I had the priviledge of once again leading a Muddyracce (http://www.muddyrace.co.uk/) training day at the original Scottish Assault Courses ( http://www.scottishassaultcourses.com/ ) over at Craufurdland Castle, Ayrshire. I was looking forward to this one for different reasons, firstly I hadn’t been on this course before AND we were sold out. It really is fantastic to see so many people, of differing levels wanting to come along and learn techniques to help make their OCR races even more enjoyable, achieveable and to conquer them. I can understand the sense of achievement, its amazing and get it every time I cross a finish line.
Fraser and I had a few run throughs over the course and I, of course needed a few wee practices to ensure I was up to scratch for everyone, unfortunately my practice attempts did not fill me with confidence – I was not having a good day at the office, or so I thought, haha.
We got everyone started of with a dynamic warm-up and some games, a bit of shin-tig always gets everyone going and I am glad to say this occasion was no different, shrieks galore during the game! A warm-up prior to racing events is important to ensure your muscles are fully warmed up, heart rate has risen. The shorter the race, the more intense the effort and the more important I find the warm-up. The harder you want to work during that race, the better and more vigorous the warm-up needs to be. Remember, for most, an OCR race is not using the typical movements that you have been doing in training and being unprepared can leave you more open to the injuries, warm-up.
It was time for the obstacles, demo’s went much better than my practice attempts. Everyone warmed me up on the monkey bars to get going, it is definitely mind over matter when you were facing that water pit below. We covered different ways of conquering these for those of differing abilities to attempt. Including just hanging from the bar, some may laugh this attemot of but if this is a big step for you – the ability to hang and support your own bodyweight is important – then that is your big win for the day. Strength even in this position can develop and lead to movement. You do what is the next step for you and not compared to someone else. A definite ‘chuffed moment was getting up the 11 foot wall using the rope, clearly needed an audience for that one.
The guys that attended were fantastic, everyone got stuck in at each of the obstacles, the monkey bars were a biggie, this is what drew the attention of everyone, watching those trying to conquer the bars with their slight twist without getting ditched into the water pit below. I thought everyone did an amazing job on the 6 foot wall and we had a few who tried and CONQUERED the 11 foot wall.
We also covered how to work as a team to conquer walls safely without injuring/ hurting your fellow teammates or racers.
We had saved the best for last, a full run through of the course, we were the first to try out new sections of the course which had been changed just last week. Again, we ran through the whole course with the key principles of overcoming personal obstacles, practicing what had just been learnt and embracing the very nature of OCR races – to support and help each other!
We started of with the walk the plank/ tree, surprisingly challenging, lulled into a false sense of security of staying dry with planks over more water-logged areas, it was time! Time to to get filthy wet, in they went and up onto the island, this relief was momentary as they were then back in the water to duck under the planks. This needed a big breath as it was a full submersion, ideal practice for those races that require you to get right under the water, such as Tough Mudder and Tough Guy. The guys worked their way around the island and then we were quickly into a bogged down, supremely muddy area.
Running the path to the next obstacle, a vertical up and down cargo net with challenging spaces between the ropes. But to get there you had to get straight through the mud puddles, these were NO normal puddles! You virtually disappeared into this muddy puddle!
Everyone attacked the next muddy section with gusto, keeping those legs moving quickly and again offered support to those trying to escape at the other end, we went onto an obstacle that challenged those with claustraphobia issues. Into a tunnel which was partially submerged. The team then had to weave through a web of string, before getting back into the mud. The amount of mud on this course is epic! Everyone then had to try out the skills and techniques they had learnt during the practice periods with the real life feeling of being wet and muddy!
Well done everyone, it really is great to meet fellow OCR racers of all levels who share the same enthusiasm for getting MUDDY! (See what I did there 😉 )
Hope to see you all at races around Scotland and at more muddyrace training events! Definitely come over and say hi!