Have a few (or a lot) of obstacle course races under your belt? Want to go from from the back of the pack to the front? Cruise the Course – Volume 1 by Sarah Pozdol is a training option for intermediate to advanced athletes that are looking to step up their results on race day.
Sarah is an obstacle course trainer that is Spartan SGX certified (Spartan’s trainer certification), former Spartan employee and has been on the podiums at various obstacle course races. She now shares that knowledge and experience with athletes across the world with Cruise The Course, a training manual.
Cruise The Course contains 50 workouts designed to help an OCR athlete prepare for race day. It’s a spiral bound notebook with accompanying videos that demonstrate the exercises.
The book starts with five fitness tests (1 mile run, burpees, hang time, max hand transfers and plank hold) to set a baseline and so that you can come back and see how you’re improving over time.
Each workout also has a section that is for you to write down your time so that you can come repeat workouts to see how your workouts are finishing quicker (hopefully).
As far as the workouts themselves, they’re a healthy mix of running, bodyweight exercises and workouts that require minimal equipment. Required equipment includes a pull-up bar, weighted element (think something like a sandbag) and a kettle bell. However, some of the workouts did include equipment that isn’t available everywhere – think climbing rope and rowing machines.
The workouts are a mix of intensity and endurance. They range from focusing on strength, grip, breath control and more. Someone would just have one focus, others would be a mix just like an obstacle course.
Included in the book, are links to videos that demonstrate how to do many of the exercises that make up the workouts.
There’s also an online leaderboard, where you can submit videos of the fitness tests and specific workouts to see how you rank against other athletes across the country and earn a little bit of bragging rights.
Who It’s For
Cruise The Course is great for someone that knows their way around the gym. They’re comfortable working out without supervision. They don’t need much hand holding. As mentioned, there are videos, but for beginners there are other options that might be more suitable. That being said, the workouts are very scalable to decrease (or increase) intensity. It’s also for someone that has access to functional fitness equipment at home or at a gym.
I really liked most of Cruise The Course. Every workout was designed to improve performance on race day and often imitated movements or carries that are done on the course. That’s something missing from some of the more general programs like BeachBody.
I liked the tracking system. I felt like it made me accountable and I looked forward to repeating the workouts and seeing how much I improved.
What I didn’t like is some of the required equipment for some of the workouts. It’s not the fault of Cruise The Course, it’s the fault that I workout mostly at home or at a traditional gym with limited equipment. I can bring a sandbag to the gym with no problem, but access to a rowing machine wasn’t going to happen. That’s why I didn’t complete all of the workouts in the book.
Plus, there were times that I felt I was a little over my head. Sarah now offers a beginner program online, Couch To Course. It’s an eight week training program to help a beginner athlete get ready for the first race.
Related – she also now offers a Cruise The Course monthly subscription program for OCR athletes, which includes the Cruise The Course book and much more.
I look forward to giving Cruise The Course another shot at some point. I think my fitness levels and exercise knowledge are now where they need to be, now I just have to find the right equipment.