Twenty-five minutes. It doesn't sound like much, but it feels like a lot longer when you're working out.
Longer still when your workout is a Warrior Dash training class.
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The Warrior Dash is a worldwide race series that organizers say is complete with mud, fire, barbed wire and other “obstacles from hell.”
The 5K is coming to Nebraska for the first time June 9 and 10. More than 20,000 people are registered, making the Warrior Dash in Louisville one of the most popular races in the state.
But are they ready for the challenge?
A number of gyms in the metropolitan area are helping to prepare “warriors” for their race.
“We like Warrior Dash to be a competitive event, but it's also something anyone can run,” Warrior Dash race director Matthew Robinson said in an earlier interview. “It's a time to let loose, to have the craziest freaking day of your life.”
Jess Powers, who owns Fearless Fitness in Papillion, leads a morning session modeled after the Warrior Dash course every Saturday.
First, a five-minute warmup.
“This is where the fun part starts,” she said after the class lapped the building near Cornhusker Road and 84th Street.
“In a Warrior Dash, you're climbing over obstacles or under barbed wire. So these are your obstacles,” she told the group, referring to tires and weight benches spaced a few yards apart. Several plastic pipes lay across shelves a couple feet tall — a makeshift limbo stand.
The back wall — actually an oversized garage door — is wide open. Just outside it are jump ropes. Sandbags, too. They don't look like much, but they weigh 10 pounds each. Powers slings one over her shoulders and points to a hill about 50 yards away. Everyone in the six-person group grabs a bag and starts toward the hill.
When they make it back a few minutes later, it's 40 squats, another lap around the building and 100 jump ropes. They step back inside, jumping over weight benches and tires. Push-ups are next. Then pull-ups.
“I don't have a barricade, but I have a pull-up bar,” Powers said, “and you use the same muscles for both.”
They finish on all fours, army-crawling under the plastic pipes. Group members run through the circuit as many times as they can in 25 minutes.
“Good, good, good. Twelve more minutes,” Powers shouts. “Keep it up.”
The 10-pound sandbag feels heavier each round. The pipes clang to the ground more than a few times as the group struggles to stay lower than the bar.
Said one person after class: “That was only 25 minutes? It felt like an hour.”
After a few minutes of rest, the group is already more optimistic.
“I would call it fun. Hard, but fun,” said Chelsea Jones, who is signed up for the Warrior Dash and attended the 9 a.m. training class at Fearless Fitness. It's free and open to the public.
Clients in the training program at Prairie Life, near 132nd Street and West Center Road, scale walls and monkey bars, climb ropes and run trails to prepare for the Warrior Dash. The drop-in fee is $25. CrossFit Omaha, near 90th and L Streets, hosts a Warrior Dash session for members every other Friday.
Some gyms, such as the Forged Athlete off 90th Street and Military Road, don't offer classes strictly for clients running the Warrior Dash, but their programs are already geared toward improving athletic performance. Travis Stoetzel of Forged Athlete said about 15 clients are signed up for the Dash.
Their trainers build on existing workouts to combine cardio and strength work.
“These new races are more then just a run. You got to be able to crawl, jump, climb and be able to move your body like an athlete and have some sort of strength to get through,” he said.
The race, even the training, may sound intense — and it is — but organizers say it shouldn't intimidate anyone.
Registration is still open for the Warrior Dash on Sunday, June 10. Sign up online at warriordash.com.
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