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CrossFit for Obstacle Course Racing

CrossFit for Obstacle Course Racing
Published: 28/10/2016

Obstacle course racing (OCR) has become a very popular activity for many people and with this many new obstacle course type races now exist. From the Spartan Races, Tough Mudder, The Holt Bolt and Operation Blackhawk there are many opportunities to have fun. You may be looking at entering one of these races or want to improve on your previous race times and want to know what's a great way of training for this type of sport. We see CrossFit as being a great training method for OCR. Below we will cover why we believe using CrossFit training for your OCR will help you prepare to be the best you can be on race day.

Grip Strength

If your job does not entail much physical labour carrying objects it is likely that you do not have adequate grip strength to hang from bars, climb ropes, carry objects and pull someone over an obstacle like a obstacle course race may require of you. Grip is a huge factor in CrossFit as we use both weightlifting and gymnastics (bar and ring work) to increase strength. Without an increase in grip strength it is hard to improve your pull ups or workouts that involve the barbell, kettle bell or dumbbell. Having a stronger grip will allow you to hold on to get over that well or stay on the monkey bars even though the bar is slippery.

We run outdoors

Treadmill running is running but it will never come close to the feeling of being outside running up hills, against the wind and surrounded by other people like in a race. We incorporate running into works and also do workouts involving just running to improve our ability to run faster and recover between work sets which is similar to approaching an obstacle. If you have to wait you can recover better like you would have been in training with us while you wait, bringing your heart rate and breathing rate down.

Constantly varied workouts

CrossFit is based around keeping the training constantly varied (this does not mean random, there should always be a structure in place). We incorporate functional movements using your large muscle groups to efficiently move our bodies and external weight. You never know what you are going to face in a CrossFit workout and how different movements combine together can be quite surprising just like you never know what obstacles the race organisers are going to throw in to test you. This is not only great training for your body but also your mental strength enabling you to keep working and not let fear of something new stop you in your tracks.

Work as a team

In OCR racing you run your own race but are surrounded by people doing the same thing. In CrossFit you complete the workout yourself but are surrounded by people doing the same workout (at times a scaled version of it). Sounds much the same doesn't it? Your team is there to support you and push you to be better, sometimes with a healthy dose of competitiveness. If you have never trained in this environment before you will be surprised how much more effort you put in when other people are going through the same workout with you.

CrossFitters love a challenge

You may be looking for a group of people to do OCR with. By training with CrossFitters, even if they are not into OCR yet they are very likely to give it a red hot go with you.

So if you are still keen to get training for your next Obstacle Course Race come chat to us about how we can help. We are already gearing up for the Spartan Races next February, you could be a part of the team!


Written by Coach Luke McCracken

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