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Obstacle Race Training: How to Beat Any Course, Compete Like a Champion and Change Your Life Paperback – April 15, 2014
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"Margaret was with us at our first Spartan Race where very few women competed, she paved the way for 150,000 women to become Spartans—she is the Amelia Earhart of Spartan Obstacle Racing!" —Joe Desena, Founder of Spartan Race
"Margaret's passion and enthusiasm for obstacle racing combine with her knowledge and experience to make her the perfect athlete to write this book. Well-rounded and talented, Margaret has broken ground in a sport that others failed to take seriously. This is the beginning of something exciting. There is no doubt in my mind that someday we will be hailing Margaret as the mother of OCR competitive racing, a first of her kind." —Vanessa Runs, author of Summit Seeker and Blogger at vanessaruns.com
"In Obstacle Race Training, Margaret gives us everything we need to know about OCR, plus the inspiration to get started and keep going. From the practical aspects of training, through finding balance in your life, this book is a must-read for the seasoned and newbie alike." —Mina Samuels, author of Run Like a Girl: How Strong Women Make Happy Lives
"Margaret Schlachter does a terrific job giftwrapping the entire realm of obstacle racing and mud-running in a quick, enjoyable read. This book is perfect for anyone looking to learn about the sport, understand the differences among many seemingly similar yet very different events, and build 100% of the confidence they need to know that their event is the event they were born to run." —Joe DiStefano, Founder, Spartan Coaching
"Obstacle Racing—see it, feel it, live it through the eyes, mind, and soul of one of the sports pioneers" —Born To Run coach Eric Orton, author of The Cool Impossible
"This book may be the "Born to Run" for Mud Runs!" — Brett Stewart, author of Ultimate Obstacle Race Training
About the Author
Margaret Schlachter has been an obstacle course competitor since the birth of the sport in 2010 and is today the dominant female voice in this sport. She is a founding member of the Spartan Race's Chicked Movement, which is a campaign to get women involved in the sport. Schlachter works with the race companies as a consultant, as well as writes for various outlets about the sport. In 2012, she became the first professional female obstacle course racer. She currently devotes all of her time to writing, racing and blogging at "Dirt in Your Skirt" website, helping inspire women to get off the couch and get active each day!
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Top customer reviews
What I found to be the most useful from the book:
*Photos to accompany the "how to" for several common obstacles e.g. rope and wall climbs.
*The 4 week "Jump Start training Program" that can be done without a gym membership or expensive equipment and can be done outside using natural elements.
*"How To Get Through Your First Race". Even though I did my first race 2 years ago, I know I will revisit this section before each race for some great reminders.
*Great tips on tackling many of the obstacles. Even if you think you know how to master them, you are sure to have a few "oh, that's a great idea!" moments.
Favorite parts of the book:
"Stories From The Course" featuring real-life stories and advice from seasoned racers which provides some different perspectives and makes you feel more connected to others who run these races at different fitness levels.
What I like about the author:
She shares her own personal experiences which are relevant to each section and stays on topic. Although she is a seasoned athlete in this sport, she keeps it simple and easy to follow for those who are either new and possibly intimidated by their first obstacle course race or if they are pushing themselves to to a new, and tougher, level.
I didn't actually train for this race, I lift weights 3-4x a week. Squat, bench, deadlifts and chin-ups primarily. I am not runner by any account and that is the only thing I wished I added into my routine as I could've shaved 10 minutes or more off of my time. Still, I finished in the top 17% and have found a "sport" I think I love. I've already signed up for a super and a beast and will reference this book continually for those races. Would most certainly recommend to those interested in racing ANY OCR.
It’s a short book, less than 200 pages, arranged into 18 chapters that are in turn divided into five sections. The first section introduces one to obstacle course racing. While this sport / social event (there are both competitive and non-competitive participants involved in most races and some events are more about comradery than competition) has been growing wildly in popularity in recent years, there will be many readers who are completely unaware of it. However, by the end of these first three chapters you’ll have a thorough sketch of the scene. The rest of the book goes through what one needs to do long before the race (e.g. picking a race, training [general fitness as well as obstacle-specific], and dieting), immediately before the race (e.g. dressing for the race and eating / hydrating for the race), during the race, and after the race (e.g. recovery, choosing a next race, and moving forward with your participation.)
I found this book to be packed with valuable information (e.g. The mantra DON’T WEAR COTTON ON RACE DAY will be forever etched into your brain.) I found Schlachter’s practical, no-nonsense approach to be a breath of fresh air. For example, with respect to diet, her advice is sparse but invaluable. Basically, it boils down to “eat good food in the portions needed for your body.” It may sound like I’m being dismissive, but I’m not. I appreciate her making sense on the subject and not drawing it out with fad baloney diet (figuratively or literally) quackery. (Pet peeve: I really don’t like hearing about people’s ludicrous ideas about how one can eat a pound of bacon a day, but you’ll die if a slice of wheat bread or a wedge of orange goes in your mouth.)
There are several nice features of this guide that I’ll mention specifically. One is that it has a chapter that shares insights from other high performing obstacle course racers. This gives one some useful and varied advice. Second, it actually shows one how to make a couple obstacles, e.g. walls and spear targets, that are either common or challenging. Finally, it gives one tips for making this an affordable hobby. (If you’re at the stage of reading this book, you’ll probably have to pay the entry fee out of pocket—no sponsors-- and have little to no chance of running well enough to earn winnings.)
If you’re considering running an obstacle race, whether a mud run or an obstacle course race, I’d recommend you give this book a read.
As a well-respected athlete and a woman of integrity, Margaret provides sound advice, training tips, nutritional information, and a training plan to assist in one's quest to compete in an Obstacle Course Race. She has a passion for the sport which is evident in her blogs, her posts, and this book! Solid information, easy and enjoyable to read, and encouraging to those of us who have been in the sport since 2011 as it reminds us to constantly set goals, no matter our athletic level!