Episode 4: Footwear

Welcome to the rise and grind OCR and endurance sports podcast episode number 4

This weeks episode we have myself, Jake Barber, Graham Roberts, Glenn Coleman, Aaron Selfe, John Chambers, and also George Edwards makes a cameo at about 5 minutes towards the end…

On this weeks show we chat about footwear, the brands we use, why we use them. Shoes we’ve used in the past, The features we like, the shoes we don’t like!

Host Details
Jake Barber – @Riseandgrindrunning
Graham Roberts – @Ispiremc
George Edwards – @Ge_training
Aaron Selfe – @The.a_ron126
John Chambers – @Idesignthisway
Glenn Coleman – @Glennyc1981

Be comfortable with being uncomfortable by Marc Trussell

When I worked in marketing, this was one of the most memorable pieces of advice given to me by my boss at the time; it was said in the context of presenting and pitching to large groups of people; making eye contact, smiling, and owning the floor.

This advice also carries over to obstacle course racing or any element of endurance sport for that matter. I’m a big believer in making the training harder or more challenging than the event itself, and something I drill to my clients when coaching. 

When I was training for the Double Ironman in 2009, I would add in “special” training sessions to my schedule and I believe that these played a great part in getting through the 280 odd miles. The most memorable session being a 15 mile run directly before taking part in a 5k charity Swimathon.  The same went for my 100 mile ultramarathon in 2012, I ran 26.2 miles, the marathon distance on a dark January evening once my wife got back from work, I had been looking after my daughter all day, and had all day to think about doing it, telling myself reasons why I shouldn’t. I don’t enjoy training in the evening as I’m much happier training first thing in the morning, getting out before the rest of the family is up.  For this race, I also ran 100 miles in six days, which meant running to work, at lunchtime, and to home from work on some of the days. 

These sorts of challenges are not only physically but mentally challenging. The aim being with them that when you hit a low point in a race, you can, agree with yourself that it’s bad, yes, but not as bad as the training you undertook to get there in the first place. These sort of sessions are best planned in advance and added sporadically amongst your usual plan. The best training sessions, in my opinion, are those which you quite simply don’t want to do.

So next time you’re planning an easy run or training session, factor in something different, a dip in a pond or a random heavy carry perhaps…

And, on the day of your next Spartan Race, own the course, make eye contact and smile at the marshals and supporters. Be thankful for the position you’re in and be comfortable with being uncomfortable, your mojo will thank you for it! 

Marc Trussell is an Obstacle Race and Endurance Coach and the only Spartan SGX Level 2 Coach and Perfect Delta holder in the UK, his website is www.gomarc.net 

Episode 2: Training Lulls & Vo2 Max Testing

Welcome to the Podcast Channel for Rise And Grind OCR & Endurance Sports!

This week we discuss training lulls, how to overcome them and also Vo2 max testing with some of the usual tangents !

Host Details
Jake Barber – @Riseandgrindrunning
Graham Roberts – @Ispiremc
George Edwards – @Ge_training
Aaron Selfe – @The.a_ron126
John Chambers – @Idesignthisway
Glenn Coleman – @Glennyc1981

Mental Health: Pushing Your Comfort Zone

Welcome to the second part of my 12 months of blogging about mental health – Although released in March, it was actually written in February!

This month I want to touch on Pushing you comfort zone. And this can be on race day, an endurance event you’ve signed up for or also something in your day to day life.

Pushing, and being outside of our comfort zone is something we instinctively avoid, naturally we see this as a zone which is deemed to hurt us. But infact, it’s where most of the most valuable lessons in life are.

I learnt when I was younger, being really shy, that pushing myself into uncomfortable situations when I had to be the centre of attention, where I had to speak to people really did help me grow into being comfortable in my own skin and become more confident.

In my sporting life, the 12 Hour Hurricane Heat, was pushing me outside of the comfort zone. It started at midnight and lasted nearly 16 hours, with a 600 Burpee finisher after we had done hours of brutal PT and team work based tasks all with a heavy ruck on, and usually carrying a heavy telephone pole type log between us.

I’m accustomed and (Semi) comfortable with OCR and endurance sports, so why would I put myself in that situation? Well for me I wanted to learn what I was capable of as well as see when the darkest hour is upon me, what my true mindset would be.

Being pushed to that end degree, gave me new light and focus. It gave me a new reference point in life. You know what, life really isn’t as tough or bad as it can be, we live fairly comfortable existences for the most part… 

Pushing into that uncomfortable zone, is where we grow, its where we realise. Yes, life is hard… But my god, it could be a lot tougher.

