COVID’s got everyone feeling a bit down lately, it seems. It’s certainly understandable that in-person races would be postponed or canceled altogether. But, some companies have offered Virtual OCR Races to help placate our boredom, and for that, we’re so grateful!
While there are probably more Virtual OCR Races than the ones we’re aware of, below are a handful offering them here in the US.
VIRTUAL OCR RACES:
- Savage Race Anywhere (Free or Paid! Free if you just want the workouts to do the challenge; Paid if you want a medal and shirt to be mailed to you.)
- F.I.T. Challenge (Paid. Includes a real medal, shirt, other swag. Check out their Instagram for details: @f.i.t.challenge)
- Spartan (Free. Includes a leaderboard to track your results against other racers, and comes with a virtual medal.)
- Bonefrog (Paid. Comes with a real medal, shirt, and decal!)
- And, while not a virtual race – our own OCR Travel Workouts are currently being offered for FREE. Download the PDF here. (Normally $25. Comes with 9 workouts that can be done anywhere. Six of them require no equipment, and 3 require minimal equipment, such as a set of dumbbells. These were initially written to be helpful when on the road traveling to/from race weekends recognizing that limited equipment is available during travel. They’re really coming in handy now!)
WHAT WE’VE CHOSEN:
As racers that typically compete in either the Competitive/Elite or Spartan Age Group heats, Eddie and I have training blocks planned out that we try not to veer away from too much. We are lucky that our trails have been allowed to stay open. Quite honestly, we have personally seen the politeness level increase significantly out on the trails. People aren’t huffing and puffing about allowing folks to pass, they’re moving off the trail entirely to practice safe social distancing guidelines, and they’re even waving and saying hello! With trails open and a combination of our Palmer Shape strength training programs and travel workouts, we’ve been able to keep our training up without missing too much of a beat.
We also decided to have some fun and incorporate the Savage Race Anywhere Virtual OCR into our program. We may try out the others as well if there’s room in our training schedule without overdoing it. Overtraining is contrary to goals, so we’ll see. Fingers crossed.
DETAILS OF SAVAGE RACE ANYWHERE:
We’re really liking the Savage Race Anywhere (there’s a Race and Blitz level). You have four weeks to complete 14 separate workout challenges, and the clock starts ticking on the day you register. If you sign up for both Race and Blitz options, you have an additional 28 days to complete both programs (28 workouts over 56 days total), and be eligible to earn a full Savage Syndicate. We’re currently doing the Race level, but we’re also planning to pay to do the Blitz level.
Savage Race doesn’t currently have races out west and we haven’t had the privilege of getting to the other part of the country to race in-person in one yet, but we figured we would try to support the smaller brands now so they’re there for us down the road when the COVID-19 world settles down and we return to a more normal and social life.
BUT, YOU CAN MAKE IT YOUR OWN:
From the rules on Savage Race’s website: “You can scale workouts as needed to match your fitness level. It’s ok to swip-swap between Blitz and Race options as you work your way through the program. It’s ok to scale weight and movements as needed to match your ability. Walking, run-walking, or rucking may always be substituted for running. The point is to push yourself.”
So far, we’ve done challenges 1-6, and have been doing 2 per day on the days we do Savage’s Virtual OCR. While I don’t recommend necessarily stacking them back-to-back like we have if you’re new to training and/or exerting yourself for extended periods of times, it’s given us a great workout to combine them, while also allowing us time to continue fitting in our normal training. Eddie and I also believe it’s most beneficial to our personal goals to do cardio before strength, so we’ve actually done them in reverse (challenge 4, then 3 and challenge 6, then 5…etc. depending upon the two challenges we are doing that day.)
I like that the challenges alternate between strength challenges and running challenges. It’s good to mix it up! And some of the challenges have been so much fun to incorporate! Run, farmer’s carry, burpees, galore!
PROS AND CONS OF VIRTUAL OCR RACES:
Obviously, this is being done at home and/or around the neighborhood since most gyms are closed. So, it’s all on you to keep yourself honest. (But, why would you want to cheat yourself anyway?) This could be a pro or a con…depending upon your outlook in life.
One of the biggest cons to all of this is the in-person camaraderie obtained after you finish a race. The community is so amazing, and we love spending time with everyone after a race!
It’s pretty cool that (even if virtual), we’re still getting the option to “race”, along with medals and shirts in some cases to reward our hard efforts. It might even be more impressively earned because you got up and did something to push yourself instead of succumbing to sitting on the couch and choosing to watch more TV than normal. It’s easy when you travel for the sole purpose of racing. Much harder when the temptation to be comfy on your own couch or bed is 4 feet away. You’re choosing health. Hooray!
What Virtual OCR Races are you signed up for? We’d love to know, and if you’re so inclined to write up a post about your experience, we’ll post it here on your behalf with all credit back to you.
And, if you’re looking for strength training programs to help gear you up for that anticipated day of real, in-person racing, we’ve got programs to help you crush the course. They’re multi-week programs which include lifts, cardio, and flex sessions, written by a Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist with a specialty expertise in training athletes.
Questions? Just ask away.
In the meantime, happy (Virtual) Racing OCR Community! We can’t wait to chat alongside you all again out on the course.