Obstacle Course Racing - A Chat with Renato Kuzek

Dec 12, by Clara in Interviews

Renato Kuzek set a goal for himself: he wanted to fulfill his dream of a lifetime and become a professional athlete. About two years ago he started doing OCR, i.e. obstacle course racing, and he’s already achieved high rankings in many championships in spite of his newcomer status. He’s also proud to have taken part in the European Championships and World Championships in the sport in 2017.

How did you discover your passion for Spartan Races or obstacle course racing?

I actually came across them through a social media post about the Spartan Race in Munich. That lead me to deciding to do a race in Munich with a friend in April of 2016. That was love at first sight. I was looking for some kind of sport that wasn’t purely about endurance or all about power. A Spartan Race is a pure combination of the two and so it’s ideal for me. Also, I’m a competitive kind of guy and I was always an adrenaline junkie, which works well for Spartan Races.

I have to learn to say “No big deal, I’ll keep going anyway.”

What is the most important lesson that you learned through racing?

 Actually, I am someone who like to celebrate a victory, and I’m only satisfied when I’m successful in the race. That’s why, when there are times when it doesn’t go so well, I have to learn to say “No big deal, I’ll keep going anyway.”

How do you mentally and physically prepare for obstacle course racing?

I train a lot: I run between 80 and 95 kilometers every week, and in addition I go climbing. The most important thing, though, is diet. For me eating low carb is really bad. I train a lot every day, and to do that I need a lot of carbohydrates. I do pay attention to where products come from – organic is best.

 Have there been times when you felt discouraged? How did manage to keep going anyway?

This year I had a moment like that in the OCR. In truth, the conditions were ideal: it was not too hot and it was raining a little – that’s perfect for me. I did make a mistake, because I didn’t bring any protein gels or other snacks with me. I just ran out of steam, and during the race I was cramping up a lot. I was almost in tears when I ran across the finish line. My pride is what kept me in it: I thought to myself “I’m representing Austria – I’d really like to make a go of it.”

Everyone should go out and do the things that are fun for them.

Goals are very important for me – when I have a goal, I can make a plan. That’s because I train and get ready for every race I do, so the plan arises from the goal itself. Each and every day before the race is planned out exactly, so that’s why goals are very important for me.

Do you have some more tips for our readers?

Everyone should go out and do the things that are fun for them. Something has to be fun and motivate you if you want to be good at it. I know from my own experience that these are the most important things.

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