Tough Mudder Essential Gear, Training and Preparation

Posted by matt on July 13, 2011

So in a little more than a week, I am competing in the Tough Mudder Wisconsin 2011 event, which is an obstacle course designed by British Special Forces.  I’m not exactly sure why I’m doing this… it turned out to be more of a dare than anything, but a team of 4 of us will be working our way through this crazy, 10-mile course with 25 obstacles with names such as “Devil’s Beard”, “Kiss of Mud” and “Electroshock Therapy”… At the end of the race you get free beer and free tattoos (?!)  Click below for an interactive map of what we’ll be in for:

Tough Mudder Course

My prep work for this event was doing p90x, replacing most of the cardio with simple 4-5 mile running workouts.  This was going fairly well for the first 6 weeks, until the wheels fell off and for the last 4-weeks or so I’ve definitely be slacking… this may prove disasterous race day, but the point is not to get through quickly, but to survive the event.  Maybe it is more bad-ass to do this unprepared?

Because this isn’t some sissy marathon, the gear you require for an event like this is different as well.  My list of what I’ll be using:

  • Shirt: don’t have this specific one, but you can’t go wrong with this.  Duh!
  • Shoes: Will likely wear an old pair of running shoes, or my old Merrell’s.  I’ve heard Vibram’s work well too, but too weird for me. Whatever you use, it’s going to get trashed.
  • Shorts: Since this is a summer event, shorts are obviously what we’ll all be wearing.  Go retro with Umbros!
  • Gloves: not sure I’ll wear them the whole time, but you are doing enough grappling that gloves should come in handy.  Peal Izumi have good fingerless ones that will get wet, but hopefully still have some grip.
  • Camera: I’m a photographer, so of course, I need to capture the action.  No DSLR or standard point-n-shoot here. I just got the Olympus Stylus Tough 6020, so should be able to hold up.  It shoots 720p video, so should be good for some laughs as well.  Waterproof, shockproof.
  • Flask: It’s a long event, but there are aid stations, so I’m not carrying a camelback… but a flask will come in handy.   It’s less than $5!  Big question is what to put in it… Jaegermeister?  Red Bull Vodka? Both? (that’s a Jaeger Bomb, by the way).

So excited and scared for this event.  I haven’t ran more than 5 miles until the training for this, and I haven’t ran 10 miles in over 20 years….  either way, it should be quite an adventure.  Check this video from a recent event to see what it is really all about.  Good luck to those of you participating, and remember to work together!

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