It seems like in the last five years, there has been an explosion of obstacle course races throughout the nation. I believe it’s because OCRs have positively impacted the lives of many runners, which I learned when I participated in the Spartan Race’s Spartan Sprint that took place in Citi Field this past April. Here are 4 ways it has impacted mine:
It Pushed Me To Become A Better Runner
As an avid runner, I find something rhythmic and relaxing about running. After a long day of work and dealing with life’s stresses, a nice long run helps melt these stresses away.
Training for a race with obstacles like the Spartan Race adds even more value to my runs because it pushes me to change up my routine and challenge myself. Instead of just running a mile, I jog a half mile, do 25 push-ups, and sprint the other half of the mile. The switch-up in training not only helps me become a better runner, but it also makes me a stronger and more confident person.
It Encourages Team Work
The saying “It takes a village to raise a child” can easily be switched to “It takes a village to finish an obstacle course race”. Like many avid runners, I like to run on my own because I use it as time to be with my thoughts and reflect on life. However, this attitude can hold you back from doing your best when doing an OCR like the Spartan Race.
Don’t believe me? Picture yourself completing your first half mile of the race when, all of the sudden, there is a 10 foot wall that you have to climb over. The great thing about the Spartan Race is that there is a whole community of people that have your back and will help you finish while remind you the fun of it in the process.
It Helped Develop My Strategy Skills
While regular running helps me deal with everyday stress, training for the Spartan Race helped me develop my strategy skills. For example, a runner may be required to do a total of 630 burpees throughout the race. That is not a challenge that I would want to willy-nilly take on as it could cause serious injury if I am not appropriately prepared.
To prepare myself, I followed a strategy of “milestone training” where I would set goals that would increase in difficulty and intensity at every session. This is my favorite form of training because I can see results more frequently which encourages me to keep going. This is a skill that can also be used in real life, and one that I am working on applying now.
It Builds Self-Confidence
There is growth in every challenge. All of that work you put in training cumulates to race day where you have to go in with the attitude that you put your all and you will come out of the race alive. The confidence of survival and achievement is what pushed me during the race. The confidence of knowing that no matter what obstacle comes at me–a sand bag carry, a javelin throw, or wall jumping–I will get through it, and cross the finish line unscathed.
After all is said and done, you will gain a sense of accomplishment. You Spartan’d Up and succeeded, and that is a feeling that can’t be beat. That feeling is so good, you may just want to sign up for another race. Try it out for yourself and sign up for a race you at www.Spartan.com.