Come train with one of the best Obstacle Course Racers in the World this May at CrossFit Crux, Eddie Draycott or as some of you know as "Spartan_Yeti"
This spring we will combine some of the best skills and obstacles along side a complete training program to get any level of athlete ready for some fun this summer. Learn more here.
To top it all off, we have lined up a special discount price for Team SpartaCrux , if you sign up for the June Spartan Race.
How did you get into obstacle racing?
I applied for the Army Reserves in October of 2014. To prepare myself as best I possibly could for Army Basic Training I took to Google for advice. Just about every website I visited strongly suggested I sign up for OCR’s (Obstacle Course Races) like Spartan Race. I raced my first competitive race in March of 2015 and I was instantly hooked!!
What is your biggest accomplishment with the sport?
When I qualified for/competed at the 2015 (OCRWC) Obstacle Course Racing World Championships in Cincinnati, Ohio and the 2016 OCRWC in Blue Mountains, Ontario against 6000 of the world’s best OCR athletes from over 45 countries. I proudly represented Canada, competing in the Male 25-29 age category.
Another big accomplishment was a 3rd place finish at the N.O.S. (Niagara Obstacle Series) race #5 on September 19, 2015. I was subsequently featured in the Erie Media newspaper along with the 5 other athletes who earned a podium spot.
What types of training do you do to get ready for the obstacle races?
I start by picking a race that has significance such as a big OCRWC qualifier. I then phase into the race so that I am at my absolute peak condition when I step up to the start line. Here are the phases:
Phase 1 “Off Season/Strength” is all about gaining strength and because endurance is de-emphasized in this phase, I find I achieve the best gains if I don’t shy away from overly fatiguing my muscles.
Phase 2 “Endurance” is all about incorporating high amounts of training volume. As OCR’s are about 90% running, I aim to increase three things each week: total KM’s, the distance of my longest run, and total meters of elevation gain (most Spartan Races take place on a mountain). I also aim to complete 1-2 weight training sessions each week.
Phase 3 “Intensity” – while it may seem logical to continuously increase endurance while simultaneously increasing intensity, this can detract from endurance sessions and increase risk of overtraining. At this point I have built most of the anaerobic endurance I need, so I ramp up the intensity with lots of workouts designed to build anaerobic endurance such as HIIT training, hill sprints, tempo runs, time trials. I add in about 1-2 strength training workouts a week, and I find this is a great time to work on the sport specific skills such as work on the platinum rigs, wall climbs, heavy carries, spear throws, rope climb etc.
I usually have an “active recovery week” in between each phase, followed by an active recovery week the week of the race. Then as they say: it’s off to the races!
Do you play any other sports? If so, how do they complement the obstacle running and vice versa?
I play hockey…not necessarily because it complements obstacle course racing but it is actually a very complimentary training method. The high intensity bursts build muscle strength, power and anaerobic endurance. The length of the game and the need to recover quickly from each shift builds aerobic output.
I have yet to compete in my first CrossFit Open but I aim to in the near future. CrossFit is also a complimentary training method as it builds cardiovascular endurance, stamina, strength and muscular endurance, power, explosiveness, speed, agility, balance, coordination and accuracy. In fact, a lot of the top OCR athletes train/compete in CrossFit religiously.
What suggestions do you give to others interested in getting involved?
Join a group of likeminded individuals who also want to get involved in the sport! If your goal is to compete; a recent study by the Society of behavioral medicine discovered that doing your aerobic workout with other athletes improves your performance just over double what it would working out alone. Aside from the performance gains; one of my favourite things about OCR is the comradery/ friendships I’ve made. I train with a group of likeminded athletes and we all support each other, push each other, share tips and tricks with each other, travel to races together and cheer each other on during the races.
Also, I wrote a blog post which was featured on OCR website “Grit Camp” that is witty yet informational on the first time I ran a charity mud run for fun. It has a lot of tips/tricks for beginners at my expense – I made these mistakes so you don’t have to!
Lastly, follow me on Instagram @Spartan_Yeti where I post a lot of training tips /tricks /studies / motivation etc.