Like most things in my life, I jumped into Obstacle Course Racing blind, not knowing what to expect, “winging it” to an extent, around three and a half years ago. I ran Elite my first race, which was the Charlotte Spartan Sprint 2015. On Saturday I came in 7th and won my first coin to Tahoe. On Sunday, I pulled off a win. Needless to say I was hooked.
My first year was very successful. The sport was relatively new and between Spartan and Battlefrog I was actually winning money at a fair amount of races. I also came in Elite top ten every race that year, finishing top twenty in the country in both race series – 18th in the country in the Spartan and Battlefrog.
I am a personal trainer by profession and after my success in 2015 I assumed I could continue to train myself the way I was and continue to thrive in the sport. I was wrong. First off, like anything, the more the sport grew the more competitive it became. Secondly, I continued to do the “same things” I had been doing – which included not following any strict run training and throwing in yoga, weight lifting and Crossfit with no real specific OCR training.
2016 and 2017 I saw a decline in my placements. I remained competitively in the top ten most races but rarely, to never, made it to the top three. This trend continued into 2018- the year I was determined to make a comeback. I failed at it. I saw podiums at local trail races, Terrain races, and smaller venues, but Spartan and Savage I could not crack the top spots. I cried at a lot of finish lines.
Until one day a new-ish member of my gym approached me and offered to “manage” me. He spent about an hour discussing his background as a triathlete and coaching triathletes and now crossing over into OCR. His faith in me shocked me- when we switched the conversation over into questions and answers he was literally shocked I had done as well as I had racing the way I was right now. LOL. He had a lot of tweaks and changes for me to make into my training and life that he promised would benefit my racing if I followed them.
I was skeptical at how strict I had to be about certain things, but I was 100% willing to follow the guidelines he gave me and do what he said. Somethings were hard and scary, my mileage alone I had a hard time hitting at first, but even though I was used to trying to be great on my own- this was the very push I needed.
One month after he became my manager I had my first “C” race- the Spartan Super in Asheville. I had been following the run programming and training at my home gym RipXFit and been very strict about my training. The morning of the Super I had a less than great feeling and knew I hadn’t slept, hadn’t ran, and that deferring to Sunday would be smarter. He agreed. Sunday I did something I hadn’t done since 2016, I finally made my way to the second block on the podium at a Spartan Race.
The point of this isn’t to advertise for my manager, but to advise anyone struggling with their training to let someone else help. To seek the advice of someone who knows more than you do. It’s hard as a trainer to admit that I shouldn’t write my own training plan, but there’s a lot to be said for being able to put in the work and follow someone else’s. You never get too old or too good. Sometimes the key to being the best most badass version of yourself; is admitting you need someone to assist you in becoming even better!!!