Cross Training For OCR Racing: Beyond Running and Strength Training

Its here, the end of the season. The last races have come and gone. The final finisher metals earned and hung up. the race tee shirts are accumulated and stuffed in your dresser too. Hopefully you took a bit of a break and rested (see my prior post on this). And ideally you are now mentally and physically ready to rock. But here is the thing. For most of us the OCR season is still a long ways off. If your next race isn’t until spring or summer the big question is how can you train now, and not burn out?

The answer is that this is the time to cross train. Not the cross training we all do for OCR, which requires it, but the cross training we can do that is not required. The first think I want to talk about is what can we do for workouts. In general this is anything but running and OCR strength training. Sounds vast right? Well it is, and that’s the point! Expand yourself. Rock climb, do some cycling. Ski (cross country/Nordic is killer hard and good for you), swim, do triathlon training or maybe even a race, row, or do the indoor rowing machine, hike, play soccer, football or basketball, or even surf (sick upper body workout and will help you be more comfortable in the water). While those are my favorite, really anything and everything is good this time of year.

Now here is the why you should park the running and OCR training for a bit: First is that different sports work different muscles. This means you will be a better, more well rounded athlete. Also being more well rounded you will be less injury prone and less prone to over use injuries since you will be building fitness without the repetitive movements that come from OCR racing. But most importantly its fun! Keeping training fun, and mentally fresh is key to a long hard season. Do that and you will not only be a better, fitter athlete when its time to start training again, but you will be hungrier and more motivated when you need to be.

Photo: OWP gloves make GREAT cycling gloves if you want to get on a bike! 

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