Thursday, March 28, 2013

Mini Ruckus Event for Boys & Girls Club of KC Tomorrow!

We love our RuckStars...especially our Mini RuckStars!  To kick off our Ruckus Kansas City event, we are hosting a highly visual Ruckus Mini to promote healthy active living in the Kansas City area.  

An estimated 300 Kansas City-area youth from local the Boys & Girls Clubs will participate in the most exhilarating yet rewarding opportunity to “give it their all” in the Mini Ruckus obstacle course time trial. With more than 25 urban and suburban schools represented, the Ruckus Mini event is designed to introduce youth to the fastest growing sporting event in the US with a mini course of challenging, yet achievable, obstacles. The event will serve as a backdrop to remind children of all ages the benefits of getting exercise, eating right and most importantly, staying healthy while having fun!

This event starts at 1:00 PM on Friday, March 29 and ends at 3:00 PM.  The Ruckus Mini will take place at 3831 E. 43rd Street in Kansas City, MO at the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Kansas City (Thornberry Unit).

We can't wait!  

The Carbo-load to Success

Real racers will do anything to get ahead of the competition.  So other than show up to your race properly stretched with weeks/months of training behind you, what can you do before toeing the line? 

How about making sure that your energy fuel level is on full! We recommend doing an old-fashioned carbo-load before your Ruckus race; just make sure you do it the right way.

What foods should I eat for a carbo-load?  
So what exactly is the right way?  Just because something has carbohydrates in it, doesn’t make it a solid pre-race snack.  So we don’t advice you to scarf down a big plate of fettuccine alfredo as you get out of your car.  You want to make sure that the foods are easy to digest, otherwise that pasta might come back up in the Mud Garden or one of the other awesome challenges on the course.  And your puke is not a fun or fair obstacle for the other competitors.

Instead, grab a more suitable carb-heavy option, which is great for breakfast before those morning and early afternoon wave times.  Some of these healthy options include oatmeal, pancakes, waffles, yogurt and juice. 

Most carbohydrate research out there is based on performance in half- or full-marathons, whereas Ruckus is just between 2 and 4 miles.  But marathons don’t have fences, swings, ropes, and other energy-consuming hurdles.  So we advise you to prep accordingly, because you will expend just about all of that energy.

Your pre-race meal plan
Let’s plan ahead by a full day to make sure your body is physically and nutritionally prepared for battle.  In addition to the three main meals, competitors should also indulge in a morning and afternoon snack.   As described on RunnersWorld, portions are a key to success. 

For example, breakfast could include 1 bagel with 2 tablespoons of strawberry jam, lunch features 1 large baked potato with ¼ cup salsa and dinner’s main course is 1 chicken burrito with rice, corn salsa and black beans.  Of course, each meal has additional parts, ranging from 8 ounces of orange juice to 1 sourdough roll to 1 2-ounce bag of Swedish Fish.

So follow these helpful hints on pre-race rations and the Ruckus finish line will be there sooner than you thought.  Or don’t listen to us—and you may turn out like this guy.  The choice is yours.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Top 5 Apps for Tracking Your Runs

Training for running events like Ruckus can be challenging.  And sometimes it’s nice to have a coach, workout buddy or motivator to help you push yourself to train a few times a week.  Unfortunately, many of us do not have coaches or personal trainers to help us keep track of our progress.  But we do have accessibility to many mobile apps, online tools and new gadgets that can help us get in tip-top shape for Ruckus! 

In order to keep your momentum going before and after any mud run, we’ve compiled a list of the best running tools available. These tools will help you keep track of your routes, your times, your speed and more.

1.  MapMyRun
MapMyRun is a great tool for tracking your running routes. You can trace a new route on a map to see how long your run will be or you can search for pre-existing routes in the program. In addition to being able to map routes, there are also running groups, nutrition information and even training plans. If you’re looking to learn more about the world around you while keeping track of your regimen, this is a good place to start. Cost: Free for basic, $2.99 on iOS, Android and Blackberry.

2.  Garmin Forerunner
Based in Olathe, Kansas, Garmin changed the navigation industry by creating affordable technology for everyday people. In addition to a slew of other innovation areas, Garmin has created the Forerunner, a watch that allows you to record your distance, time and pace as you run. Additionally, Forerunner allows you to monitor your heart rate. The strength of Garmin’s navigation ensures that you will always have signal and consistent data. Cost: Starting at $152 on Amazon.

