Well this 44 year old, stiletto wearing mama of 3, just checked completing a Warrior Dash off my bucket list. And yep – already signed up for my next one in October (9:30 if you want to join me)! I have been on talking to a bunch of friends to get them to join me in the next one (one friend had already signed up – yeeha). They all had a ton of questions. One friend called me to ask if I thought she could do one with her excessively operated on wrist…we decided no. So here it is, my tips and observation from my very first adventure, mud run, Warrior Dash.
How did I train for it? Well…I trained my normal winter routine, either swam a mile or ran 3-5 miles a day- 6 days a week, walked my dog a mile every day and did my daily push-ups and crunches. I do not work out more than an hour and 15 minutes max a day (including the dog walk). In other words, if you are in some sort of non-couch potato shape, you can do this. It is only three miles (maybe a bit more)..easy peasy:) However, how good a shape probably will be an indication on how well you do and how long you will pay for it. I chose to run it, but lots of walk-runners were out there. I am not exceptionally strong by any stretch of the imagination, but was able to do everything with ease.
So…what do first time Warrior Dash participants need to know?
* Sign up early as the events get filled up -seriously!!!
* Sign up as early as you can in the day as the course will be less trashed. No brainer there.
* Anything goes for dress – costumes etc…
* Bring your waiver form filled out and read all their instructions emailed to you ahead of time.
* If you allow the Facebook and Twitter app, your friends will know when you start and end. Very cool!
* Wear lousy sneakers to donate afterwards. I brought extra pairs to donate as had a few lying around.
* Be there as early as they suggest to park and take shuttles to the location.
* You will get a chip to lace through your shoes (don’t tape on – saw some on the trail).
* Duct tape your shoes on after you get you chip.
* You have a number you have to pin on somehow. Not sure a belt will work.
* STRETCH!!! You will use muscles you forgot you had.
* Get to the front if that is your normal strategy, but get there early. Race goes in half hour intervals so jump on it.
* Excess upper body strength is not needed to complete the tasks, most rely on lower body strength. I was worried about the vertical wall and rope, but had no problem with it as I just used the rope for assistance from my footing on the vertical planks.
* If you go with a friend or team, unless you are training partners and run the same, I say go solo. My pal and I had different attacks on the Dash and parted ways after 1/4 mile.
* If you are small like me, the low crawls are a breeze.
* If you can swim through something, do it (I did breast stroke).
* In the mud…proceed with caution. Can go from shallow to deep and catch you off guard. Also, no need to slip getting in and out.
* Don’t stress over the fire – 2 leaps at the end and you are done.
* Spectators are welcome – they might want to bring a garbage bag to sit on for the shuttle though. And certainly do not wear good shoes!
* There is a “Warrior Shower” unless you do fundraisers and get the VIP treatment. Think fire hose! (I was freezing so passed).
* Bring a towel!
* There is a party after but depending on the weather, you might want to rinse and change on site. We chose to go back to the hotel on the bus to shower up as it was unseasonably cold that day. We did not go back to celebrate, but I did enjoy my morning post-race complimentary beer.
* You get a cute viking helmet and t-shirt with your registration!
* There is Warrior Gear to buy on-site.
All the obstacles in the video were not the same as the one I did in Jackson, MS., but you get the drift.