The Obstacle Racing World Championships are almost here! 2,000+ athletes from 67 countries will descend upon Blue Mountain Resort in Ontario, Canada with an ultimate goal of bringing home a medal for their native country. For most this is but a dream; however, that doesn’t mean the masses will give anything less than his/her best. That being said should a competitor underestimate mother nature and how much she can affect a race then that racer could be in for a long day. I fully believe in the motto “plan for the worst and hope for the best,” so you can bet that I will come prepared. I put this blog together in hopes that I can provide a little bit of clarity as you contemplate your OCRWC race(s).
Things you SHOULD have done to prepare:
- Lots of hill sprints!
- Planned out your gear so you have items like a hat/ swim cap, wind breaker, Neptune Thermoregulation System or Frog Skin, etc
- Practiced your obstacle skills at you local Ninja Warrior Gym like KoR Komplex in St. Charles, MO and various grip hold types to prepare you for the Platinum Rigs and other obstacles.
- Practiced gripping items in the rain or while they are wet!
Items to bring (these will vary based on your experience level, conditioning, resistance to cold, etc)
- Windbreaker/ Rain Jacket (this is a must if you are not an elite who is moving FAST). I recommend the Frogg Toggs Pro Action Jacket. This jacket is light and packable but still pretty durable. It is also relatively cheap so you can discard it if necessary. The biggest reason this is a great choice is it’s design. The fabric will not compress and stick to your skin when it’s wet. This means it will keep you warmer in the wind! It will also help trap in your body heat. As a last resort if it’s raining hard you could always start the race in a trash bag and then discard it at the first trash can your see.
- Neptune Thermoregulation System. If you are wet and you happen to get stuck at an obstacle then you will wish you had one of these to keep you warm especially if it’s windy like it is supposed to be. In addition to warmth, the pouches of the Neptune are designed to block wind so even if you choose not to use the warmers this system will still come in handy!
- Gloves. The expected rain will make gripping all of the obstacles a little dicy. This is where having a pair of grippy gloves with you may be necessary.
Things to consider on race day
- Wet clothing will make you colder than no clothing at all… except (see below) , so your race wear needs to be quick drying
- Less clothing means more exposure to wind you may want to have that windbreaker in your plan especially if you are racing early in the morning.
- Being cold causes the body to retain blood in the core of the body in order to stay warm. This lack of blood flow to the arms weakens your grip
- The more obstacles you fail the more cold you will get because in general I have found that using the following rest formula works well to ensure you have recovered enough to make another attempt at a grip based obstacle:
-Wait 5 min after your first failed attempt to try again
-Wait 10 min after your second failed attempt
-Wait 15 min after your third fail and add 5 minutes for each subsequent fail until you reach 30 minutes of rest. After six attempts you will likely need up to 30 minutes between attempts but remember you will eventually be pulled from the course if you cannot finish by the event cutoff.
Understanding how all of the above will play into your race is the key. Planning for this is your duty because if you “fail to plan then you plan to fail!” I see my role in this process as educator. Providing you the information so you can perform at your best. I remember the line from G.I. Joe when I was kid “knowing is half the battle!” Now you know so go out there and crush the course!!! I will see you in Canada ehh!