I have a goal to read every Obstacle Course Racing and mud run related book there is. I’ve read a good chunk of what’s out there and I’ll share the good and the bad in upcoming blog posts.
Most recently, I read Fuel & Fire – Dominate Obstacle Course Racing with Scientific Training Strategies Fueled by Nutrition by Mike Diebler.
As the subtitle implies, the 185-page book is a guide for OCR racing with a focus on training nutrition. The book is designed to improve the results on the race course, specifically for someone that wants to earn a spot on the winners’ podium or just wants to beat out their friends on the race course.
The author, Mike Deibler is a gym owner, trainer, and educator with a background in exercise physiology, and functional movement, as well as an avid racer.
What The Book Covers
Fuel & Fire covers everything from assessing your current fitness to recovery, and everything in between.
The book begins with assessing your current fitness so you know where to focus your efforts. Like most of the book, he gives you several ways to asses your fitness so you can find what’s right for you and where you are right now. Then you’ll be able to improve from there.
Based on your assessment(s) and your goals, you can focus more on one area. The book gives you specific exercises and workouts for each area, complete with photos and details that will make you successful with these exercises. Their website has videos of the exercise if you need more of an example.
- Recovery – Before even getting into the other areas, the book focuses on recovery techniques to prevent injuries.
- Endurance – OCRs aren’t exactly short walks in the park, so this section covers the building up of endurance.
- Cardio – There’s a lot of running in OCRs and this section covers the different types of running you need to do and why.
- Strength – This section gives you lots and lots of OCR-specific exercises you can do to make you stronger and better prepared for your next race.
- Tactical – These exercises are more specific to obstacle course racing.
- Nutrition – The last major section, but not the least important is the nutrition section. His focus is on the anti-inflammatory diet, as well as other things you can do to better prepare yourself outside of the gym. Think food options, as well as things like sleep.
There’s a bonus section about mental training.
Before the book ends, there are training plans that you can check out and work into your fitness routine.
Fuel & Fire has lots of great information and photos (links to videos), but it is kind of skimpy on the details. This may not necessarily be a bad thing. If you’re familiar with the OCR training world and workout at a gym on your own, this is a great book to upgrade your training or make it more specific to OCR.
Who This Book Is Good For:
Fuel & Fire is the perfect book for OCR athletes who have experience in the gym and out on the course.
Who Should Avoid This Book
People new to OCR or people who need a little more instruction in the gym should probably check out other books or training methods. There are lots of other books that are focused more on the needs of a new OCR athlete. Another option could be starting with workout classes in your local gym or via a streaming service to take the first steps before moving to something more advanced.