4-0-300 Blog 007
I know that this late but better late than never.
By the time I ran the Calgary Spartan Sprint in August I had been waiting, from the time I found out about Spartan Race, for almost a year to run my first race. So needless to say I was excited to race and for me it exceeded all my expectations. After volunteering the next day in Calgary I was even more motivated to run in Red Deer. Red Deer was amazing and even compared to Calgary it was different enough that it pushed beyond my expectations again. It was so cool to find another sport I felt really at home in after burning out in skiing. It wasn’t only the competitive element but the comradery and community of the sport that made it a wicked place to be. Looking back on 2015 here were my thoughts on my first obstacle course racing season.
Starting with weaknesses and working up to the positives
My cardio endurance wasn’t where I would’ve liked and to me my training plan was clearly not run intensive enough. For a sport that is more running than anything else, that is going to change going forward especially as I want to do better in the short races and be able to complete some of the longer distance races
Plan: 3-4 runs a week, with at least 1 being a longer run in line with the Beast distance
Being that I failed pretty much the same obstacles in each race it’s easy to see what I need to work on obstacle wise.
Rope Climb, Monkey Bars and Wall Traverse – all grip strength based obstacles, all problems for me. None of my sporting background lends itself to these types of challenges, so it’s something I’ve never really been faced with or had to try to figure out how to get through. So while I’m not surprised I struggled with these, I am still disappointed.
Plan: Pull ups and Pullovers basically any exercise I can think of that work those muscles. I also that there are techniques to these obstacles so I’ve got to get studying and practicing.
Spear Throw – This one straight up pisses me off. Give me a baseball I’ll hit the catcher’s glove from the centerfield warning track. With a snowball I’ll peg you right in the ear, I can throw a football deep or make a touch pass right where I want. But give me a spear and I get awful really quick. The target is a good size, and I can’t even use the excuse of it hit and didn’t stick, I just miss.
Plan: There’s got to be technique I’m missing. Maybe I’ll build my own, although I don’t know how that would go with 2 little boys running around trying to steal it and throw it around, I’m guessing my wife wouldn’t be the biggest fan and probably rightly so.
Barbed wire – The roll technique is king, so I love barbed wire as I make up lots of time.
Moats – These are great; really helps you dial in to racing. Having the Reebok terrain series shoe will also help so now I won’t have squishy feet after.
Walls – Despite being short usually I can knock them out pretty quick with a pull up, push up to the top and hop over.
Tire Flip – Surprised myself with this one, an obstacle where being compact actually helps me.
Heavy load obstacles – This is where my training plan workouts clearly paid off the most. When you’re a lighter, smaller racer beating the Atlas stone, sandbag carry, tractor pull etc. is incredibly rewarding it also helps you know that all the hard work paid off.
Plan: While it would be easy to only focus on my weaknesses I want to still put in the same amount of work I have been putting in to creating my strengths, as I want to be the most complete racer I can be.
Overall thoughts on the season
Biggest thing is just how much fun OCR is. Whether you’re testing yourself on new obstacles, or running to set a new personal best there’s always a new challenge. The culture is also so awesome. You can run with a group of friends and have a great time or meet new people on the course when running by yourself. It’s cool to watch everyone around you pushing themselves, while also being able to help or be helped by you around an obstacle. When you sign up for your first race know that community will help you make it through, and when you run your first race watch all the help racers give each other.
Moving forward my goals for 2016 are the following.
Amount of Races
Ideal: 5 races building up to a Spartan Trifecta, the 2 non trifecta races would be with my wife and friends
Realistic: The Trifecta races
Ideal: Burpee free and finish under 50 minutes
Realistic: 50 to 55-minute race time
Red Deer Super
Ideal: Sub 2-hour mark and Burpee free
Realistic: 2 hours to 2.5 hours with 30-90 Burpees
Ideal: 5.5 to 6 hours’ finish time
Realistic: Finish, plain and simple
My other goal for the year is to get at least 10 friends going in OCR (hence the blog) mostly because I know they’ll love it and then selfishly it’ll give me some training partners. I’d also like to get my oldest out for the kids race, start getting some more mud in the house, sorry wifey.
While 2015 was awesome I’m super pumped for 2016, running with friends, training harder, earning my Trifecta and hopefully making some improvements on the course. So sign up and maybe we’ll get to battle it out on the course or maybe help each other out over some crazy yet to be conceived obstacle, either way we’ll see you on the course.