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|Posted by Strength & Speed on August 26, 2019 at 11:55 AM|
Two years ago I had never heard of Goodr sunglasses when I came across them stocked in a local running store. A year ago I didn’t know anyone that owned them until my podcast cohost Brenna “Red Beast” Calvert started buying pairs like she had stock in the company. Well after her constantly talking about them, I finally picked up a pair for a review. Here is what I thought of Goodr and if they live up to all the hype:
Style and Color: What caught my attention initially was their wide range of styles and fun names associated with each. As an Obstacle Course Racer (OCR), you’ll be able to find a pair that matches your favorite race series or team without issue. “This Is Sparta!!!! (it’s not)” is perfect for all the Spartan Sprint enthusiasts, “Falcor’s Fever Dream” or “Cryo-Crypt” are perfect for all the Savage Racers out there and the orange “Donkey Goggles” is great for all the Tough Mudder Legionnaires, just to name a few.
My former teammate used to get a haircut before every race because according to him when he looks good, he feels good and when he feels good, he races better. I’m less concerned about my hair, but I do agree with him on looking and feeling good to race better. Goodr gives you more color options than seem reasonable. In fact, you are probably going to have trouble just picking one color.
I went with “Gangrene Runner’s Toes” green to match my Conquer The Gauntlet Pro Team jersey, the red/black Mud Run Guide exclusive variant to match my #TeamAtomik race kit and “Swedish Meatball Hangover” to celebrate my two recent podium finishes at the 12 hour Toughest Mudder events. (The yellow/blue of those glasses match the leader’s bib, kind of like cyclists do at the Tour De France when they win a colored jersey.)
Fit: The glasses fit great on my head. For those with big heads or just like bigger glasses, Beast Goodr are their larger variants. I’ve been wearing them daily for my training runs and even at a couple of non-timed OCRs. They stay put without issue and I experienced no slipping making them perfect for wear as an athlete. In fact, most of the time I forgot I was even wearing sunglasses, which is the ultimate sign they fit and perform well.
Price: Here’s where most sunglasses companies lose my interest. They charge $100 or more for something I’ve been known to lose within the year. Goodr comes in at an extremely reasonable $25 for most pairs. This means I can buy a pair, or several, wear them for things like running or racing and not worry if I end up losing them.
Brand: Goodr markets itself as what I would describe as a “fun brand”. Their sunglasses are not only great but their marketing team ties them into a lifestyle that scream PARTY with fun names like “Whiskey Shots with Satan”, “Flamingos on a Booze Cruise” and “Kiss Me I’m S***faced”.
That’s not me. Not even close. I don’t drink anymore because I’m so fitness focused and there was a running joke at my job I “don’t like fun.”
Coworkers: “Hey Evan, we are going out to the bar after work.”
Me: “Cool, sounds like fun.”
Coworkers: You coming?
Me: Nope….I’m going to the gym (or going running).
I do like fun, my definition is just different and usually involves racing 8-24 hours through the night. However, I do like sunglasses that are stylish, functional and reasonably priced. Goodr hits a homerun in all three of these categories. While many people love the “lifestyle” aspect of a company (which I think most people will love Goodrs), I’m more concerned with practicality.
Overall: As an athlete do you really need sunglasses for training or racing? Yes, you do. Not wearing sunglasses means your face and eyes are tense/scrunched. You want to be relaxed in the rest of your body so you aren’t holding extra tension or wasting energy/effort. It’s the reason you often see elite marathon runners wearing sunglasses during their race.
