Top 5 Mistakes To Avoid As A Beginner In OCR

Beginner OCR Tips

Obstacle Course Racing (OCR) brings with it a blend of excitement and challenge - running through mud, jumping over fire and crawling under barbed wire to name a few. However, to truly conquer the course and emerge victorious not to mention to have the most fun, there are a few things you should know to avoid the most common pitfalls that could make your first race less enjoyable and successful. 

1. Neglecting Proper Training: The Foundation of OCR Success

You don’t have to be at an elite level of training nor do you have to be able to run a marathon, but some training will make the whole experience more enjoyable. That being said, new racers often make the mistake of underestimating the specific demands of the sport. 

OCR requires a unique combination of strength, endurance, and agility. To avoid this pitfall, create a well-rounded training routine that encompasses cardiovascular workouts, strength training, and obstacle-specific drills. Pay special attention to muscle groups (think upper body strength and core power) frequently engaged during OCR events, ensuring your body is prepared for the diverse challenges that lie ahead.

2. Ignoring Technique Practice: Elevating Your Skills to the Next Level

OCR obstacles demand not only physical strength but also technique. Many beginners focus on overall fitness but overlook the importance of mastering specific obstacle skills. 

Watch videos on Youtube to learn the how tos of obstacles and see how the elites handle them. Then include in your training sessions exercises that will either prepare the proper muscles or actually get you hands-on with the obstacles. 

These OCR-specific obstacles include rope climbs, wall traversals and monkey bar crossings. Incorporate drills that mimic OCR challenges to build muscle memory and confidence. By honing your skills, you'll approach each obstacle with the finesse of an experienced racer.

3. Neglecting Mental Preparedness: The Hidden Key to OCR Success

OCR is not just a physical test; it's a mental challenge as well. Beginners often overlook the mental aspect of racing, leading to anxiety and frustration on the course. 

Develop mental resilience through visualization exercises, positive affirmations, and exposure to challenging scenarios. Embrace the discomfort of training to build mental toughness. 

A strong mindset will not only help you overcome obstacles but will also enhance your overall OCR experience.

4. Choosing the Wrong Gear and Attire: Your Armor on the OCR Battlefield

The right gear can be the difference between triumph and struggle in OCR. Neglecting proper attire and equipment can compromise performance and lead to discomfort or injuries. 

If you’re serious about OCR, invest in high-quality trail running shoes with excellent grip, and moisture-wicking clothing to stay comfortable. 

Tailor your gear choices to the specific demands of the race, considering factors such as weather conditions and course terrain. A well-equipped racer is a confident and prepared racer.

5. Skipping Race Day Preparation: The Final Countdown to Success

Race day presents its own set of challenges, and adequate preparation is key. 

Beginners often arrive on race day without fully understanding the course, leading to stress and diminished enjoyment. Study the race venue, familiarize yourself with the course map (it’s usually put on social media the week of the race), and strategize your approach to each obstacle. 

Develop a race-day nutrition and hydration plan, ensuring you have the energy to perform at your best. This means no eating fast food or drinking in excess the night before. Save the pizza and beer for after the race.



You don’t have to get obsessed but by learning about nuances of proper OCR training, technique mastery, mental fortitude, gear selection, and race-day preparation, you can elevate their OCR experience to new heights. This goes for someone that is just getting off the couch or someone coming in from another sport as an elite racer. 

Remember, every challenge is an opportunity for growth, and with a comprehensive approach, you'll not only conquer obstacles but revel in the muddy glory of Obstacle Course Racing. 

Stay focused, stay resilient, and enjoy the journey! See you on the course.