Note - this is NOT a plyometric exercise!
Plyometrics have been in my regimen since I was a kid. I am a slow-twitch, endurance athlete through and through. The days I saw my fastest times and least injuries, were the days I consistently incorporated plyometric drills into my training. Now that I’m in Obstacle Course Racing- a sport that demands a more diverse range of physical abilities- I find it even more necessary to work on speed, explosive strength, body awareness, balance and coordination. In this sport, the more well rounded you are physically, the more you’ll get out of your performance on race day.
Studies suggest regularly incorporating plyometrics can improve:
Coming from an athlete who balances training with a full time job, a family, and a coaching business, I can tell you it is a worthwhile endeavor to carve an extra 15 minutes, 3-5 times per week, out of your training time to dedicate to a plyo routine.
Everyone can benefit from plyos from beginners to elite athletes. When starting to incorporate plyometrics, start slow, with basic drills and gradually add more dynamic movements.
Here are 10 Plyo Drills I recommend: (See all these exercises in this YouTube Video)
*Start and finish with strides out and back
Mark Batres is an OCR athlete and competitive runner, coach, father, husband and all around awesome addition to the VJ team in 2020.
In 2018, Mark finished 7th at the Spartan Race World Championship and ranked 7th overall in the Spartan US National points series, with his best race being 3rd place finish at the Spartan Super in Chicago. His success in Spartan racing comes as no surprise as he comes from an elite level running background. Mark is a five time NCAA All-American in Track and Field and Cross Country and US Olympic Trials Marathon qualifier, with a personal best of 2:19.
In 2018, after 10 years of coaching endurance athletes as a side endeavor, Mark launched his coaching business, MGB Racing. While he aspires to win races, Mark finds just as much satisfaction from helping others achieve their goals.
Despite all his athletic success, Mark credits his wife and two amazing boys as his greatest accomplishment. He is, on all accounts, a devoted husband and father above all else.
Here’s a couple of quick tips to help you prepare for those events along with a couple more than will help you get ready for Ultra-OCRs once full on race season resumes.