Interview with obstacle course athlete Thomas Blanc

We are crazy about Obstacle Course Races! There is something primal in running across the muddy fields and forests, anticipating the next obstacle around the corner, whether a rope climb, a swim in an ice-cold ditch or a jump across the fire. It is a hugely democratic sport that allows people from various background and physical abilities to come together. Some smash the 5k in under 30 minutes, others take their time because it is finishing, not time, that matters to them. We’ve seen some really inspirational runners taking part – cancer survivors, war veterans with amputated limbs, and wheelchair users, to name just a few – all fighting against their weaknesses, teaming up with fellow runners to tackle the obstacles, and utilising their strengths to reach the finish line.

How did you get into OCR?
Back in 2011, I was getting bored of running and going to the gym training aimlessly. So I signed up for a race called “Survival of the Fittest” just because of its title. Being fit for me always meant being able to run fast and use your strength to move even faster in a challenging environment. I enjoyed the race and fell in love with OCR.

What do you love most about OCR?
I’m really enjoying the challenge every race is offering but if I have to chose the thing that I love the most it will be the community! The OCR world is my second family. Everyone is so supportive and super friendly, we are all here to challenge ourselves and have fun in the process.

What are the greatest challenges in OCR?
Training for a sport like OCR is a challenge itself. There’s so much to do. You can always push to be faster or stronger or more agile or even getting more resistant to cold water! It’s an endless process of becoming a better version of yourself. And for someone like me who wants to race all the time and all over the world there is an even greater challenge… a financial one! That’s why I’m very pleased and grateful to have a company like Trumin helping me to pursue my dreams and attempt all those crazy challenges.

What is your training routine in preparation for the season and during the season?
Well this year I started the pre-season on the wrong foot… by breaking it! So my preparation only consisted of being able to run again.

I’m almost back to the level of fitness I was before my injury and the season is now full on. My goal this year is the Spartan World Championship so all the races in between will be part of my preparation.

My weekly training for the months leading to those big races will consist of: running… a lot, cycling… a lot, 2 to 3 BMF sessions, climbing, swimming, body weight training, and yoga.

What is your sample menu of the day?
I’m continuously working on my diet making it evolve according to what feels right for me. I’m avoiding processed food sticking to whole, natural food. I’m slowly moving towards a plant based diet, getting as much vegetables, fruits, nuts, and topping that up with eggs and oily fish.

Do you have a favourite recipe for a nutritious meal you could share with us?
Right now I’m craving for a fresh salad with sweet potato, avocado, spinach, chickpeas, quinoa, tomatoes, some sunflower and pumpkin seeds with a bit of olive oil followed by a massive watermelon as a dessert!

Any advice for the beginners preparing for their first OCR?
The best advice I can give is to simply sign up for a race now! Then everything will follow, trust me!