Goodr does a great job with their glasses and they have locked me in as a fan. With so many styles and colors at such a reasonable price, I would add them to your purchase list as soon as possible. Some of their styles/colorways are limited edition (such as the “Not Your Grandma’s Couch” line and “The Empire Did Nothing Wrong” line) so you want to order them sooner rather than waiting for a far off birthday or holiday. For my Goodr glasses review, it’s an easy 5/5 stars.
|Posted by Strength & Speed on May 7, 2019 at 2:05 PM|
If you know Obstacle Course Racing (OCR), then you know MudGear. The brand with the best known, best performing and most stylish OCR sock recently expanded their lineup of products to include shorts. I picked up a pair for use both in the gym, on the trail and on the race course and here is what I thought:
Style: I absolutely love the style. They currently offer two color options, black or grey. Both look great but I went with the black since it tends to go better with the rest of my OCR wardrobe. I love the MudGear logo along the sides since it allows me to represent the brand associated with OCR clothing without me having to lift up my pants to show off my socks.
Each pair of shorts has three pockets: the two normal side ones and one in the back. I love this because it brings out the shorts versatility. If I’m running errands, or not using them for training, the side pockets are great for holding things like my wallet or my phone. If I want to take them on a long run, the back pocket has a zipper closure allowing you to carry several gels to fuel your training as well as my house/car key.
Fit: I normally wear size medium in most things and usually buy my pants in around a 32 inch waist despite my actual waist being smaller (I like a little extra room). I actually own two pairs of the MudGear shorts, a small and a medium. I fit into both comfortably without issue. The drawstring closure system on each pair allows them to fit a wide range of waists. I suspect even if I packed on a little bit of off-season/winter/bulking weight the shorts would still fit great.
Personally, the only difference I could see between the small and medium is the mobility in the legs. The mediums allow me to take long deep lunges easily without adjusting my shorts. I found the smalls a little more restrictive requiring me to pull up my shorts slightly. So if you are between sizes, I would go with the larger or if you are concerned about leg mobility. That being said, I still wear and train in the small shorts but if going for a long run, I make sure to put on the mediums pair.
Durability: I’ve only had the shorts for a couple of months. So they’ve only got a limited number of miles and wear on them. That being said I did use them for OCRmill 24 (a 24 hour treadmill run doing four obstacles at the end of every mile) and they still look brand new. I had no chaffing from them despite long hours of repetitive movement. The built in lining still fits and feels great.
It is rare to find my low cut MudGear socks or shorts in my house in the clean pile because it is the first thing I grab out of the laundry. Even with weekly use for the last couple of months the shorts still look brand new. I’ve had other shorts that I put through similar wear and tear and sometimes the brand logo wears off quickly. So far, so good with MudGear.
Price: As I write this, they are currently on sale for $33 making them a great pair of shorts for their price that is comparable to other big fitness brands. As with everything in life, you “vote” with your money. When given a choice, I like to support the brands that support my sport…and no one does that more than MudGear.
Performance: I typically only wear spandex/compression material for races, so I haven’t had the full pleasure of racing in these shorts. However, I have taken them through some rainy trail runs that are comparable to OCRs. They wick away moisture well and don’t absorb water weight even when it is raining. If you aren’t a spandex type of guy, I would put these at the top of your list for racing. The built in liner, the pockets for fuel, the moisture wicking and the overall comfort give you everything you need.
With the addition of shorts, you can now race in full MudGear from head to toe including socks, shorts, shirt, sleeves and even a hat. (Don’t forget to check out their race jerseys, which are the perfect thickness in my opinion. Thin enough to allow for ventilation and coverage of skin but still providing protection without causing overheating.)
Overall Review: Overall, I love the MudGear shorts. They are versatile enough to wear around the house, out for a day with the family, training at the gym, going for a run or running through an OCR. When a brand is focused on your sport the products are better suited for your needs. You’ll see me in them after every race once I change out of my wet race clothing. Join the MudGear movement and pick up a pair of MudGear shorts today!
Now available at www.MudGear.com
|Posted by Strength & Speed on April 21, 2019 at 10:30 PM|
Mud Run Guide's Ultra-OCR Bible is now available on digital download for Kindle only. If you want a hard copy, please head to the online S&S store. If you want the digital download you can find it exclusively on Amazon via the link below.
|Posted by Strength & Speed on January 15, 2019 at 10:25 AM|
Atomik Climbing Holds is a known leader in the world of Obstacle Course Racing (OCR) holds and climbing. However, they recently expanded their line of products to include balance products. As someone who previously had balance issues in OCR (2016s inclusion of Z beam at Conquer The Gauntlet Wichita knocked me back into the middle of the elite field), I was curious to see what they had to offer. Atomik has two different versions with several difficulty levels for each.