3.  Couch to 5K
Couch to 5K is designed for beginners who don’t know where to start when it comes to running. The application includes a rigid training program that, if followed, will prepare you to run a 5K. Integrating motivational talks with custom music preferences, this application also gives users a discount on local 5K races once they are ready to race. This is a great application to share with friends who are interested in getting active but don’t know where to start.  The Couch to 5K structure inspires self-discipline and dedication. Cost: $1.99, available for iOS and Android.

4.  Zombies, Run!
Sometimes running away from something can be just as motivating as running toward a finish line. If you’re willing to suspend disbelief for a while and have fun doing it, Zombies, Run! will create a unique running experience for you. Choose from over 40 storylines (“Hundreds of lives are counting on you. You’ve got to help your base rebuild from the ruins of civilization by collecting critical supplies while avoiding roving zombie hordes.”), choose your playlist, and while you run, your music will integrate with story elements to provide a unique running experience.  Zombies, Run! is a great app if you’re training for a 5K, 10K, mud run or even an obstacle course like The Walking Dead Escape. Cost: $7.99 on iOS, Android and Windows.

5.  Ghost Race
One of the most motivating forces is the idea of beating ourselves. Ghost Race will keep track of all your data and provide you with graphical representations of your progress in beating yourself. If you are curious about where you are in your run but don’t want to stop to look at your device, you can set up Ghost Race to give audio cues for status updates. Knowing you are beating your personal best is a satisfying feeling and Ghost Race will help you do so with clarity. Cost: Free for Lite version, $.99 Pro version available for iOS and Android.

There are many applications, tools and gadgets available for runners these days. What’s more important than finding just the right application is that you remain dedicated to working hard and continue to grow as a runner, which we are confident you will do!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Mud Runs: Just As Fun for Spectators

Ever been to a regular 5K, half- or full-marathon, but not competed?  Yeah, it’s not that fun.  You probably just stood on the side of a city street as racers passed you with looks of defeat on their faces.  At Ruckus, we think the experience should be just as fun for the spectators as it is for our RuckStars.   

Back to those repetitive road races – we’re guessing you went to a spot on the course, saw your friend or family member pass by, then moved to one or two other spots to watch them momentarily pass again.  We know you want to watch your loved ones struggle up some of our daunting obstacles, so we make nearly the entire course visible to spectators.  Beforehand, you can decide if you want to see them crawl through mud pits, climb up and over walls or tackle countless other challenges. 

Plus, once your runner’s heat is over and you’ve had your fill of watching them get extra messy, you will have the chance to experience the great Ruckus atmosphere with all of the competitors (although you won’t be as muddy!).  The spectator area at Ruckus also features a health and fitness expo, a beer garden and food trucks – the recipe to an awesome Saturday whether you’re running or just watching. 

Be sure to reserve your spectator pass online for only $10 and be a part of the fun and exciting atmosphere at Ruckus (children under the age of 10 and registered participants do not have to purchase a spectator pass). Or we guess you could stand on the street during your husband’s regular 5K and hand him water as he drenches you in sweat.  It’s up to you.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

5 Most Common Mud Run Injuries

Unfortunately, participating in any sporting event runs you the risk of injury, and mud runs are no exception! We stress the importance of having a great time at Ruckus, but just as important is being safe.  We encourage all competitors to be weary of some possible injuries that may also result from a mud run (and we will give you tips on how to prevent them, too!): 

1.      Heat-related injuries

As you know, Ruckus comes to Kansas City on April 6.  Spring season will be in full force and there is always the chance for a summer-like scorcher (especially with the unpredictable weather in the Midwest!).  Additionally, our Ruckus races will be held in the middle of summer in both Boston (June 15 & 16) and Pittsburgh (July 13).  Being fully hydrated and nourished before, during and after the mud race is absolutely crucial.  More important than stretching or a few pre-race striders is ensuring that your body has the necessary nutrients to take on some daunting obstacles.  So make sure you show up to Ruckus ready for battle, armed with the essentials: water, sports drinks and of course, bananas (but we will provide you with that too!). 

