My guest today is a lady that doesn’t mind getting a little dirty while she’s logging her miles.
She goes by the nickname Pretty Lil Mudder and as her name implies she loves a good obstacle course race.
I am looking forward to going a few easy miles with Montana Ross.
All About Technique
Montana Ross has learned that obstacle course races (OCR) are all about technique.
Much like any other race, there is typically an elite field along with an open field.
The elite competitors each have a band at the start of the race.
The band is taken away if an athlete opts not to do an obstacle.
Those without a band at the end aren’t eligible for awards.
Montana has learned that in order to be competitive in a race, she must complete all the obstacles regardless of how long it takes.
Unlimited time is given to complete any given obstacle.
When Montana is struggling, she has found that watching the technique of others can aid in her success.
That Feeling Of Crossing A Finish Line
Montana is coming up on her 10-year anniversary of running.
She finds it ironic that the person that got her into running is someone that hates to run.
Montana was talked into signing up for a color run with a group of friends.
Upon crossing the finish line, Montana was hooked on the feeling.
It was around the same time that she had graduated from college and felt stuck in a dead-end career.
She began to wonder what else was next.
Montana found herself signing up for as many races as possible.
In her early years, she mostly ran road races and hated to get dirty.
That all changed when a friend convinced her to try a mud run with her.
A Community Unlike Any Other
After completing her first OCR race, Montana knew she had found her sport.
She is extremely competitive, but she also loves the sense of community the sport offers.
It is not unusual for participants to make friends on the course.
Strangers will help each other get through obstacles and cheer each other on.
As Montana got more experience in OCR she also wanted to up her game and become more competitive.
Currently, she works with a coach that specializes in the sport.
The typical training for Montana includes periodization blocks where she works on specific skills.
Some training blocks may be focused more on endurance and other times the focus may be on lifting and grip strength.
Montana also does race simulations where she will have obstacles in the middle of her workouts.
The hardest obstacles for her can change from race to race.
Mentally she is afraid of heights and struggles with high obstacles.
Physically she is most challenged by certain rigs with various grips.
Most OCRs have the majority of the obstacles in the final few miles when the athletes are the most exhausted.
Montana has dealt with a variety of injuries over the last few years.
Some injuries have been race-related and others have been random.
Each time she has gotten injured it has set her back and required her to rebuild her endurance.
In 2019, Montana was in the best shape of her life while marathon training and hopes to get her fitness back to that level.
She is currently training for the World’s Toughest Mudder which is a 24-hour event.
The event will debut new obstacles and the athletes will complete as many of the 5-mile loops as possible in the time allotted.
Montana’s “A” goal is to complete between 40 to 50 miles and her “B” goal is a minimum of 30 miles.
She is excited for the new challenge and credits running with giving her the confidence to do so much more both in life and in running.
Family Friendly Events
OCR events are extremely family friendly with most even offering kids’ races.
Montana is a big advocate for people getting into the sport.
Most people that sign up are focused on having fun.
Montana assures that participants don’t need to be great runners or do specific training to complete an OCR.
If someone does want to specifically prepare, Montana recommends working on grip strength.
Beginners are always welcomed and given encouragement while on the course.
Two beginner-friendly events are Tough Mudder and Rugged Maniac because there are no penalties for skipping obstacles.
According to Montana, OCR events are big playgrounds for adults.
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