Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Our Top 20 Ruckus Team Names!

Ruckus is just better when you're running as a team.  Whether it's with family, coworkers or even best friends, our RuckStars can't help but have the most fun when they run as a group.  

We encourage all of our RuckStars to create their own teams...and to get creative when it comes to naming them!  In the past few years, we have had our Ruckus teams come up with some hilarious and downright witty team names.  What are some of our favorites?  Take a look at our top 20 Ruckus team names: 
  1. Beer View Mirror
  2. Devil's Dream
  3. Harsh Reality
  4. Marla's Maniacs
  5. Therapists in Tutus 
  6. Girls Gone Muddy
  7. 50 Shades of Pink
  8. Got Mud?
  9. Parents Out Of Shape
  10. Rucked Up
  11. Hamburglers
  12. Abusement Park
  13. Mighty Misfits
  14. Mudd Life Crisis
  15. Average Joes
  16. Bromance Ruckus Style
  17. Show Me The Muddy
  18. McMudders
  19. Life2TheFullest
  20. Just Ruck It!
Starting a Ruckus team this year?  Learn more about starting a team at our Kansas City run on April 6, 2013 here.  Then, after you've come up with your awesome Ruckus team name, share it with us in our blog comments or on our Facebook page.

See you (and your team) on the course! 

Monday, February 25, 2013

3 Tips for Getting into the Ruckus Champion’s Heat

So you’ve decided to participate in Ruckus – way to go! You’re joining the coolest mud running obstacle course in the world. We know you’ve done your training and you’re ready to compete.

Many of our participants go above and beyond the call of duty and shoot for making it into the Champion’s Heat. The Champion’s Heat consists of the top 10% of the men and women’s races from the morning runs.  The Champion’s Heat runs the same course in the afternoon, bringing their total Ruckus mileage to 8 miles for the day. The winners from each division bring home the coveted Golden Helmet!

Planning ahead for the Ruckus Champion’s Heat will be crucial to your success. Here are a few tips for achieving your Champion’s Heat goal:
  • Train as if you are going to run the entire 8 miles. This will give you a lead in the regular Ruckus race, while also preparing your body for the Champion’s Heat later in the afternoon. If you are prepared to run 8 miles, the first course will go much smoother.
  • Train on challenging terrain. Kansas City is full of steeps streets, lengthy tracks and outdoor stairs (the Plaza and UMKC to name a couple). Training on steep, challenging terrain will make the Kansas City mud run more approachable on race day.
  • Pace yourself. It can be easy to overreach during the initial course if you’ve got the Champion’s Heat in mind. Remember, you need to be in the top 10% of your division to compete. Pacing is crucial to ensuring you don’t expend all your energy on the first course, leaving you empty for the Champion’s Heat.

We are so proud of all our participants. Your drive to be healthy and have fun in Kansas City’s great mud obstacle course reminds us of the difference we’re making through Ruckus. We can’t wait to see you out there...whether you’re in the Champion’s Heat or not!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Can We Be Addicted to Exercise?

You know that feeling of accomplishment after a tough, grueling workout?  The feeling that you can conquer the world even though you were lying on the ground “dying” about 10 minutes ago?  That feeling you get when you can’t help but smile on mile 8 of a 10 mile run?   These feelings come to us thanks to the body’s own exercise coping mechanism, endorphins.

Endorphins are natural chemical compounds produced by the body’s pituitary gland. Endorphins are produced during exercise, anxiety, moments of excitement and pain. Endorphins work by preventing the body’s nerve cells from producing more pain signals, leaving us with a soothing after-effect.  In addition to acting as a coping mechanism, endorphins are known to decrease appetite, induce a euphoric feeling and decrease anxiety. That’s why if you’re overly stressed or anxious about something, going on a run or working out is a great way to clear your mind and relax your nerves.

Too much of a good thing…

We’ve all heard of endurance athletes getting a “runner’s high”. As a race or event progresses, participating athletes begin to gradually lose the ability to feel pain and are often overcome with a euphoric feeling to keep going.  That’s a runner’s high (and sometimes, our RuckStars get it during our tough courses!).