2.      Sprained ankles

During the Ruckus run, you will use just about every muscle, bone and tendon in your body.  But your feet and legs are still as important as they would be in a road race.  Ankles can sprain easily on something as miniscule as one awkward step; so when running on so many different terrains, solid ground is not always a given.  We recommend maintaining focus on the people and space around you, keeping an eye on uneven ground, as well as other competitor’s feet.  And make sure you train before Ruckus.  If your feet, legs and ankles aren’t strong enough for competition, you run a greater risk of getting injured. 

3.      Random cuts and bruises

Do yourself a favor and stop by the drug store on the way to Ruckus and pick up a pack of Band-Aids.  Sorry folks, but you’re probably going to get a few boo-boos along the way (especially if you’re tackling the obstacles as hard as you can!).  If you don’t get a few cuts and bruises, then you probably skipped a few of the challenges we offer (which is still okay).  With more than 20 fun and difficult obstacles, Ruckus might leave you with a few stories to tell at the water cooler at work on Monday.  Remember: cuts and bruises fade, your Ruckus accomplishment will last a lifetime. 

4.      Rope burn and splinters
We know that the word “race” usually implies an emphasis on your lower body, but if you haven’t yet realized that Ruckus is no ordinary race, then it’s time to start catching on.  Your upper body is going to be just as sore the next day!  You will be challenged to pull yourself over eight-foot walls, climb over twisted fences and swing rope-to-rope like Tarzan.  Unless your hands are already calloused, then prepare for a few discolored digits.  But we guarantee you won’t notice any of that before you start enjoying some adult beverages post-race.  To avoid any rope burn or splinters, we recommend wearing padded gloves (like fingerless weight lifting gloves) during the race. 

5.      Damaged egos

Hopefully by now you have talked some family, friends and co-workers into signing up and competing as a team.  With this friendly competition undoubtedly comes a little extra something on the line.  We want each RuckStar to leave it all out on the course, but make sure you save a little extra something for that last kick before the finish line, otherwise your boss or older sibling (or even worse...younger) might pass you.  You may still walk away with a medal, but he or she will also walk away with a year’s worth of bragging rights…and neither ice nor Ibuprofen can heal that!  How can you avoid a damaged ego?  Start training NOW!! 

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Destroy This Ruckus Obstacle: Down-n-Outs!

Try not to be too discouraged by the name of this obstacle—down-n-outs! It’s one of the many aspects that make Ruckus so much more unique (and fun if you ask us) than all those other races.

On some of our obstacles, you’ll need to sprint.  On others, you’ll need to climb.  On some, you’ll need to crawl.  But in the pesky Down-n-Outs section of our race, you’ll be doing a little bit of everything.

As we like to say, getting down into the mud is the easy part.  But getting out of these craters is where champions are made.  We figured that you could keep a few tips in the back of your mind if you happen to get stuck in the Ruckus Down-n-Outs: 

Enter the Terrain  
The first part is simply entering the challenging terrain.  The switch from running on grass to a giant mud pit can be quite a shocking change—especially if you’ve been practicing running on pavement and not on grass or mud.  Once you approach the Down-n-Outs, pick up your speed a little bit.  You want to go into the obstacle with momentum, so the mud is not overwhelming at first.   Power into this one!

Crawl on all Fours
Once you’ve gotten your shoes a little dirtier, be prepared to rub a little mud on your hands and knees as well.  There is absolutely no shame in crawling on all fours, like you did as a three-month old.  In fact, we recommend it.  When faced with mud up to your knees, you’ll need all the strength you can gather to push forward. 

Climb Your Heart Out
Soon enough, you’ll be able to see light at the end of the tunnel, or the grass at the end of the mud.  That’s when you know you are almost at the “out.”  This phase is all about climbing.  Your lower body has been taxed throughout the race, now this is a chance to show off that upper body strength you’ve been working on!  Give everything you have to pull yourself out of the pit.  And if you aren’t able, luckily you were smart enough to sign up with your team of friends, family and co-workers who will help lift you out of that muddy mess!

So follow these tips and the Down-n-Outs will be a breeze.  Or don’t, and you’ll look like this!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

One Month Training Guide for a Mud Run

We are less than one month away from the Kansas City Ruckus mud run (and we’re expecting the 10:00am and 11:00am waves to sell out this week!)  This is an exciting and important time for everyone involved in Ruckus. While one month may seem like a while, it will go by fast! It’s important to maintain strong consistency with your training in order to achieve the mud run goal you’ve been working toward (and maybe even surpass it!).

