The road to the 2011 Virgina Tough Mudder has come to an end. As 2012 has already started, I am looking forward to the challenges ahead. I have already signed up for all the races in the locomotive race series and that will be my main focus this year. The goals for this year will be to beat my personal records from the previous year, go farther and harder and break my distance PR, and just continue through the year with a deliberate and controlled pace. Next year, I hope to maybe do another Tough Mudder.
As this chapter closes, I want to give people some point of reference on my experience. Being a first timer to the Tough Mudder, I didn't know what to expect. I scoured the internet to find what I should wear, bring, eat, etc. Unfortunately, there was not a lot that I could find with specifics. I hope to change that with this blog.
As you can see from my past posts, I tried different things to see what would work best. Here are some key points to keep in mind while you train.
- Make an effort to train on trails or wooded areas - This was a big help for me to get used to running through natural terrain and avoid getting hurt. With consistent training, your mind and eyes adapt to the different ground levels and you develop the ability to spot nasty surprises like roots and holes.
- Long running - Make sure that you can handle running 10 miles without walking. I am not the fastest runner by any means, but this helped me to have the endurance to go the distance and not feel like I am going to "hit the wall" in runner terms. The last thing that you want is to "hit the wall" when you have a series of obstacles on top of the running.
- Stairs - If you have a stair climber machine or some stairs, use them. I wish I would have done more before getting there.
- Upperbody work - As simple as pull ups and push ups are, they are a tremendous help to get you used to the demands of climbing and crawling.
- Have fun - If you are working so hard that it feels like work, slow down and enjoy the training. This will help to make the Tough Mudder the most memorable event of your life.
What to wear
These are my recommendations, but the main goal is to stay comfortable and be able to dry fast.
- Gloves - I bought utility work gloves that had leather re-enforced grips. They were also water-resistant and had velcro tightening wrists. My teammate, Aaron, had wake boarding gloves which provided lots of grip when wet and dried easily
- Shirt - I highly recommend a compression shirt. It helped to keep my body heat from escaping and dried extremely fast.
- Shorts - I wore compression underwear that was water resistant. Over that I wore common workout shorts that dried quickly. The combination was very helpful in keeping me dry and prevented chaffing.
- Shoes and socks - I wore an old pair of running shoes, unfortunately the tread was completely worn off. You don't need new shoes, but I would check the tread and plan accordingly. The socks that I wore were quick dry socks and had built in support.
- Body Glide - If you know what it is, than you know where to put it. It is water resistant and vital if you’re wearing lots of compression stuff
Day of the event
The event staff was very professional and it went very smoothly. Here are couple recomendations to make it even that much more enjoyable.
- Make sure that you eat a big breakfast a few hours before your start time. Aim for about 1000 calories. They will have banana/water stations located throughout the course, but it doesn't seem to be enough towards the middle and you start to feel emaciated.
- Get the earliest start time possible. Parking will be better, going through registration line will be better and there will be less to worry about.
- Have everything that Tough Mudder recommends for you to bring to registration.
- Skip bag checking if possible. This was a huge disappointment and killed whatever after party stuff that I wanted to do.
I had a blast and I want to do it again. If you have any questions or comments please contact me at Joshua.firstname.lastname@example.org Thanks for reading my blog.