4 tips for fuelling your OCR
More people than ever are taking part in OCR events or Obstacle course races. Whether you are looking to complete an event or compete in an event, make sure you are prepared with a decent nutritional strategy and fuel up.
Read on for top tips, courtesy of our partner CherryActive, from leading OCR coach Joseph Brigham from Team Bright Hammer OCR.
1. Carb Up
When fuelling for your OCR event it is worth observing the age-old addage of carbing up. When working at the unavoidable anaerobic intensity required to get through an Obstacle race you will need stores of liver and muscle glycogen from carbs to fuel your efforts and get you through. Gone are the days when this would mean a pre-race pasta fest, there are cleaner and friendlier fuels out there such as sweet potato and oats rather than all that wheat. In the 3 days before your race aim for 5 to 10g of carbs per kg you weigh per day, and on race day aim for 3 to 5g of carbs per kg you weigh around 4 hours pre-race.
2. Stay hydrated
At just 2% dehydration you will start to suffer a noticeable drop in performance, so keeping your fluids up is an absolute must. There are many formulas and suggestions for how much you should drink but this will very individual to you – on a race day I usually follow this method:
1. Drink a pint of water upon waking up.
2. Sip on a bottle of water between that pint and your race.
3. Make use of every drink stop on races over an hour for at least a mouthful of fluid.
4. On races over 2 hours, take a 1 to 2 litre hydration pack filled with water and electrolyte solution.
There is a minefield of supplements outthere and it is hard to sort out what works and what does not, so I am going to give you a few of my must haves for your arsenal.
A: BeetActive – for enhanced endurance and longevity during races and training.
B: Creatine – to help fuel your explosiveness and strength requirements during race.
C: Amino Acids – taken pre-race to protect your muscles from breakdown during exertion.
A: CherryActive – Essential for recovery after hard-training and races, you will especially want this in your kit bag if you’re doing multiple races in a weekend.
B: Magnesium spray – applied to the muscles via the skin, this will take the ache off of those muscles and leave you feeling good as new.
C: Valerian tea – When you are really beat up from a race and your body is stressed out from the exertion, this will help you relax before sleeping by calming your adrenal glands.
Carbing up pre-race and in the 3 days running up to race day is essential but when your event takes you to new lengths of endurance you will require refuelling during the race (intra-race) to keep you going. When an event goes beyond the one hour mark you are going to go beyond your liver and muscle glycogen stores and need a top up. This usually takes the shape of gels, fruit, energy balls, or flapjacks – whatever the fuel choice you will need to ingest close to 60g per additional hour of activity after your first hour, so dont get caught short. Take this fuel on around 10 minutes before that hour mark to hit that top up in time because if you leave it until you can feel you really need it that is usually too late and you are on your way bonking.