Ask The Pro: What are the basics of OCR Training

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I got an email from an athlete asking for help with training, and he said:
Coach,
I am seriously considering your suggestion about OCR and have two questions:
  • What are the key exercises to focus on for training?
  • What skills are necessary to learn and practices for OCR? or better said what baseline skills do you need to compete?
Thanks, with gratitude,
Ryan
Hi Ryan!
OCR is half running and half obstacles. So running matters. For that train much like you would for any trail running event of that distance but mix in some vo2 max efforts bc your heart rate will be forced to spike during the events.As for the other half, you need to focus on skills and strength. Everyone is different so you need to find what your weaknesses are. Lucky for you the first race will tell you 🙂
For most grip strength is a big issue. Also core. All of the hanging tasks require intense core strength to stay strong and ridged to get from hanging thing to hanging thing (bars, rings, rope). Also learn a few tricks like; how to do a j-hook for rope climbing so it’s legs not forearms and how to throw a spear. The rest of the workouts you will want to do is basically upper body stuff like pull ups, push ups, multi directional shoulders raises, lay pull down etc.
You may need to do legs too in part for running and in part for some of the carries if you struggle hiking with 50-100 lbs of weight. I strongly suggest Warrior Pak gloves for adding to you grip strength and hand protection. Also the calf sleeves have shin pads that are critical for the rope climb and crawls and walls. The arm sleeves will also keep you warm if it’s cold and wet and it’s always wet because of the water!
Good luck!

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