The time has come again for my merry band of ladies to pile in to 2 vans and run 200 miles across Colorado for the fun of it. A Ragnar Race is unlike any other running experience, which is why I’ve continued to come back year after year.
Prior to the race, I asked what your biggest Ragnar Race questions were and per usual, you came up with some fantastic one’s that I wanted to break down here. Then follow up with a review of our experience on the new Ragnar Colorado course.
First a few previous tips:
- 7 Rules for a Legendary Time (get your mind and team right)
- Basic Planning Tips
- Our Hilarious Time Last Year (dealing with adversity on race day)
How Does A Ragnar Work?
The short answer is you and 12 friends will take turns running 200 miles. There are two vans of 6 runners and you each run 3 times in the same order with the two vans leap frogging each other.
Unless you opt for one of their brand new Sunset Ragnar Relays that are just one day, no van required!
How much does a Ragnar Cost?
The cost will vary per person depending on the total number of runners and the type of race you’re doing. If you’re doing a traditional 12 person team, factor in van rental, potentially a hotel room, food and you’ll likely be around $300-500 per person.
One of the most common things I’ve heard over the years is “I’d love to do a Ragnar, but I don’t have enough running friends.”
Well my friends this is the least of the reasons to not do one!!! It’s actually fantastic to do a relay with people that you don’t know extremely well…stay with me here, it’s true.
- My first relay race in 2007 was with 11 other bloggers I’d never met
- My Miami Ragnar had me in a van with 1 woman and 4 men I met the week before because they were friends of the Captain. We became good friends because of that race.
- My Colorado Ragnar teams have consistently been made up of women that I talked in to meeting each other for the first time!
Why do I think that’s amazing?
- When you get frustrated and tired, are you more likely to snipe at people you know? Uhhh yes, ask your family.
- When you have been trying to find new running buddies, is this a way to quickly bond with them? Absolutely!
- Ragnar Races are about the adventure and embracing that from the start with new running friends is fantastic.
How to find a Ragnar Team?
All right, you’re determined to do this, so if you don’t have enough close friends that would do one, what’s next on the list??
Utilize Your Social Media
Are you on Instagram? I sourced half my team from friends on Instagram! Just put it out there that you’re looking to create a team and you might be surprised at the responses.
And many of those runners will then know other runners who might be willing to do it as well. For many of you this could feel like a great first choice because we “know” each other from sharing so much of our lives everyday!
PS: I find local runners by looking at things like #denverrunner or #runcolorado. Do a little sleuthing to see what hashtags might help you find more local runners to follow and connect with!
Ragnar’s Facebook Page
Ragnar’s main account has a Facebook event page for each race every year.
On the pages for each, there are always runners seeking a team or captains seeking runners. What?! How easy is that!! You literally decide where you’d like to go adventuring and then put it out in to the world that you need a team!
You might think this sounds like a long shot, but as someone who has done 6 relays, I can tell you that EVERY.SINGLE.TIME. a runner has had to drop out in the month or weeks leading up to race day. I mean injuries and life just happen.
There is an entire division dedicated to corporate teams because this is so common! If you work in a large company, now might be the time to reach out to HR and say “hey, here’s a cool healthy, bonding experience that the company could sponsor!”
Boom, now you have the registration fee paid for and someone to send out a mass email that says “are you a runner? a wanna be runner? Here’s a reason to start!” Maybe that even turns in to lunch time training runs and your one wish for a team has turned in to new friends.
Local Running Stores
It’s not uncommon for local running stores to have weekly group runs, which super often then lead to the store deciding they’d love to sponsor a team for a Ragnar event! Start showing up to those weekly runs and then chat with management about if they have any interest.
Trust me, we’ve talked all about that fear of showing up and being last or slowest or newest or tallest or oldest…most of these runs are genuinely designed to help you become part of the community! That post also talks about how to find local groups because there are often more than you think!
Live in the middle of no where and are like “listen Amanda, ain’t nobody around here running and we certainly don’t have a store.” Cool, got it. Previously, I listed some of my favorite Facebook Groups to find support and all that other good stuff we want from running friends.
Jump in to one of those groups, join the conversations and again you might just find someone there looking to fill a spot on their team or you might put it out that you think a team should be formed!
Ragnar Training Plan
Do you need to change your training for a Ragnar race? Well that largely depends on what you’ve been training for and how many miles you get assigned!
- Each runner will run 3 times
- Usually an average of 15-19 miles total
- That could mean running 6 miles three times or a break down of a 6 miler, 2 miler and 5 miler
It’s often varied based on how hard that particular portion of the course is. For example in the Colorado Ragnar Relay my first leg was 9.7 miles because it was a descent of 2100 feet, while another leg was only 3 miles because it was more uphill.
Do you need to change your normal training?
If you’re marathon training, I don’t really think you need to do anything special to get ready. If you usually run 5 miles a few times a week, then it will help to throw in a double run day each week.
Try running 3 miles in the morning and then 4 or so at night. This just helps you mentally get ready for how your body will feel running without a full night of sleep in between.
If you’re half marathon training, then I would definitely recommend doing at least 1 practice run that’s as long as your longest run and then a follow up short run the next day.
You want to be used to the idea of running on tired legs and understanding how you might need to refuel a little more after your long run to ensure you’re ready to go the next day.
If you’re 5k or 10K training, then you could absolutely checkout the specific training plan that Ragnar offers…but no lie it looks intense to me. So choose it if you’re someone who LOVES SPEED.
And if you’re someone more interested in just going the distance, I’d consider looking at something like this downloadable 10k to half marathon training plan. It’s going to help you build up your miles in a steady way and you’ll still be running back to back days to get used to that feeling.
Yes, this whole experience is going to push your boundaries. It’s not the same as running on Monday morning coming home for a shower and then heading out again on Tuesday. You run, wipe yourself down, sit in a van, get in and out of van repeatedly, then run again sometime during the night…repeat again the following morning.
But if you love to run, you’ll love the experience. If you don’t love to run, but love adventure, then you’re still good to go.
Colorado Ragnar Relay
Whew this post of tips is already pretty long, but I couldn’t ignore a recap of our team and trip this year! For starters, it was another randomly pulled together group of women from across the US and we had such a blast!!
The short story is we had a great time and the long story is we laughed, we ran, we snacked on Buckwhats, Bobo Bars, Vital Protein collagen shots, tested out the new Resilience CBD Gummies and passed around the Sidekick tool to workout muscle soreness!
All 12 of us were sharing so much on Instagram stories throughout I’m not even sure what’s left to tell. This post is mostly to help you figure out HOW to make it happen, but I want our team to serve as a reminder that is WORTH THE EFFORT!!!
Other ways to connect with Amanda
Instagram Daily Fun: RunToTheFinish
Facebook Community Chatter: RunToTheFinish
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