As thousands descend on the sites of Spartan Races, Tough Mudders©, Warrior Dashes and races like them, we get questions about what to do to prepare for the week or day of the race. Here is what team “SPARK It Up” is doing and you should too.
- Emphasize the importance of race-week nutrition and hydration. Be sure to begin hydrating heavily at least 72 hours before the race. This means that our Saturday group should be drinking lots of water and limiting alcohol consumption beginning on Wednesday. Make sure that you are properly loaded up with energy; a high fiber, high complex carbohydrate diet is a must. This should begin on Thursday and carry through to Friday evening. A bowl of oatmeal and some fruit is a great race-day breakfast, especially as you will likely not eat anything again until the first rest stop. Fortunately, the folks at the Difficult Wet-Dirt Race© takes the worry out of in-race logistics: there is no need to bring carb gels or anything like that with you during the race. There are plenty of “refueling” stations throughout the course that have water, bananas and FRS chews. Use these resources and you will have all the fuel you need to complete the race.
- Gear check. Make sure your sneakers haven’t completely fallen apart. Make sure gloves are not terribly worn. Make sure your socks are adequately hole-less. Nothing is going to suck more than getting a blister or hot spot on your skin and having to run with that for 4-5 hours.
- Gear selection. Most of us are set on the sneakers we want to use. Most of us have gloves we like. Other suggestions might include: leggings or tights, some form of arm sleeve or a top that will cover you completely. The only bad/painful experience we had in our race last year was being covered in fine sand after several of the crawling events and then having to spend time on our hands and knees in subsequent obstacles with a hard surface. That will tear your skin up QUICK!
- Run as a team. This is not a race; it is a challenge to the finish. If you are fortunate enough to have trained with a team, then run with the team. If a teammate falls, be there to pick them up. If you want a challenge, do your work and the work that a teammate needs help with as well. If you need help through an obstacle use your teammates. Several if not the majority of the obstacles will absolutely REQUIRE the strength and ability of more than one person. Lean on each other and we will all be successful.
- Race hard.
- Have fun.