I’ve signed up for my first competitive run and it’s also my first nighttime firearms competition. It’s in northern Oklahoma. If you’re local, check the link to read the description and to sign up.
There is a 5k Run ‘n Gun twice a year on the same course and it sells out each time very quickly, but this is the first one to be run at night. Competitors are to provide their own illumination for the entire race. Needless to say, I was intrigued. I got a friend to sign up with me so we’ll be running it together. Now for me to do the real work, that of preparing for race day. There are 2 main areas I need to focus on: gear, and exercise.
1. Gear, aka the easy stuff
1.1) Clothes: I’ve purchased a pair of Salomon shoes to run the race in. They were on sale locally, and I had nothing to really run this overland race in. My shoe collection comprised of cowboy boots, muck boots, lightweight tennis shoes, and dress shoes. I’ve run pistol and 2-gun comps in my tennis shoes, and they provided very little grip, which is not ideal for the 30-90 seconds one of those stages lasts, and a non-starter for what is essentially a mud run with guns. Now I just need a headlamp for the race (weapon-mounted lights are not allowed for course navigation) and a light for my rifle for the stages. I have no idea what I’m going to run in concerning shirts, pants, etc. I might leave that decision to the week of the run, Oklahoma being known (to its inhabitants, anyway) for having unpredictable weather. Probably going to run knee & elbow pads, as well.
1.2) My pistol will be my M&P9 and I EDC it daily with a gen1 APL, so I am good to go in that regard. My rifle needs a weapon mounted light and I plan on getting a Streamlight rail mount 800 Lumen model. My local gun shop keeps the ~625 lumen model in stock so I can get that if need be, and it will probably be more than sufficient for the immediate purpose, but I’d rather get the one I actually want now instead of wishing I had got the nicer one later. Example: the APL on my pistol.
2. Training, aka the real challenge
2.1) I’ve never been a distance runner. I say I was built for power, not for speed, but that’s just an excuse to not run. I’m not a fan of running. Any time I’m in the gym I’m almost always focusing on strength training with some cardio to even things out. This may be the first time I’ll actually focus on distance and/or speed. I’m going to have to find some sort of pre-made training program online to follow.
2.2) Further compounding the above, my daughter. When this is published, she’ll be right at 4 months old. I’m responsible for taking care of her after work and in the early morning hours. For the last 2 years or so, I’ve been getting up early in the morning and working out 3 to 5 times a week. Since she’s still super young, she wakes up in the middle of the night. Taking care of her for 45 to 90 minutes a night, every night, is not conducive to working out early in the morning. I may be able to switch to a non-stimulant pre-workout and hit the gym before bed. I’ll see if that works in the next week or so.
2.3) I’ll need to practice shooting my rifle & pistol at night. I’ve never done it before, but I think this might be the part I’m least concerned about. That may be because I’m fairly comfortable with my shooting ability in the expected situation and at the advertised distances, but it may also be because I’ve never done it before and don’t realize how hard it is going to be.
2.4) I need to practice shooting after running. This is basically a copy+paste of 2.3, but I’m a little more concerned with this aspect.
The image at the top was taxed from the link below to tips for running in the dark. I’m going to give this a good read, because I need all the help I can get.