It makes you appreciate the small things and appreciate the comforts of just being warm and dry… So next time you fell like a situation could be uncomfortable… go for it!

Rise And Grind Podcast – Pilot Episode

Welcome to the Rise And Grind Podcast,

This is the pilot episode of a new podcast for Endurance Sports, Obstacle Course Racing, General Health & Fitness all sandwiched with a big dose of healthy banter!

The Rise and Grind Crew are a mix of 6 blokes who met each other from the OCR scene, we all have completely different backgrounds and credentials and between us, we feel we have pretty big wealth of knowledge to offer and a lot of fat to chew

Host Details
Jake Barber – @Riseandgrindrunning
Graham Roberts – @Ispiremc
George Edwards – @Ge_training
Aaron Selfe – @The.a_ron126
John Chambers – @Idesignthisway
Glenn Coleman – @Glennyc1981

Mastering Your Pull Up

Whether you can hit 20 or 0, you’re not going to master your pull up by doing rep after rep after rep. The key to mastering the pull up is breaking it down into multiple key areas. Grip, Muscle endurance & Strength



You need to make sure your grip can crush cans of beer like Stone Cold Steve Austin! But before we do that we need to
know that there are more than one type of grip infact there are three

The Crush Grip – The grip between your fingers and palms, think crushing a can!

The Pinch Grip – The grip between your fingers/thumbs, think holding a deck of cards and applying pressure!

The Support Grip – The most common grip which is used when holding onto something, think deadhangs/farmers carry!

The support grip will give you the most bang for buck, but its not a bad idea to be nailing all three of these to ensure no weaknesses and that you can hold onto that bar for days, if not weeks. But how do you train these grips may you ask? Well here’s some moves to get your grip strong!

The Farmers Carry – This hits the support grip and crush grip

Deadhangs – This hitsthe support grip and crush grip

Plate pinch carries – This hits the pinch grip 

Towel Hangs – This hits the crush grip

Incorporate these into your workout routine for a set amount of time, say 30 seconds, making sure the weights are pretty heavy and increase the time over a period of 3 – 4 weeks.



These moves will help build some muscle endurance using the same movement patterns but in a way thats easier than a strict pull up. The aim here is to ensure that the muscles used have enough muscle endurance to keep the pull ups going.

Negative pulls ups / Eccentric lower – Start at the top of the bar  in a pull up position and slowly lower your self down engaging your upper back

Assisted pull ups – Use a resistance band or resistance machine to take the pressure off a normal pull up and aim to hit more reps than you can do strict

Inverted Rows – Hold onto the bar in a squat rack with your back facing the ground, and pull yourself up to the bar

Incorporate these into your routine by hitting either a few more than your current max pull up rep range, or if you can, try to hit 12+ reps, 2 – 3 sets will be enough to see you progress over a few weeks



Building strength in the muscles associated with the movement will help your body be able to either finally lift you over that bar OR more times than you can dream of. But first we need to understand which muscles a pull up uses? Well there’s a hell of a lot, which is why its considered such a hard move, but, we’ll mainly concentrate on the below, which will in turn hit some of the others also

Latissimus Dorsi – Upper backjesper-aggergaard-539148-unsplash

Trapezius – Upper back

Biceps – Arms

So what moves can we throw down in the gym to help build these bad boys into pull up machines!

Lat Pull Downs – Lat pull down machine

Bent Over Row – Dumbbells or Cable row machine

Barbell Shrugs – Barbell or Dumbbells

Bicep Curls – Dumbbells or Barbell

Incorporate these into your routine with a 5 x 5 to ensure you are building strength, progress this over a few weeks, adding weight and dropping reps if needed and you’ll be on course to success!



If you’ve use all the above advise and you’re hitting new PB’s how about you work towards hitting some of these bad ass advanced movements, they will make you the envy of everyone in the gym for sure! Please note – These are HARD!

Weighted Pull Ups – Get yourself some weight and see how much you can carry whilst performing a pull up

Muscle Ups – We’ve all seen these in the local crossfit gym, well they can correlate well to getting over a wall in OCR, so may be worth giving them a go!

One Arm Pull Ups – These are ULTRA HARD! if you can do these, well your F’in awesome.

Archer Pull Ups – These are a fantastic way to build up to your One Arm Pull Up, but again they are HARD!

