Superhuman OCR Review And How To Train For 2022!
Spotlight on Superhuman OCR 2021, and how to train for 2022!
By 2021 Women's Individual 10km Open Winner - Chiara Borg!
What is Superhuman obstacle course race (OCR)?
Superhuman OCR is a brand new, functional fitness OCR that is currently unique in its field in the UK. It combines obstacle racing, stadium running and functional fitness.
I was privileged to be part of the first ever event, and I loved it! Any active person, who is dedicated to train, can prepare for Superhuman OCR and take part as an individual, a pair or a team. The obstacles are non-technical and therefore open to a wide range of abilities. However, do not mistake this OCR to be easy – wow, it is brutal! It certainly lives up to its “Superhuman” name! When you complete this race, you will certainly feel like you can take on the world! The buzz at this event is amazing. Everyone, from the other competitors to the incredibly encouraging staff and volunteers, made it a wonderful, uplifting experience. It was a very special event, and a pleasure to be a part of.
What obstacles were part of Superhuman OCR 2021?
The race included a variety of obstacles. In the park, we were greeted with:
- Heavy object carries (sandbag, log, & keg carries)
- Cargo crawls
- High Wall Climbs
- Tyre drags
- Heavy tyre flip
- Farmers carry
- Under & over obstacles
- Balance beams
- Burpees onto tyres
- Sledgehammer tyre slams
In the Stadium, we faced:
- Steps… never-ending steps! Up and down, many times, steps…
- Heavy rucksack carries up and down steps
- Box Jumps
- Heavy rope skipping
- Long… long… long lengths of bear crawls, walking lunges and burpee broad jumps
How to train for it?
What’s fantastic about Superhuman OCR is that the exercises are trainable at a gym, or at home if you have some equipment. Superhuman event organisers provide a very useful training plan with specific workouts aimed to prepare competitors for the OCR. If you want a more personalised training plan you can reach out to @teammadness_ (www.ajmadness.co.uk/); this is the group I train with. My own personal training incorporates running, strength, functional fitness and mobility training, and mixed training sessions.
The foundation to most OCRs is running, and therefore run sessions should form a major part of the training plan. At a minimum, you should work up to being able to complete the full distance of the course, but ideally should be able to run for an additional 3-5km since the obstacles will mean the overall time running the distance will be much longer. I find it useful to perform interval or fartlek training sessions. Performing these high-intensity sessions trains the body to remove lactic acid (which builds up in such sessions) more efficiently during anaerobic exercise. This will improve run speed and recovery after completing an obstacle.
Strength, Functional Fitness and Mobility Training
Superhuman OCR involves various strength and functional fitness obstacles, therefore, it is important to perform exercises such as box jumps, lunges, shoulder presses, farmers carries, pull ups (can be with a band), push ups, rowing, burpees etc. Animal movements are great for core strength and mobility, things such as bear crawls, duck walks, crab crawls, and inchworms. Not only do these movements build functional strength and fitness, but they are extremely helpful in preparing for this OCR. Depending on the exercise, in order to progress you should increase the weight, number of reps or distance each week.
In OCR you need to be able to alternate between running and tackling obstacles, therefore, it is important that training includes sessions where running is mixed with strength and functional fitness exercises. This type of training session will most closely mimic the format of the OCR. For example: 2-3 rounds: 300m run between each of the following exercises - 300m row, 50m farmers carry, 50m burpee broad jumps, 50m bear crawl, 50m sandbag carry, 20 box jumps.
My typical week of training
An example of a typical week of training for me looks like this:
Monday – Strength, functional fitness and mobility session
Tuesday – Interval run session
Wednesday – Rest
Thursday – Mixed session
Friday – Rest
Saturday – 5km run, fast or easy (sometimes with my 2-year-old boy in the buggy)
Sunday – Long run (aiming to increase every week)
The most important part of any training plan is to make sure it is FUN for you. While it is good to have a plan, it is also important not to worry if you miss a day or even a week because the baby is up all night / work is busy / you’re just not feeling it (I’ve used all those reasons!). Come race day you hopefully will know you’ve done your best to prepare and all that’s left is getting it done and having fun in the process. And if your body and soul are being destroyed in the “Stadium of Doom” (what I’m calling it, haha), rest assured you will not be alone – on your left or right you will catch the eye of another friendly OCR athlete who is sharing in that pain… and then you will exchange a head shake and a smile.
By Chiara Borg Instagram: @chiara_borg89
Book your spot for Superhuman OCR 2022 here: https://www.superhumanfestival.com/events/67