Tuesday, June 28, 2011

T and A

but not what you're thinking.  Get your mind out of the gutter. 

So it was requested of me to share some training tips for training for the Warrior Dash, and that's exactly what I'm going to do.  I'm going to call it Training and Attitude.  Get it?  T and A?  Oh, never mind...

Below are some of the most helpful suggestions I can make for training for the dash.

1.  Be crazy.  No, seriously.  To even consider signing up for a race like this you have to have some element of crazy up in that noggin of yours.  Yes, I realize that it's not as difficult as say, Tough Mudder or Spartan Race, but if you're going to consider doing it, make sure you're prepared to NOT QUIT.  Show up.  Complete it.  There is very little chance of you winning.  Last year, on a black diamond slope on the side of the mountain, everyone went out to 'win it'.  The winner was untouchable.  He ran the whole course in 21 minutes, up a mountain, through all of the obstacles, and back down.  He was barely breathing hard upon his finish.  So don't plan on winning.  Plan on finishing.  The satisfaction is beyond what you can realize when you set out to do it.  But definitely do it.  All ages, all fitness levels.  There were 60 yr old mall walking women passing 20 yr old men.  All finished, and that's what matters :)

2.  If you're planning on running the NY, CO, or a few other ones that are on ski slopes, this is what I'd recommend.  Find the biggest hill or mountain you can and hike it to train.  If you're able, take your car and drive it first so you have an idea of how long it is.  If not, just hike it repeatedly, as frequently as possible.  If you're up to running do so, but don't feel it's necessary as the downhill portion of the race will more than make up some time and speed.  You'd pass people on the uphill as long as you're used to a steep incline.  If no such physical hill/mountain is available, find a treadmill and set it to the steepest incline and the fastest you can possibly do without falling backward on your bum.  If you want that added burn (like I've come to enjoy) add ankle weights and wrist weights, and even a weight belt or vest if you want.  When the time comes to run the dash for real, you'll be amazed at how easy it is without the extra 10-20 pounds you've gotten used to training with.  You'll feel light as a feather, but hopefully not stiff as a board.

3.  Don't learn to hydrate.  Drink as much as you can (water) day before training, but get used to training without water.  The reason why I mention this is there is a water station halfway through the race, and one at the finish, but unless you plan on running with a camelbak hydration pack (NOT advised) you'll be too used to having water along the way and really feel it on the day of when you don't have a bottle with you.  Post training beverage that is recommended is 1% low fat chocolate milk.  Seriously.  MMMMMM. 

4.  Spit happens.  Yes, spit.  As in thick, globby, foamy, lugie-esque spit.  Be prepared to launch it out of your mouth.  Expectorate (oooh, big fancy word).  Just make sure there is no one behind you on which it will land squarely because eew.  It's the common courtesy of running.  Spit not on those behind, but spit to the side into the bushes, and do it as frequently as its needed.

5.  Be aware that the later the time you sign up for, the hotter the temperature and the messier the course. 

6.  Wear fabric that dries quickly but does not chafe.  You don't want fabric burns in places unmentionable that you'll be dealing with for a while afterward.  And wear clothing that dries quickly.  I saw more pairs of underwear last year than I care to remember.  Guys and girls were wearing heavy cotton shorts, and once they (and their cotton underwear) were wet, they had to run the whole rest of the race pulling up their drawers so as not to flash the general public and have the humiliation of shrinkage since the water is quite chilly.  I wore a bikini bottom under fast drying tight elastic waisted shorts, so that they didn't weigh me down.  Some people ran in jeans last year.  Why?  I think they were embarrassed about their bodies.  Trust me, no one is looking at your body.  No one cared about my stretch marks up and down my legs from years of prednisone.  No one cared about my ostomy (not that I was flashing it around).  It was all about encouragement and camaraderie, not trying to look hot and pick up chicks/dudes.  Just don't end up with 15 extra pounds because your clothing is waterlogged.

7.  Be prepared to run it solo.  I did last year.  I had people who said they would run it with me and none did.  I didn't let it stop me.  I pushed myself, and so did complete strangers.  It's an amazing feeling to be with a ton of people you don't know and have them rooting for you too, and you for them.  If you can find a partner, more power to you.  If you can't, do it solo. 

8.  Get a good pair of trail running sneakers.  Again, blogged about earlier, but they are light weight, fast draining/drying, with great stability and support.  This is essential to doing it properly.  I really enjoy my montrail rockridge.  Froogle for the best price.  And as trashed as they were after the dash, I brought them home, hosed them out, and tossed them and their insoles in the washer.  When I tell you they look and function like new, I'm not even kidding.  Well worth the investment as far as I'm concerned, and I'm getting multiple uses out of them.  Woo woo!  And don't wear heavy thick socks that will feel like you're running on sponges.  I have the low ankle ones, cotton, but thin.  They provide a barrier between foot and sneaker, but aren't gushy once wet.  I think I got the three pack at Kohl's for 5 bucks.  Just thin and low.  That's essential. 

9.  Bring a towel and dry clothing.  You'll stink to high heaven.  So will everyone else.  But to not have to smell yourself the whole way home, make sure you have at least something dry and non stinky to change into.  The 'showers' are pvc pipe with holes punched in them and a hose attached.  They aren't powerful, but they get a bit of the grime off.  If you don't like dirt and mud, don't do it, or suck it up and step out of your comfort zone for once.  Again, well worth it. 

10.  Have fun.  Regardless of the weather, the company, the scrapes/bumps/bruises, just have fun.  Your attitude makes all the difference between how you enjoy it.  Be proud of yourself.  And wear your medal for the full week afterward.  You earned it.  I know I did.  And it was a great conversation piece :)

Okay, that's it for now.  T and A for you.  Hope you enjoyed.  Will update on health in a day or two.  Hopefully this Saturday I'll take a vid of the hill driving it so you can see on what I train.  Hopefully.  We shall see. 

Love ya,


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