brazilian sun. One way to live out your Olympic fantasies is through the recent trend of obstacle course racing (OCR). These muddy challenges might seem completely impossible, but with enough training, enough know-how and the right nutrition they are feasible for anyone.
Science in Sport’s OCR training booklet sums up all the latest science, condensing it into a training plan that is incredibly easy to use. After a short introduction to whet your appetite for the sport’s unexpected twists and turns, the first chapter provides a training plan for a short distance race, between 5 and 7km. The plan includes plenty of cardio, as well as upper and lower body strength training. The six-week plan includes three rest days a week, making it easy to fit in. Moving to the follow section, there is a training plan for middle distances, 8 to 12km. This is more intense, with a focus on sprints, pull ups/chin ups and longer runs to build endurance, but there are still two rest days a week. The third chapter assumes that you can already run around 13km or have previously done other courses. There are still two rest days, but there is more focus on endurance and you’ll be running up to 30km a week, as well as strength training.
The final part is arguably the most important, discussing the best way to fuel your body for this feat of endurance. You need to eat your best for the best performance. The guide explains when to eat and what sort of food you should be consuming for different types of training. It provides a nutrition plan and an explanation about the different nutrients your body needs, as well as discussing the best way to fuel yourself for race day, how to recover afterwards and all the things you might need on the day. The OCR training guide is easy to use and promises that if you train and eat like an Olympian, you’ll be crossing the finish line like one too.
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Photo: Steven L Shepard/Presidio of Monterey