top of page

The Most Important Part of OCR Training That Most Overlook

I bet you think I'm going to say something like, "Grip strength" or "obstacle proficiency", but no. I am going to make the most obvious statement, and yet, the one most people, even after reading this article, will continue to ignore.

Your "cardiovascular ceiling" will be the biggest factor in your overall race performance. This goes for any endurance event, but especially OCR where the majority of the event is cardio based.

If you want to do well, and if you want to continue to improve, yes, for sure, work on your obstacle proficiency. However, above all, you need to build your aerobic endurance. Whatever work you've been doing to develop your aerobic endurance (if you clicked on this article) probably isn't enough. You can spend hundreds of hours in a year working on your aerobic ability, and still have room to progress.

If you don't know how to develop your aerobic ability, you should be performing cardio-based training (running, cycling, swimming, etc.) at a relatively low heart rate for longer periods of time. Typically people talk about Zone 2 heart rate (HR) training for this. If you don't use a HR monitor, I highly recommend that you get one and start training with it. If you still don't want to, then training at intensity levels where you are still able to easily hold a conversation without losing your breath is a general way you can gauge this.

The amount of time you spend developing your aerobic capacity will determine much of your fitness level and success in endurance sports. Sometimes you don't have a lot of time, and that's just the way it is. If you can find the time, spend it working on low heart rate training.

Especially if you want to improve early on as someone getting into running or endurance work for the first time, DO THIS. If you are someone looking to do their best at an Ultra distance OCR, DO THIS. If you are training a lot of high intensity and don't get longer-duration low-effort work in, you should. It will make a world of a difference for you.

Again, I highly recommend using a HR monitor. Typically, the HR monitors on watches are very inaccurate, so spend a few bucks and get a chest strap HR monitor. It'll make your training WAY easier. I've been using the same Wahoo chest strap HR monitor for something like 4 years now, and it's awesome, but just about any brand will work as long as it's compatible with your phone or watch though, so you have options, and they aren't expensive.

If you need a reliable GPS watch for your training, again, most any brand will do. Unless you are aiming for Ultra-distance races and training, go with an inexpensive Garmin, Suunto, Coros, or Wahoo Fitness watch...heck, Polar, Apple, and whatever other brand will work too. If you want to know which brand people think is best, check out this article where we shared the results from 110 OCR Athletes and which watches they think are best for OCR.

I'll say it one more time, just so I'm sure I shared the point as clearly as possible: The best way to improve your overall fitness for endurance sports (of which OCR is one) is to do a lot of aerobic training.

I hope some of you take this to heart and put it into practice. Your fitness level will improve a lot, and you'll be a much better endurance athlete. Happy Training!


7 Training Days Per Week

The Ultra OCR training program demands dedication and determination.. Each week, you'll have 6 days of training followed by a 7th day of fully programmed recovery work. If you're ready for the challenge, sign up now.

1,037 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page