Obstacle Course Training - David "Diesel" Syme - Week 8 Blog

Australian Obstacle Racing News   |   Dec 26, 2016


I've done some silly things this year but even by my own accounts this was going to be a challenge.

This was the event that I was hoping the Obstacle Course Training (OCT) program would assist me with – in a sense – this was my Everest (well at least so far)

The event was the inaugural Spartan Trifecta Weekend in Bright and I (like many people) was planning to complete the three events (7km & 15+ obstacles Sprint plus 14km & 25+ obstacles Super on Saturday and then back up with the 21km & 35+ obstacles Beast on the Sunday)

What makes it makes it my 2017 Everest is that I planned to complete it with my 5kg Spartan Helmet trophy plus other matching gear (even I wasn't insane enough to sign up for the Ultra with that gear and some strict time cut-offs)

Don't get me wrong – doing 1km of Burpees with the resistance mask or multiple Spartan events with said mask or even the 5 Gut Checks across 5 cities were all up there with being certifiable but at least there was some recovery time – this was getting it done on the same weekend

I wasn't even particularly sure how I would go completing it without even the additional "gear" so I needed whatever preparation I could fit and as Matt Murphy (one of the OCT Founders and well known Elite in OCR) moved to Bright I figured his program was going factor in dealing with the near 1km elevation of Mount Mystic (something that needed to be done twice during the Beast).

Therefore, I decided to slowly introduce the Spartan "gear" in some of the program's sessions – sort of adapting some of them due to changed locations for work or events that I had planned along the way - 5km parkrun – 1km lunge/330 Burpee Spartan charity event – some longer runs (albeit more like DIESEL shuffles) of 18km & 23kg – even an 8hr aerobic session in the Gladiator Pit at Picton

I noticed a few things along the way – the extra weight placed on my neck meant that I had to be extra focused with posture – the visibility was not particularly great (tripped over my own feet a couple of times) – it acted as a deterrent from magpies (& other AFL fans) – regardless of the temperature it didn't take long to build up a sweat – trying to take in fluids was more challenging than I anticipated – the shield had a similar effect as running with a wet sail –

The days leading up to the weekend with Team Build is always memorable – feeling part of the set up and catching up with likeminded crazies – but anyone who has been involved knows that each day of Team Build is a full workout on their own so you learn to pace yourself (as much as is possible) – otherwise you have nothing left in the tank on the actual day/s of the event

Saturday (Day 1) – Spartan Craziness Begins

I got through the Super somewhat unscathed – discovered that no matter which angle I attempted the Toblerones or how much I tried to contort this DIESEL body there was no way I could get through them (I also think they are getting narrower each event) – I had more success with the small cut-out windows in the wall (I picked the biggest one to squeeze through) – That Mystic Mountain (although the full elevations were saved for the next day) was full on compared to previous Spartan Races in Australia. Highlights were somehow getting up that Fortress (probably more scared about literally falling on my sword) and the Rope Climb (I did take off the swords in case I slipped & punctured the inflatable mat).

With one race under my belt I quickly refuelled and returned for the Sprint before I cooled down too much. This is where it got interesting – 2/3 rd through & my limited visibility contributed to rolling the ankle on a pine cone of all things – I hadn't come this far to quit so I hobbled round the course – replacing Burpees with Squats (acceptable under the rules) – Apart from nearly hitting the deck a few times when I misjudged the track due to the reduced vision I gained a FB worthy scar from not negotiating the Barb Wire very well – After I finished the lap I volleyed for a few hours to take my mind off the ankle.

Sunday (Day 1 – Mark II) – Unicorn Day

At Linda Dent's suggestion a few of us decided to colour up thing with unicorn leggings – it felt weirdly comfortable in a somehow unnerving way – Stuff times – This was simply about survival – The ankle was sore and most attempts to run were extremely painful – thankfully the creek crossing seemed to help numb things for a while – The first track up the full Mystic Mountain was a Be-itch but the few from the top with the hang gliders was spectacular – the trip down was possibly worse pressure on the ankle but that 2 nd alternate route back up the mountain saw many destroyed souls leaning on trees and rocks along the way – It was satisfying to complete some obstacles like the Rope Climb and Rope Traverse for all three races that Bloody Spear Throw of once across the six obstacles is frustrating – I didn't think that Finish Line would ever come along but when it did the mixed feelings of relief and satisfaction was incredible – You certainly do know at the finish line

Beer – Pizza – Beer – did I mention Beer was the preferred choice of refuelling –

Then with to finish off the day another 3hr or so hours in the Gladiator Pit trying to ignore the ankle (encouraging & congratulating some very weary people go beyond what they thought possible is a privilege) –

A half day pack up was as much as the old DIESEL body could take the next day and staying awake for the drive home way one final obstacle

I don't know how I would have gone if I hadn't participated with the OCT program during the previous 8 weeks – All I do know is that it would have been much tougher!

For now, its recovery and then back to the program.

David (DIESEL) Syme

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