By Kim Collings
1. Beast Profiles
2. Seven Pillars
4. Looking Ahead
1. Beast Profiles
Articles and interviews dedicated to reporting on the amazing people and stories of Your Beast Team!
Meet one of your new 2019 Pro Team Members…..Rick Evans!
What was your first OCR race and what made you decide to try it?
My first OCR race was the Spartan Montana Beast, just a few years ago. I was pretty sure I would enjoy this type of competition. I was already an avid crossfitter and a decent runner, but just never worked at the running side. I jumped right in and signed up for the Elite wave. Lining up with a group of incredible looking athletes, I was just hoping I could hold my own. I actually finished top 1/3 in the heat, could barely walk for two days, missed several obstacles, but was hooked.
How has OCR helped you overcome challenges?
It has been a journey of self discovery and self love, that has absolutely translated to the rest of my life. I have proven to myself that I can dig deep, I have the strength to face the uncomfortable, that I have a lot of heart and grit. I set a goal to get on the podium last year in my Age Group, and I worked hard and smart towards that goal. When I won my first race, the feeling of appreciation for myself, setting a goal and working hard to achieve it, gave me an incredible sense of accomplishment and belief in my own inner strength. This is the exact same strength and courage that I am learning to draw on when I’m challenged with relationship, or parenting, or business challenges.
What do you love most about the OCR Community?
In my very first race I was drawn to the people I met, the festive and fun atmosphere, and people that are taking care of themselves, challenging themselves, living life in a big way. I resonate with these kind of people. And now that I’ve traveled around a bit, I’ve made some good friends in the OCR community. Its just a blast!
Who inspires you?
I’m inspired by people I see that have physical or other limitations, that don’t let that stop them. For example seeing a paralyzed skier yesterday that has a custom ski sled that hooks onto the chairlift. I’ve seen someone at a Spartan race with no legs, completing the course with help from friends. That stuff is amazing, and teaches me to appreciate my gifts and make the most of my life.
What is your favorite OCR memory?
My favorite OCR memory was taking first place AG 40-49 (second of all age group) at the Kimberley BC Sprint last year. This was my first podium, which had been an elusive goal for me. I was suffering in that hill climb, got passed, and just fought and clawed to stay in it. I passed the 2nd place guy in the final 2 minutes of the race, made the spear thrown, and hammered on the final bucket carry with him right on my tail. I could not have given an ounce more and that felt amazing!
Tell us something about yourself that few people know, whether OCR related or not.
Something a lot of people don’t know about me is that I have struggled a lot at various times in my life. I am a sober alcoholic, 25 years without drinking. I’ve struggled with depression, insecurity, jealousy. People don’t know (until they really know me) that I have been on a journey of self discovery and learning to love myself for many years. I think its easy to look at people’s outsides and assume everything is great, and we can compare ourselves and seemingly fall short. But I’ve learned everyone struggles. I am willing to be vulnerable, to share my struggles, in hopes of connecting with others that have struggled.
What are your goals for 2019?
I’m laser focused this year on the Spartan World Championship. I’m going to go ahead and put it out that I’d like to win the Age Group Qualifier 45-49. I will also be stoked to be on the podium, but might as well shoot for the top. I want to do well at the other races, but have set a clear goal, a plan to peak at the right time, and not to kill myself by racing every weekend of the year.
Photo Credit: Rick Evans, Spartan Race
2. Seven Pillars
Endurance Strength Athleticism Recovery Nutrition Mind Code
We work hard to improve our physical selves which is important in racing and a healthy life. I wanted to also focus on other aspects that can help make us be well rounded in our racing and personal lives. Each month I’d like to choose a topic from the Spartan Seven Pillars above and then offer a challenge to you. You have an entire month to work on it. Research shows that lasting changes often occur when you take things slow and do one step at a time.
This month we are going to select Recovery.
Recovery is an important, often overlooked, component of any fitness plan. We need it for muscle repair, physical recover, and mental recovery as well.
During exercise, the muscles are broken down and actually grow and repair during rest. If we don’t allow adequate rest, the muscles never have a chance to fully recover which limits their growth potential. Two days of rest per week is optimal but one solid day is needed at a minimum. Rest days can still include activities such as easy walking, an easy swim, foam rolling, and stretching. Another important part of recovery is sleep. It’s hard in our busy lives to get enough sleep but it is one of the best things you can do for your body. Your body repairs muscles fastest when sleeping. I’m also a big fan of drinking a casein protein shake (powder just mixed with water) right before bed. Casein is released slowly so your body has the building blocks it needs to help muscle repair more effectively during sleep. I’m not a nutritionist, so this is a personal choice and not a medical recommendation. If you would like to learn more I’ll include a link from healthline.com: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/casein-protein-is-highly-underrated#section3
Physical and mental recovery are a big part of the process as well. There is a line between training hard for maximal gain and overtraining. We need to be physically recovered between big workouts so we have the energy and mental focus to make the next big workout the best it can be. Overtraining can lead to weaker performance and less desire to workout.
A tool that can be used to monitor recovery is HRV (Heart Rate Variability). It measures the heart variation in the beat-to-beat interval. It can indicate if you are recovered, need to take it slow, or need another rest day. You can use a free app such as EliteHRV and all you need is a chest strap. I was skeptical when I first started using it but it has shown, time and time again, to be accurate. One example is when it was unusually low one morning and I ignored it and worked out hard anyway. I felt great going into the workout but quickly became fatigued and ended up with a cold later that day. Apparently the cold was coming on and it was indicated in the HRV reading even before the symptoms even began.
3. Beast Nutrition
Water Fun Facts:
- Water makes up approximately 70% of a human’s body weight – but DON’T stop drinking water to lose weight!
- Approximately 80% of your brain tissue is made of water (about the same percentage of water found in a living tree – maybe is this why people hit their heads and say “knock on wood”?).
- The average amount of water you need per day is about 3 liters (13 cups) for men and 2.2 liters (9 cups) for women.
- By the time you feel thirsty, your body has lost more than 1 percent of its total water – so let’s not feel thirst. Take a break right now and have a glass of water. We will wait on you to get back for Fact 5.
- Refreshed? Let’s continue. Drinking water can help you lose weight by increasing your metabolism, which helps burn calories faster.
- The average person could live without food for nearly a month, but we could only survive about one week without water—that’s how essential water is to human life. Some of us can’t go a day without coffee, but that’s a different story.
- Good hydration can prevent arthritis. With plenty of water in your body, there is less friction in your joints, thus less chance of developing arthritis.
- Drinking enough water everyday can help reduce heart disease and cancer. Water helps flush toxins out of your body, and the fewer toxins that come into contact with your colon, bladder, and other organs, the less chance that critical ailments can develop. Some mornings there is a greater need for toxin flushing than others.
- Smile. Good hydration can help reduce cavities and tooth decay. Water helps produce saliva, which keeps your mouth and teeth clean.
- There is the same amount of water on Earth as there was when the planet was formed. Believe it or not, the water you drink could share the same molecules that dinosaurs drank. Don’t think too much about this, though.
Add a little flavor infusion to your water. It will help you drink more if plain water seems boring. Add one of the following favorites and let sit for 5 minutes or overnight. Enjoy:
Cucumber (my favorite…you get a lot of flavor from just one slice)
Cucumber, lime, strawberry, mint
Photo Credit: https://www.theharvestkitchen.com/detox-infused-water/