This is a repost from my previous blog about how I trained for an Obstacle Course Race
Having completed my first obstacle course race (OCR), I have a better idea of what type of training you need to perform well. Even though I was happy with my finish, I know I could have done better. I now have a goal to beat for next year’s Superhero Scramble. Here is a training program I designed, which I would start 5-6 weeks out from the event.
In each of the weight training sessions, rest no more than 1 minute between sets. Always make sure to warm up properly before starting.
Back Squat – 3 sets of 10 at 80% One Rep Max
Dumbbell Walking Lunge – 3 sets of 10 lunges each leg
Deadlifts – 3 sets of 10 at 80% One Rep Max
Straight Leg Deadlifts – 3 sets of 10 at 75% One Rep Max
Stability Ball Hamstring Curls – 3 sets of 15
Bodyweight Calf Raise – 3 sets of 30
Raised Calf Farmer’s Walk – 3 sets to fatigue
Plank – 3 sets at 1 minute hold
Russian V Twist – 3 sets of 10
Hanging Leg Raise – 3 sets of 10
Strong legs are the foundation of being able to power up hills and pulling your legs out of mud. There were two different obstacles in my race that involved carrying deadweight (a cinder block and sand bag) through muck, mud, and mire. The farmer’s walk will build your endurance and strength for similar obstacles. A strong core is also needed for maintaining balance over balance beams and going downhill.
As you build toward the half way point of your training in week 3 or 4, you may want to increase the number of sets for squats, lunges, and deadlifts while decreasing the weight slightly. On your last week, decrease all weight and go back to just 3 sets.
30 minutes of running or bike
This is a race, so if you haven’t already built up your running endurance, you need to start.
Pull ups – 5 sets of 10
Bent over Row – 3 sets of 10 at 70% one rep max
Back extension – 3 sets of 12
Push ups – 5 sets of 10
Triceps dips – 3 sets of 10
Triceps Pull Down – 3 sets of 10 at 70% one rep max
You’ll need the back strength for all the climbing you’ll be doing. The triceps strength will help with climbing walls. As with Monday’s work out, try to increase the sets while decreasing weight at about the mid point in your training.
30 minutes of hill runs
Find a descent hill in your neighborhood, one that has a challenging incline and is at least 50 yards or more. Simply run up and down the hill for at least 30 minutes. This will strengthen you mentally and physically for the hill running you will face.
5 Rounds of the following, with one to two minute rest in between each round:
100 meter jog
10 Box Jumps
3 reps of Monkey Bar Swings (Swing from one end of the monkey bars to the other – that’s one rep)
10 Chin Ups
Bear Crawl 30 yards
This is a playground workout. You can do the box jumps on a park bench, which there is usually one right by the monkey bars. I recommend wearing a pair of gloves, as the first time I did the monkey bar swings, I ended up with two large blisters on my hands. This work out is more focused around training your body to do the different moves you’ll find with obstacles like mud crawls and ring swings.
This run is meant to build your overall endurance for long distance running. If your race is shorter, say less than 4 or 5 miles, then you may want to try and run at least 5 to 6 miles. If it is longer, then you will want to try to match the distance but nothing less than 2 to 3 miles shorter. If you haven’t been running these distances until now, try to up your distance to about 10% of the distance you ran on your Tuesday run. Increase it by that 10% each week.
Personally, I like to have at least covered the distance that my run is going to be by about two weeks out before tapering off the following week. This is so I can know mentally what to expect.
Take a rest so you can recover and be ready to go all over again on Monday.