Building your Race Calendar & Training Plan

 planning race calendar

Why did you buy that race ticket?

Time to plan your Race Calendar

By Coach Michael, coach to WildForestGym Elite Racers

Published December 2016 Obstacle Race Magazine


How many of you runners just buy a ticket because it was an earlybird price or because your mates are doing it. This article is aimed at the seasoned and elite runner rather than the fun runner, who should book as many fun runs as possible, but in balance. As always we look to our OCR Training Expert Coach Michael, for some expert guidance as to how to build your  race calendar and make sure it is purposeful and helps you to achieve your goals.

How many of you have a plan let alone a clear goal to your coming years racing? Having a goal means that your seasons races and your training plan are purposeful. What I mean is that it’s all well racing because everyone else is or you get a good price on a ticket. What is key is making sure that your planned races help you to achieve your goal.

So what is the difference from one race to another? The choice of races is of great important when you have a goal and plan. A race could be a training race to develop and test you in different race environments may that be terrain, season, distance, weather, technicality and of course range of obstacles. For instance how many of you made sure that you entered the Judgment Day race in lead up to the UK Champs so that you were able to test out the terrain and obstacles. Similarly if you were at the OCR World Champs did you do the sprint on the Friday just as a test run?

Do you need to race outside of OCR? 

As a specialist Natural Running Coach I get my WildForestGym elite and age group runners to incorporate technical cross country races to develop their skills and test them amongst top cross country runners. It is likely that you will need to as well.

Monitoring your skills with Time Trials and Parkrun

When it comes to obstacle races every race is different therefore it is very difficult to have baselines that you can compare. This is why at WildForestGym we do monthly FREE OCR Time Trials namely OCR TT’s. These OCR TT’s are an opportunity to race the same racetrack and obstacles so that you can see improvements, strengths and weaknesses month to month. Plus we do a handicap system for non-completed obstacles. Parkrun’s are also great for similar reasons and just like our OCR TT’s you get to run against top runners just to give you that extra drive.


Let Coach Michael hel you to build your tailored Race Calendar and Training Plan. He will take you through the following steps:

Step 1 – Finding your GOAL

As a mentioned you need to develop a race calendar that has purpose, a focus, a GOAL. With a GOAL you can have focus, it means that your racing becomes purposeful. First thing you need to consider is what type of GOAL and how realistic is that GOAL. We all have ambitions and dreams but for a moment lets keep our feet on the ground and look at a GOAL that is realistic. For the average runner lets leave Jon Albon to have centre stage on the podium and make sure that your GOAL is realistic. However if you really feel that you have potential out there to compete with the best then don’t let anything get in your way to the podium.

What is your GOAL for this year?

Most seasoned, elite and age group racers have they eyes on a championship race(s) others will be looking to improve and bringing in some PB’s. First off you need to be realistic. If you are currently in the top 50 of a league or age group at the moment there is little point in targeting the podium. However you could set a goal of moving from the top 50 into the top 20. That is more realistic.

Now not every one of you has to be championing the podium or league. It could be that you just want to be better. Maybe you just want to be faster or better at obstacles or even to make your running more enjoyable. These are great targets rather than goals. Targets are really important and they help you to improve. Just remember MAKE SURE YOUR GOAL IS REALISTIC.

Examples of GOALS

  • To run a 5k Park Run in less than 22mins.
  • To qualify for next years UK OCR Championships.
  • To improve on your league ranking of 59th last year.
  • To race for 1st place at the Nuclear Rush.
  • To be in the top 10 in my age group at Winter Nuts Challenge.
  • To be in the top 15% at the OCR World or European Championships

Step 2 – Finding a Championship GOAL

Step 3- Setting your training objectives

Step 4 – Drawing up your race plan

Step 5 – Prioritising your races

Step 6 – Developing your training plan

Step 7 – Incorporating Rest & Recovery

Step 8 – Putting it into action

Step 9 – Listening to your body

Step 10 – Getting your TAILORED Race Calendar and Training Plan

As a coach of many a successful Championship OCR Elite & Age Group Racers I pride myself on making sure each of my racers getting the best coaching to help them to work towards achieving their GOAL. To this end I offer TAILORED Race Calendar and Training Plan that can include private and tailored coached sessions. Training plans can be done on Skype if travelling is an issue.

To enquire about a tailored Race Calendar and Training Plan please complete this form below.

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