The two versions are:
1) Two footed version
2) Single foot version
The two footed version comes in three difficulty levels (Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced). The single foot version only comes in two difficulty versions (Beginner and Advanced). I decided to go with the two footed Beginner, two footed Advanced and the single foot advanced. Design: The design is simple but clever. A flat top and a bulge at the bottom make them look like an upside down Bosu ball.
Durability: Atomik always has amazing durability. I've had many of my holds for years and treat them very poorly often dropping them from heights when changing out the holds on my rig (something I don't recommend doing). However, even with my poor treatment I've never had one break or crack. These balance trainers are made out of the same high quality material and still look brand new despite frequent use at home and in a Conquer Fitness ninja competition.
Choices: Atomik offers their full line of colors to choose from with an almost overwhelming number of options. Seriously, take a look at these color choices. Use: While I got them for myself, the person in my house that loves them the most is my four year old daughter. She calls them lily pads (I got green versions) and we will spend an hour crossing them, walking in a circle or trying to change positions without falling. They are so much fun and you can tell your spouse you bought them for the kids. (You're welcome.) We also used them as part of the Conquer The Gauntlet Pro Team takeover at the December event. They provided a nice change of pace and something different to members of the gym. The balance required to cross helped test full body instead of just grip strength.
Overall: The advanced models I am going to give a 5/5 stars. I love the challenge they present and the single foot/two foot variation make for different challenges. I've seen people use other homemade products for balance that are similar but I have also seen people roll their ankles badly on those homemade or lower cost solutions. Despite hours of playtime on these Atomik balance trainers, I've never rolled my ankle. I want to say the design makes it impossible, but I feel like someone will take that as a challenge. Regardless, I can't figure out how you would roll an ankle on these trainers. The beginner model was great for kids, people with very poor balance or if you were going to do other exercises on the trainer besides just walking across it.
They would be a 5/5 stars but for most of the people who read my website, they are probably more of a 3.5/5 stars, because you will find them too easy. I didn't get to test the intermediate model but I suspect based off the beginner and advanced that it works pretty well. However, my recommendation is to go with the two footed advanced, single foot advanced and if you want some more options pickup more single foot advanced models or a two footed intermediate. Every year watching ninja warrior many of the top athletes get knocked out early because of balance obstacles. Balance is just like any other skill, if you don't practice you won't get better at it. I'm just glad we have companies like Atomik to help us to continue to push our limits.
|Posted by Strength & Speed on January 7, 2019 at 6:05 AM|
OCR has maintained the reputation of the party boy/girl lifestyle since the inception of the sport. And let’s face it, after a hard fought race who doesn’t want to celebrate with a few brews and good company in the festival area? Although the occasional post-race splurge is unlikely to dramatically affect performance, drinking in the days leading up to the race may be a concern. Research provided by the US Olympic Committee (USOC) indicates that binge drinking can decrease athletic performance by up to approximately 11.4% for up to 72 hours. This is particularly important for championship race series (example: OCR World Championships) that have three days of events or the ultra-endurance races (WTM, Toughest Mudder, Bonefrog Endurance, etc.) that last several hours. Alcohol consumption can affect performance through many mechanisms which include:
● Diminished motor skills, balance, coordination, and reaction time
● Poor circulation to muscle tissue and significant reduced strength/power output
● Increased risk of injury in athletes who drink vs those who do not
● Impaired use of carbohydrate and fat for exercise
● Increased rate of perceived exertion during exercise
● Imbalances of testosterone and estrogen which may contribute to a less than ideal body composition
● Disruption in sleep cycles which can inhibit physical and cognitive recovery from exercise
● Fluid losses and imbalanced electrolytes through diuretic effects
● Increased energy intake from nutritionally sparse sources that include the alcoholic beverages themselves and associated poor dietary choices while inebriated
How much is too much? Binge drinking is categorized as more than two alcoholic beverages per two hours. But how much is considered “one” drink? Generally, one drink is 12 ounces of a beer/cider/cooler with 5% alcohol content, 5 ounces of wine with 12% alcohol content, or 1.5 ounces of liquor with 40% alcohol content. Regardless athletes are encouraged to restrict their daily alcohol consumption to <2 drinks per day and it would be optimal to omit regular alcohol use.
