Article Submitted by Strong Momma Jaime
**Disclaimer: I am in no way claiming expertise in this article. I am not a professional trainer or elite OCR racer, so please take this advice as mere suggestions to help you on your own journey.**
Here are some Training tips I have learned in the past year
1. Running. Get used to it! Run at least 3-4 days a week. Be able to run at least a mile to a mile and a half without stopping.
2. Strength Training. START. Lift free weights. Just do it. Start doing burpees, pull-ups, push-ups, lunges and squats. If you don’t know where to start, get a beginners fitness DVD that has a weight-lifting component to it.
3. Train outside. Run on a trail, hill, or mountain. Get used to running/walking on rough terrain. Most of these courses are on Ski Mountains and farms and some of the running is in the woods. There are rocks, stumps, roots and mud. Running on a treadmill or track will help you, but if you want to have a slight edge, get outside. Rain or shine.
4. Nutrition. Start cleaning out your cabinets and get rid of processed foods. Try and eat all whole foods for at least 30 days.
Alcohol. This is a BIG one…and not everyone will agree with me. But, I have a reason for NOT drinking while you are training. I used to drink. What’s the first thing I wanted to do in the morning when I woke up the next day after drinking? NOTHING. The last thing I felt like doing was run, or do a workout DVD. I was just kicking myself over and over. If you are serious about training, stop or limit drinking for a little while and see how you feel.
5. Get your kids involved. Involving your whole family will not only benefit you, but your kids as well. Hiking with our boys is a way to get everyone away from electronics and get outside in the fresh air. Put a backpack on with some weight in it, pack some water and snacks and head outside. Our last hike was 3 miles on a small mountain close to us. Our two year old couldn’t walk the whole time so we switched carrying him at times; it was like carrying heavy things in a race.
7. Get your friends involved. If at all possible, get together with a group of friends and train on the weekends. Or, grab a group from your work and sign up for an OCR as a team. Once you sign up, that’s it! You have to be somewhat prepared.
Here are some Post-race tips I have learned in the past year
1. Modesty. Leave it at home. The outdoor, open hose showers, the one huge (dark) changing tents make you feel a bit insecure, but once you have done it more than once, you get used to it. I actually walked into the Men’s changing tent by accident at the BattleFrog race this year. I was talking on the phone to my son and I walked right in! I might have seen a few back-sides, got totally embarrassed and walked right out. The cool thing is, no one really cared.
2. Bra. This is REALLY important. Bring a regular bra with you for AFTER the race, not another sports bra. I had a hard enough time in that stuffy changing tent taking my racing bra off. I brought another dry sports bra to change into after the race. But, I was so hot and sweaty, trying to get that thing on was another obstacle in itself! I actually had to ask the woman standing next to me to help me get it on.
3. Photos. After your race, no matter how tired and muddy you are, immediately go to the bag check and get your camera/cell phones out and take post-race photos. If you are by yourself, ask someone to take one of you. I did that at one of my most recent races. My husband was still out on the course and I walked up to a complete stranger, after I crossed the finish line, and asked them to take a photo of me with my medal on. Then, to pay it forward, I took one of her and her friend. Then, later in the day, I offered another stranger my help in taking a photo of her.
4. Hydrate. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate after your race! Especially if it was hot and the sun was beating down on you most of the time. Grab all of the “free” post race fuel they pass out at the finish line.
5. Bruises. Don’t be surprised if over the next few days your body begins to show many, many bruises! After my first Spartan sprint, thanks to the bucket brigade, I had so many bruises on my arms and legs; it looked like I had been beaten up! I had to explain to a lot people what had happened!
In closing, I will say this: the OCR community is amazing. If you have no one in your circle to train with or compete with in a race with, make the commitment to sign up and show up. Just know this: you will never be alone on that obstacle course.
But the more important angle of this article is: You CAN do it. No matter your weight, your age, or your level of activity. Don’t be intimidated to try one, you will NEVER regret that decision, I promise you.