What gear do you need in order to be a good OCR athlete? Well, training is more important than gear, but good gear will certainly assist you in your training and in your racing.
*We don't work with, nor do we have any deals with, the companies below. They are, to our understanding and experience, reliable companies for OCR training gear.*
Sure, you can go without shoes, but you can also run on bloody stubs. The MOST IMPORTANT thing you should consider when buying a shoe is how well it fits your foot. You want a shoe that fits really well. After fit, things like traction, drainage, and weight would all be factors to consider depending on the terrain you train on and the typical courses where you compete.
As you exercise, you deplete muscle glycogen levels. If those levels aren't replenished, you will fatigue quickly and performance will drop. Obviously our goal is to perform at the highest level we can in training and during races. As far as when to fuel, we highly recommend speaking to a Certified Nutritionist or Registered Dietician. They may also help you pick out the right fuel (brand/type) based on their knowledge and experience. Below we've listed several of the most popular fuels.
It's your money, spend it how you want. That being said, I personally wouldn't recommend buying a high-end GPS watch if you aren't going to/don't know how to use the huge amount of features they offer. Why pay for something you won't use? If your weekly mileage is lower than 30, and you don't plan on scaling, there isn't a whole lot of need to go for a fancy watch; especially if you aren't planning routes constantly, changing extreme levels of elevation, or involved in 10+ different sports. Also, one more thing. I don't trust ANY watch HR monitor. I have yet to find a study or test that shows watch heart rate monitors to be accurate - especially during higher intensity activity. Don't buy a GPS watch for the HR monitor. Get a chest strap or (certain) forearm strap that is accurate for HR training - otherwise, don't even look at the HR data.
I ran my first 20+ OCR's in Walmart/Target brand socks. Did they work? They sure did! Did they tear and wear out after a while? They sure did. Did they feel good? They actually weren't bad in my opinion. Are they on the same level as a really good pair of socks? Not even close. I decided to splurge (yeah, socks are my definition of splurging) on two pairs of Darn Tough socks. They have lasted through at least 30 races and many hundreds of miles of training. There is no sign of wear on them. They are also far more comfortable than normal socks (I bought the thicker socks) and feel so much better to train with. Easily worth the investment as I expect them to last through many more years of training.
Training Equipment/Workout Equipment:
We published 2 articles a while back regarding inexpensive gear you can purchase for OCR training (Part 1, Part 2). For this list, we're going with practicality and versatility. These are all items you can use in multiple ways to train well for OCR.
You are now well on your way...except for training programming! Don't forget a good training plan. There are a lot of good coaches out there, but obviously we're bias towards ourselves, and this is where we get to plug our services 😁
View these programs and more by visiting our OCR Training Programs page.
We hope this article was informative for you, and we hope to see you racing at an OCR in the near future!