I would like to start by saying that I am NOT a runner! However, every year I enter a 5K race. Not just any 5k! I prefer the muddy, challenging obstacle courses like Warrior Dash and the community sponsored mud runs. Many have asked, “Why do you torture yourself?” I have many reasons:
First, exercise is a challenge for me. I have to create new and exciting ways of motivating myself to stay in shape. Signing up for these races forces me to form a plan. These races are also social events, and it is fun to pair up with friends and take the challenge together.
Also, I dislike running unless I can stop once in awhile and catch my breath. Nothing forces me to stop running like an obstacle: an eight foot wall, a tunnel, a swamp, or even a water slide. I still run when I train but only three days per week and only for the two months prior to the event. That’s only 24 runs per year plus race day! While most of the year I walk, bike, swim, or lift, completing a brief running regimen is manageable.
Finally, we enter the race as a family. This is a wonderful opportunity to have some fun with my kids. Sometimes we train together, and on race day, we encourage each other. More important, I am keeping myself in shape while encouraging them to form positive lifelong habits.
Here are a few tips if you want to take on the challenge of an obstacle course:
- I recommend starting with a community mud run. These events have easier obstacles than the nationwide races like Tough Mudder or Warrior Dash.
- Make sure you wear clothing that is not absorbent! I made the mistake of wearing cotton clothing, and it added ten lbs. to carry on the course.
- Take the time to work on upper body strength. Besides being good for you, the extra training will help you complete the obstacles.
- Dressing up in costumes is a lot of fun, but my son recommends NOT wearing a kilt or costume that will interfere with your mobility on the course. (I also think he tired of being asked if he wore anything under said kilt.)
- Do NOT attempt a race like this without taking the time to train.
- Most important, go out and have fun!
I started blogging on a regular basis last October. I noticed today, “Reflections from the Journey” has 385 fans and is approaching 5000 hits. You humble me! Thank you so much!