25 September 2013

Tough Mudder - The Review

Dear All,

You will have noticed that scattered around my champagne supping and regency promenading I also set off on quite an adventure of willpower, camaraderie and fitness: Tough Mudder

For those considering such an event, I have advice grasshoppers!

I did a lot of googling leading up to event, especially relating to GIRLS running the event

I found a mixture of terrifying and reassuring notes from past participants: one girl was running 3x 8 mile runs a week to prepare, another said she didn't prepare that much and round the experience 6 out of 10 on the toughness scale, is she saying it was easy?!

Also varying reviews on what to bring - one post said don't take any water or food as they provide water and bananas round the course and another said they has run out of both on her run - now I really like to have a bottle of water whenever I run so I decided to take a runners 500ml bottle and planned to chuck it if it got in the way (which I did in the last 2 miles). In the only available sneaky pocket in my leggings I also stashed a tiny tub of Vaseline and a nakd raw bar. Just in case. (turns out I didn't have time for the bar - should have bought gels and couldn't open the vaseline tub with my numb fingers! next year, chapstick!)

- Crossfit and Tough mudder seem to go hand in hand -so many people I train with have also done tough mudder. 3/4 sessions a week helped me building up the upper body strength for the climbing /swinging/bar obstacles - but I still fell off the monkey bars in about 2 seconds because they were so slippery!
- running - I don't love running, so I found it hard to keep up regular practise but tried to go once a week for a run between 5 and 12 miles depending on how awesome I was feeling that day. It undoubtably helped but it was still very tough and I still had to walk quite a lot.
- Yoga - with all the tough training I really felt that stretching all my aching muscles out in yoga class helped. Maybe meditation helped mentally prepare for facing my fears......

What to Take
- a rucksack with a change of clothes+shoes/small towel/cream/ and a woolly hat - although in the end I was too busy wearing my orange headband to wear the hat.
- a bottle of water and energy bar/gel

What to wear
- Bottoms that cover your knees
- Tight fitting top (I had a long sleeved one) - t shirts get soaked and baggy as soon as you hit your first water obstacle
- Gloves - again, not vital but I think they helped protect my hands

What to do
PICK YOUR TEAM WISELY - Now I can't really talk because I just got really lucky,  I swapped teams rather last minute as my friend dropped out and I didn't know the rest of the team. So I swapped to a team where I only knew one person from crossfit :P

BUT it turned out to be the best decision I could have made - the rest of my team were experienced tough mudders, patient with me being the slowest member and unfailingly optimistic and fun. Also the strong agile boys were essential for pulling the girls over the berlin walls, and even with me slowing the group down we completed in 3 hours which I'm told is a pretty good time :)

Erm Yeah! I suppose this can relate to your specific definition of tough - but I just cannot imagine doing this without training first. My Team was amazing, but I've heard of other people who were disappointed at their team slowing them down- I didn't want to be THAT girl. Even if you walked the whole thing - the obstacles still involved strength, speed, endurance and swallowing your fears. So yes its hard, yes its long, but yes it is awesome, (yes, I'm glad its over)


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