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How I cut 10 minutes off my 5K time (For OCR Athletes)

5K Times: March, 2016: 26:37 - - - September, 2018: 16:37 

In March 2016 I decided to start training to compete in Obstacle Course Racing. I had absolutely no sports or running background, but for some reason I convinced myself it was possible to become an Elite Athlete. My very first run was a 5k on a treadmill that I completed in was extremely difficult. But, I was so proud of myself that I texted my brother to tell him. He replied, "you know that's not that great right". What a jerk. Well as far as competing as an Elite Athlete goes, he was right. 

*Right* 171lbs 9% BF
213lbs 15.7% BF 171lbs 9% BF

My journey started slow. My workouts had only consisted of weight lifting for the past 6 years and I had just recently gotten off of a dirty bulk where I gained closer to 40lbs in under 4 months eating 6,000+ calories a day. Needless to say, that was stupid and not sustainable since I was eating junk and gaining WAY too fast. I lost about 30lbs of the weight pretty quickly and my metabolism took a hit for it. It took about 6 months before I started feeling "normal" again. 

Since I didn't have any experience with running, I started with just 1 or 2 runs a week and changed my workouts from a focus on building muscle to more of a circuit type of structure with higher repetitions to help build up my endurance and ease my body through the transition. Over time I added in more/longer runs while transitioning from weightlifting to cardio, plyometrics, circuits, and functional training. Slowly but surely I started making other small changes like drinking a minimum of 100oz of water a day, stretching/foam rolling daily, I cut out alcohol completely, and started making much better food choices.

I am extremely analytical so I always track my run distance and times. That way I can visually see my progress and it helps me to stay motivated. Some of my main "check point" runs that I would track are my 1 mile, 5k, 5 mile, and 10 mile runs. While building my workout program I would space them out throughout and use them to compete against myself and track my progress. (I'm also very competitive person if you hadn't noticed).

My journey has taken extreme consistency, a fierce work ethic, and an insatiable drive to improve my performance. I have gone from placing 50+ in Obstacle Course Races to consistently getting in the top 10 in the Elite/Pro heats. My journey is not even close to being done but I have made a huge amount of progress that I am very proud of. I've got my eyes set on a 15 minute 5k next!

I encourage you to set goals for yourself and stick with them. You don't have to want to be the best, but you should want to better yourself. Consistency and hard work will pay off and it will be worth it. I truly believe in the programming methods I use and that's why I love to coach others for Obstacle Course Racing. Not just to compete but to better your own life and help create a healthier more active world. (That jerk brother of mine is also a coach) Trio Fitness OCR Coach Luke Hayes @lukejshayes

Sign up for coaching with my brother and I's OCR training business, Trio Fitness OCR, by clicking Here.

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