This is also commonly known as being “in the zone”; think Michael Jordan in the 1997 NBA finals when he had the flu. Research has shown that the more physically fit an athlete may be, the more receptive he or she is due to effects of endorphins. Additionally, as the demand for athletic performance increases, the amount endorphins released also increases. This correlation often has two side effects; the athlete is able to train harder due to a higher tolerance for pain. The other is that the athlete is exposed to high amounts of endorphins over long periods which can lead to endorphin addiction.

Can we be addicted to running?
Like anything, if you overdo it, you run the risk of developing an addiction. Addiction is commonly just associated with drugs, alcohol and substance abuse. When in reality, our body doesn’t need outside substances, it naturally contains addictive substances. An exercise addiction for example, occurs when someone develops a chemical dependence on the endorphins released from intense physical activity.
It may not seem like a bad addiction to have, but it can have severely adverse effects on one’s health.

Most exercise addicts aren’t aware of their addiction; they just believe they are living a healthy lifestyle, which, in theory, is good. But exercise addictions are a hidden addiction and can cause someone to overwork their body, even when injured. Their reasoning behind this is that they’ll only mentally feel better when they workout.  If they don’t, a feeling of low self-worth often sets in.

Being healthy is a good thing, but being healthy to the point of obsession is very unhealthy both mentally and physically. So in some ways, exercising addictions are just as damaging as substance addictions!

So how do you avoid exercise addiction?

They key to avoiding an addiction to exercise is by being aware and finding a balance. There is no need to beat yourself up for missing a day of exercise by going extra hard the next day. Being healthy isn’t just exercise either; it’s also important to have a healthy diet!

Here at Ruckus, we believe in living a healthy lifestyle, but we also believe you should be having fun while you do it. Because if you’re not having fun, what’s the point? If you’ve noticed that your exercise routine has become a chore, it’s time to infuse it with some fun!  And luckily for you, we have just the remedy!

Get more Ruckus tips & tricks on Twitter! @RuckusSports 

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

RuckStar Profile: Giselle McGaw

Name: Giselle McGaw

Hometown: Blue Springs, MO

Occupation: Pre-school teacher

Favorite Ruckus obstacle: Definitely the monkey bars!  I love that obstacle because it requires a lot of upper body strength and grip and it was very challenging to complete towards end of race when I was fatigued.

Preferred race-day gear: My preferred race gear, especially if it’s hot, is a sports bra and compression shorts. Its light helps me move I get a better tan that

Pre-race rituals: Energy drink for sure! Post…alcohol!

Advice to future participants: Always challenge yourself! You will never know what you can do until you try it. BE BETTER EVERYDAY and never give up! The reward is so much greater when you set a goal and accomplish it.

Favorite Ruckus memory: My favorite Ruckus memory was post-race in parking lot showering with a gallon of water!

What keeps your Ruckus-ing in 2013?  I have done 3 mud runs and I love the Ruckus run! It’s my favorite  because it has better obstacles and it’s a good distance—not too short or too long.  Ruckus has a great volunteer staff cheering you on.  The layout for spectators to watch and cheer you on is fantastic! That really keeps you motivated and going strong towards end of your race ;)

When I ran this race, I was recovering from a sprained right ankle and was wearing an ankle brace. Too me, the most challenging part was getting through all the mud and climbing with a weak ankle, but I did it! At 38 years old, I continue to push my limits and enjoy challenging myself everyday! I love to compete and adrenaline is my drug!! This year, I plan on making Ruckus a family affair and have my children there watching and possibly running it with me. I recommend this race to all my friends and look forward to doing it again this year!!

Register for our next Ruckus race—Kansas City on April 6th!  

Want your Ruckus profile to be featured on our blog? Find out how here

Friday, February 15, 2013

Come Celebrate the 3 F's of Ruckus!

Ruckus: Family, Fun, Finishing! 

At Ruckus, we are all about 3 things...and all of them start with the letter “F”.  Continue reading to learn about our biggest beliefs...and be sure to remember all 3 when you’re running Ruckus this year!

FAMILY:  Keep in mind that Ruckus is always family-focused.  Yes, we love competition, we love racing and we love the mud...but most importantly, we love our Ruckus families.  We are one of the only mud obstacle course races  that caters to every member of your family—from our Mini RuckStars to your rebel teenagers, from aunts and uncles to mud-loving grandparents.

