So, several people have asked me if i have any tips or advise on Tough Mudder now that i have been to one. These are just suggestions from my first experience.
1. wear compression pants or some sort of tight fitting pant that wont hold water. Wear shorts over them if you feel the need but your shins and knees will greatly appreciate the coverage.
2. gloves are pointless... Jesse and i both bought some pretty expensive gloves that seemed ideal for protecting our hands but by the time we finished the first obstacle the gloves were so caked with mud that they made everything slick and hard to hold onto. We shoved them in my fanny pack and had to keep squeezing out all of the mud and water.
3. forget the fanny pack.... i was concerned that we would need fuel of some sort so i carried a small pack with electrolyte chews and a few protein bars. We ended up not even using them because every other water station provided gummies, protein bar, or bananas along with water.
4. about the water.... i read online that some events in the past ran out of water. i really dont see this being a problem anymore because they have changed the water containers to better serve the runners. There was plenty of water for us even being in a late wave on sunday.
5. Shoes are important. i was REALLY glad to have my new balance minimus shoes. They are porous and light weight and let the water out quickly but were still able to help me get up the many steep hills.
6. If someone is available bring a spectator. There are official photographers but that doesn't promise you will get a shot so have someone come along to take pictures. i wish we had more pictures of us.
7. Hydrate REALLY well before you start. By the time we got to the water station i was SO thirsty and out of breath. There are port a potties along the way so don't worry about needing a restroom. You will be glad you hydrated!
Well the course is 12 miles long so cardio is the most obvious training. Don't just run though. Practice walking, climbing, and running up hills. The steeper the better!
Almost every obstacle involves using your upper body to pull yourself up and to pull others up. Strength in the lats is key. Do pull ups. lots and lots of pull ups.Push ups too! Heck why not!
Run some more.... when you think you have the cardiovascular endurance to run 12 miles think again and keep training! Sure, you get to stop and rest for the obstacles but i promise by mile 6 or 7 you will be wishing you had done more cardio training!
Having some strength in the weight room surely wont hurt anything. Being able to carry 50lbs or so would be a good thing, but the cardio and strength in the lats are what really count.
PS find some monkey bars too!!!
Also, dont forget to stretch. The number one injury in events like this is torn muscles. OUCH! We saw a few people along the way with these sorts of injuries. Don't be that person. Stretch like crazy.
Thats all i can think of for now. Search some other blogs and see what others have to say. Also, check out the forums on Tough Mudder's website for lots of helpful info :)
Jesse and i are putting a team together for Dallas 2015 if you are interesting on coming along with us for this amazing ride let me know! i will be forming a facebook group soon!
Monday, October 6, 2014
Yesterday i completed my very first Tough Mudder. For those of you who don't know, Tough Mudder is a 12 mile military style obstacle course designed by British special forces to test your physical ability, camaraderie, and mental grit. Over the course of the 12 miles there are 20-25 obstacles to complete. Most of the obstacles are designed for you to complete as a team. People you have never met before will be in your personal space helping you to do things you never even thought you would do. Some of the obstacles are more difficult than they would seem and some are fairly easy. Here are some of the obstacles that stood out to me:
designed to induce hypothermia and HOLY CRAP does it work! That was absolutely the coldest, most shocking thing i have ever felt. You plunge in and it immediately shocks your body. Your muscles seize up, you cant even think about trying to breathe. you have to machine through it, go all the way under the water and come out the other side. Then you have to climb out of the thing in a complete haze and your whole body hurts. you cant do anything but make noise and say holy hell!! I cant even describe it well. ice bucket challenge is like hot tea compared to this.
when you come up your face WILL look like this. its involuntary.
The Mud Mile:
i had a hard time finding pictures for this one because they really stepped up the game this year. The water was chest deep and there was no way of getting over the hills of mud alone. They were probably 8 feet tall. At some points the water was so deep that i was literally floating in the thick mud. This one will test your personal boundaries for sure. I had my face shoved into a random man's crotch that was helping. He was dressed in catholic friar's robes. A girl who Jesse was helping landed sprawled out right on top of him. Everyone who had done tough mudder before said that this mud mile was the hardest they had ever done. I didnt expect this one to be hard, but it was very physically draining.
Balls To The Wall:
I didnt think this obstacle would be hard. it doesnt look hard. Walking up to it i thought hey, no big deal and i even told Jesse he should go up the one beside me. WRONG! The rope is completely covered in mud of the people who have gone before you and it is SLICK. You cant grip it.... The knots help but my rope only had three knots for a 12 foot wall. Even going down wasnt easy. i ended up sliding down the rope and letting it burn my hands.
Good ole monkey bars.... except these monkey bars are at an angle, and the rungs are spaced 18 inches apart. The water below has ice floating in it and its 5 foot deep but guess what?! I made it all the way across!!! I just knew i didnt have a chance of getting across. Jesse went before me and made it look easy. He says he looked back and expected to see me in the water but NOPE i hung on and i made it! That was my proudest moment of the day. Up at the top there is a big gap where the two apparatuses meet and man that was tough for me. i tore my callouses open on my right hand which SUCKED the rest of the day.
Walk the Plank:
If you fear water or heights this one will be a real mental test. The platform is 12 foot high and the water below is 13 feet deep. Our water was dyed blue so you couldnt see anything. I was VERY proud of Jesse on this one. We had talked about whether he would try it or not. He isnt a strong swimmer, had no experience jumping off diving boards, and doesnt love the height either. HE DID IT! It was a struggle but everyone came together and cheered for him and he found the confidence do take the plunge! I was way proud.
I mean.... come one people. You have this thing with tons of LIVE ELECTRICAL WIRES hanging from it and swaying in the wind. Ours had two rows of hay bales and water. Some people make it out easy. Most do not. I was shocked repeatedly the entire time and so was Jesse. They warn you that getting hit in the face can make you black out. Guess what? They're right! I made it over one set of hay bales then got shocked in the eyebrow and don't even remember the second hay bales. i fell over it and apparently slammed my knee pretty well because it hurt like hell after. i ended up crawling and sliding out of the thing getting shocked all the while. Most people dont make it out standing. it's insane. If you are a legionnaire meaning you have completed a mudder before, you get to skip this one. Anyone CAN skip this obstacle but you don't actually complete the course if you dont man up and do it.
Tough Mudder was one of the most amazing experiences i've had to date. I'm so glad we went and i cant wait to start training for next year! Tough Mudder donates to the Wounder Warrior Project and if you participate on Saturday you can run the course with the wounded veterans. It is amazing to see so many people coming together for a common cause, working together, being one team, encouraging and helping everyone along to meet their own personal goals. it was awesome. My body is very sore today especially my calves. i'm sunburned and walking like a cripple but i cannot wait to do it again!
none of these pictures are from my actual event. Because of the nature of the beast i didnt get many pictures myself but tough mudder has official photographers and i'll get to post some of those in a week or so. in a separate post i'll share the few pictures i did take.
Posted by Tayelor at 7:19 AM