Running on Empty

I have a confession.

Every time I go running, I am a little terrified of the impending Warrior Dash. Strangely, it’s not the obstacles I’m afraid of.

Even though they include such descriptions as “hurdle over barricades and crawl through barbed wire,” “rappel down a steep ravine,” and “stampede through the scrap yard of rusted wreckage,” I’m actually looking forward to them.

Don’t mistake this for cockiness–I know the obstacles are going to be really tough, but I’m so looking forward to the sense of accomplishment after leaping over fire that I think my mental toughness will prevail over my weak human body.

The thing is, I’m not a great runner. Frankly, I’m not even a runner. I’m a running poser. I might have the shoes.

The gear.

And the drive.

But I don’t like it.

After I reached 1.6 miles of running today and stopped to walk, I once again wondered what the secret is to being physically able and enjoying running upwards of ten miles.

Warrior Dash is only a 5k (3.31ish miles?) with 10 obstacles in between. With only two months to Warrior Dash, I still haven’t been able to run 3.31 miles straight.

I don’t know if the obstacles will act as ‘breaks’ between running or if they will make me more exhausted, but I truly hope that before August 18th rolls around, I will have run 3.5 miles straight without stopping.

Do you have any running tips?

Note: The source of all photos is


7 thoughts on “Running on Empty

  1. I’m worried about the same thing, and I haven’t even started running yet! Getting ready to go out for the first time now that I’m out of school. Not sure how I’ll be able to measure my distance, but I’ll let you know how it goes.

    • When I run (or at least I used to) I used

      I always wrote down exactly how far I’d ran and kept a running log. It helped me see my progress when I felt like I wasn’t really making any. You’re not supposed to increase in mileage more than 10% a week or you risk injury, and this was a good way to keep track of that, too. It was almost like a game- can I beat my distance from yesterday?

      • Em, I am spoiled to run on a trail with mile markers. That way I can follow Amanda’s advice and try to ‘beat my distance’ by going a tenth mile further every time when I start out. They have some crazy cool heart rate monitor watches that measure your distance, but they are an investment.

  2. Thankfully you don’t run the distance “straight”; you will be taking breaks at each obstacle such that your cardio will not be challenged for the most part (assuming you are in halfway-decent shape). Additionally, many people walk these events. Personally, I find satisfaction in running hard the entire way, which means your cardio has to be in very good condition; I am a big guy but with good cardio I was able to run an entire 6 mile race without stopping… don’t take that to mean you’re a “failure” if you take breaks though! Keep up the hard work!

    If you want specific tips on how to train your cardio (having done these events in the past myself), feel free to shoot me a message on Facebook or text me at (920) 284-4961.

    • I’m with you, Luke–I’d much rather give it my all than walk. After all, it’s a ‘dash!’ I think I’m in fairly decent shape, but I find it easier to do an hour cardio workout video than to run for more than ten minutes at a time. So I definitely need to keep working!

  3. I feel the same way about Warrior Dash. Even when I was a competitive gymnast I was still terrible at running. Lindsay and I are both trying that Couch to 5K program. I think it will help me stay on track to have the specifics for each week planned out for me 🙂

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