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Where to experience Obstacle Course Racing

If I told you that you need to be able to run 3 miles through hills, water and mud while carrying sandbags, buckets and rocks you might wonder how to train for it. Then throw in all the obstacles like walls and monkey bars then it starts to get a little confusing, but training for OCR really doesn't need to be complicated. Go to the park and climb on a monkey bar and you've started your OCR journey.


Things may be tough at the moment but it's the perfect time to get back to the basics of OCR. OCR is 70-80% running and the running will be broken up with obstacles so get used to stopping and starting.


If you want a true feel for the sport of OCR without signing up to a race then OCR gyms are the place to be. Located around the UK in fields, barns or even parks. When open these gyms have a great range of obstacles and you will also get to meet people with race experience and talk to some knowledgeable OCR specific coaches.


There are tests you can do to make sure you're ready and any coach in the UK will help you with these. Just make sure you're ready to run/walk the distance and are happy lifting your bodyweight, or at least used to giving it a go.


Off the top of my head I know of the below places to visit and they should definitely be on your list when we can get back out. Most OCR gyms are self run small businesses so I would really promote anyone who is doing an OCR for charity, personal challenge, with mates or to run with the best in the sport, to head down to any one of these gyms.



I wouldn't be able to climb a rope without the help of The Obstacle Gym in Lutterworth which has sadly now closed. Using just my arms to try and climb a wet and muddy rope just wasn't going to happen.


Each gym will have a pay as you go price and each one would be more than happy to chat to you over social to help you get an idea of what you can expect. If you're unsure on where your closest one is send me a message and I would be more than happy to help you out.


Best thing to know about the gyms is you can approach all the obstacles at your own pace. You're not forced to jump in a lake, lift anything you can't handle or run more than your ability.


Yes you can sign up to your local run and do it without training and I did this way back in 2012, but by having a few pointers from one of these gyms made my experience on my next OCR so much more enjoyable. Some of the things that I learnt from the gyms are:


  • Rope foot lock which will save your life if the rope is wet. It's not all about the biceps show.

  • Getting over a wall with less effort, literally all about momentum and controlled falling

  • Learning to fall, you will fall over but knowing how to properly take your weight and distribute it can prevent injury.

  • Monkey bars, not all about the arms, with good hip movement and swing you can literally monkey your way across.


I could go on, but it just shows that there is so much to learn that can make your OCR experience more enjoyable and there really are places that specialise in the techniques of the sport.


I personally wouldn't be setting my sights on championship level races without the support of Rumble Fitness which is located just outside Milton Keynes. The coaching and the ability to train with race specific obstacles and conditions has literally changed my approach to racing for the better.


Don't wait to sign up for a race to experience OCR, head to the park, mix up the running with bodyweight exercises and you would have started your journey. Or if you really want a taste of OCR get yourself over to a specific OCR gym as soon as you can.



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