Hey all! Today starts our running challenge for the Beast in November! Send your miles to firstname.lastname@example.org so that I may keep track if everyone’s!!
One of the most common questions I get asked is “What’s the trick to getting past obstacles when they are wet and muddy?”
We’ve all been there. Trying to get through wet obstacles is tough. It could be raining. You could have just left a river and are soaked. There could be someone spraying your obstacle with a hose just to make your race more difficult. No matter what the situation, it’s always frustrating failing an obstacle you know you can conquer when it’s dry.
So how can we avoid this?
There are definitely techniques you can utilize on different obstacles to make your success more likely no matter what the condition (look out for obstacle specific techniques in the coming weeks!), But overall, getting better with obstacles on the course just takes time- and a lot of grip work! The better your grip is, the more likely you are to hold on no matter what the condition!
Here are a few different methods of grip work that I’ve found useful, and have definitely lead to improvement on my obstacle completion.
1. Hold different stuff
Doing Pull-ups on a bar is great and for sure improves strength in both the forearms and upper body. But don’t just use a bar. Change it up! Grab some towels and try doing pull-ups or rows with those. Try some deadhangs and footwork with a rope. Plan an entire grip workout around the Z-wall. Go rock climbing! Challenge your grip in more ways than one to ensure that you will be prepared to grab ANYTHING.
2. Weight Training
For a long time I neglected weight training and I regretted it. Incorporating 2-3 days a week of isolation work for your muscles allows them to be challenged in a way that just obstacle practice can’t accomplish. I enjoy doing a “push” and “pull” day to balance out the muscle groups and leave room for super or tri-sets for a really challenging workout! Some grip specific weight work includes farmers carries, barbell rolls, and more. Check back next week for a whole entire video about OCR specific weight training!
One of the tougher things about a race is trying to finish an obstacle when you are breathing heavy and tired and your forearms are on fire. Do your best to simulate that while you are training! Run in between obstacles, do a farmers carry then some monkey bars, do obstacles multiple times in a row. Challenge yourself! Even if you are still learning how to do an obstacle, incorporate a few practice rounds into your training!
With all that being said, at the end of the day a wet obstacle is still a wet obstacle. Sometimes, even if we are using the perfect technique, we fall off anyway. And that’s ok. There are some things on race day that we have no way of preparing for. But that won’t stop us from trying, right?
Next week: Weight training in OCR racing.