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I’ll start with this:

I consider any obstacle race an endurance event, as well as any distance off-road above a 10k, I am not putting down lesser distances, I just run them with a different strategy.

I have discovered the value of strategy having done a few endurance events this past year (see previous posts)and I still have my first “Tough Mudder” ***edit October 2012..Tough Mudder Completed ***and my first full marathon (San Antonio Rock and Roll Marathon) pending later this year. I feel ready.

Here’s a few things I have learned, not necessarily in order of importance:

  • Training is everything: AND EVERYTHING IS TRAINING
  • Go out soft and come in hard: Running negative splits has proven to be a very successful race strategy for me…It’s easier to empty your gas tank in the final portion of an event then it is to finish it when you were empty by the halfway point….
  • Hydrate: beware of hyponatremia, but be sure that you are sweating… NEVER pass a water point without at least a swallow on an obstacle course….I passed the first (and only) water point on a 5k obstacle race, and boy, was I SORRY near the end!
  • Be courteous: When I run difficult or narrow trails, I try to let people know I am passing, “on your right” or “on your left” …most people will give way and slow a half step, which will in turn allow you to pass easier, saving precious energy….also, remember to say thank you…
  • Run your own race: So what if you are getting passed like crazy, so what if there’s a friend of yours way ahead… unless you’re in the master’s class, or trying out for the Olympics, your biggest challenge should be yourself. After all, you are the one who signed up for it to be FUN!
  • Always approach an obstacle with an idea of how you are going to complete it: it may sound cheesy, but envisioning yourself going up and over a wall makes actually going up and over the wall MUCH MUCH easier
  • DO NOT wear Vibram FiveFingers UNLESS YOU TRAIN IN AND WEAR THEM REGULARLY:I saw a  racer limp past the finishing line of the Burnett Spartan Sprint and THROW OUT his VFF’s, when I asked him if he trained in them, he informed me he had purchased them a week before and had not run in them before the race( they also weren’t my size)…I wear and train in VFF’s daily, and I run races in them. I love my VFF’s. This applies to all “toe shoes”
  • Know your limits: You want to push your limits, not break yourself.
  • Be comfortable with quadrupedal movement: It really helps on extremely steep inclines, as well as “under”-type obstacles
  • Parkour Helps ….A LOT
  • For Marathons and 1/2 Marathons: CLICK HERE FOR THE MARCO MARATHON CALCULATOR it’s an amazing resource

I am certain I have missed a few things, and I certainly don’t know EVERYTHING so feel free to leave comments!

Until next time,

Stay Muddy My Friends.

-MuddyJ

The year in family athletic achievements (from Right)
Gladiator Rock’n Run (San Antonio), Alamo 13.1 Fight to the Finish Half Marathon (San Antonio) Jailbreak (Austin) Camp Buehring Memorial Day 5k (Kuwait) Muddy Mayhem 8k (San Antonio), Rebel Race 15k (Smithville) Spartan Sprint (Burnett) Spartan Jr Thing #1, Thing #2 and Thing #3, Natural Bridge Caverns 10k, Various Walking Club Patches the Things Three earned with Oma and Opa along the bottom

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