Tough Mudder preparation

In yet another non-work related activity: A couple of weekends ago I took a client of mine, his brother and his brother’s girlfriend to participate in a Tough Mudder obstacle challenge. It was my 4th or 5th (I’m losing count) and it was great fun! To all future Tough Mudders, or anybody who wants to read about Tough Mudder preparation see below.

Footwear:

  • Tie your laces in triple knots – they’ll come undone otherwise, guaranteed. Don’t tape your laces down like some crazy types do (that’s just silly).
  • If you get new shoes, break them in before the race (unless you have a penchant for blisters).

Training:

  • Do lots of running. If you can run more than 5k without breaking a sweat this is good.
  • Make sure you can do a respectable number of proper pull-ups and burpees also.
  • On the Tough Mudder and Spartan Race sites you can get some great training challenges and you should definitely consult those.
  • For added brownie points you should work particularly on your grip strength. You’ll be literally ‘hanging around’ on many of the obstacles so grip strength is always a good thing.

Gloves:

  • Normal gym gloves won’t cut it – they’ll get wet and slippery, proving useless when you need them most. A good investment is Calisthenics gloves http://www.fitstream.com/fitness-equipment/calisthenics-gloves-m-pg18?id=167. They’re a worthwhile investment and will keep your hands warm (and your hands will get cold very quickly).

Clothing:

  • I tend to prefer Nike Combat gear. The sweat gets expelled from the fabric fairly effectively. Any clothing with sweat wicking will do however.
  • If you’ve got spectators with you, you’ll probably want something bright so they can see you in the crowd.
  • Make sure to bring a dry change of clothes to go into after the event, including a new set of footwear. Rubber boots are a good choice since it will likely be muddy everywhere.

After the event:

  • Take advantage of the cold shower facilities and use the hose jet facilities to wash down your clothes and shoes – you’ll spend forever at home otherwise. You’ll also want to wash down the majority of the dirt on your clothes because you want to wash your fancy sweat wicking sports in a low temperature (high temperature washes will ruin the sweat wicking properties).
  • Bring toilet roll. The events I’ve been to have had well-stocked loo roll but you don’t want to be stuck unprepared.

Happy runnings!

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