Over the weekend, I participated in the Warrior Dash in Tekamah, NE. I wasn't sure what to expect. I reviewed the obstacles listed online and did my research on how to train, but could I truly train for this only in a gym? I gave it a whirl, so here's my experience:
Rewind to the moment I decided to sign up, I thought, "Hey, I'm fit. I can do that! I've ran a 10K, a 5K will be a piece of cake!" The thing was, I truly hadn't ran in probably 6+ months. I have had an injury in my core/hip flexor/quad since February, which has still not healed completely (yay). I have had to go easy on my training, use lower weight on resistance training, and minimize my cardio. With that being said, I have lost a bit of muscle and endurance since last year, but I still felt strong, able, and ready to work towards a goal!
Considering the circumstance, I thought training as I usually do, but adding a little more cardio, would do the trick.
My training schedule looked a little bit like this:
DAY ONE: Legs
DAY TWO: Chest & triceps, plus cardio
DAY THREE: Back & biceps
DAY FOUR: Legs
DAY FIVE: Shoulders & abs, plus HIIT cardio
DAY SIX: Cardio
DAY SEVEN: Rest
*Not necessarily in that order. I did not track my food; I ate intuitively.
The week/two weeks leading up to the race, I changed my training, which at that point it was probably a little too late and VERY sporadic.
SUNDAY: Shoulders & abs
MONDAY: Biceps & triceps, run
THURSDAY: Stretch & walk
I chose to not train legs the entire week before to ensure I would not be sore for running. I dialed in my nutrition about a week and a half before and tracked every now and then, but mostly focused on eating healthy foods intuitively.
Saturday was race day and let me tell ya, it was tough! It was fun, but very challenging. A bit more challenging than I anticipated. If you competed this weekend - kudos to you! It's always fun to work towards a goal and achieve it!
I am considering competing again next year (AND SO SHOULD YOU!), but there are several things I would do differently when training for the Warrior Dash.
1. Definitely train on trails rather than on paved sidewalks or treadmills. The terrain set me back since I was not used to it.
2. Train outside in the heat! Yes, it will probably suck, but then you will be more prepared for real deal in the heat of July.
3. Sign up for an early time. HELLO! To avoid the heat. Our start time was 9:15am, and well, here I am telling you about how I struggled.
4. HYDRATE HYDRATE HYDRATE. Check out my Benefits of Water blog for more reasons why hydration is so important.
5. Carb up and eat enough before the race. Carbs give you energy, therefore, you will need carbs to perform at your best level. Of course, don't overeat or only eat carbs. Just ensure that you'll have enough energy to get through it!
6. Stand in the shade while you wait for turn. The heat and sunshine can have a huge impact your energy level.
7. Wear clothes and shoes that you don't mind getting muddy. My shoes are still drying...
Overall experience: So fun! I highly recommend it. Show up prepared and you will crush it!
Don't forget to sign up for the Warrior Dash 2018!