It is almost Obstacle Course Race season here in New England. That means there will be weekends of hard races, long races, fun races, fast races and every other kind of race too. The one thing that all of these races have in common – they challenge you and your muscles in some way or another.
So you should prepare. And, while there is no right way to prepare, there is a common theme – test your muscles, test your endurance, and test your muscle endurance. You need to focus on your cardiovascular output while using your muscles.
It’s likely that you will need to run. It’s likely that you will need to climb, either hand over hand or one step at a time. It’s likely that you will have to push. It’s likely that at one point, you will be faced with the uncomfortable [the strangely fun kind of uncomfortable]. So, the best advice, train for everything.
And, bring your Wreck Bag along for the training adventure.
- Start with the Basics: A strong foundation will translate into performance on race day. Build your strength, build your cardiovascular endurance, and build your grip strength.
Try Wreck Bag squats, lunges, curls, presses and high pulls.
Wreck Bag high knees, Wreck Bag toe taps and a favorite in the world of OCR, Wreck Bag burpees
Try Wreck Bag run/walk,
For Grip Strength:
Always remember you can hold onto the bag itself and not only the handles. The Wreck Bag Mini is an ideal tool to build grip strength. Hold the bag during jumping jacks and you will build grip strength and endurance in one shot.
- Know your Strengths & Weaknesses: You are going to need to balance cardiovascular training and strength training. If you are just starting out, you may need to focus attention on an equal balance of both. As you work through the training, pay careful attention to strengths and weaknesses or deficiencies. Maybe this means turning your attention to an extra day of strength training. Maybe it means an extra day of mobility work. Or maybe it means an extra day of endurance and cardio based work. Make the training plan work for you.
- Get creative. Add variety: This is probably what drew you towards obstacle racing in the first place. No two races are exactly the same. But, they have some similarities. Use your Wreck Bag to simulate some obstacle racing favorites. Try a bear hug with the Wreck Bag in place of that gravel filled bucket. Try hoisting the bag. Throw it overhead and go retrieve it. Pull it across [the smooth surfaces ONLY] and push it back. Or everyone’s favorite — carry it up your favorite hill [challenge yourself here: replace the back hold for a front hold].
Make a plan and get started. The best part about obstacle racing is that it is a good fit for anyone. Adopt your integrated workouts – combine your walking/running with movements that mimic course challenges. Train accordingly and have fun.