Regardless if this is your first OCR or you’re a seasoned racer coming back for more, proper training is a must if you want to get the most out of the event and stay injury free before and during the event.
First and foremost, make sure that some of your training is done off road on trails, many OCR participants I’ve spoken with had done all of their training on roads or a track and when they got on to the event course were shocked at how different and how much more difficult trail running is.
Ideally you should be doing 4 training sessions a week that are running focused or incorporate a running section, gradually building the distance and intensity of the training over numerous weeks leading up to the event, at least 2 of these sessions should aim to be on trails.
Two Key Running Session You Need To Do
Fartlek (speed play) sessions are a great way to build speed and endurance. Fartlek involves varying your pace during your run, alternating between slow jogs and fast pace. It differs from traditional interval training in the fact that it is unstructured, rather than involving specific measured or timed sections it is based more on how the body feels during the session.
HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) sessions mixed with a body weight circuit session will build speed, strength, cardio fitness, core strength and endurance all wrapped up neatly in a single training session. This involves short high intensity bursts of cardio with adequate rest between sets blended with high intensity bodyweight exercises, an example session may look like this:
Example: Hill sprint HIIT session with circuit
Use a hill gradient of 10% plus
Part 1 Hill sprints 15-20 secs jog down rpt 15-20 times
Part 2: Body weight circuit session
squats x 20 (jumping or static depending on fitness level)
lunges x 20 each leg (jumping or walking)
press ups x 20 (try different variations like side, jumping, close grip)
hand walkouts (walk the hands out in front of you until you on your toes then back)
triceps dip to failure (use a park bench
Finish with a stretch session
Running with friends or joining a club will help you to remain motivated and most importantly will help keep your training fun and inspiring. Fun is a major part of OCR, it’s worth making sure that the whole experience from training to the event is just that, fun and enjoyable.