10 Tips for New Ragnarians

It’s time to ditch your slippers for a pair of worn-in running shoes, your pajamas for sweaty athletic clothes and tutus and your sleepy time hot coco, for a full hydration pack of water. Ragnar’s put your daughter’s sleepovers to shame. So, grab twelve friends and get ready for a traveling slumber party mixed with a festival. If you’re gearing up for your first Ragnar experience and don’t know what to expect, these ten tips will help you act like a seasoned veteran out on the course.

Tip 1: Read the Race Bible
Whether you saw a friend’s Ragnar picture and thought it looked awesome, were asked to join a team by your boyfriend, girlfriend, best friend, weird friend or coworker. Or maybe you got tricked into it by the promise of free beer, and finally read the Race Bible to figure out what a Ragnar encompasses. The Race Bible lists the rules, regulations, procedures and logistics you’ll need to know before the race. Plus, it’ll help you be the much coveted role as the captain’s left hand man. Have trouble finding it? Check out the race specific page on our website, where it will have the race bible included.

Tip 2: Train
Maybe you’re a seasoned marathoner or maybe this is the first time you’ve ever pinned a bib to your shirt, either way mix up your training to be prepared for a Ragnar. (You’re not required to start doing your training runs at 2 am, but it might be a good idea.) Get use to running two-a-days and maybe even three-a-days and add some hills into your workouts. For more training tips and workouts visit our training page.
10 tips for future Ragnarians
Tip 3: Look at the Maps
It’s time to learn your compass rose. Take a look at the course map, your leg maps, the map to the hotel, the best places to eat map and a topographical map (topographical map optional). Or, make it easy and download the Ragnar app which has all you need to know to navigate the race from course maps to event happenings. You’ll be an encyclopedia of directions by the end of the trip. Plus, make sure you know which way you’re supposed to be going, both in the van and out on the road. Hint: Remember, this is a running event. If you end up swimming, you took a wrong turn somewhere.

Tip 4: Know the Distance of Your Legs
Not to sound like a high school coach, but “pace, pace, pace” The pace you run for your first three-mile leg will be very different from the pace you run for your third leg. To save yourself from the crawl of shame, save some juice for the final leg.

Tip 5: Bring a Friend
Volunteers are the reason this race keeps running (pun intended). Every team that lives within 100 miles of the course is required to bring three volunteers. So, bring along that friend who strongly believes that running isn’t a sport and just some form of torture. Maybe, the fun they’ll have will even convince them to run next year.

Tip 6: Bring Clothing for Every kind of Weather
Check the weather, then check it again, then bring clothes for everything from blistering heat to a blizzard. Just make sure all your clothing options match your costumes.
Sleeping bags at Ragnar
Tip 7: Bring Snacks
The number one reason fights start, is someone is hangry (not proved by science). Bring some food for when times are getting tough. Plus, if you bring the right snacks you can go down in history as “Team Hero.” Make sure you have stock up on caffeine and sugar to keep you hyped through the night.

Tip 8: Be Festive
It’s time to embrace the calling of the running pirates, finally live out your long lost dream of wearing a multicolor tutu for a seven mile run or go crazy with colored window markers. Costumes and/ or matching team shirts increase team bonding and a decorated van makes all your photos look epic.
Tip 9: Be a Team Player
Add a cowbell, vuvuzela, pompoms and a cheerleading outfit to your packing list. Ragnars are more fun with the support of your team. Cheer on your teammate who is going for a new personal record, the one who started running a month ago and the one who is trying to figure out how to run comfortably in a banana costume. In the end, you and your team cross the finish line together.
Ragnar relay team
Tip 10: Roll with the Punches
Learn to thrive in chaos. The chance of a teammate getting injured, your van taking a wrong turn or missing an exit or you having less sleep then you planned are rather high. Relax. Remember that everything works out eventually and the worst problems make the best stories. Then say a silent prayer that google maps automatically reroutes you.

Escape normal for a weekend and become a running, snacking, cheering, festive Ragnarian.

Tags from the story


  • I will be doing my first Ragnar in September and am super excited and terrified at the same time. I am a directionally challenged person and am truly terrified of getting lost while running. Map reading is also challenging and of little assistance to me. How often are runners running on their own, where they wouldn’t have someone to follow? What about running in the dark and getting lost? I

    • Hi Tammy- You shouldn’t be nervous! In general, you are about 5 minutes within another runner. Our signs are bright blue, reflective and hard to miss. Also, many people find a buddy along their night run to run alongside if you’re both nervous. Plus, if you’re on a leg with van support, vans will be going along side you the whole time. If you bring your phone along and have the Ragnar app, it will tell you your exact location in comparison with the leg map.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *