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  • About VJ
  • August 23, 2023 3 min read

    So you signed up for that OCR race your friends kept bugging you to try and now you have no clue where to start with training. Don’t panic, it’s not as scary as it looks on the YouTube videos.

    You are going to want to focus on two things, cardio and strength training.

    That doesn’t mean becoming an Olympic sprinter or the next world's strongest lifter. What it does mean is getting familiar with how much you can stay committed to your training. The hardest part is getting started because you are going to be uncomfortable and you are going to be confused.

    It is very important to remember that no one was ever an expert at anything the first time they tried it, so go easy on yourself and stay determined!

    There are many ways to get into strength training and they are all going to be beneficial to accomplishing your goals. You can sign up for classes at your local CrossFit gym, hire a personal trainer, follow instructional videos on the internet, or grab some sweet 80’s VHS workout tapes out of your parents attic.

    Whatever route you choose, focus on your form instead of how much weight you can move because nothing slows down training more than injury. The goal is to build strength and get your body used to moving in ways you don’t normally do on a day to day basis but could experience in an OCR race.

    One or two sessions a week is a good start and will be much easier to stay consistent in the beginning. Working up to two or three days is a great goal and will really crank up the results of your training.

    It is also very important to give yourself days between workouts for rest as your muscles need this to build strength safely and efficiently.

    Before you know it, you will be in a routine and find yourself looking forward to your workouts instead of dreading them. You will be amazed by your strength as you’re carrying a sandbag up the side of a mountain, scaling monkey bars, or carrying all your groceries in the house in a single trip. Either way you are going to be strong enough to push through any obstacle you come across because you stuck with your training. 

    Cardio training for a race is going to be just as if not more important than your strength training. Even though you’re an awesome combination of strength, determination, and will go through just about anything to get that sweet finisher medal, you need enough fuel in the tank to get you there. It doesn’t matter if you are the strongest person to toe the start line if you run out of steam before the finish.

    So whether you’ve got miles of trail systems, a high school track, some local neighborhoods to use, or a treadmill, it’s time to get those steps in!

    Your hips, legs, ankles, feet, and toes are going to get the most use during any OCR/trail race you do. This means they are going to need to get used to moving, A LOT! Depending on your level of fitness you can start with a mile walk or go for a nice mile run. Each time you go out for a run try to do a little more distance than last time. The more miles you can comfortably complete the bigger that fuel tank will be on race day. Your cardio sessions can be a great way to spend your off days for strength training, or can be mixed into the same day. 

    Now that you have built yourself into a strong, and efficient beast of an athlete, you are ready to slap on your bib and crush that race! Make sure you stay hydrated and smile for that finisher photo! 

    Vinny Romano @vinny_romano88