Obstacle Course Training - Alexander Burns - Week 10 Blog

Australian Obstacle Racing News   |   Apr 11, 2017

Last year I was fortunate enough to win an Obstacle Racers Australia competition where they had partnered with Obstacle Course Training (OCT) to provide one of their training programs. Designed by Matt Murphy, Ryan Atkins and Jon Albon it provided me with a progressive and educated approach to increasing my running and OCR capacity (You can see my last article abour the OCT Advanced Program HERE). It worked wonders for me, resulting in a solid performance in the inaugural Spartan Race Bright Ultra Beast (well I didn’t die, always a good result in my books). After that it was a given that I would jump on board their 20 week Ultra program targeted as a 20 week lead in to a Ultra distance OCR Event, Perfect lead into the 24 hour Enduro. Last year when I was just testing the waters to this crazy OCR stuff I went along and volunteered and did a single lap, you may have seen me at the rope laders, or freezing by the cargo net water crossing in the am. Totally worth it for this gorgeous sun rise.

Monday saw both 10 weeks of training pass, and 10 weeks to go until the Enduro step off. It was also a TEMPO baseline retest, 10 kms working towards that ‘sweet pain’ as Jon Albon puts it. Below is the comparison of the two runs from my Garmin. I am happy that my time being a good improvement for 10 weeks (it was around 50 minutes last year). I also seen a steady improvement on my 5 km park run times, from 21:22 last year to a new PB 19:55, I was only aiming for low 20s this year, (Guess I need to rethink that?). I’m enjoying the training and “touch wood’ managing to feel better, avoid injuries much better than last year.

Matt Murphy said the key is consistency, and I think that the OCT Ultra Program is really good at conveying that to Athletes. Don’t get me wrong, there is a LOT of running in the ultra program (50-60 kms a week), but its broken up into different styles. The idea isn’t to go out and smash yourself every time (probably why my own training program didn’t work, going out 120% every day). It varies the intensity of the workouts each day in order to stress the muscles but give you time to recovery to be able to go hard when required for the epic sessions. It includes a good mix of speed work, technique focused running, hills and long runs, which over the course of the 20 weeks increase in difficulty along with your ability to achieve them.

Its been an interesting transition going from a 95 kg lad that spent a lot of time in the gym relocating weights to their previous location over and over again, to someone that’s taken up, Cross Fit, Yoga and endurance running. Last year with the help of Geelong Boxing Obstacle Training body scans I have been tracking the change in my body changes throughout the progression. Sitting at 82kgs and 7% BF is a new and nice experience, I’ve been able to maintain strength in lifting ability and some increases even though I’ve lost some muscle mass. I think that the effort from the team at Sale CrossFit and Yoga Space Gippsland have helped my body break up repetition, maintain strength and keep some level of flexibility. The team at both have been keeping a keen interest in my ‘weird’ exploits and are always encouraging and trying to help.

GEAR GEAR GEAR. I am a gear junkie, I like gadgets and I like to buy things, 24 hour races are the perfect excuse to do all of this. Though they are also such an unknown, there’s gear lists abound all over the internet that would make General Patton proud of the deployment. I think I have doing pretty good at minimizing down and trying to refine it to something more useful. I have spent more ours than I care to admit on the internet researching trying to come up with the golden plan, thankfully the community as always is fantastic and never unwilling to be patient and answer my questions. A massive thankyou to Nigel, Sae, Amanda, Sabrina, Dave, Clem, Linda, Anthony, Chris, Peter and everyone for your endless replies to messages. Bigger thank you to Amy who puts up with me ceaselessly talking about Enduro and WTM about the same level as an addict must think about their respective crutch, Im just lucky were into the same craziness.

(occasionally she let's me race with her =p)

Will update you a bit more the closer it gets as my gear is finalized, and nutrition tested. Train hard and see you out there.

(my current nutrition testing regime)

24 Hour Enduro World Championships
Inverell's Toughen Up Challenge
5k Foam Fest
Toughest Mudder