FUN:  In addition to being obsessed with our family-focus, we also can’t help but focus on fun!  What’s an obstacle course without laughter, memories and hilarious mud-filled stories?  The most important aspect of Ruckus isn’t winning—it’s having fun while you’re completing the course.  It’s about smiling while sliding through mud, laughing while hanging from ropes and holding your best friend’s hand as you slide down Mt. Ruckmore.

FINISHING:  As we previously stated, it’s important to remember that Ruckus isn’t about winning—it’s about finishing.  We are very proud of our Ruckus Champions, but we are even more proud of those who enter into the race just wanting to finish.  Completing Ruckus is a challenge.  It’s not just a run—it’s a battle.  Being able to jump over flames, crawl on top of tires and swing on ropes is no easy task—and we could not be more proud of all of our RuckStars who bravely complete the course year after year (and you should be too!).

Are you all about family, fun and finishing?  If so, come celebrate your athletic excellence at Ruckus this year!  It’s a great opportunity to get the family together, get some great exercise, create memories and get a little muddy along the way. 

Want to get even closer to the Ruckus experience? Follow us on Twitter! @RuckusSports

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

5 Tips for Your Ruckus Pre-race Prep

Ruckus is meant to be a fun and challenging event—it surely will test your mental and physical strength!  But just because it’s challenging, doesn’t mean it isn’t fun! In fact, the design of Ruckus is to be an exhilarating adult playground. We want all of our participants to get the most out of the Ruckus experience. To do so we recommend proper race preparation.  If this is your first Ruckus, take note!

What is proper race prep?

It’s simple.  Race prep is everything you do leading up to Ruckus. If you don’t know where to begin, don’t worry! We’re here to help. We’ve compiled a top 5 list of the most crucial pre-race prep tips that will ensure you’re ready to take on everything the Ruckus course has to offer—including Mt. Ruckmore!

1. Training
Ruckus Kansas City is a couple of months away, so you still have some time to train even if you may not be in Champion’s heat-shape. The Ruckus course encompasses obstacles that test your climbing, crawling, balance, strength, and most of all cardio abilities. Exercises that challenge these are what will get you Ruckus ready. Movements like burpees, pull ups, pushups and lunges don’t require a gym but are just as effective. When paired with running a couple of miles and practicing army crawls, you’ll be Ruckus ready in no time.

2. Nutrition
Your body needs fuel to run, just like a car.  The higher octane the fuel is, the better it will run. Loading up on carbohydrates isn’t for everyone.  In some cases, heavy carbs can slow you down. Protein, however, is essential to everyone—especially those looking to get fit! You’re muscles thrive on protein, so give it to them. Don’t forget to hydrate.  Our bodies are 85% water.  Drink according to your thirst.

3. Relax
Before race day, it’s important to take a day or two off.  Some light stretching and easy jogging can clear your mind and allow your body some recovery time. If you overwork your body, you won’t be able to perform at your best.

4. Wear what works
When it comes time for race day, wear something that is comfortable to you. Experienced RuckStars have suggested pants, gloves to provide grip and old shoes you don’t mind getting dirty. Then again, some other Ruckus-ers have worn costumes!  We’ll leave that up to you.

5. Stretch
Along with eating something light that will provide you with energy and drinking plenty of water, the most important thing you can do on Ruckus race day is stretch. Once you enter the course, you cannot leave, so make sure you are stretched and warmed up before you’re race. This will prevent injury and allow you to perform at your peak.

If you follow these 5 tips, you’ll no doubt be ready to take on everything the Kansas City Ruckus course has in store. The most important thing to remember is to have fun! The Ruckus course is challenging.  Enter with the mindset of having fun first, as long as you give it your best, you’ll be rewarded!

Want more Ruckus tips?  Follow us on Twitter!  @RuckusSports

Monday, February 11, 2013

RuckStar Profile: Paul Jones

We love our RuckStars!  Read Paul Jones’ amazing Ruckus experience and sign up for a Ruckus near you today. Kansas City, you’re next! 

