Tough Mudder Part 2 - Tips

Are you gonna do a Tough Mudder? I'm definitely glad I did it and I now have the headband and shirt to prove it. I don't feel like I need to do another one, but I may change my mind once I forget about how much my knee hurts. And once I figure out how to handle my asshole stomach. I have a few tips (just the tip) for future mudders. Or read Part 1 first - the story.

Numero uno: Once you decide you're going to do it, buy your race entry. They increase the price every coupla months and it's already hella expensive. They're gonna nickel and dime you for everything, too. Parking and bag drop were both additional fees not included in race admission. Spectators also have to pay to get in.

Numero dos: TRAIN IN THE RIGHT TERRAIN. This was a HUGE oversight on my part. I was all, pffffft I'm a runner. 10-12 miles ain't no thang but a chicken wang. Once I started running those hills I was wheezing a different tune. I should have done way more trail runs than I did (um, zero) and increased the incline a lot more when I used the dreadmill. 

But it's not just about running. A lot of the obstacles required upper body strength, like climbing the side of a 20 foot cliff, monkey bars, rope climb, etc. I put in a lot of work on my back and triceps and I wish I would have done more about my teensy biceps, although I didn't have an issue completing most of the obstacles with the work I put in. I just wish my arms were a scotche more swole, yanno? I still found the running to be far more difficult than all of the obstacles, though.

Numero Tres: Wear clothes you don't mind losing or tearing, and make sure they are fairly tight and don't lose their shape when wet. I lost my bandana and my cotton shirt, which was just as well because it got really heavy every time I got wet or muddy. The flip side is that I wore that shirt because I was okay with ruining it. Still - I'd advise against cotton. Also, definitely don't wear your brand new Nike Frees because they're gonna get super gross.



The Point
The point of the whole race is to complete it as a team. It's not timed and a lot of the obstacles would be damn near impossible to complete on your own. Everyone helped everyone and the spirit of the whole race overall was warm and fuzzy (and a little pukey).

The Obstacles
There were the obstacles you would expect - climbing high walls/bales of hay/cliffs, crawling under barbed wire, rope climbs, etc. You know going in that you're gonna have to tackle those, so no biggie. I'm so glad my brother was there to give me a leg up on some of the tall ones. One set of walls we had to scale were actually angled toward you, so gravity made those suckers a big bitch. Happily, it was one of the first obstacles so we all had plenty of strength. The other set of walls (Berlin Walls, if you're familiar with obstacle names) were MUCH taller and over half way through the race, although I'm not sure which was harder.

Arctic Enema


I was nervous about it - a pool of frigid water you jump in, swim under a divider in the middle and climb out. It's like ripping a bandaid off - you just have to jump in. It was a bit nippy. And by that, I mean it was so cold I couldn't catch my breath. I'm talking arctic. I had to focus all of my energy on breathing out my nose while swimming under the divider so I didn't involuntarily inhale while trying to catch my breath. Also worth noting, the water isn't clear. Not that you'd want to open your eyes in it anyway, but you also can't see what's ahead of or below you. Afterwards though, I was damn sure awake. It gave me the kick I needed to git 'r done.

Funky Monkey


It's like monkey bars on steroids. You have to have back and shoulder strength and stubbornness to get through it. Y'all, when I got all the way across I legit felt like a ninja warrior. The monkey bars don't go straight across the pit of water, they incline for the first half and descend back down for the second half. Don't nobody want to be the one that splashes into the water, right? Don't worry, I got my chance to fall off an obstacle later. This one, though? Nailed it.

Balls to the Wall


This was probably my favorite one because I felt strong and powerful, completing it in record time. You use a rope to climb up and over a 12' wall. The trick is to use your leg strength to push off just as much as your arm strength to pull yourself up.

Trench Warfare


It was one of my least favorites. You crawl into a trench that's pitch black. You can't see your hand in front of your face, and you push forward until you see the light at the end of the tunnel. It's terrifyingly claustrophobic. You just have to trust that you'll get through to the end and you'll see the sun again one day. Not particularly difficult, just a mindfuck.

Pole Dancer


This is where I bit it. You're supposed to balance on the two poles to get across the mud pit. It was actually inverted from this picture - first you had the incline, then you came back down and it was all above the water. I approached it all wrong - it was late in the race and my strength was sapped. Instead of trying to get across with just my arms, I should have climbed on top and balanced with my arms and legs. The more you know.

Mud Mile


Impossible without help. For the Dallas race, this was all in a trench. The pits were about 3-4' deep with muddy water. The peaks are at least 2' out of the water and slicker'n greased snot (dad phrase).You get a leg up, grab for an arm of someone who's already at the top, and they use their body weight to pull up up as they slide down into the next pit.

Walk the Plank


Little known fact about me, I'm not super enthused about heights. Not a whole lot to this one except a mental barrier. It's about 15' (ish?) above the pool of water and I was so tired at this point that I forgot to be afraid. Plus, they don't give you time to be scared. (YOLO bitchessssss *splash*)

Lumberjacked


The pole was about 5' in the air and was so slippery because it was right after Walk the Plank. Once I got up on it, I carefully turned and balanced myself, then crashed down to the ground, landing hard on my back. I don't have any pointers on this one, other than to be careful. It hurt.

Kiss of Mud


Crawling under barbed wire. The bigger you are, the more difficult this will be to not get snagged.

Everest


It's half of a half pipe (a quarter pipe?), only you have to run up to the top instead of using your momentum on a skateboard. (Fact: I wish I was good at skateboarding.) It was one of the last obstacles and there were people at the top leaning over so you could grab their hands. I made it up to grab the edge with my fingertips and slipped. As I was falling, a guy reached down lightning fast and grabbed my hand. It was like a movie.

Electroshock Therapy


For whatever reason, I didn't even consider beforehand that this would be painful or dangerous. My logic was that they wouldn't be allowed to have it as an obstacle if it were that bad. It does hurt though. Best plan - run straight through. You are SO CLOSE to being done at this point, don't waste time crawling under the wires that will probably get you at some point anyway. Dodge the ones you can and use your momentum to power through the rest. I didn't get hit until I was about 80% through - and all of a sudden I was on the ground.

Like I said, there were lots of additional obstacles that you know you're going to have to do going in - water stuff, climbing stuff, lifting stuff. You definitely have to train - I wouldn't suggest this race as your foray into fitness. Do you have any Tough Mudder stories? Any other questions? Comment or email me at meg(at)nerkyblog(dot)com!

All pictures in this post with the exception of lil ol' me are from the Tough Mudder website. Pffft like you could even take a non-GoPro camera with you for this race. No selfies for you.

Comments

  1. Wow this is awesome, I want to try this. Please tell me which place is this.

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