How often do you go to the gym to workout? If you go often, are you just performing the same workouts over and over, or are you following a plan and consistently making improvements in the areas you need/want them?
For any fitness goal, and it's by no means less true for OCR, if you don't have and follow a plan, your progress will be much slower than someone who has a structured, custom, and progressive program with specific/attainable goals. Training is all about setting a goal and doing the right amount of work to progress without overworking. Training is the smart way. It requires a lot patience and consistency with doing all the work, not just the bits and pieces that you want to do.
Let me give you an example. Let's say that your goal is to improve your performance at a Spartan Stadion. Since there is so much stair running, it might be tempting to spend time every day on the Stairmaster. It's not a bad idea because it's solid transferable work, but if you're training to improve your entire Stadion performance, you're going to need a more well rounded plan. Break portions of the event down into manageable pieces. Maybe one day you use the Stairmaster for an hour (or better yet, do stair repeats on real stairs) and then the next day you work on farmer's carries, hand release push ups, and some pull ups. Then, the following day, you work on your running. If you can find a parking garage to run up and down to simulate the ramps at Stadions, that's all the better. Day four might be a day to work on jump rope, lateral plank walks, and ball slams; all similar movements to the obstacles at the Stadion. For your 5th day, another cardiovascular session would be beneficial since your aerobic engine needs to be powerful to perform well.
This is just an example. The time of work, weights, and repetitions will all vary depending on the individual. Throughout your program, there should be check points to evaluate if you are actually making progress. A check point could be a timed race simulation that is done every few weeks. The check points will also vary depending on the individual but they will help show you whether or not your current program is working or needs to be adjusted.
Workouts and working out is definitely beneficial in many ways, but to achieve specific goals you need to train and give up simply working out.
Visit the Training Programs page in order to learn about the different custom programs we design for athletes in OCR.