This article isn't for the competitive OCR athlete. We're focusing solely on those who are new to the sport and those who want to take on the next big challenge (harder course, Trifecta, more events, etc.).
It seems everything is talked about in lists of 5 these days, so I'm making this a "5" list as well.
5 steps for your Off Season Training!
1: The first and most important step you need to take in planning your off-season training is to determine your goal(s) for the year. Are you trying to complete your first OCR ever? Are you looking to take on a new distance like a Beast or Ultra? Are you focused on killer courses like Killington and Big Bear? Maybe you want to get your 10x Trifecta? Whatever the goal may be, you need to decide what you want to do because only then will you be able to put together training that matches your goals and helps you complete them.
2: The second thing you need to do is to choose your potential races. If your goal was to tackle Big Bear, you already know your race. However, if the goal was to do your 1st Savage Syndicate, then you'll need to find a Savage Race (or two if you don't run both on the same day) to attend. If you had a multi-trifecta goal, you'll need to figure out all of the locations you can attend to match the goal.
3: Now that you know your goal and the race(s) you plan on attending, you know how long (in time) you have to prepare for the goal and race. So the 3rd thing you need is to start building a training program, or having a training program made for you, so that you are very well prepared when race day arrives. If your goal is a longer race like a Beast or Ultra, you'll need more time to train due to the distance and physical demands of those races. If you are planning on a mountain Beast like Vernon, NJ then you'll need much more time than if you are doing a much flatter Beast like Ohio. A mountain Ultra will require the most preparation while a flat Sprint will necessitate the least. Your training volume should reflect those differences.
4: Depending on your goals, races, and terrain you'll now need to decide what gear you intend to race in (shoes, shorts/pants, short or long sleeve shirt, etc.). A flat dry course won't require shoes with very aggressive tread while a wet or mountainous course will likely require better/bigger lugs. If it's cold like Greek Peak, you may need gloves to keep your hands from going numb. If you'll be going through water on course, you may want to consider wearing compression gear as apposed to baggy cotton clothing.
5: Once you've chosen your gear, test it! Many many athletes end up with blisters, injuries, and other issues because they used gear for the first time during a race. That also goes for nutrition - not just apparel. You should be very comfortable and happy with your shoes. Your pants or shorts should be comfortable to run in and fit properly. The only real test happening on race day should be your fitness level being tested against the actual course.
That's it! Those 5 points, if followed, will help you to be a better athlete next season! After all, we're all trying to improve ourselves.
Trio Fitness OCR is the best place you can go for OCR coaching and training. We meet YOUR specific goals and needs. We don't do templates and we don't start you off at someone else's fitness level. Every workout is designed for you, the equipment you have access to, the amount of time you're able to commit, and to make you the best athlete you can be. You're always able to reach out to us with questions, thoughts, and feedback, and we want our athletes to learn as they train. Whether you are a beginner, or a seasoned participant in the sport, having experienced coaches will make you a better athlete. Head over to our Training Programs page and get signed up now.