Name: Paul Jones
Hometown: Templeton, MA
Occupation: Sales Engineer by day, admin of the New England Spahtens obstacle course race team by night
Favorite Ruckus obstacle:  Oh, easy! Mt. Ruckmore! Or the air loops. Or the gigantic troughs. Hmm...
Preferred race-day gear: My New England Spahten drill shirt and running shorts. X-Talon 190's for grip!
Pre-race rituals:  Stretch the legs, jump up and down and Ruckus!
Advice to future participants:  Ruckus is what you make of it. For new folks, take things steady, have a good time, enjoy the obstacles - you're seeing some of the best out there. For the competitors, go for it - leave it all on the course and get in the Champions Heat!
Favorite Ruckus memory:  Running the 2012 summer MA race with my wife - her first race ever. Or running the first Ruckus in Marshfield, MA ever, back in 2010 with my gym buddies!
What keeps you Ruckus-ing in 2013? Ruckus puts on one of the best courses in its class, and has amazing spectator access - one year I want in on the Champions Heat - almost had it at the fall race!

Register for our next Ruckus race—Kansas City on April 6th!  

Want your Ruckus profile to be featured on our blog? Find out how here

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Ruckus: A Corporate Team Building Experience

“Quick everyone!  Get to the conference room!  It’s time for a team building seminar!”

Those words should never be said with enthusiasm. Ever.

There is nothing more boring than PowerPoint presentations and free bagels to “bring a team together”. Yet this activity is exactly what companies do to “excite” their employees about working together. Great teamwork isn’t developed with crazy fonts and smooth transitions.  Team building should be!

Teamwork makes the dream work.
So, if you want to build up your corporate team, what activity should you plan? That’s an easy one; Ruckus!

Build Emotional Bonds 
Ruckus helps build the emotional bonds that are the building blocks of trust and teamwork. The physically challenging course at Ruckus acts as the common enemy for your team to rally around. At the end of the Ruckus race, there’s nothing more rewarding than cheering all of your team members as you all cross the finish line, worn out and covered in mud. An out-of-breath nod to a teammate that says “that was tough and challenging but we beat it together” speaks a whole lot more than actually saying it in a conference room setting.  Plus if you can overcome our obstacles as a team, you can overcome a lot of tough clients together too!

Team Activities vs. Individual Activities 
When trying to build cohesiveness within your team, competitive events that are individual based don’t work. Activities where coworkers only have to worry about themselves are just as ineffective as seminars (think bowling, laser tag, or paintball). These types of activities create a “me first” mindset; participants want to shine individually and are only concerned with their own success. On top of that, if there is tension between some team members, do you really want to give them paintball guns?  We didn’t think so.  The best solution is to set up a team and run Ruckus together!

Foster Trust 
If you really want to build cohesiveness within a corporate team you won’t do it with terms like “synergy”. Trust falls are a great idea, but if people fail to catch you, trust isn’t the only thing often broken or damaged. True team building occurs when people are able to come together around a common cause.

Ditch the laser tag and steer clear of the conference room. Gather your team for Ruckus Kansas City on April 6, 2013 to turn your corporate get-together into a muddy good time! Sign your team up quickly because wave times sell out fast. Let Ruckus be your new corporate tradition!

Get more Ruckus tips, tricks and advice on Twitter! @RuckusSports

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

RuckStar Profile: Ryan Falkenrath

We love our RuckStars!  Read Ryan Falkenrath’s amazing Ruckus experience and sign up for a Ruckus near you today. Kansas City, you’re next!

Name:  Ryan Falkenrath
Hometown: Olathe, Kansas
Occupation: Endurance Sports Coaching / Online Media Marketing
Favorite Ruckus obstacle: Anything with mud.
Preferred race-day gear: Spandex undershorts, shorts with waist-band tie, socks, shoes tied TIGHTLY and a form fitting dry fit shirt.
Pre-race rituals: Hydrate, dehydrate, hydrate, stretch and visualize.
Advice to future participants: See my past articles!

Favorite Ruckus memory: My goal last year was to get out in front of the crowd and for a brief moment, I was in first place in my wave.  I was king of the world for about 5 minutes until everyone caught me.
What keeps you Ruckus-ing in 2013?  It's a good time and a fun alternative to just running.  I enjoy the benefits of running, but sometimes not the act of running.

Register for our next Ruckus race—Kansas City on April 6th! 

Have a fun Ruckus memory to share?  Email and tell us your story!