The Road to The OCRWC Part 4

The Road to The OCRWC Part 4

With training well under way and all other big races complete, the build up to the Obstacle Course World Championships is progressing quickly! With less than a week to go, let’s find out how things have been going and see what we can learn from it in the process!

Parkrun Wave

I’ve been taking this seriously

First things first, I’ve been doing my body stats at the beginning of each month. Here’s September vs. October:

Weight: 70.8kg
Body Fat: 9.4%
Muscle Mass: 45.7%

Weight: 70.5kg
Body Fat: 6.1%
Muscle Mass: 47.5%

No drastic changes thankfully, but a very nice tangent of body fat dropping 3% while muscle mass slightly increased. The weight then stayed just about the same which makes sense.

Without getting too bogged down in the finer details of my training plan, I’ve been consistently getting in distance trail runs at the Malvern Hills, the Forest of Dean, and locally. I’ve swam, I’ve ran intervals, I’ve practice obstacles & mixing obstacles in with running, and I’ve conditioned in the gym.


In the midst of the training were actually two races; Devil Mud Run and Survival of the Fittest. Two great races that would complement each other perfectly and fitted nicely into the training plan.

Devil Mud Run has a great course, starting off immediately into hay bales and tyre mounds to scramble over, followed by long, steady inclines. The initial hills never seem too steep but are just long enough to drain the legs before throwing more obstacles at you. The obstacles here are great fun too, including water slides, giant steps built into a hill, downhill monkey bars followed by an epic downhill crawl, and more hills than you would wish to find in an 8k course.

Thankfully I felt strong the whole way round, never running at a pace that would kill my energy but maintaining enough speed to lead the whole way round. I was first finisher* and it was nice to be the first ever person to complete the course back in March, and now the first person to receive one of their medals now! I also had some time to stop and take a selfie with a couple of the marshals who I did the same with back in March – I am still waiting to see that pic pop up somewhere.

*I say first finisher rather than winner as can you really say winner when it’s essentially a non-competitive race, more billed as a team challenge type event? (Answer: yes, I won. Deal with it)


The next day was Men’s Health Survival of the Fittest in Cardiff, and we actually drove down to Cardiff on the Saturday after Devil Mud Run to chat with the race organisers, take some photos, and play on the obstacles which was fun!

Cardiff’s Men’s Health Survival of the Fittest was the first obstacle race I ever did, back in 2009 and I’ve been back every year since. I nearly didn’t go this year, due to Spartan Beast being on the same day, but that was about 4 hours away so couldn’t be arsed. Save the Trifecta for another year (if I can be bothered)!
This race is just so much fun, a great route around Cardiff City and Cardiff Bay, taking us through the White Water Rafting Centre, past city landmarks and over all sort of classic obstacles. I was first overall here last year and wanted something similar this time around, so I pushed the running hard on the day as there were some other strong racers there and ended up finishing 4th or 5th over the line, which could have been worse in a field of 3000 or so.

Rat Race always put on a great race and I’ll hopefully take on London Survival of the Fittest in November this year too.


I’ve worked on speed at Parkrun, getting 18:37 then 18:44 – which is a little annoying as 18:37 is 1 second off my PB but at least I’m consistently under 19 minutes (if I can push at that speed & take the obstacles well at the World Championships then I’ll be doing just fine!), and conditioning in the gym at Cheltenham Park Hotel.

Conditioning sessions have taken the form of practicing power clean technique and deadlifts as my big starter moves, generally followed by a session involving hamstring, grip, and core strength. Mainly then I’ve been doing a lot of farmer’s walks, pullups, dips, and work on the Grappler (a rope pulley resistance machine)!

rope pulley
This is me before
Generally mixing up intensities and exercises to make everything stays strong(ish)! I’ve felt good through each session I’ve done which is always nice being able to push myself hard but not be wiped out in the next day’s training. The gym at Cheltenham Park is pretty much perfect for what I need, with equipment I can use for any type of lift, kettlebells, battleropes etc along with cables and standard resistance machines to focus on any weak links! Plus an outside ground for walking/running little hill or sloped efforts, all mixed with the aforementioned Grappler makes for a fantastic bit of conditioning! The gym never gets rammed and there are certainly no ego-lifters or clowns (although maybe they are me..), keeping a great atmosphere to train.
Rope pulley
This is me after

So that’s it, less than a week to go no until the Obstacle Course Racing World Championships, I think the plan is to not overthink it (which I can already feel myself doing), as long as I can complete every obstacle and feel like I’ve put my all in then I can’t be unhappy with any result! Just need to take it like any other race, and enjoy the team race on the Sunday too.

Incidentally, here is a little preview of some of the obstacles that we’ll be facing:

wtf wall
monkey bars
That little green blob is a person…

Oh shit! 

Did you know yet that I’m being sponsored by the Cheltenham Park Hotel, to attend the OCR World Championships? No? Well you do now! Read the first part of The Road to the OCRWC now if you haven’t already

Written by me: Keith Fairburn

Personal Trainer, Sports Therapist, S&C Coach.

Ninja Warrior Semi-Finalist, Obstacle Racer, Salming Running Ambassador.

If you have any questions about anything I’ve written in this post or want to get in touch, contact me.

No Comments

  1. Great job on the WC Keith, great post and yes, you are great!!! Wt are u writing about next? Thank you- Good pics btw

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