Guest Post! Jessie from It’s a Messy Life!

I’m so excited to have my first guest blog post today!  Jessie from It’s a Messy Life, is a fellow Las Vegan, amazing mom and runner.  I’ve had the pleasure of hanging out with her and she is just as sweet as can be, but don’t underestimate her.  She is one bad ass girl!  She’s here to give you some tips on doing your first Obstacle Course Race (OCR), which is what she loves doing.

10 Tips to Prepare and Conquer Your First Obstacle Course Race

Huge thanks to Julia for having me be a guest blogger today! I’m Jessie and you can find me over on my blog, It’s a Messy Life, where I talk about everything from Paleo eating to running, to

family life! I’m so excited to share a few tips with you on my newfound love of obstacle course racing. Please note, I’m no elite athlete. I started my fitness journey over 2 years ago and

although I wish I could say I lost 30 lbs in 3 months and now have six pack abs and can run a marathon, it’d be a lie. It took me over a year to lose 30 lbs and I don’t see six pack abs or a

full marathon in my future. But then again, I never saw obstacle course racing in my future either, heck I didn’t even know what it was 2 years ago, let alone think I’d be out there doing it!

So, you never know, maybe one day!

But now, what is obstacle course racing? Let me paraphrase Wikipedia for this one: Obstacle racing is a sport where you must overcome various physical & mental challenges that are in the form of

obstacles through a trail course and lots of times there’s mud. Obstacles can include climbing over walls, carrying heavy objects, crawling under barbed wire, and jumping through fire. Many

obstacles are similar to those used in military training, while others are unique to obstacle racing and are employed throughout the course to test endurance, strength, speed and, dexterity.

Races vary in both distance and challenge level.

Ummmm, this may or may not sound like fun to you, but it’s definitely been a huge motivator for me to get physically fit. I ran my first obstacle course race, Tough Mudder, in April 2013.


I had no idea what I was signing up for and totally freaked out when I saw YouTube videos from the race. I thought, there was no way I could survive some of those obstacles!!! But, alas, I trained

hard and I did survive the 10 mile course and I came out more alive than ever!


I was hooked on OC racing and ready for more.


Getting over those walls, jumping into ice cold water, crawling under barbed wire, just gets you pumped and makes you think, if I can do that, I can do anything!


It really is an amazing feeling of accomplishment.


I totally recommend you do one in your lifetime and see if it doesn’t change your perspective on things, especially on yourself.


You’ll realize you are capable of so much more than you thought! And who knows, you might get hooked too!


Once you sign up for an obstacle course race, you’re going to have to do some training! Here are 5 tips that will help you prepare for your race!

1. Eat Clean! They say a good workout can’t out-exercise a bad diet and I really believe this. I’ve noticed that when I allow myself a lot of “cheat meals” my workouts suffer. I’m more

sluggish and slow and of course, I don’t see the results I want. So, eating clean in the month(s) leading up to your OCR will help you get lean & strong!

2. Focus on Building Upper Body Strength! This was huge for me. Most of us ladies tend to have weaker upper body strength and a lot, if not most, of the obstacles you’ll encounter will require

strong arms. Army man crawling, pulling yourself up walls & ropes, monkey bars, etc.. these all require a strong upper body. Find a workout that is best for you and work on getting those

muscles! Push ups, tricep dips, bicep curls, etc. are all great for building upper body strength.

3. Run! You’re not training for a marathon, but you should be able to run at least 3-5 miles, depending on the length of your race. Obstacle races range from 3 miles to 13+ . Work on sprints

and hills to really get those legs ready for the course.

4. Interval Training! You’ll be doing all sorts of things on an OCR from jumping over fire, crawling under barbed wire, and balancing on boards. You’ll have to build up your endurance and

agility. Tabata, HIIT, and Boot Camps are all great examples of high intensity training. Get lots of lunges, high knees, mountain climbers, and frog hops done!

5. Burpees! I don’t know anyone who loves a burpee, but everyone agrees they get the job done. And if you’re planning on doing a Spartan race, just know that the penalty for not completing an

obstacle is 30 burpees..Yikes!!

So now that you’ve signed up and trained for your race, here are a 5 more tips to remember for race day!

1. Don’t wear cotton!! Don’t wear cotton!! Don’t wear cotton!! It stays wet,drags you down, and you’ll chafe. Stick to dry wicking fabrics. This includes everything from socks and underwear

too, not just your shirt and pants! Trust me 😉

2. Ladies, invest in a good maximum support sports bra with light padding. There’s lots of running and jumping, plus you’ll be wet pretty much the entire time during the race, you don’t want

your girls exposed 😉

3. Wear long compression tights. Your knees and legs can really get banged up from crawling under barbed wire and from climbing walls and ropes. Protect your knees and wear long form fitting

compression pants that won’t drag when they’re wet!

4. Tie your sneakers tight. You’ll be running in and out of water and mud and want to make sure you don’t leave your sneakers behind!

5. Don’t forget to took a change of clothes for after the race. You’ll be muddy and wet when you’re done and the last thing you want is to get in your car like that. Most races have a shower

and changing area so bring a towel and a clean pair of shoes too! Be sure to take a garbage bag to throw in those dirty wet clothes you just got out of 🙂

BONUS: Have fun and take pictures! Obstacle course races are designed to test your physical and mental limits. They’re tough, but also a lot of fun and you’ll want to snap a few before and

after shots 🙂

So, who’s ready for their first obstacle course race?



See, isn’t Jessie awesome?!?  I’m am really truely inspired by her…this post makes me want to do an Obstacle Race someday!  How about you?  Go check out her blog and give her a like on Facebook!



3 thoughts on “Guest Post! Jessie from It’s a Messy Life!

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