You could also do those Kipping ones… but nobody wants to be seen doing those…

As always, hit me up if you want any advice, feel free to sign up to the mailing list and share the love!


Mental Health – Part 1


Mental health has soared over the last few decades and many are easy to dismiss it as ‘the new bad back’ but unfortunately a lot of us suffer from it day to day in some form. But what is more prevalent is our lack of being able to openly talk about it.

I’m not going to sit here and state that I have a mental health problem, I feel in control of my feelings and generally most days are good! But like all of us, this hasn’t always been the case.

I grew up as an incredibly shy child who found many social situations induce a form of  crippling anxiety. But over the years I’ve learnt to push myself into those situations which has made me realise that, well, they are never as bad as they seem!

Today, I am someone who is fairly confident in their own skin. Don’t get me wrong, I can still have battles with my confidence in the most stupid things and sometimes my anxiety and shyness does consume me and I can’t always push through it, but on the whole I can control it and it doesn’t cause me too much of an issue.

I also seemingly have a very hectic mind with thoughts darting about all the time, good and bad. But I have learnt recently that I can battle this by journalling, blogging or my latest – Voice recording my thoughts down to get them out of my head! I know it sounds lame, but I actually find it very useful!

Physical fitness has also helped me, especially doing it first thing in the day, it clears my mind and sets me up for my days work or tasks.

We need to understand that Health & Fitness is not just about our physical fitness, but also about mental wellbeing, and this is done by reflection, mindfulness and It’s not hard to see some of the people that look the most ‘physically fit’ are probably some of those with the most pressure and unhappiness in their pursuit.

During December of 2018, I decided that I wanted to make an effort to give back to those that have helped me over the years and also to help raise awareness or funds for a cause close to me.

This year I will be raising funds for MindUK. I will pledge to post at least one blog post per month regarding mental health this year. Make it a hot topic on my social media feeds & I will also I will be putting out some of my thoughts – Via the stream of audio of my opinion on some issues present in modern life which i believe affect our mental health.

Keep your eyes peeled as i update you on the fundraising page when it is live and also the events which I will be taking part in to raise funds.

Feel free to contact me via DM or email at anytime for advice, or if you just want someone to talk to!

OCRWC: The Key To Success


Failure and learning from your lowest moments is what breeds success, and throughout history there has been multiple figure heads who have down right failed before succeeding. (Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Albert Einstein, JK Rowling)

Someone who springs to mind is the world renown NBA star Michael Jordan, a figure head in the height of NBA’s popularity with six NBA championships & 5 MVP’s to his name, a guy who has a net worth of over $1 billion USD!

You could say that this man must have fantastic genetics, which yeah, he most likely does have some (Like being 6ft 6″). But is he human? Sure. He’s also a man who clearly learns from his failings (And has probably one of the longest quotes in history)

“I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. Twenty-six times, I’ve been trusted to take the game-winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”

Now this man has clearly gotten success out of some heart wrenching failures, in fact, he clearly is fuelled by them. And thats something you need to hold onto as you move into the OCR World Championship this coming weekend.

You will be lined up with the best OCR athletes in the world to compete in a premier event which will test you in the fine art of Obstacle Course Racing.

The aim of the event is to keep your ‘Band’

This band confirms you have completed every obstacle and without it you will not place in the rankings. You may have multiple attempts at an obstacle and will only lose the band if you do not fully complete an obstacle.

But what happens if you are struggling to complete an obstacle?

  1. Breathe – Don’t rush into a second try until you’re 100% ready, breath and evaluate what went wrong and what you may change on your next attempt. 
  2. Assess – Watch others, Another athlete may be using a different technique which could be saving their grip, try to mimic it but only if its within your capability.
  3. Visualise  – A positive mindset can help you achieve anything with a little adrenaline running through your veins. Visualise how you are going to tackle the obstacle and what technique you’re going to use. 
  4. Accept – Attempt the obstacle with the above three key components in place with the view of success but accept the outcome.

But what happens if you lose your band?

Take Mr Jordans advice!

This is a hard pill to swallow but sometimes you have to call it a day, your grips gone, or your saving yourself for the next day. But always, always, take Mr Jordans advice and learn from the outcome.

Don’t let the band rule your race and plan to finish it with your head held high. Afterwards analyse your efforts, take some advice from a Coach, get some pointers from some other athletes and see what you can do to ensure you nail it next time!

And hey, you are on the path to success!

I’m hoping you won’t need any of this advice, but at least its in your arsenal if you ever need to pull it out, good luck and see you on the course!