I have always wanted to do Tough Mudder but never thought I would be actually capable of completing the course. However somehow last week I found myself standing in the warm up pen ready to give it a go.
A few days before my colleague Sam asked me if I would like to replace a guy who dropped out from their team. So naturally because of the adventurous person I am, within 48 hours I was on my way!
With only three gym sessions to prepare and two days to research the course, preparation was minimal. Googling Tough Mudder tips, nothing like how I’d imagined approaching this mammoth task I was about to embark on.
The morning of the race I joined a team of 22 other mudders who were all raising money for a local charity called Little Havens. The team consisted of friends and family of my colleague.
They call it Tough Mudder for two very obvious reasons. The first being because this 12 mile long course on dirty, uneven terrain with 22 obstacles is tough. The second being because there is a shed load of mud and theres no escaping it! I can happily say I completed it in just under three hours which I’m extremely happy about.
Quick light footed steps are key in tough mudder. Pick your feet up through the muddy parts of the course so you don’t get stuck in the mud. Just think like Sully in Monsters Inc!
I took Sis Isotonic energy gels with me around the course to drink and keep my energy levels up. I also packed Jelly babies after reading a blog post on marathon running. They’re great for quick boosts of energy.
This is important to remember! Make sure you keep up a gentle jog around the course no matter how tired you are. The more you stop the harder it is to carry on.
Around the course there are hundreds of logs, holes and general trip hazards. As important as it is to look where you’re going, looking where you step is crucial. You don’t want to end up with a broken ankle at obstacle two!
I picked this tip up from one of my friends in the gym. On the day of the race I put duct tap over my laces, and for a while it really helped with water resistance. It’s also helpful for preventing your laces getting caught on twigs and coming undone.
One of the best things about tough mudder is the lack of competition. Everyone sticks an arm out to help and team work is the number one goal. Even if you end up losing your team, you’ll never be alone!
Even though I had no advance warning about the race, I felt ok because I go to the gym quite regularly. However during the race I noticed people of all abilities were taking part. I think I may have even seen a guy in a wheelchair giving it a go.
You’ll notice on the day that there are many groups of people running for charities close to their hearts. The group I ran with managed to raise an astonishing £8,350!
After a little bit of research I discovered the best types of clothes to wear to help me through the course. I bought grippy trail shoes, leggings, running socks (to deter blisters) and a quick dry top for coming out of arctic enema. Note, this was the worst obstacle of them all so be prepared.
Although you’ll be knackered at the end it’s extremely important to stretch out all of your muscles after the race. This will minimise delayed onset muscle soreness and aches the following day.
Photos by Kristy Barber
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