There are always new trends and ways to make exercise interesting and fun. One such trend today is obstacle course racing (OCR). The most popular OCR events among novice and intermediate athletes currently are the Tough Mudder, Spartan Sprint, and Warrior Dash. These races seek to push participants’ bodies to the limit while experiencing the outdoors.
Obstacle course racing (OCR) is an interesting concept. People all around the world are paying to sweat, even at the risk of personal injury, pain, and severe discomfort – all in the name of fitness! Obstacles may include climbing over walls, carrying heavy objects, traversing bodies of water, crawling under barbed wire, and jumping through fire. Many obstacles are similar to those used in military training, while others are unique to obstacle racing and are employed throughout the course to test endurance, strength, speed and, dexterity.
What are the main race types?
Spartan Sprint: This timed 3.5 mile race includes 15 or more obstacles. Penalties (30 burpees or push-ups) are assessed if obstacles are skipped.
Warrior Dash: Participants in this untimed 3.1-mile event face approximately 12 obstacles, including a 50-yard mud crawl to the finish line. No penalties are incurred if obstacles are skipped.
Tough Mudder: This untimed 12-mile challenge typically includes 12 or more obstacles and is known for mud and cold-water challenges. No penalties are incurred if obstacles are skipped.
How did OCR become so popular?
Before going into trends on social media, Obstacle Course Racing has much to offer the mind and body. Many people simple love the challenge and overcoming their personal goals. Here are the main reasons why OCR is one of the fastest growing sports in the world today –
You get to –
- Push physical and mental limits
- Meet new people
- Overcome challenging situations
- Get dirty (without funny side glances from strangers)
- Improve fitness
- More affordable than a big trip
- Lifetime bragging rights
Social media has also had a huge part to play in the rise in popularity of OCR. When videos went viral of these extreme races, people very quickly realised how fun and physical the sport really is. It’s the power of social media that really ramped OCR in becoming one of mainstream sports today and it is forever growing in popularity right across the globe.
OCR events are intense and designed to push your physical limits. Injuries can and do happen during these races, so if you’re thinking about taking on an OCR challenge, consider the following injury prevention tips:
Pick the correct race type that suits your fitness levels. Everyone has different physical abilites and it is utilizing these to your advantage is what will make you the better OCR athlete. We believe picking the right race and course is crucial, and there are many different OCR options. Spartan races, for example, regularly offer stadium races, which involve no mud, water, or fire-themed obstacles. Research your race type and remember some races are safer and easier than others.
While it is important to follow a workout regime, it is also hugely important that you know your limits. It’s important to not overdo it when training. Jumping into an intense regimen can lead to overuse injuries, such as tendinitis or stress fractures. Instead, gradually increase your training. Start with one or two workouts a week and then slowly increase the frequency and intensity.
So train smart, stay injury free!
With that said, OCR is on the rise, the world is adapting to this new-found sport and there is no doubt that OCR is here to stay.
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