Congratulation! You’ve signed up for your first OCR (Obstacle Course Race) or at the very least, you’re thinking about signing up. You’ve taken your first step to entering a community and starting a race like no other. Obstacle Racing is pretty challenging with lots of crawling, climbing, jumping and sliding but check out these tips on how to prepare for your first OCR.

The (easy) bit – the running

 Unless you’re a seasoned runner, you may actually find the running the hardest part of the course. Don’t stress too much if 10 miles seems too far, you just have to do the math to figure out that it may be easier than you expect. On a 10 mile course with 20 obstacles, you’ll only ever really have to be able to run ½ a mile between each obstacle. Drop these into your running training to crush those running goals for your OCR:


Strength training

 Now to the bit that most people stress over – the obstacles and the strength required to conquer them.  When preparing for my larger OCR events, I split my training up into the following categories:

You’ve got an idea now get yourself some gear 

The likelihood is that you’ll probably be covered in mud after the first obstacle so perhaps don’t go and buy yourself the whitest T-shirt in the shop. Having said that, don’t fear that you’ll ruin your clothes, as you’ll probably find that you don’t. I guarantee that you’ll be hooked after your first race so really consider investing in some great gear to keep you warm, happy and running fast. 

Before deciding on your gear, take a look at the type of obstacles and terrain. If there’s a lot of water, you’ll obviously need slightly different gear than a dry OCR with no mud (yes, that exists).

Here are some of my essentials for an OCR:

General tips & on the day




written by

Jamie Gane

Teacher of Mathematics from Basingstoke

Age group: 25-29

track & field trail obstacle race