When we run an obstacle course, it is necessary to know which parameters are required in order for us to do better next time (provided we want to). There are several variables to keep in mind if we want to perform optimally, we call this “requirement profile”
Having the right mindset is relevant to training in general, not just to running obstacle courses.
Most participants seem to prefer an obstacle course with a length varying between three to eight miles (4,8 km – 12,8 km), although there are some courses long enough to equal half a marathon with some actually being the full length of one. It is paramount to figure out how long an obstacle course should be to best suit you individually, and to focus on that.
We are all beginners at some point and it is important to know that it is nothing to be ashamed of.
Quite the opposite, in fact: it is a big deal, taking the plunge, and something to be proud of.
If you are a beginner it is obviously better for you to start with shorter runs. As you progress through your training you will become better acquainted with your muscles fibers. Eventually you will be able to use that knowledge to your advantage, allowing you to plan ahead how to sprint or to set a higher overall pace for the entire race.
Ask yourself: when I am training or competing, what are my goals? Your workout should reflect a fun and achievable end-game while using the proper tools as you approach them.
We are all born with different amounts of the various muscle cell types. If you have more muscle cells like type II and IIx you can run faster and are more like a sprinter and a shorter run would be more beneficial. If you have more of type I, you are better at a longer stretch (you can read more about this in our book). Women generally have more type I muscle cells than men, but even here it varies between individuals. Most people that train regularly have an inkling of what distance works best for them.
It is a good idea to figure out what type of muscle cells you have if you haven’t already thought about it. However, if you only recently made the decision to start training it is more important to do something you enjoy rather than delving into the specifics.
To get the exact composition of your muscle cells you need to do a muscle biopsy. Each muscle needs to be tested individually and it is frankly very painful. Unfortunately, there is really no other way to determine what type of muscle fibers you are made of.
A muscle biopsy is not for everyone, nor is it necessarily something you have to do, but it may be interesting to know that these variations exist. More importantly, it is quite helpful to know that your muscles are likely better suited to a certain type of training.
For OCR your running performance is not the only parameter that determines your overall performance. It is a full body competition and you need to have a good combination of both strength and endurance.
Which are the most demanding exercises that you need to do in order to come as prepared as possible?
To perform as well as possible you need to be aware of certain factors. Primarily, you need to know your max heart rate, your fitness level (VO2max) and you lactate threshold. You can read more about those tests in the “Tests” section of our webpage: www.functionalbasics.com/tests
In your workouts, you need to alternate between strength and endurance. Also, keep in mind the importance of increasing your VO2max and lactate threshold.
The higher your VO2max level you have the faster your muscles will regenerate energy.
You should also ask yourself: how long can you hold on to a ring? How many pullups/ ring rows can I do?
Clean and deadlift are also great exercises to increase your strength and power.
There are of course many factors, but these are a handful that you may need to take in consideration.