Five Tips to Conquer a Warrior Dash

Now that the summer racing season is here, awesome running events are happening all over the place, and I’m SUPER excited about it. I kicked off the season with my very first half marathon, and now I’m proud to say I survived a Warrior Dash! I’ve never been so muddy and stinky in my entire life, but I’d do it again in a heartbeat.

My boyfriend and I, along with five of our friends, participated in a Warrior Dash in Logan, Ohio on Saturday. I wanted to do this last year, but no one else did, so I was thrilled when we managed to pull together a big group! I think we’re going to make it a yearly tradition, too, which I’m even more excited about!

In case you don’t know, a Warrior Dash is a short race (about a 5k length) with a handful of obstacles. Each course is different, but they all challenge you physically and mentally. Our course started with about one and a half mile hill (that sucked) and featured a dozen obstacles, including a cargo net-climb, a rock-filled creek and a (small) wall of fire.

Warrior Dash

Unfortunately, we lost one of our teammates—Justin went down with an ankle injury!

Though I survived, there are some things I wish I had known before the race that would have made it much easier. So, out of the goodness of my heart, I’m sharing some warrior wisdom so that any future warriors can get out there and kick some serious ass!

1. Train on hills. This is first because I think it’s the most important! I had no idea how big the first hill was going to be, and it wasn’t exactly a pleasant surprise. Now that I’ve talked to people about the race, it sounds like most courses involve a hefty hill at one point or another. Start incorporating hills into your workouts so you don’t end up sucking wind like I did!

2. Wear tight clothing. I was lucky enough to get this memo before race day, and I’m glad I did! You will get so muddy and wet that you’ll weigh an extra 10 pounds at the end of the race, and loose clothing will just hold more water and weigh you down even more!

3. Strengthen your upper body. This might not apply to everyone, but don’t neglect to strength train your upper body. Though this wasn’t an issue on too many of the obstacles, I definitely wished I had more strength in my arms and shoulders for some of them! You’ll likely have an obstacle or two that requires you to lift or pull your body weight, so be prepared.

4. Wear old (but comfortable!) shoes. Again, your shoes will get super muddy, completely soaked and basically all but destroyed—so wear a pair you don’t care too much about! A lot of people actually donate their shoes after the race (I did!), so you might want to consider that as an option. Just make sure they’re comfortable!

5. Have fun! For me, the Warrior Dash was all about having a good time, not about winning, and I think it’s much more fun that way! Get a group of friends together, pull together a costume (if you’re that coordinated) and have a blast. Events like these are all about the experience, not about setting records—unless that’s your way to have fun!

Have you ever participated in a Warrior Dash or another type of mud run? What did you think?

3 Responses to Five Tips to Conquer a Warrior Dash

  1. I just did my FIRST obstacle run this weekend – The Spartan Sprint! Not so much of a sprint lol. There were at least 20 obstacles across the 4 mile route. It was TOUGH!!! 200 yards up a hill under barb wire with rocks and mud and water shooting down. I survived, with some battle wounds (bruises, scrapes, poison ivy) but it was still a blast! I’m doing the Warrior Dash next!! You are definitely right on all accounts though – especially the tight clothing!
    Maria @ Pappa Don’t Preach recently posted..A Very KIND Foodie PenpalMy Profile

    • Carley says:

      That sounds AWESOME! And I have lots a bruises, too–especially from my knees down. Good luck in your Warrior Dash!

  2. [...] participated in the Warrior Dash in her area this past weekend. She provided a lovely recap with Five Tips to Conquer a Warrior Dash.  I can definitely relate to her tips as they apply to Spartan as well. Make sure you check it [...]

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I received my training as a Health Coach from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition’s cutting-edge Health Coach Training Program. I practice a holistic approach to health and wellness, which means that I look at how all areas of your life are connected. As we work together, we will look at how all parts of your life affect your health as a whole.

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