Tag Archives: fitness

Enter the Battleground: Tips for Prospective Participants of the Warrior Dash

13 Jun

 My friend Lindsey and I, post dash

You might be thinking: What in the world is the Warrior Dash? Well: It is a badass experience where you get to crawl through trenches, slide down hills and get absolutely covered in mud.  In the words of another friend: “…the most amazing event I’ve ever partaken in in my life.” (The person who said this is pretty amazing herself, so those are no small words.) Plus, you get a Viking hat! There are dashes nationwide and even around the world, so check the website to see if there’s one near you.

I had never done a dash (or anything like it, like the Spartan Sprint) before and I will admit, I was nervous as I paid my registration fees all the way until the race got underway. My mind filled with nagging self-doubts. Will it be too difficult? Will I embarrass myself? Will I be able to finish?

Keep in mind, I’m not exactly a runner. In fact, I don’t really enjoy running. I get winded and bored and I’d prefer pumping iron or punching bags if I’m going to exercise. However, I had a FANTASTIC time at the Warrior Dash and will definitely be doing it again. While I’m not the premier source for dash information, I have friends who are either signed up for an upcoming dash or are strongly considering it. So, for them (and for anyone else) here are some tips based on my experience! (For reference, my battleground was in Mechanicsville, MD.)

Don’t Sweat It:

I’m putting this first, because it is highly important: try not to be nervous! Easier said than done, I know. But this is an event that you can do at your own pace, so you only have to compete with yourself and not the people around you. I think the race is more fun to run with friends than alone (unless you’re running competitively), so cheer each other on and keep each other going.

Prepare if you Can:

If you’re in this primarily to get muddy and have fun, I wouldn’t say that you need a ton of physical training. The website, however, does suggest that if you want to prepare yourself, your best bet is to run a lot. As I was preparing, I modified this treadmill workout (I did intermediate intervals) and ran it every other day for a couple of weeks to get used to running for an extended period. (For me, 40 minutes is extended!)

There isn’t much of a way to prepare for the obstacles, but if you are decently fit, they should certainly be doable. According to the official website, “Finishing Warrior Dash is more about mental toughness than being in great shape.”

Pack essentials

Aside from the obvious (identification, change of clothes) here are things you should consider bringing with you:

  • Cash – My event only took cash and tickets, which required cash (This may vary depending on location). There was an outdoor ATM, but the line was terrible and I didn’t want to pay the fee. If you can, bring money for souvenirs and food.  (Being a Capricorn, of course I price-checked my items of choice ahead of time so I’d have enough money.)
  • Baby wipes – These were a gift from the gods when dealing with wretched port-a-potties. Trust me on this.
  • Mini first aid kit – Nothing fancy, just a small box you’d get at any pharmacy store with band-aids and sterile wipes.
  • A camera – Taking pictures during the event is probably impractical, but you’ll want photos of yourself post mudslide and the event photos are expensive. Best option: bring a friend with clean hands.
  • Extra plastic bags (think grocery bags) – Your clothes will be filthy afterwards. Enough said.
  • A friend – This race is more fun if you’re running with friends. Plus, there may be a parking fee, so carpooling is ideal.

Dress properly

Unless you plan to dash in costume (which is far more common than you may think), you want to dress for comfort and practicality. Based on my experience:

  • Clothes – I came to the dash in long-sleeves and yoga pants, but ended up running in a t-shirt and mesh basketball shorts. The shirt was fine, but by the end of the race the shorts nearly fell off my ass because the watery mud soaked them through. Dress with that in mind.
  • Shoes – Wear old ones. You can donate them post-race and besides, who wants to sink expensive new running shoes into thick mud?
  • Other – I scraped up my knees, so consider knee pads but as they absorb mud and get heavy, (as in my friend’s experience) a better option may be ace bandages.

And finally?

Have a good ass time. If you don’t mind getting filthy, you probably won’t regret it.

Any other questions? Has anyone ran in a dash (or something similar) and wants to add input? Feel free to share in the comment section.

xoxo, Tara

Four Ways to Get Fit This Summer (That You Might Not Have Heard of)

24 May

Summer is almost here! And of course, for many people, with summer comes shorter, skimpier clothing and the big one – swimsuits! But even if that isn’t your thing, summer is a great time to get up and get fit. With the weather looking spectacular, there’s added incentive to head outside and do something fun. Plus, there’s always benefit to regular exercise – why not make it fun?

While there are ways to work out that you may already know about (I’m talking running, swimming, biking…), it’s summer – so why not try something new? Here are some methods of exercise you may not have heard of, or may not have tried.

For: The Girl who wants cardio but dreads the treadmill

Try: Zumba


I tried Zumba for the first time earlier this month and I was immediately hooked. It’s exhilarating and fun and after that hour was up, I didn’t want to leave! Zumba is a dance class that borrows moves from Latin, Bhangra and Dancehall styles to create a unique cardio experience. There is a Zumba class for every need, from resistance Zumba to water Zumba – even Zumba for kids! As for me, I just like the plain old original flavor.

You can find out more about Zumba on their official website, where you can find a class or buy their official DVDs.

◊ For: The girl looking for a unique, low-impact workout

Try: Bellydancing

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Belly dance – a strange thing to call it since you use your entire body – has an uncertain origin. The name belly dance is generally dated to Chicago in 1893, but it certainly predates that. It involves isolating different parts of your body to dance, while focusing on the hip and pelvic area.  I have found that doing belly dance does wonders for your body confidence, and can make you feel gorgeous and seductive at a range of ages and sizes.

Bellydancing is a non-impact exercise, so if you’re recovering from an injury or you’re just getting on the fitness wagon, this is a great place to start! Isolating the torso emphasizes flexibility, and it can also build strength in your upper body, arms and shoulders.

Learn more at these websites.

For: The girl who wants to play like a kid again

Try: Hooping

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“Hooping” is the term for hula hooping with large, weighted hoops. While you can buy weighted (and collapsable) hoops online, you can make your own pretty easily as well. I know that I had difficulties hula hooping as a child, but the advantages to larger, weighted hoops is that they rotate more slowly, making them easier to keep up. Plus, the weight gives you great exercise and a nice massage! (Trust me, I speak from experience)

To make it even more fun, I like to play music from my child hood – hooping to Destiny’s Child and the Spice Girls does wonders for a bad mood. I’m even trying to figure out how to hula hoop while doing the Macarena. We’ll see how that goes.

For more info on Hooping, check out Hooping.org.

◊ For: The girl who wants to ramp up her yoga

Try: Bikram Yoga

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This one is on my to-do list! Bikram Yoga (also known as “hot yoga”) is a yoga practice originating in the early 1970s that emphasizes an unchanging sequence of postures in a heated room. Often times the room can be heated up to 100 degrees.

Of all the exercises I have listed, this one is probably the most strenuous and initially difficult. Even if you’re a master yogi, proceed with caution in your first Bikram session.  Dress lightly and bring water, because you’re certainly going to sweat. Stay mindful of your body, and stop if you feel dizzy, light headed or tired.

For more info on Bikram and to find a class near you, check out their official website.

Do you have any fun fitness ideas you want to try? Other plans? Let me know in the comments!

xoxo,

Tara