Everything You Need To Know About Obstacle Course Races

Whether you’re a lifter, a runner, or just wanting to take on something new for your body and mind, consider signing up for an obstacle course race.

An Obstacle Course Race (OCR) can guarantee you two things: new physical and mental challenges. About 4.5 million Americans signed up to do an OCR in 2015, according to Sports Business Journal, and women are pushing through more OCR finish lines than ever. Last year, Spartan Race, Tough Mudder, and Warrior Dash reported 40%, 35%, and 51% female participants, respectively, with a staggering variety of training backgrounds.

“The cool thing about OCRs is that there’s no specific way to train—that’s what keeps them fun,” says Amelia Boone, a Reebok-sponsored OCR athlete and an attorney. “People who do well are very good at controlling their body weight and spiking their heart rate, and have a mixture of speed, strength, and endurance.” During the elite heats of races, men usually start a few minutes before women, so the girls make it a goal to pass as many guys as possible. Corinna Coffin, a member of the BattleFrog Pro Team, says this is called getting “chicked.” “It’s empowering to pass a lot of guys.

They say, ‘We just got chicked!’ ” she says. “I think the guys like it, too, because it gives them motivation to go a bit faster.”

For racers like Spartan Pro Team member Cassidy Watton, OCRs serve as the base of other athletic pursuits. Watton placed fourth in the figure division of the 2016 NPC CJ Classic and looks to get into kettlebell sport. “I love doing the Spartan Race, but I want to prove I’m a great overall athlete.”

Want to challenge yourself to do an OCR this season? Take a cue from the training logs of these top competitors and see what it takes to finish muddy, strong, and ready to come back for more.

SEE ALSO: Tough Mud, Warrior Blood Endurance Race Workout

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