Okay, I am in! How do I figure out how to get ready for the event I have my eye on?
Awesome! First, check the website of the event. See if they have any tips, groups, meetups etc that can help you train for the event. Also as I pointed out above – do your homework. To explain, the terrain, climate and length are all important so you should know as much as you can before it. Some OCR’s may have some surprise obstacles but overall they will give an overview on their website. Next, you should know if certain gear/clothing is helpful. For instance I would suggest that you should wear different running shoes when on pavement vs. technical trails with loose dirt, rocks and inclines. Of course – end of the day your budget may decide what you can do! Lastly, I can’t emphasize this enough – give yourself 2+ months (depending on the length of the event) to train for the event especially if you are getting back on the exercise train!
Alright, race – check…training schedule – check…wait this schedule is tough!
Yes, training should not be a walk in the park! It should start off at where you are at and over time increase in difficulty with some time to back off in some sections. My take on this is that I would rather be sore, exhausted etc during training than on the actual day. It is the cumulative work and effort that you put into your training that will allow you to meet the goal that you set out in front of you. Whatever happens you will be closer to meeting that goal on race day than trying to do it right after you clicked that button! Push through the tough days & don’t look back. Believe me there are some days I wonder if I just started working out. We all have those days/weeks etc. Just stay focused on that date!
Rally the cheering section
Forward your confirmation e-mail of signing up for the event to your friends and family. This is not a chance to be bashful, It is an opportunity to brag & get some support! You will do this! Nothing is better than having your own cheering section waiting for you at the finish line. A ride to the event does not hurt either, along with your personal paprizzi to document it all. Also you may inspire someone else to do it too, which leads me to the next section…
Get a partner in crime
You don’t have to do this alone! If you work better with someone else training at the same time (if not with you) and showing up on race day with you then make it happen. Loved one, son, daughter, co-worker are great ideas for someone to do it with. Hey if you get a big enough group maybe you should give Ragnar a shot!
Celebrate after you crossed that finish line
Don’t forget about the sweetest part! Celebrate! I don’t think I have to explain how to do that 🙂 Then after that, when is the next race?
Maybe you have a race in mind & your fingers are itching to click on that purchase button…or you already have. But then you are wondering how to best prepare even after reading this. There are many resources out there that can help you. There are many websites (paid but most are free) that provide a training schedule for 5k races to marathons and everything in between. Try one and make it your own. As for OCR’s many people blog about their experience in a specific race and how they trained. So check them out. Especially for OCRs you want to have an idea about the climbing/lifting/crawling/fill-in-the-blank so know the climbing/lifting/crawling/fill-in-the-blank that you will be doing. Aside from online resources about whatever you plan to do – if you go to a gym talk to the people that work there. Or seek out a personal trainer that is experienced enough to work with you and set up a training schedule that is more personalized. You got this!