The BattleFrog Xtreme (BFX) is a race held in conjunction with the BattleFrog point series. In this race a contender has from has approximately 7 hours (0815-1445) to run as many 5-mile, 30 obstacle laps as possible.
The World’s Toughest Mudder has a similar format being 24 hours of 5-mile laps with 20-25 obstacle per lap.
Perfect training simulation…I concurred
I ran the BFX “mainly” as a training run for WTM 2016 and I had several goals:
- Practice nutrition plan – this is the hardest part of any long race
- Get more obstacle practice- BF has the hardest obstacles, if I can complete their obstacles every lap, every time, then TM will be cake.
- Work on efficiency – I wanted to learn the easiest way to do every obstacle and run the course. I wanted to see how easy I could make it, how much energy I could save.
I met all of these goals.
For nutrition I tried Carbopro instead of Tailwind. Tailwind is high in sugar and gave me IBS. Carbopro was almost tastless and coupled with Honey Stinger gels probably could have lasted me all day. Yes, I finished the race near heat exhaustion but running hard in direct sunlight with 115 degree temps will do that.
For obstacle practice I think I found the most energy efficient ways to get across everything, considering I did it all 7 times.
For the walls, since I am tall, I found that a quick jump to a muscle up over the wall was easier than grabbing the edge and kicking my leg up to pull me over. I use my legs enough, it was nice to get them a break.
For the wedge traverse, leaning back and keeping your arms straight give you more reach and gives your biceps a break (rock climbing 101).
For the Platinum Rig, doing the 1-arm monkey swing (requires strong grip strength) from hold to hold was easier and more efficient than keeping your arms bent and struggling hold to hold. If you’ve tried the rig you know what I’m talking about. It’s harder in the beginning but gets easier as strength is gained….Also, when the rigs get longer this will give you more endurance (think Spartan WC Tahoe). Also, pause for a second before you start, let that heart rate lower a bit. Analyze the obstacle. Plan a route (rock climbing 101), then execute. Once you fail once you will beat yourself up mentally. Better to rest and get it the first time.
Jerry Can Carry, holding with 1 arm and switching periodically was easier than carrying it like a baby. Just my opinion…the above example didn’t work well
Crawls, rolling is always easier than crawling….unless it’s water.
Wreck back carry, throw it over your shoulders and put your thumbs through the loops. This will give you grip a rest. Run with it, I ran every lap, the bag is not that heavy.
Rope Climb, the J-hook everytime. It’s so efficient I bet a strong grip could get up the rope with 1 arm. That’s how important the legs are in that method. If you don’t know it, google it, learn it.
Running, pace yourself on the uphills, if you’re gasping for air you’re not helping anyone but your competitors. Make up the difference by going fearless on the downhills. Find an energy efficient stride. Sometimes I run forefoot, and sometimes I run heel to toe. Whatever keeps my feet closer to the ground and pushing forward. Keep your arms tight and put body glide on those lats (I got horrible chafing lol).
The BFX had a small turnout, probably 30 people, and some were training for the WTM. It was nice to connect with the local community of WTM’ers. Others were just crazy folk who liked to earn their weekend beer.
Before the race we had a pre-race meeting where Christopher Accord (the bearded race director) made us hold planks and do assorted military style exercises (in a formation) while he read the race rules. The race rules are:
You must complete every obstacle in either the “elite” or “intermediate” lane. No using of the “novice” lane. The “elite” lane was for the elite men racers of the point series race. The “intermediate” lane was for the elite Female racers of the point series race. The “novice” was for the open racers.
Of course I set my standard for the men’s “elite” lanes. Why else would I waste my time and money running myself to death? What’s a win get me? A trophy, bragging rights, who cares. It’s all about the training for the bigger useless goal = Getting 100 miles in WTM. Run the hardest lane, set the standard.
