During your mid- twenties it’s easy to get into a routine: Wake up, go to work, leave work, go to the gym, eat dinner, go to bed, press restart in the morning. There’s not much opportunity for excitement in your day, beyond the woman muttering curses under her breath on the subway.
Looking for a break from the monotony, I decided to sign up for a Spartan Race. It consisted of 8.5 miles of mud and hills, over 20 obstacles and some barbed wire.
Might sound like hell to some, but I was like a four year old at Disneyland for the first time. May sound crazy, but I would much rather be throwing javelins than watching football and drinking beer (though I do love the latter).
That said, there are some key things you need if you plan on tackling this or any obstacle course.
First: the watch. And not just any watch. You are about to tackle countless hurdles, conquer steep trails, run through hidden paths… who is going to believe all of that? Pick up a watch that will monitor it all. Proof is in the pudding.
Second, shoes. Trail running is far different than running on pavement or even a treadmill. Because of this you will need different shoes. Look for a pair that is slightly lighter, water resistant, and ready to get wrecked.
Third, socks. It’s not a matter of if your feet get wet but when. The choice of them staying wet is entirely up to you. My advice: get a pair of socks that repel water and allow you to run the next 7 miles in comfort.
Fourth, shorts. As you will be jumping in and out of mud and water between running, it is crucial to have a pair of shorts that are not only light but also dry quickly.
Finally, energy. At about mile 7, fatigue will start to set in. Your breathing will become labored, your quads will be on fire, and those last couple of miles will seem insurmountable. Catching a second wind has never been easier that it is now. With some gel in your back pocket.
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