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Obstacle Course Racing Tips from Pro Robert Killian

Obstacle Course Racing Tips from Pro Robert Killian

If you're looking to run your first obstacle course race or if you're aiming to post a personal best time on your next race, check out these tips from our ambassador Robert Killian!


OCR is often in locations with brutal terrain and conditions. Pick your gear wisely and test it out BEFORE you race. The key items are good shoes with grip. Lock Laces so you never have to worry about stopping to retie laces. Non Cotton athletic attire, or light compression are best so they don't fall off or become saturated in the water. 


I would say that nutrition is half the race in OCR. You must hydrate and feed your muscles with enough calories prior to, during, and after events longer than 30 minutes. 


Most OCR races are held on very hilly our mountainous courses. Tacking on obstacles plus uphill running turns a normal 8 min mile into something more like 12-15 min per mile. For this reason you need to be prepared to be out there for 1-3 hours which is considered an endurance event. Make sure to work on running since that's how you get to all the obstacles and running makes up about 80% of the race while obstacle are only about 20% depending on the format. 

Grip Strength

For OCR the number one type of failed obstacles are those that required you to support your body weight using only your hands. The best way to build grip is to practice dead hangs with a pull-up bar or set of rig rings. Ideally you should be able to complete 5-10 strict pull-ups and dead hang for two minutes. Other strength training exercises are farmer’s carry, indoor rock wall traverse, and grip rotation bars similar to what baseball players use. 

Check out our Pro Series Laces for your next OCR!

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