So whether you’re a veteran runner or a first-time participant in a mud run, these helpful tips will ensure your success:

1.      Step up your training.
When runners are training for a marathon, they begin their hardest workouts a month before the big race. Training for the Ruckus, or any mud obstacle course for that matter, is no different. Begin your longest, hardest workouts now to make sure your body is totally prepared for the mud run. If you’ve been running three miles a day to train, start running four. That extra push will put you over the competitive edge.

2.      Get your gear in order.
Now is the time to take a full inventory of all your gear for the mud run. Leave nothing unaccounted for. This is important to do especially if you are ordering specific types of shoes or clothing that are only available online (this will ensure that ample time is allotted for shipping). It would be really disappointing to have a key piece of gear missing on race day. (Another helpful tip: don’t wear brand new shoes on race-day whether you’re in a mud run or a regular race.  First are foremost, you don’t want to ruin them.  And secondly, without breaking in your shoes properly, you could damage your feet with blisters and calluses.) 

3.      Beat yourself.
If you’re participating in Ruckus, odds are you love the idea of being the best version of yourself you can be. If you haven’t already been keeping track of your mile-times, pace and intervals, do so now. One month out from the mud run, track how long your runs are taking you and aim to improve by a few seconds each time. When it comes time to participate in mud run, a few seconds can make or break a runner winning a heat. MapMyRUN has excellent tools to help you track your routes, progress and times. Set out to beat yourself!

4.      Rest up.
The month before an event like Ruckus can lead to lack of sleep (perhaps you lay awake visualizing crossing the finish line!). However, research shows that lack of sleep can severely impair your physical capabilities. Sleep deprivation also takes a while to recover from, so sleeping a lot a couple of day before Ruckus won’t do you much good. Instead, reorient your life to match a healthy sleep schedule. You’ll be much better off for it in the long run – not just for Ruckus, but in general.

5.      Revel in your impending glory.
You are so close! You have taken a bold risk by stepping outside of your comfort zone and you have prepared for quite some time. Now it is time to enjoy the fruits of your labor. Push through and achieve the dream you’ve been looking forward to! In a month, we’ll be applauding you as you reach the finish line. For now, we’re applauding you as you approach the starting line. Let’s do this!

Have tips on how you're training for Ruckus?  Want to share your training experience with us?  Have an incredible Ruckus training story?  Share it on Facebook

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.  

Friday, March 8, 2013

Swap Your Cover Photo for a Chance to Win a Free Ticket to Ruckus!

Want to win a free ticket to Ruckus Kansas City?  Now's your chance!  Simply swap out your Facebook cover photo for our Ruckus image and you could win!  Here's what you need to do:

  • Upload the image (above) as your Facebook cover photo
  • Tag Ruckus Sports in the photo
  • If you win, we will notify you via Facebook!
Many will enter, only 5 will win.  So what are you waiting for?  Swap out your cover photo and show your Ruckus pride!  It may earn you a free ticket (or a reimbursement if you've already purchased your ticket) to Ruckus Kansas City on April 6.  Good luck!

Follow us on Twitter too! @RuckusSports

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Top 5 Reasons to Love Mud Obstacle Courses