Diagram and content courtesy of the USOC Sport Nutrition Team
With all of this being said, if you are an individual who races in open heats or non-competitively with no goals other than to finish a race -- a couple of drinks with your buddies the night before isn’t going to make a large impact….. BUT if you are A.) An athlete who takes performance seriously or B.) Racing a more demanding event (multiple day series or ultra-endurance race) it is highly advisable to avoid alcohol consumption at least 48 hours prior to competition.
Luc is a registered dietitian with his M.S. in Nutrition and certifications in personal training and wellness coaching. Luc hones his professional skills through counseling athletes/fitness enthusiasts and through his career as a clinical dietitian at East Carolina University. As a member of the Strength & Speed Development Team, his main hobby is competitive obstacle course racing with notable appearances at Obstacle Racing World Championships (2014-16) and a 50 mile completion at Worlds Toughest Mudder 2013. Luc can be followed through his facebook (www.facebook.com/lrlabonte) and Instagram (www.instagram.com/lrlabonte_ms_rd_ld/) accounts.
|Posted by Strength & Speed on December 6, 2018 at 8:05 PM|
Strength & Speed is opening the application window for their 4th S&S Developtment Team. Each year has brought success to our athletes with a list of different benefits that change but also expand slightly every year. 2018 included athletes getting their first sponsors, several becoming ambassadors for brands and many hitting new PRs including first Ultra-OCR win, first win, first cash podium, most podiums in a year and more. To check out some of the athletes from the last three years, check out the Teams page.
Unlike Pro Teams which often provide larger benefits like free access into races spanning multiple states and other perks, the biggest benefit of this team is access to knowledge for improvement not published elsewhere. Upon entrance into the team you will have small group access to personal trainers, a nutritionist, physical therapist, OCR professionals and other sponsored athletes. As part of the Development Team, you will get unprecedented access to knowledge includes training information, workout templates and guidance when applying for sponsorship.
Additional benefits of the team include name/S&S score on the website, a couple of items of free apparel, marketing support, discounts not available to non-team members and the opportunity to expand you influence in the OCR world. As S&S gets perks they are allowed to share, those discounts, free items and free entries are passed along to the team. Companies want athletes that not only provide them quality finishing results but also have an outlet for spreading their message. Being a part of Strength & Speed gives you an established platform to spread your desired message to a larger audience rather than trying to build something on your own from the ground up.
Getting sponsored by a larger company is not an easy task and it requires significant work. The athletes at Strength & Speed have already solved a lot of the challenges associated with this process. If you do not need training advice but just knowledge on how to get sponsored, the Development Team will also help you with that.
Apply today by filling out the information below and sending it to Evan@TeamStrengthSpeed.com as AN ATTACHED WORD DOCUMENT if you are interested. We are not necessarily looking for the best athletes, just those with a strong desire to succeed. Application window closes on January 15, 2019:
(Cut and paste the below into a word document and fill out)
Is this your first year applying?:
Major Goal for 2019:
Minor Goals for 2019:
Races for 2019:
2018 Race Results:
Race Highlights from 2017 or Earlier:
Social Media Sites (Facebook/Twitter/Instagram/YouTube/etc.):
Other Relevant Information You Think We Should Know:
Other Sponsors (if applicable):
Possible Interests in Expanding Influence (interested in writing articles, reviews, videos or other ideas?):
(Reference Criteria section of the website for below information. Proof of score not required at the time of applying.)
|Posted by Strength & Speed on November 19, 2018 at 5:50 PM|
When I say the word ultra-endurance to people they typically think skinny runner logging a ton of miles that probably can’t do a single pull-up. However, there is a world where you need ultra-endurance running capability combined with ultra-strength in your upper body, it is called Ultra-Obstacle Course Racing (Ultra-OCR). This is the world I train for, enjoy and thrive in.
