My Weekly Training Routine Plus 4 OCR Tips


My Weekly Training Routine and 4 OCR Trainig Tips

I’m a landscape gardener by day, a personal trainer in the evening and this coupled with being a single dad makes my time to train very limited, but there is always time for exercise.

I’m lucky as I get most of my strength and core training at work, laying a patio is a fabulous way to help build muscle. I also get some run techniques plus strength work, demonstrating and helping my clients in the evening, although they may disagree with that, saying I just stand still and shout… They’re so rude ;)

I like to run 3 times a week, this isn’t very consistent due to all my work commitments, kids & races plus I’m not an early bird haha! Saying that I always find time to run and I have to find that gap in my day. I don’t always set a distance goal, just a time, usually an hour, I alternate between trail running and road running. I’m lucky to live in a rural setting, so trail runs are many and by far my favorite. I make sure my route takes in some good hills, gates to vault and ditches to jump, I look at my runs so differently now, always looking out for practice obstacles, things to climb, scramble under, even things to carry and obviously mud. I work on my speed in both disciplines taking smaller faster steps off road, using the rougher terrain to help strengthen my ankles and knees, practicing this brings me confidence to push harder on race day.

On tarmac I use fartlek style training varying my speed over different distances; in town I use lamp posts as measurements (3 fast 2 slow 2 sprint 3 slow just mix it up). I also use Tabata training on the village football pitch, using an app on my phone, this is where you give 100% for 20 seconds then 10 seconds rest over 8 sets (4 minutes).  This is a tough one, your lungs burn and muscles scream but its only 8 sprints! You can use the same thing for any exercise, press ups are “fun.” The play park is a great place to practice obstacle techniques, kids get all the best OCR equipment! Obviously wait until there are no children there, you don’t want your confidence breaking! I try to use as many different widths of grip on the equipment, as every race monkey bars are different thickness and style, hang tough and pull ups help me with those. I use the swings to help support me for single leg, deep and jumping squats, my legs make me say bad words when doing sets of these :) Balance beams are obviously great too. Check out local parks, try to look at them through OCR eyes, see how they can help your techniques.

Bolly’s 4 OCR Training tips

TIP #1: Set Goals

The easiest way to build yourself a training programme is to set yourself achievable goals, make sure that they are not too huge, baby steps is the way forward, for example ‘Run the Dirty Destroyer 18km in under 3 hours’ this could be your final goal, now you’ve some work to do first. If you don’t run, don’t make that your first goal, maybe start with ‘go for run twice a week’, once you achieve this on a regular basis, then increase it to three times. There are loads of helpful training schedules on-line, find one that suits your needs and fitness level, then all you’ve got to do is push yourself out of your comfort zone

TIP #2: Go Local

You could attend a local bootcamp, you will find like minded people, who train outdoors and are most likely to want to come and play in the mud at races. Gyms can be lonely intimidating places for beginners, I count myself as one of the newbies!

TIP #3: Find a Training Buddy

Find a training buddy, someone who wants to join you on your fitness journey, its easier to motivate each other, you wont want to let your friend down and vice-versa.

TIP #4: Have Fun

Make sure you have as much fun as possible while training, yes there are moments that you’ll hate but think about the bigger picture, why are you doing this… I’m sure I ask myself that every single race!


My top training tip is… Enter a Dirty Dozen race, one that’s outside of your comfort zone, once you’ve entered, you’ll train like a demon, so that you can complete the challenge you have set yourself! I chose to enter a 20 mile race up Snowdon in September, that has kicked my training to a whole other level with a size 15 boot!

Remember that while you’re racing everyone is in the same boat, you will find help, you will make new friends, you will possibly swear a bit but you will cross the finish line and get a hug from The Beard and feel awesome!

Always #BeUnstoppable!

Andrew “Bolly” Palmer is one of our Dirty Dozen Ambassadors who always goes the extra mile in motivating and helping people to lead healthier life. Meet Bolly…


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