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.
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?