Age Group (AG) heats in Obstacle Course Racing have been gaining popularity over the past few years. One of the main reasons for this is Spartan Race's Age Group National Series. Their series includes some really awesome race venues, prizes from sponsors, and athlete highlights/leaderboard on Spartan social media. Most Age Group podium winners also get a medal which is important for all you bling chasers! As the competition in AG has heated up, some athletes have switched over from Elite and others have amped up their training to move up from Open.
12 Week Off Season AG OCR Training You've heard, "Summer bodies are made in the winter." Well, Podium athletes are built in the off season. These 12 weeks of programming will build your strength and endurance, challenge your mental toughness, test your desire for success, and push you to perform as a high-level OCR athlete.
Is it actually a big deal if you earn your spot on an Age Group podium? YES! Age Group heats give the opportunity for athletes that are new to the sport, have limited time for training, injuries, or are simply past the prime age for elite competition to put in work and satiate their need to compete. One of the coolest parts of being a coach has been watching athletes who competed in high school/college and then fell off the boat for many years but were then able to find their drive and completely change their lives to compete at a high level again. You can see so much pride on their faces when they stand on the AG podium. Behind that pride is an enormous amount of hard work, sacrifice, and dedication.
12 Week Off Season AG DEKA Training Watch your time go down and your Deka leaderboard ranking go up. This program is designed to build your strength, speed, and endurance while pushing you to reach the next level of fitness. The overall goal here is to help you earn a spot on the Age Group podium.
The biggest issue with Age Group heats in OCR is a lack of integrity. After almost every single race, I hear people rightfully complaining about other athletes who blatantly skipped an obstacle or failed the obstacle and didn't do the required penalty. If you have done this and still claimed your spot on the podium then you are a fraud! But, you can redeem yourself by being honest in the future. Overall it's just too difficult for races to have enough/fully trained volunteers to enforce the rules for AG so some athletes are able to get away with cheating; especially since there aren't cash prizes on the line. Hopefully Age Group heats continue to grow in Obstacle Course Racing and Hybrid Fitness. As more and more athletes take their training seriously, it will attract more outside competition and help to accelerate the sport's overall growth. This benefits everyone in the long run. If you haven't tried an Age Group heat yet, you definitely should. Even if you end placing last, it's a great way to track your progress. If you are competitive, then it will motivate you to do better.
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