Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Top 5 Tips for Pacing Yourself During an Obstacle Course

Once you have sorted out the pre-competition details such as a clever team name and in which race you will compete, your focus should turn to the Ruckus course itself.  With April 6th and Kansas City’s event rapidly approaching, we encourage our participants to have an idea of how they will attack the race.  We’re here to give you a few tips on how to pace yourself during this unique running experience—the mud obstacle course: 

  1. Have a goal in mind before the race.  First and foremost, Ruckus is about enjoying a fun and unique style of exercise.  But we also understand and encourage our runners to push themselves to the best of their abilities.  Knowing your pace beforehand can be crucial.  So before you toe the starting line, try to have an idea of a time or position at which you hope to finish.  If you have partaken in a Ruckus before, try to beat your previous time.  Or maybe you want to try to finish in the top half of your starting wave.  Regardless, go into the race with a goal!   
  1.  Run with a partner, or a few.  This is more of a personal preference, but if you are in the business of maintaining a steady pace, competing alongside a friend, family member or co-worker is a great way to not get ahead of yourself.  It’s crucial to plan ahead and make sure that you will be in the same wave as your teammate; otherwise your day might be ruined!
  1. Don’t start too fast.  We can tell you right now that your adrenaline will be pumping as your grouping heads for that first obstacle.  But don’t get ahead of yourself!  There are more than 20 obstacles looming ahead of you.  Stay within your limits, especially if you are attempting the four-mile Challenge race.  The first quarter-mile of the course is not going to make or break your final time and placement, but if you don’t have any energy left with half of the race left, it’s a whole different story. 
  1. Pick which obstacles you really want to attack.  With countless challenging obstacles littered throughout the race, you probably aren’t going to be able to give 100% on all of them.  After exploring the course, make sure you have an idea of which obstacles you can attack full speed ahead.  If you think you are upper-body strong, then go after the Nose Bleed Nets and Gr8 Walls of Ruckus.  If you rely more on your speed and agility, then attack the Down-n-Outs and Tirefield.  Either way, try to push yourself on at least a few of the obstacles!
  1. There is no pace at the end of the race.  Plain and simple—give it everything you’ve got once you start sniffing that finish line.  You should be proud of yourself for having come out to exercise on a Saturday in the first place, but you should really make it worth your while and sprint the end.  You have the rest of the weekend to relax.  This is a perfect chance to earn some bragging rights over your running partner!
The way you run your Ruckus race is totally in your hands.  We just suggest you have an approach in mind.  We don’t want to find you taking a nap in the Mud Garden mid-way through the race!  So pace yourself and you’ll be a RuckStar.  

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