My story about Cold Weather OCR racing

cold water acclimatisation training

In 2013 hundreds and hundreds of racers experienced hypothermia. I know that on 29th January I was racing at Tough Guy. All was going well. Got to the hill climbs and was flying around. Did a check with another racer to see how tough the obstacle was and he said it is the 2nd hardest. Thought wow, doing well. He said the hardest is the cold and the water. Fortunately I had spent a month doing cold water Training in -8 degrees, so felt pretty prepared. I new it was going to be challenging , but hadn’t realised to what extent. Whether it was ‘Walking the plank’, full body immersions or wading through an ice field of 2cm thick ice for 100m up to your chest/neck, knowing that you had to turn around at the end and go all the way back. It was shocking, it was testing.

Cold Water Training

Even OCR champion Thomas Blanc passed out and shipped off in an ambulance. But one of the hardest aspects was getting caught up in slow moving regions of the Killing Field. Being out of the water, hit by the winds and hail stones just drew every bit of heat out of your body. It tested and tested you. God knows what it would have been like with out the Cold Water Acclimatisation Training. Can’t tell you the amount of racers falling by the wayside because of the cold. The amount of in correctly kitted out runners and those that had done very little preparation.

In March 2013 only 6 racers completed the 4 laps at The Nuts Challenge due to water and cold temeperatures that even put World Champion Jonathan Albon out of the race. At the end of March I was racing at the Reaper, in Pippingford Park and it was snowing.



In short we cannot take anything for granted. The weather may get mild, it may snow, it might rain, it may be cold. We are in England and every day it changes. But one thing for sure the water will still remain cold. We have to plan, prepare, practice and acclimatise. Acclimatising is not just about jumping into some puddles or a pond. It is about retraining your body’s thermostat. It is about adjusting your perception of temperature. It is about preparing it for your winter races so that you can complete your races, have fun and enjoy it.

This requires the right kit, and a series of Cold Water & Cold Weather Acclimatisation Training over the preceding month to make sure that you are ready. It is tried and tested. It is used by all of TEAM Wild Forest Gym. Hundreds of other seasoned and elite racers use it, because it works.

As an OCR Coach every OCR racers is to get a FREE Wild Forest Gym Cold Water and Cold Weather Acclimatisaiton Training Plan . Plus you can join our community of Cold Masochists to get advice and to chat amongst yourselves.


Coach Michael always looking out for our community of OCR racers.

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