Obstacle Course Race (OCR) training and racing can be expensive, there is no question there.  Races are not the cheapest (but you can save with codes provided by Mud Run Guide…check this link), nor are they usually down the street from your house.  To race, you need to not only pay for race entry but also pay for gas or airfare plus a hotel to round out your racing experience.  But what if…you had an unlimited budget to spend on OCR?  More specifically, what would your training look like if the cost was not a concern?  Here is my take on what OCR training looks like with an unlimited budget.

In my book, Strength & Speed’s Guide to Elite Obstacle Course Racing I talk about three pillars of training:  Exercise, Diet, and Recovery.  I use the same three pillars in this article to focus on how your training would change with all that money:


Strength & Speed athlete and coach, Josh Rundquist, trains athletes at Obstacle Academy in Edina, MN.

Pillar I: Exercise:

Just like a Mixed Martial Artist the baller OCR athlete will have an army of trainers and coaches at their disposal, each one focused on sharpening a specific set of skills:

OCR Coach:

This is the overall coach that ensures the plans are synched and prevents overtraining.  The OCR Coach also concerns himself with the intricacies of the sport that only he understands.  The OCR Coach will also schedule your OCR specific workouts, which involve running mixed with obstacles or obstacle simulations.  The OCR Coach is the overall orchestrator and decision maker that ensures that all your army of trainer’s plans works well together.

Running Coach:

OCR is primarily a running sport so having a running specific coach to make you faster seems like a no brainer.  The Running Coach will not only work on your form but also program your run workouts ensuring you are improving your aerobic and anaerobic systems.  You get bonus points if your run coach also has a large background in trail racing to teach you techniques for downhill running and navigating rocky terrain.

Ninja Coach:

Who better to learn obstacles from than an obstacle specialist?  As OCR evolves, obstacles will get harder.  Having a Ninja Coach ensures you are on the cutting edge of obstacles.  Since most obstacles need to be modified or made easier to allow for larger throughput at races, the Ninja Coach will ensure you can handle anything you encounter by always being a step ahead of mainstream OCR.

Associated “Sparring” Partners: 

Having someone to train with can often help you push just a little bit harder and perform just a little bit better.  If your Run or Ninja coach is not a top level athlete, you are going to want a training partner that specializes in those skills.  A specialized training partner means no matter how fast you are in the OCR world, there is someone that can pace and outrun you.  The same goes with obstacles.  Someone with a background in Parkour or ninja (aka short course OCR) can help push you to new limits by showing you want is possible with advanced training.  These athletes would be focused on one skill and not be well rounded like you, the OCR athlete.


Pillar II: Diet:


A nutritionist will monitor your macro-nutrient intake to ensure you are getting the correct mix of protein, fats, and carbohydrates.  The nutritionist is monitoring how you feel and work volume then adjusting your intake of macro-nutrients appropriately.  More strength training?  More protein.  More cardio?  More carbohydrates.

Strength & Speed Dev Team Athlete and Certified Dietitian Luc Labonte in his office at East Carolina University where he works with D1 athletes.


While preparing all your meals by yourself is definitely the cheapest option, sometimes eating food that has been sitting in the fridge a couple of days is not the most appetizing.  Instead, your personal cook will provide you with the best and healthiest recipes.  Eating healthy becomes a lot easier if someone is preparing delicious meals for you on a daily basis.

While I have the nutritionist and cook listed under diet, eating properly is also a crucial part of the third pillar, recovery.


Conquer The Gauntlet Pro Ashley Samples gets interviewed as Dustin Radney ensures the lighting is just right.

Pillar III: Recovery:


To maximize physical improvement you want a strong recovery plan.  Nothing is better than my favorite form of recovery, massage.  Having your own hired masseuse that comes over on a weekly basis to perform deep tissue work and stretching, will help you maximize your potential.

Personal Assistant:

Okay, now we are getting ridiculous…but the article has the word “Unlimited” not “Large” budget as part of the title. What better way to focus on racing than to have someone take care of all your extraneous activities.  Need someone to do laundry, pick up food, mow the grass, and write cards to family members on their birthdays?  The personal assistant has you covered.

Why is “Personal Assistant” listed under recovery?  It is simple, the personal assistant will reduce your overall life stress.  This takes your mind off of chores and tasks that eat up time and allows you to focus 100% on training for races.

While spending all this money on performance is out of the budget for almost everyone, as OCR continues to progress, things like this could become the norm for those at the very top of the sport or those with too much money.


Scrooge McDuck photo from www.geek.com

All other photos provided by Strength & Speed athletes

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