Ultra-OCR usually involves running for a set period of time (usually 6, 8, 12 or 24 hours) on a course that is around five miles in length with around 20 obstacles. It is the big brother of OCR which usually runs between one and 13 miles of obstacles on a single lap course. In OCR and Ultra-OCR, sometimes the obstacles are very easy like crawling through this pipe, swimming across the body of water or going over a five foot wall. Other times the obstacles look like something out of ninja warrior with monkey bars, rotating wheels and hanging grips. Sometimes it involves strength like carrying a sandbag or turning a heavy crank attached to a several hundred pound sled, yet other times it tests your fears through things like ice baths, electricity and 40 foot cliff jumps.
These are the races I run and to prepare for them I train with weights. To effectively do obstacles for 8 or 24 hours, you need to overload your body with the progressive stress of weights. I use three main products in my training and used these extensively as I prepared for then completed the record setting 48 hour Ultra-OCR Endure The Gauntlet, a charity event that raised money for Folds of Honor (scholarship money for children whose parents were killed or wounded in US Military service).
1) Harbinger Big Grip Bar Grips: Grip strength is of paramount importance in OCR and Ultra-OCR so there is no better tool than Big Grip Bar Grips so you are working on grip strength with every single exercise. Anytime I touch a bar, my grips go on them. It ensures I am constantly stressing grip regardless of the exercise.
2) Harbinger Dip Belt: Too often athletes I train and work with will focus on bodyweight only exercises. While can be great for sport specific movements, it often leads to a plateau. Athletes will get better and once they reach a certain level they no longer have to adapt to get stronger. This is where the dip belt comes in and is great for things like dips or weighted pull-ups. The ability to add insane weights lets you overload the muscle. This is a feeling I know all too well after trying to cross a set of monkey bars for the 15th time after 18 hours of running/walking.
3) Harbinger Weight Vest: Besides the Big Grip Bar Grips, this is a staple of Ultra-OCR training. The extreme races require you to wear a wetsuit to prevent hypothermia. It is unfeasible to train in a wetsuit in most conditions. However, you can wear a weight vest for practicing obstacles with a similar amount of additional weight on your body. Whether you are doing hill repeats to strengthen the legs, climbing over a wall or crossing a rig, Harbinger’s weight vest with adjustable weights gives you the tools you need for success.
Strength training is not just for bodybuilders, powerlifters or strength athletes. It isn’t even just for Ultra-OCR athletes. Strength training is for all athletes. The strength and power developed from working with weights can fix imbalances, build bone density, increase testosterone and make you a better athlete in your chosen sport. Train hard and go out and crush your goals
|Posted by Strength & Speed on November 12, 2018 at 5:45 PM|
The world of ultra-endurance is growing with people wanted more than a marathon (26.2 miles) or more than a century (100 mile) bike ride. My sport is Obstacle Course Racing (OCR) and is no exception. Since 2011, athletes have been tackling events like the 24 hour long World’s Toughest Mudder and as of 2017 the CBS Televised 8 hour Toughest Mudder Series. The events require going over (usually) a 5 mile strength of land with around 20 obstacles. Some involve crawling, some hanging from your hands, others strength to carry or climb over a wall and sometimes they test your fears with things like a 40 ft. cliff jump.
I’ve been competing in endurance sports since 2003 with my first marathon followed in 2004 by my first (unofficial) ultra-marathon (a 40 mile unsupported run from Baltimore to Washington D.C.) and my first iron distance triathlon (2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike, 26.2 mile run). However, I didn’t find my true sport until 2014 when I raced my first Ultra-OCR, the 24 hour long World’s Toughest Mudder.
