4.04.2012

The Tough Mudder Experience.


About two months ago I shared with you guys that I was going to participate in the Tough Mudder obstacle course that was being held in NoMan'sLand, TX on March 31st. It was mainly a way to motivate myself to workout harder as well as a way to force myself  to do more cardio (I absolutely hate cardio). For that entire two months I spent about 2 hours in the gym everyday doing a combination of strength and endurance workouts as well as a mix of cardio workouts that included running, sprinting, biking, and HIIT (google it) jumprope workouts. I did miss a few days, probably a week all together within that two month span. Along with my workouts, I cleaned up my eating habits a bit, not that I ate extremely unhealthy to begin with, but I stuck to a strict regiment of chicken or fish, usually pan-seared, a big helping of mixed vegetables and brown rice. For breakfast I usually try to do something quick like whole grain oatmeal with lots of blueberries (no sugar or butter) and a blueberry bagel or peanut butter toast and a glass of milk. That along with protein and creatine before and after my workouts helped me tremendously. I would still have the occasional burger or pizza, but for the most part I only ate food I made at home. I've since gained about 13lbs of muscle and cut my body fat percentage to 10%. I severely strained my back around the first of March which didn't really allow me to run as much as I would've liked to so I had to switch to getting most of my cardio done on the bike. Near the end of March my back was feeling better, which was just in time for the obstacle course.
The actual course was about two hours away, about 20-30min past Ennis so we left at 8am to get there early for our start time of 11:20am. Due to a shit load of traffic we didn't actually get to start till almost 1:00.



The entire course was 11 miles and there were 25 obstacles in that 11 miles. If you want to see what all is included in the course click here for a post I did a while ago with a complete video on the course. Going into this I thought the Braveheart Charge was going to be the hardest obstacle. Afterall, you're running through hundreds of strands of wire that are charged with 10,000 volts of electricity. By far the worst part of the course was the Arctic Enema, which is a 5ft pit of cold water that is filled to the top ice by an ice truck about every 20 minutes. Your muscles go into complete shock upon entering the pit and you have to walk about 25 yards, not to mention the separator in the middle that forces you to go completely under the water. After exiting the pit, not only is your entire body frozen, but your nuts climb into your throat in search of any type of warmth available. Another thing I didn't really take into consideration is the fact that there were a lot of stretches on the course that were damn near impossible to even stand up, let alone walk or run. There were parts that were so boggy that your foot was sinking into about 8 inches of mud, so not only were you fighting to keep your shoes on, but you were also taking an additional 1 1/2 - 2lbs of mud with you for the rest of the run. Getting the mud off your shoes was impossible. 













Overall, it was an amazing experience. It's cool to see how far you can push your body. I was sunburnt, dehydrated, and my toes were bruised from the brutal terrain, but inside it felt good to be able to say, "I did it". It's also amazing to see how complete strangers will band together to help each other, and even cheer each other on for a common goal. This was never more evident than the Everest obstacle which is best summed up as an all out charge up a slippery quarter pipe. You see so many people bust their asses and their faces in an attempt to reach the top. The lucky ones grab someone's hand, and the badasses (points to myself) make it with no help at all. This, as well as the Braveheart Charge, were definitely the most entertaining obstacles to watch.
If you're thinking of doing the Tough Mudder, there are a few things that I suggest you bring:
- Waterproof Sunblock
- Energy Bars
- Goggles (if you wear contacts like I do)
- Duct Tape (for your shoelaces)
Really that's about it. They have 3-4 water stations setup throughout the course along with bananas and salt (to prevent cramps). Other than that I would say do a lot of cardio training on hilly terrain, maybe 3-4 months ahead of time, begin carb-loading maybe 2 days before and drink lots of water, and eat a big breakfast maybe two hours before the event.


Shoutout to my amazing family that came and showed their support, it was really cool to see them at certain points of the course cheering me on.
And a special shoutout to my cousin Derion who came along and got some amazing pictures of the event. In fact, he took all the pictures that you see posted here. I don't know how he snuck onto the course but he did damn near half the course with us, camera in tow, and didn't fall once. BAWSE. He's a professional photographer and has some amazing work. If you're interested in booking a shoot with him he shoots for modeling, graduation, senior pics, portraits, you name it, visit www.facebook.com/poeticvanity to contact him.

8 comments:

  1. thanks for the tips- doing my first tough mudder in 2 weeks or so - been training as hard as my work schedule will allow (ie not enough) - so a bit nervous but excited too

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    1. Dave, that's dope bro! Tell me how it goes and good luck! You'll be okay, dont take yourself too seriously, have fun, and pace yourself and you'll be fine. Good luck!

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    2. thanks! i'll let you know!

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  2. any recommendation for apparel? - was thinking light running shorts and a compression dry-fit. better to go shirtless?

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  3. definitely a dry fit shirt. shirtless is a great idea until you get to this obstacle that has a rope net that you have to lift up to walk under and it dragged across my back and irritated it really bad.
    i would also suggest wearing shorts that fit really well/snug so they dont get heavy from all the mud they'll collect.

    which location are you doing the mudder at?

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  4. whistler, b.c. canada

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