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If you are even remotely connected to the obstacle course racing (OCR) world, chances are you’ve heard of Margaret Schlachter. Founder of Dirt In Your Skirt and the worlds first female professional obstacle course racer, Margaret has become a leading expert in all things OCR. Though an elite and competitive racer, Margaret is quick to share her experiences and advice through her blog and numerous contributions to other publications.
Plus, as anyone who has personally interacted with her can attest, she is just an all around kickass person.
While her award winning blog is full of helpful training and race tips for beginners, I’m very pleased to see that she has taken her writing and tips one giant leap further, and has published her first book, Obstacle Race Training: How to Beat Any Course, Compete Like a Champion and Change Your Life.
Being the ever impatient obstacle-course-racing-bogging-crazy that I am, I could not wait to get my hands on an advanced copy of Margaret’s book…so she sent me an advanced-advanced copy instead. (The book, now available for pre-order, will begin shipping April 15th). Now, truth be told I haven’t read the book word for word, cover to cover, as I only got my hands on it last night. However, I’ve reach a few chapters and did a thorough overview of the book so I could get this post up because frankly, if you are and avid muddy athlete or even mildly interested in the sport of OCR, you should know about this book.
Margaret starts this book by drawing you in with a very personal and relatable story that talks about a rock bottom moment that brought her to obstacle course racing in the first place. She then holds your attention throughout with hundreds of color photos that are both inspiring and informational, as well as first hand experiences and stories from both herself and a number of other well known obstacle course racers.
Now don’t let the “Dirt in your Skirt” title and Margaret’s background as one of the founding Spartan Chicks fool you…this book is not gender specific, and is informative for both women and men alike. Obstacle Race Training covers just about everything you could ever need to know about the sport of OCR, from its roots and history, to detailed explanation of various races and their specific obstacles, how to choose a race, and of course how to train and prepare, both physically and mentally, for a race. Margaret uses her vast experience to help you determine what kind of shoes, clothing, nutrition, and training caters best to obstacle racing. She lists step by step instructions on how to tackle some of the more intimidating obstacles athletes may face, such as rope climbs, traverse ropes, or wall climbs, and of course, how to master spear throws.
My personal favorite sections? Post Race Expectations and Advice (people always tell you how to get to the finish line…they rarely ever tell you what to do next!) and Turning your Backyard Into a Training Center, with step by step instructions on building walls, spears, and more (we are TOTALLY doing this at our new house!)
Long story short: it is certainly an “everything you’ve ever wanted to know about obstacle course racing and then some” guide that should be on every OCR or potential OCR athlete’s bookshelf. If you are a beginner and unsure of where to start, or an intermediate athlete looking for inspiration and tips to take your obstacle course racing to the next level, then this book is for you.
Currently available for preorder ( $12.71 for paperback, $10.49 on Kindle), the book will begin shipping April 15, 2014.
*disclaimer* A copy of this book was provided to me at no charge, however, all opinions expressed are my own.