The distances covered in Ultra-OCR are a little lower than of a regular running course of the same length. The uneven terrain, the obstacles, the water crossings and often the extreme conditions requiring athletes to put on a wetsuit to prevent hypothermia slow your pace. However, I would argue the stress on the body can be greater. You are not just taxing your legs but your arms, your back muscles, your grip strength and putting your body through some terrible conditions including ice baths, swim crossings and adrenaline inducing cliff jumps. In 2014, after World’s Toughest Mudder, an especially windy and cold year, I had trouble controlling my body temperature for three days afterwards.
I go to the race every year and every year the hardest part is not the terrible conditions, sleep deprivation or exhaustion, it is the walk back to the car when my feet hurt more than anything. The course designers can do whatever they want to me, but when they make me walk a half mile back to the parking lot they break my spirit every year. This year is different though because I got my first pair of OOFOS.
OOFOS recovery sandals (and now shoes) are the best post-event purchase you can make. OOFOS feel good any day of the week and they feel better after a long training day/week. However, nothing can compare to putting on OOFOS after an ultra-endurance event. The shoes literally make me change my stride from “I can barely walk” to “I’m walking almost normal”. I’ve tested a lot of products from the fitness industry and there are few where you can feel the effect immediately, OOFOS is one of these products.
I’m skeptical of all new products and I was skeptical of OOFOS too. The first time I tried them on I’ll admit I did the stereotypical “ooo” that gives OOFOS its name. They are comfortable, there is absolutely no doubt there. However, the first time I put them on after one of my endurance events, it was life changing. They are now part of my race essential kit as much as my running shoes that I use on race day.
If you don’t own a pair of OOFOS, you need to order some today. Not even my post-cheat meal feels as good as OOFOS after a long event. The best part is you don’t have to run insane distances to get this feeling. It is available to anyone that pushes their body and wants to recover faster, whether that be 10k, 10 miles, 100 miles or just someone that spends a lot of time on their feet. Do yourself a favor and stop living in the past. OOFOS are the future of post-endurance recovery and that future is now.
|Posted by Strength & Speed on November 5, 2018 at 5:25 PM|
My friends: “You’re going to do Obstacle Course Racing (OCR) for 48 hours?”
My friends: “Have you ever done that before?”
Me: “No, no one has. That’s the part of the reason I’m doing it.”
I’ve done around 20 Ultra-Obstacle Course Races (Ultra-OCRs) with around 10 podium finishes and only a handful of results outside of the top 10. I’ve also completed some pretty big Ultra-OCR challenges (OCR America and Ultra-OCR Grand Slam). From this accumulated knowledge I wrote the only book available on the topic and in a desire to push limits even further decided to do a 48 hour OCR this summer called Endure The Gauntlet. So while I had a good understanding of what I was getting myself into, there is a still a mismatch between expectations and reality.
Endure the Gauntlet involved running multiple laps of what most consider the hardest OCR series in the US, Conquer The Gauntlet. I would start on Friday at 1130 AM and stop on Sunday at 1130 AM. The goal of the event was to raise $5000 or more for the charity Folds of Honor and challenge myself with an event twice as long as any other OCR. Folds of Honor provides scholarship money for children whose parents were killed or wounded in US Military service.
1. Injury Prevention Pre-Event:
a. Expectations: Thanks to JRen Fitness’ Jared Renyer, I took some pre-event tests including a functional movement test utilizing a several hundred thousand dollar machine used to analyze movement. One of the things it confirmed was my left knee isn’t 100%.
b. Reality: Knowing this from personal experience on confirmation from the analysis, I liberally used RockSauce Fire leading up to the event and RockTape at the beginning of the event to avoid further injury. Even with a technical course, lots of climbing and 48 hours of activity, I managed to finish without any injury and I didn’t even notice any knee problems over the 48 hours.
