What is OCR and why train for it?
Obstacle course racing (OCR) is a rapidly growing sport in which participants compete and cooperate to get through a series of obstacles, mental challenges, rugged terrain, and, of course, mud. OCR has taken off in the last few years with many different events popping up across the U.S. and internationally. The biggest names in the sport are Spartan Race and Tough Mudder, along with many others that exclusively do 5k races such as Warrior Dash, Savage Race, and Rugged Maniac. While all of these races promise obstacles, mud, and a beer at the end, they vary in their mentality.
Each race series has its own feel that includes one of three primary focuses: muddy fun, compete, and endure. Spartan Race, for example, is focused primarily on competition. Spartan Race founder Joe De Sena believes that OCR should have a place in the Olympics and shapes his events to be athletic proving grounds. Spartan events are timed and have a penalty of 30 burpees for every missed obstacle. Spartan events range from a 5k with 20+ obstacles (Sprint) to a 26 mile race with 60+ obstacles (Ultra Beast).
Tough Mudder events, on the other hand, focus more on endure and camaraderie. A full Tough Mudder is a 10-12 mile event that tests participants physically and mentally with obstacles that involve freezing cold water, heights, electricity, and even tear gas. The Tough Mudder and Tough Mudder Half were historically not timed and focused more on finishing the race and encouraging and working with your fellow mudders throughout the course. Only recently has Tough Mudder has added a timed option to their main race, though they have offered competition at the next level with World’s Toughest Mudder: a 24-hour long race of a 5 mile course with even more ridiculous obstacles than the normal race.
Many people who experience any OCR event firsthand come away with a feeling of accomplishment and a boost to their self esteem. Suddenly small challenges in life don’t seem so difficult after having conquered 12 miles of mud and obstacles. At Legendary Fitness, we believe that obstacle course training isn’t just for the young, athletic, or insane, but that it can benefit people of all ages and fitness levels, whatever your goals are. There’s no mud in the gym, but our workouts include training to improve stability and balance that’ll help you slog through the muddy course or just walk over an uneven patch of grass. Our clients continuously compete against their own stats from last month, and their progress serves to motivate and inspire. Every workout at Legendary Fitness is a new challenge that can be overcome with endurance, persistence, and the help of the people around you.
We use OCR training to make fitness fun but challenging, and competitive but cooperative, to help our clients experience accomplishment and camaraderie every day. Whether your goal is to endure your first obstacle race, compete in a longer event, or have more muddy fun while keeping up with your kids, we at Legendary Fitness are here to help you achieve your goals and overcome any obstacle.