- Don’t wear orange or black, especially if you are on a team. Those are official Tough Mudder colors and you will blend in. We stuck out distinctively in green and found each other easily. If you are doing Warrior Dash, stay away from black and red. You get the idea.
- Plan on getting really muddy, and then sometimes clean, followed by muddy again. Here I am ready to dive under the log for this obstacle.
Yep, I slipped and fell headfirst. Those are my feet in the air on the right. 🙂
This is what we looked like after that obstacle. Aren’t our nice green shirts distinct? Ya, right!
- Don’t wear your hair in a ponytail. Ponytails get stuck on barbed wire and yank heads back, simultaneously cutting down on army crawling speed. I switched to pigtails immediately after this obstacle. 🙂
- Do this kind of event with a team. It is nearly impossible to get thru many of the obstacles by yourself. The race directors create an environment that promotes teamwork, which adds to the fun. If you do fly solo, the mantra is “help your fellow Mudders”, so don’t be shy! Ask for help, and offer help.
- Plan on getting backed up a little at obstacles and standing, in this case, in a giant trench of-you guessed it- mud!
- If nothing else, work on your flexibility and use everything you can find in or on the obstacle to tackle it and climb on over!
- Our team captain wore kneepads, shown here loose and near his ankles. My knees were very scraped up after the run and that might be a good call next year. Also, my socks were full of water and dirt, and they were thrown away about a third of the way into the race, so I would skip socks next time. Gloves and compression shin sleeves also seemed to be water/mud magnets and my teammates ditched those as well. My shoes took the toll of all the downhill running and blew out on both sides. They are also in the trash now, and I didn’t wear my favorites as I had a sneaking suspicion that might happen.
- Plan on getting your mileage in. See that hill in the background? We ran up to the radio tower you see in the distance. 1000 feet in approximately a mile, around mile six. With poison oak on the trail. This race runs anywhere from 10-12 miles with 20-25 obstacles. That hill was pretty tough.
- Crawl, and crawl, and crawl some more. Baby crawl, bear crawl, army crawl….you will use them all. Repeatedly. This is me crawling over the finish line. I was expecting more upper body work and worked out on monkey bars a bunch, but because they change the course each time, we didn’t have any really challenging upper body obstacles. Those yellow strings hanging down are the famous Electroshock Therapy, the final obstacle. Yes, they are electrified, yes, I crawled thru watery mud just prior to dashing through, and yes I was shocked twice. However, I lived to tell the tale!
- Have fun! Who has time for anything else? The beer actually brings up an interesting point– you obviously don’t need alcohol to celebrate your success as the race is it’s own reward; however, it did come in handy for post race refueling. I stashed some Glutamine (an amino acid, of which 8g translates to the equivalent of eating 60g of carbohydrates) in my sports bra in a ziplock bag, and dumped it in my water mid-race. Since we were out on the course for 3.5 hours, seriously consider how to handle the hydration and fueling needs to keep from bonking or overheating.
Do you have any adventure racing tips or crazy stories for our Just Muscles loyal readers? Please, give us your secret for success and make us laugh!
Thank you to our friend – Mrs. Penner-Ash for taking the photos and allowing us to use them here.
What an incredible experience that I can’t even IMAGINE doing myself but very much loved seeing you, Matt, & the team complete! I love your blog and your videos very much. You are a rock star, girl!! I keep telling myself – It’s just muscles……! So cute!
Thank you, MaryBeth! I love the feedback and using races as a goal is actually a fun way to stay on top of your fitness 🙂 Maybe TM isn’t for you, but I have lots of clients who picked a 5k walk that benefited an organization they supported, and it blew up from there. You never know!