2. Contingency Planning:
a. Expectations: With Ultra-OCR there are so many variables it can be overwhelming. External factors like terrain, weather, elevation and obstacles can make it easy to get a lot of miles or very hard. Add in all of your personal choices like shoes, clothing and gloves and the situation gets that much more complicated. It’s actually so complicated, I wrote a full book (and the only book) on the topic, which covers all aspects including training plans. I knew I would have to try and plan for every contingency that I could think of.
b. Reality: I packed a lot of clothing changes, a lot of shoes and a wide variety of nutrition. When packing, I always bring a roll of RockTape. The versatility of it is unmatched, allowing to support nagging injuries or help solve ones that pop up mid-event. My experience prepared me well and I felt I had the right tools to tackle the problems I faced. Had I not purposely over packed, I would have found myself wishing for an extra pair of dry clothes or fresh shoes.
3. Weak Points: Legs, arms, hand or all three?:
a. Expectations: Training for such a long event, I was primarily concerned with the endurance and strength of my legs. Being an experienced Ultra-OCR athlete, I had a lot of time and experience under my belt, although nothing as long as 48 hours. I was less concerned about my upper body since I have a lot of experience passing obstacles when most of my peers are failing, especially in the 2nd half of 24 hour races.
b. Reality: However, my legs would be in pretty good shape at the end of the event, it was my upper body that was the problem and more specifically my hands. The abuse my hands took during this event was unmatched. Normally during a 24 hour World’s Toughest Mudder event (a course designed for multi-lapping) I might lose a callus. In 12 hours of Conquer The Gauntlet (a course designed for one lap), I had 13 open wounds on my hands. The swelling caused by trauma to my hands was my ultimate limiting factor on obstacles. Even doing something which is easy for me like climbing an inverted wall, a slip wall with a rope or a tire wall became so painful in the second half of the event it was insurmountable. Although my back and arm muscles were severely fatigued, the tenderness in my hands was the most painful part physically. In hindsight, perhaps some RockTape could have assisted with fluid drainage in my hands.
4. The Hardest Part:
a. Expectations: These events are always mostly mental. Through a series of successively difficult challenges, I felt I was ready for this event. I had been doing endurance sports since 2003 and got involved in Ultra-OCR in 2014. In 2016, I ran OCR America, a seven day, seven venue multi-lap event where I did 8-10 hours of OCR every day for a week. I would end up running 161 miles over the week (averaging 23 miles a day), complete 1000+ obstacles and climb 31000+ feet in elevation. In 2017, I did the Ultra-OCR Grand Slam, finishing 1st or 2nd at every 24 hour OCR in the US. In 2018, this was my big event.
b. Reality: I knew the heat of August would play a factor but it turned out to be the hardest part. With temperatures that hit 96 degrees, little shade, periods of no clouds and no water on miles 2-4.5 of each lap, I was baking. Ultimately, I had to take a break to let the sun go down after almost passing out on lap 15 (mile 67.5). I had planned for this contingency by talking about putting a cooler on the 2nd half of the course with ice. I ended up not following through with the plan because there was aid stations there and it wasn’t super easy for my pit crew to get to that part of the course. With the conditions though, I don’t think it would have saved me from taking a break, but maybe it could have extended it one lap.
5. Recovery Post-Event:
a. Expectations: Having run multiple 24 hour OCRs, without any DNFs (Did Not Finish) and done well (usually in the top 10) I have finished each one with anywhere from 55-90 miles, course dependent. The mileage differences are largely determined by obstacle difficulty, obstacle density, terrain and weather. I didn’t know how many miles I would get in 48 hours but I imagined it would be in the low 100s.
b. Reality: After my first couple of laps of the course, I knew that initial estimate was too high. Regardless, I kept moving forward because the goal was to highlight endurance and strength to raise money for Folds of Honor and less about achieving a mileage goal. The tougher terrain and tougher obstacles meant lower mileage, which means my legs are recovering way faster than I expected. Endure The Gauntlet’s 91 miles is a lot in 48 hours but I’ve done other courses with easier obstacles, fewer obstacles, less challenging terrain, in nicer weather and reached 90 miles in 24 hours. In the end, the recovery has already started better than expected.
