How to train for your first obstacle course race

2 min read
Friday, 14 April 2023

Obstacle course races and community OCR events are more popular than ever and with people of all ages and levels of fitness. Here are some tips on how you can train to overcome anything.



The endurance element of the race - think running or even walking - is a big part of the event, and by regularly training with your Myzone heart rate monitor, you’ll easily have this one in the bag. But how do you train for all of the different obstacles on the course?

The first step is understanding exactly which physical challenges you’ll be expected to tackle in the race. Once you know what you’ll face, you can create a training programme that develops the strength, coordination, and explosive power you’ll need to complete each obstacle safely and effectively.


Training for specific obstacles in a race.

You need to duplicate the movement patterns of each physical challenge as much as possible. So, if your event includes the monkey bars, practice these or the rings during your training to build your upper body strength.

You might even want to add some rock climbing to your programme. Your training will likely include crawling, jumping, balancing, throwing, and carrying heavy loads to recreate the movement patterns of all the different obstacles that await you on the course.

It’s important to remember that thanks to the endurance element of the event, on race day you’ll be attacking these obstacles when you’re already partly fatigued. The best way to prepare yourself is by exceeding the demands of each obstacle during your training. That means if you need to carry a 30lb load during the race, train with a 40lb load. And if your event includes 35ft of monkey bars, practice completing 50ft.


How to split your training leading up to race day.

Some training days will focus on the strength, balance, or power needed for certain obstacles. On other days, recreate the movement patterns of the obstacles in the order they will appear in the race and include the endurance element too to fully prepare for the physical demands the event will put on you on the day.

How much training should you do each week? Well, that depends on how competitive you are. If you want to complete the race, it should take five to seven hours should be done. But if you want to rank on the leaderboard or even win, you’ll need to commit to 10-15 hours of training each week to cross that finish line like a champ.

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