Regardless of your personal relationship with running, you can toss it out the window when it comes to Ruckus.  Don’t get us wrong—we love running.  But why stop there?  As long as you don’t mind dirtying a t-shirt and a pair of Asics, come off the beaten path and join us.  Consider why mud obstacles courses take fitness and fun to the next level.  We’ll make it easy on you and give you the top 5 reasons everyone should love a fun mud obstacle course race:
  1. Escape the monotony of an ordinary road race.  Sure, you can find a 5K-road race to run just about any weekend.  But how often can you find a two-to four-mile course littered with more than 20 large-scale obstacles?  Instead of a few right and left turns through residential neighborhoods, you are forced to pull yourself across Gorilla Bars, climb over Nose Bleed Nets and either sprint or swim through the Mud Garden (just to name a few of our Ruckus obstacles).
  2. Compete as an individual, team or family.  Although every competitor is timed individually, we encourage you to participate with friends, family and co-workers.  As long as you are willing to sacrifice a few seconds more to your final time, you may even stop to enjoy watching a loved one struggle out of our deep, muddy craters, called “Down-n-Outs.”
  3. Push your mind and body to the limit.  Naturally, the Ruckus course is loads of fun, but we also acknowledge the competitive aspect of any race.  That’s why Ruckus provides the best of both worlds.  For the die-hard competitor, we offer the Champion’s Heat, which features a second race consisting of the top 10% of men and women finishers from earlier in the day.  Those who qualify for the Champion’s Heat will cover a total of eight miles of terrain for the day.  Now that’s a challenge many runners may be looking for.
  4. Enjoy courses designed for various fitness levels.  Our mud obstacle course allows almost anyone to compete.  We have events for ages 2 to 72.  For the kids, there is the Mini, which allows children of all ages to take on various obstacles all day long.  The Heater is a 2-mile race course of obstacle after obstacle.  And the Challenge race offers a four-mile course aimed at the more serious competitor.
  5. Get out of your rut and into a rut!  Try something new and different.  Give your body a workout it’s never experienced before.  Come join the fun and see what the buzz is all about.  Ruckus isn’t your everyday-available workout, so take advantage of the opportunity while it’s in your area

We hope you’ll consider joining us on the road, or in the mud, less traveled.  Ruckus offers a little bit of everything for everyone.  So when it comes to fitness, do you just work hard?  Or do you play hard?  

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

The Benefits of Breaking Through Your Comfort Zone

At Ruckus, we’re all about having fun. That’s why we created our amazing mud run obstacle course. It’s a place to get muddy, get silly and laugh with the people you love. But Ruckus is also about personal challenge. They don’t call it an obstacle course just because of the stuff between you and the finish line. Obstacles are challenges that must be overcome to achieve a goal, and that often takes a tremendous amount of discomfort. Ruckus will challenge you to get out of your comfort zone. Here’s three reasons why getting out of your comfort zone is a good, even great thing:

1. You will surprise yourself.
Getting out of your comfort zone will allow you the chance to see exactly what you can do...and you may be very surprised by the results! It’s easy to settle into our day-to-day routines and convince ourselves to stay away from challenges. Disruption of regularly scheduled programming is a good thing, and will remind you of just how much you are capable of. The feeling of achievement when you cross the finish line is a memory that will last for years.

2. Discomfort will stir personal growth.
When we are living life purely to pursue comfort, we can slip into a period of internal stagnancy. New, challenging experiences are the things that help us grow as people, not chasing comfort. Unchecked comfort has a tendency to contract our sense of possibility, while periodic experiences of discomfort can help us to remember exactly how we feel when we push past normal boundaries.

3. Your doubt will lose its power.
When we aren’t consistently challenging ourselves, self-doubt can creep in silently. Before we know it, not only are we not pursuing challenges, we’re actively avoiding them. Self-doubt can be crippling, and challenging ourselves in times of doubt will keep us from becoming our own worst enemies.

Facing obstacles and overcoming challenges are two paths toward personal growth. At Ruckus, we care that you have fun, and we care that you are fulfilled. We hope you’ll join us for the challenge!

Learn more from Ruckus on Twitter! @RuckusSports

Friday, March 1, 2013

Congrats to Our Ruckus Caption Contest Winners!

Not too long ago, we asked you to be clever, witty and hilarious and participate in our Ruckus Caption Contest.  Every week, we put out a new awesome Ruckus photo and asked you to come up with a caption for it.

Thanks to our amazing Facebook fans and Instagram followers, we got some great submissions.  But only 4 could win!

Congratulations to the following Ruckus Caption Contest winners—you came up with the best Ruckus captions we’ve ever heard!

Dinah Wiegers proclaims being a trophy wife isn't as easy as it may seem...

Anna Kossen encourages RuckStars to keep up.  

Anytime Fitness of Lawrence, KS knows what Ruckus is all about. 

Kristi Sasnett knows the importance of quality girl time. 

Congrats to Anytime Fitness of Lawrence, KS, Dinah Wiegers, Kristi Sasnett and Anna Kossen!  All 4 of you have won a pair of tickets to Ruckus Kansas City on April 6, 2013!

And a big thanks to everyone who participated in the Ruckus Caption Contest.  We’re glad you had as much fun with it as we did.