*Let me just add, that this race NEEDS A STANDARD. Allowing the MEN and women in the BFX to run the intermediate lane on the can and bag carries (which was probably 100m+ shorter than the elite) is horseshit. That’s minutes I lost per lap to the males who were taking the easy route. Make a standard and set it, or just scrap the race together. Details people.
Anyway, after the haze fest we were given about 20 minutes to rest before the start of the race. I shoved a Honey stinger gel in my packet for mid lap, found my spot in the shade, then set my watch to run (great feeling).
The race started slow and I loved it. I jogged my way out front and told everyone not to follow me because “I tend to get lost”, they though it was a joke but I honestly took a wrong turn in the woods and came to a dead end. They all learned a lesson and I overtook them again to a lead that would continue the rest of the race.
I finished the first 2 laps in 1:40:00 with a pit stop (which was good enough for 4th place in the men’s race) and felt kinda bummed I didn’t sign up for the elite. With a little push I am sure I could’ve squeezed in a podium.
This volunteer motivated the me all day, thank you
The rest of the race went well besides your usual wear and tear from running a 50k obstacle course. I think I could have ran 8 laps had it not been for the heat. I only missed the cutoff for an 8th lap by 15 minutes. The 115 degrees sapped everything out of me. I was drinking 2 cups of water at every aid station per lap (4 stations) and still cramping up on the obstacles. I often couldn’t bend my arm after the rig and several times my calves seized up (once on the rope). It was very painful to run and think I will never put “the badwater” on my bucket list haha.
Every lap I put a Honeystinger gel in my shorts pocket for the midway point. I also took a sip of water at each water station (all 4) every lap. By the end of the race I upped this to 2 cups at each station every lap (yeah, it was that hot!)
½ serving of Carbopro
½ Carbopro in the pits
½ carbopro and Honeystinger waffle (too sweet)
½ Carbopro and ½ syntha 6
½ carbopro and ½ syntha 6 (bits of another waffle)
I think this nutrition plan worked pretty well. I really don’t want to get the shits again at WTM but I am pretty sure that 7 hours of running is not efficient to test a produc………BUT I did not get the shits after the event, so maybe it worked? Lol
Anyway, the heat really killed my appetite for salty foods (opposite of WTM) and sweet foods weren’t appetizing. In fact, the heat probably killed my appetite period. Glad to know that carbopro kept me going. Tastless, watery, nutrition is exactly what I need when shit hits the fan, cause when I’m in the zone I am in the zone.
WTM 2016, Carbopro it is
The race was fun and a great training run for the big race in Las Vegas. I loved chatting with the other “open” and BFX runners on the course and it was fun to have “all day” to use the course as a training ground. BattleFrog has set the standard for obstacles. They are the toughest and I got a huge confidence booster being able to complete the Platinum rig first try every lap.
Though……7 hours is a long time to run and really breaks down the body. I walked off the course with heat exhaustion and took the next day off to rest the legs. I probably won’t do another unless they introduce a cash prize. 7 hours is too long to run on a regular basis. I think you can get better training of a faster 2 hour run with a good rock climbing session afterwards.
Great concept BattleFrog but I don’t see this event getting any larger without more incentive.
Special shout out to my little brother Cody who gave the Battlefrog Elite his first try. He was signed up for the open event and had done zero training, but morning of figured “why not” and he paid the extra $30 for the elite heat. He lost his wristband on the rig but not after trying for 3 HOURS to get across in the 115 degree heat. The volunteers I talked to said he had the “most heart they’d ever seen”. Bless him. He’ll be back and ready for the BattleFrog in Seattle.
Alisha gave the BattleFrog elite her first shot and completed the course with style doing the men’s elite lane in all obstacles when women were only required to do the intermediate lanes…this is new to their 2016 courses and Alisha thinks it’s horseshit lol. Alisha is a badass and once she starts training for running she will be at the top of the podium in every event she enters. Keep an eye out for her. Alisha Miller-Cichosz.
Great seeing Lou Andrew Tapia again. Good luck in the future and until next time.