In the end I made it across the finish line still standing raising over $5000 for Folds of Honor. When I took my first break (one longer than a couple of minutes) at 26.5 hours into the event, I had already exceed the longest OCR in the world (that I know of) by over two hours. After stopping for a couple of hours to cool off, I went back out for nearly another full marathon of OCR, ultimately finishing with 20 laps total (91 miles). After having spent a cumulative time of 49 hours on the course (counting pit stops), I crossed the finish line glad to be finish line injury free minus the normal stresses of ultra-endurance racing. It’s safe to say that RockTape has a home in OCR whether you are running a one mile short course sprint or pushing the limits of human endurance. #stronger #longer #rocktape #gostrongerlonger
|Posted by Strength & Speed on October 24, 2018 at 8:00 PM|
I’m an Obstacle Course Racing (OCR) athlete whose specialty is Ultra-OCR (events that are 5+ hours in length). Ultra-OCR usually involves running a five mile loop with around 20 obstacles for a given amount of time (usually 6, 8, 12 or 24 hour). The obstacles are sometimes easy like crawling under wire and other times really hard like something you might see on ninja warrior. While I’ve had a lot of success in Ultra-OCR including a top ten finish at the 24 hour long World’s Toughest Mudder in 2016 with 90 miles, three top 10 finishes at the CBS Televised 8 hour Toughest Mudder series and a 2nd place Team finish at 2017’s World’s Toughest Mudder, I really like to push limits with my own challenges.
In 2016, I went from permanent OCR facility to permanent OCR facility across the United States for a full week and ran almost a marathon on each one. Called OCR America, the event raised $3,500+ for the charity Folds of Honor (scholarship money for children whose parents were wounded or killed in military service). By the end of the week I ran 161 miles (averaging 23 miles a day), completed 1000+ obstacles and climbed 31000+ feet of elevation.
In 2017, I took on another challenge I created called Ultra-OCR Grand Slam, where I tried to do well in every OCR in the world. I ended up finishing 1st or 2nd at every 24 hour OCR in the USA (2nd Terrain Race 24, 1st Dirt Runner Midwest Mayhem, 1st* Shale Hell 24 and 2nd Team World’s Toughest Mudder). I even flew to Australia and finished 10th at True Grit Enduro 24.
In 2018, I knew I had to go big so I created a charity event called Endure The Gauntlet. The plan was to multi-lap the hardest OCR series in the US, on their hardest course (Tulsa), in one of the hottest months (August) for not just the longest amount of time but double that of the longest race. The 48 hour event would also raise money for the charity Folds of Honor. I finished this event just recently at the end of August after pushing myself to the absolute limit both physically and mentally covering 91 miles and destroying my hands.
While my body was devastated the day after I almost looked normal walking around thanks to OOFOS. Previously I have worn the OOFOS sandal post-event, but the OOFOS shoe takes things to the next level. With feet that were swollen, bruised and had tender spots in all sorts of weird places the soft upper felt great on my foot. The sandals would have worked too, but the shoe was even better. This soft top combined with the patented OOFOAM foot-bed make this the perfect post-event recovery option.
I can’t thank OOFOS enough for their support and how their product has changed my training and performance. During periods of heavy training I wear them to speed recovery so I can train again harder. Pre-event I wear them to maximize the effects of my taper. Post-event they are speeding my recovery so I’m ready to race again sooner.
You don’t have to go for a 48 hour ultra-endurance event to get their benefit. Anyone who spends a lot of time on their feet or just wants a comfortable pair of shoes will love OOFOS. Despite being the only endurance athlete in my family, my entire family now owns a pair. Do yourself and your feet a favor and say thank you by picking up a pair of OOFOS recovery shoes.