In a few weeks, I will be joining 11 of my running besties to take on my 4th Ragnar Relay and my 5th relay race. While every Ragnar Race brings it’s own challenges and adventures, there a few aspects that remain the same. So how do you ensure you will enjoy and survive your Ragnar Relay Race?
How to Enjoy and Survive Your Ragnar Relay Race
Recover between legs
Running 3 times is very different than running once for a longer distance. Take the time to stretch, foam roll and recover between your legs. Changing out of your sweaty clothes is a must.
Pack enough but not too much
It took me a few times to narrow down the essentials I needed for a successful race. Something that is always in my bag are Shower Pill wipes. They offer an easy way to clean up and feel fresh between legs. Your van mates will thank you.
Bring Rain Gear
Invariably you will need some sort of rain gear at one point or another. Your rain jacket can double as an extra layer for chilly nights where you are standing around waiting for your runners. Don’t forget your Body Glide! Lots of chafing can occur on those runs especially if it rains.
Bring more night gear than you think you need
I was surprised by how dark it was on some of the night legs. Having a headlamp and a reflective vest are rules of Ragnar but having a few extras can make running in the dark way more enjoyable. My knuckle lights are a must have. Super light to have on your hands and they not only allow you to see better but allow you to be seen better. We also used clip on lights on our running shoes.
Test out your gear
If you are not used to running with headlamps, it can be a little awkward at first. Test out your headlamp to find which setting work best for you.
Pack more snacks than you think you need
Staying up all night and running at crazy times can throw your eating schedule way off. Pack more snacks than you think you need because you never know what you might be craving.
Eat when you can
Fueling can be challenging with strange running and eating windows. Sometimes you have to eat when food is available and not necessarily when you might normally eat it or want it. That’s just the way it goes on a Ragnar.
Go with the flow
All of the logistics can sound overwhelming and daunting but Ragnar has it all worked out. Just go with the flow and you and your team will make it to the finish line. Just don’t sweat the small stuff.
Don’t worry about your pace
Ragnar relays are not really about running your best pace. Just run at a comfortable pace and you enjoy and survive your Ragnar. If you exhaust yourself on that fist or second run, your last run will not be pretty.
Embrace your team name
Own that team name and have fun with it. Whether it’s decorating your van or wearing team shirts, show your team spirit and persona whenever you can.
Make new friends
Take time to chat up other teams and cheer them on. You are all in this together. Chances are you will run into the same teams over and over again and it’s nice to have some rapport.
Take funny photos and embrace the ridiculousness of what you are doing with your team mates. Some of the fondest memories and friendships come out of spending 2 days in a van with people. When else can you or would you take these kinds of photos?
Pat yourselves on the back
Ragnar races are no easy task! You all worked hard as a team to get to the finish line. Acknowledge and celebrate that.
Just writing all of this got me super excited for my upcoming Ragnar Niagara Falls race. Hope I gave you some tips on how to enjoy and survive your Ragnar Relay race too. Anyone else have one coming up?