Thursday, August 01, 2013

Tough Mudder

On Saturday, July 20th, I completed my first Tough Mudder. For those who do not know, the Tough Mudder is not a race but a challenge. It is a 10-12 mile obstacle course that is best completed with a team. There are a few obstacles that cannot be completed alone. There were six of us that completed the course, including three guys I did not meet until that morning. We stuck together the entire way and I really enjoyed the experience.

Some of the obstacles were fairly easy, from climbing over a huge pile of hay bales to crawling through mud under barbed wire. A few required help from your team, including walls too high to get over alone and some very slippery mud hills that required a helping hand. I had a hard time with the monkey bars (I made it across but only barely) and the jump off of a platform into water. I was surprised by how hard it was for me to jump into the water. It was not very high but it took several minutes to get the courage to jump. The trails were incredibly uneven and hilly but that did not bother me much. Overall, I expected it to be harder. I guess my training paid off.

Here are a few tips for successfully training and completing for the Tough Mudder:
  • Train for endurance, not strength. It takes some strength to complete the TM but endurance will win the day. I followed the training plan for a half marathon, getting up to 12 or 13 miles on my long runs. that worked well for me.
  • Hills. Hills. Hills. Runs lots of hills to find success in the TM. I found a nice long hill about a mile and  half from my house and would run it pushing the double jog stroller. Usually it was Jackson and one twin along for the ride and they liked going fast. I tried to run it at least once a week in the three months leading up to the TM.
  • Run trails as often as possible. The TM course is uneven and it is good to be mentally prepared.
  • I wore sunglasses during the TM and came to regret that decision. A mile or so into the course you have to submerge yourself in ice water. My sunglasses got soaked and fogged up and I could not wear them for a while. Later the got covered in mud and I was afraid of losing them jumping into the deep water. A few people wore hats but I would not recommend it.
I don't have any pictures from the event right now. If I get any, I'll post them.

It was a great event and I cannot wait for next year. Tough Mudder!

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