Sunday, February 9, 2014

Tough Mudder advice

I did Tough Mudder in Tahoe in 2012 and it was one of those experiences I loved and hated at the same time. Some obstacles were so challenging that I couldn't wait for it to be over but as soon as I finished the race I wanted to do it again! Ahhh, memories. I’ve had friends ask me for advice so I thought I’d share…

Tough Mudder Tahoe 2012
Getting ready for Tough Mudder Tahoe! Drifit, long sleeves, 
capris, gloves, wrist sweat band, and energy bars. Check!

Everest at Tough Mudder Tahoe
Everest at Tough Mudder Tahoe. Teamwork!

Everest at Tough Mudder Tahoe
Everest at Tough Mudder Tahoe. Love how all these Tough Mudders 
are hanging out on top just waiting to help out a fellow Mudder.

  1. Wear drifit so it dries faster. Dry clothes keep you warm. Compression will just stay cold, wet, and pressed up against your skin.
  2. Wear capris and long sleeves to avoid scraping elbows and knees. You're crawling through mud/dirt under barbwire or inside tubes and tunnels. There are tiny rocks in the mud which will shred up your knees.
  3. Tuck your shirt into your capris so you have a clean surface to wipe your eyes if needed. You’ll look like a dork but you’ll be a smart dork. I also wore a wrist sweat band - it got muddy and wet but I flipped it inside out and used the clean surface when I wanted to wipe my eyes.
  4. Carry energy bars with you - it’s a long 12-mile course.
  5. Wear gloves for protection and a better grip - logs, bars, etc. You can always take them off for certain obstacles.
  6. If you fall into the water below during an obstacle… BEND YOUR KNEES when you hit the water!!!  I misjudged the depth and landed on a straight leg from 7 feet up. I sprained my knee and fractured my tibia. But I still finished Tough Mudder!! I did this 4 miles in and walked the rest of the course.
  7. Don’t wear bobby pins in your hair - you’re running through live electric wires for a few obstacles. Let’s just say I got shocked a few times. On my head.
  8. Chernobyl Jacuzzi or Arctic Enema is a shipping container filled with water and ICE. There was a wooden board halfway down the container, blocking the path - the only way to get past it was to swim under it. Ugh. The best way to attack this obstacle is to just jam as fast as you can to the other side. I ran with my arms over my head for 2 reasons, (1) for less resistance - my arms in the icy water didn't help me get through it any faster and (2) so I could keep as much of my body out of the freezing water as I could. Some people grab onto the side to push them through but there was so much ice pushed up against it that I just went through the middle. There was a huge build up of ice at the other end so you have to bust through it or climb out on top of it. 
  9. Train to do pull-ups. You’ll need a lot of upper body strength for a bunch of obstacles. Funky Monkey are greased and spinning monkey bars. They’re designed to make you fail!! The best way to get across this is to keep your arms bent at 90 degrees and use your body momentum to propel you forward.
  10. Walk the Plank is a 12 ft jump into 30 degree water. I was so scared of this obstacle and I knew I'd start to freak out if I thought about it too much so I just jumped as soon as I got up to the platform. I shut my eyes and plugged my nose. The anticipation of hitting the water was THE WORST.
  11. Everest is a 15 foot tall quarter pipe wall near the end of the course. Sometimes it’s made of a slippery material or coated with grease to make it slippery. If you’re going to need help conquering it, find a Mudder who’s camped out at the top, make eye contact to make sure he knows you’re targeting him, and run full-speed toward him. When you hit the point where you can no longer run straight ahead (you’ve reached the upward curve), lean back a little so you’re not running into the wall. At the same time leap up and grab for his outstretched hands. Wrists are even better. Once connected, try to pull yourself up - hook on to the top ledge with your feet if you have to. Use everything you’ve got. I needed help from 3 people to get me over and I only weigh 115 lbs. I was just so exhausted at that point but it was the last obstacle so I should’ve tried harder.
  12. It’s okay to skip obstacles. No one will judge you. Trust your gut if you’re scared.
  13. Help others and be helped. Everest is one of the hardest obstacles and I couldn’t have done it without the help of a bunch of strangers. Everyone becomes your teammate. It’s a beautiful thing.
  14. Don’t be concerned with time. Enjoy yourself, interact with others, and take it all in!

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