How to Survive an Obstacle Course Race

October 19, 2015 - By: Sarah Pease

OCRs appeal to everyone from the casual weekend warrior, to the seasoned runner looking for a new challenge and adrenaline rush. And while an OCR differs from traditional road races, it’s still important to properly prepare so you’re standing (mostly) upright at the end.

Here are five training approaches to try:

  1. Vary Your Training An OCR is nonstop action: finish one obstacle and there’s another one almost immediately waiting to be conquered.
    Interval training mixes high and low-intensity exercises, which gives you the best conditioning to handle whatever crosses your path.
  2. Connect with Your Inner Child Visit a park and
    use a bench for push-ups and dips, or try jumping over a picnic table. Stop by a playground to practice balancing on beams and find your rhythm on the monkey bars.
  3. Think Outside the Norm Start seeing your world as one big obstacle course. Bear crawl through concrete culverts and embrace all the muddy trails you can find, since you’re going to be covered from head-to-toe on race day anyway.
  4. Go Off the Beaten Path Obstacle course race = off-road, so skip the asphalt. Simulate your race conditions by running up and down steep hills or on gravel and sand. Anything that helps you get used to running on uneven terrain.
  5. Use the Buddy System As the saying goes, misery loves company, so
    grab a friend and start practicing your teamwork. A partner will help keep you accountable and give you a glimpse into what to expect from each other on race day. Tell us if you have, or would try an OCR in the comments!

Photo Credit: Tough Mudder


Now that you know what it takes to train for an OCR race, set up your next race on and create an event any OCR enthusiast will be sure to love.