Running is a big component in OCR. Running that includes a lot of elevation. There’s also burpees, wreck bags, barbed wires, mud and sometimes up to 40 obstacles a race. Difficulty and distance vary between races but whatever race you’re in, prepare to fight off cramps and the cold, maybe after an ice bath on the course. Be ready to do monkey bars and get through multi rigs. Let your mental strength be on top and get insights into the training routines of professional OCR athlete and Rehband ambassador Faye Stenning.
The right balance of skills can be difficult to achieve as an OCR-athlete. Too much muscle might weigh you down on some obstacles, but too little can for example make it impossible to manage others. We asked Rehband ambassador and Spartan racer Faye Stenning some OCR-related questions and got some interesting answers. In our conversation she emphasized the importance of having a strong upper body and raw strength but also the importance of having an endurance focus when doing OCR. As a take-away, different strengths are needed as well as technique of how to tackle the obstacles.
How do you work-out during a week?
I’m running up to 70 miles a week, which is the bulk of my training. And I do that in a lot of different places. I do some speed work on the road, but I also do a lot of mountain running. I spend some time in the gym just doing basic gym training. Squats, deadlift, push-ups, pull-ups and just some really raw big, functional strength movements. And then I sometimes do bouldering, a lot of grip- strength training. I spend some time on the bike, I spend some time on the row machine, I spend some time in swimming in the pool, there’s stretching and yoga.
What does your recovery look like?
And then a whole other part of the training, I have my chiropractor, my massage, my physiotherapist. There’s lots of recovery stuff. Most days I train two times a day and usually there’s a third session in there that’s more like a recovery-based massage.
Do you have any favorite obstacles in the races?
I like the rigs, they’re called the multi-rig. It’s a structure that will have rings hanging from it, small ropes hanging from it, monkey bars. So I like the upper body, grip strength, the climbing-based obstacles.
Are there any obstacles that you don’t like?
Yes, I think anything that requires me to jump from very high, these I don’t really like. And I don’t like the steep technical descents e.g. down the side of a mountain when it’s really steep and rocky. I always worry about falling.
Why do you think OCR has grown so much as a sport?
There are many different levels of OCR. There’s a very few percentage of the people that go out and do this professionally at a very high level. But I think it’s appealing to people because kind of anyone can do it. So there’s a lot of people who can go out there with a group of friends and kind of walk or hike the course. People even help each other on the obstacles if they’re not in the elite wave. So it’s not as intimidating for people.
I think there’s been a trend in functional training over the years. So what I mean by that, is that people aren’t just going to the gym and running on the treadmill and then go on the bench press. There’s more high intensity training, more full body complex full movements. Since people are training in that way, they want some way to test themselves. Just to know that their training is working and to keep motivation in the gym. OCR has given people the ability to see what they are doing in the gym and translate it to more of a setting where they can compete against their friends and other competitors, and see how they have improved in their fitness, and have something to reach for.
Rehband provides the world’s largest obstacle race with market leading products for injury prevention and increased performance. The demands on product quality and functionality are high and specific in OCR. Products should retain little water and mud, protect from abrasion, be lightweight and close-fitting to stay out of the way of obstacles, and to not restrict movement. With a portfolio with 120 products developed with and for athletes, any OCR athlete can get the protection they need from Rehband– to increase performance and to get past the finish line.
Recommended products for OCR and how they will benefit you
Rehband’s Compression Socks give a layer of protection against rocks and roots when crawling through obstacles. They also offer compression, which helps with circulation and can decrease cramping.
RX Knee & Elbow Sleeves, the 5mm thick knee and elbow sleeves benefit you in a varied training where both agility and support is required. They have a patented anatomic construction, stay in place during races, increase joint stability and help to prevent injuries.
RX Wrist Support for cold or numb hands that can limit your grip capacity. Proper blood flow from the compression and the warmth from the sleeves help to regulate body temperature and improves your performance as you conquer the obstacles. The will protect and support your wrists, without limiting mobility.
The Official Kinesiology Tape of Spartan Race US. For a better receptive input and increased coordination to enhance performance. It’s stretchable, water resistant and isn’t made with natural rubber latex. Can be worn up to 6 days.
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