Tough Mudder

Tough Mudder preparation

Tough Mudder fun

So you think you are ready for the tough mudder experience do you? Well great. The first part about entering this great event is the decision to give it a try and work towards completing the challenging 20klm long course in tackling approximately 20 or so obstacles. It’s your decision.

At Claudefit we think the TM is a great way to work towards your all over fitness , weigh loss and is a great motivator once you and your team have put the money down and all have a clear focus on what’s coming up. It’s amazing how much ownership you take once you put a cost to it.

Out team here at Claude fit has now participated in 3 of these events and we are proud of the fact that in the second and third one we have always included newbie’s who have managed to complete it unscathed. No major injuries and a lot of fun had. I myself mostly enjoy the satisfied look of all my clients when they cross the finish line looking tired, covered in mud, soggy socks and a great individual story to tell.

So how do you prepare for Tough Mudder?

It’s pretty clear that in order to complete the TM you will need to have a solid running base that will get the job done. Now before you think that you can’t run 20klm think about the fact that you will be running from obstacle to obstacle and then stop (rest) negotiate the obstacle, wait for you team members and continue to run. As this is NOT a race the pace generally is kept by the slowest member of the group. TM encourages team work so don’t think that this is a fun run style set up where you are continuously running.

What you do need IMO is a solid minimum base of around 7-10 klm’s that will get the job done. Prior to the first TM I myself recorded my longest continual run at 11.5 klm. This was enough for me to get by. Now that I’m a regular runner the TM doesn’t really pose that much of a concern with distance. As the stop start nature of the event is great for recovery. So get running.

The obstacles are reasonable for anyone with an average base of fitness. Unlike other event you do not have to do all of them if you are intimidated or simply think they are out of your capabilities. It’s all right, just rest while the others in your team give it a go, then re-group and continue onto the next one. This is what TM is all about – Teamwork.

Without going over the entire obstacle that you will encounter (TM changes a few anyway) let’s go over the basic strength that you need to successfully cover the course.

  • You need to be able to pull your bodyweight up – whether it be climbing over the 3meter wall or getting over the rows of mud moulds, you need the strength and flexibility to get that leg over in making it through/over.
  • The ability to trudge through ankle deep mud for over 500 metres is also essential. Fit enough to do it and well balanced. Expect to fall on your butt and get covered in mud. Guaranteed.
  • A decent center of gravity is required and most of the obstacles require you to have good balance as part of the challenge. For example the balance beams are great. TM mudder also nails old tyres to logs that you have to walk around. Expect to get wet if you fall.
  • Have a decent sprint in your armoury. In order to get up to the top of Everest you need to have a bit of get up and go and sprint full on towards the ramp. (Think skateboard ¼ pipe here) Many don’t quite make it even when a helping hand is waiting to meet you half way. This one was frustration to the ladies in out group.  A few sprints in your training will certainly help out.
  • Hanging strength. The monkey bars are a bit of a novelty during TM. It’s one of the more well know obstacles where the set up allows for many rows of bars to keep everyone moving along. Basic holding strength and knowing how to move come in handy. At Claudefit the pull up is a as staple here so the holding strength should pose no problem. However with all things related to TM, you will have tired and slippery hands by the time you get to this obstacle. In the past we cop it around the 18klm mark.

The event is quite achievable for most as it attracts people of all shapes and sizes and is a well run safe event. It’s really suited t all types. You only need to want to give it a go.

One of my clients didn’t quite get by all the obstacles , however was thrilled that his body was able to at least take part and surprise himself with what he did. That what is t all about

Participating, challenging you and having a hell of a time.

See you in the mud.

 

Go here for my Obstacle course Page

Tough Mudder report

A day out in the mud

Well Tough Mudder now has been conquered with all team members managing to make it through without any major mishaps and achieving a major goal that a few months ago was in their opinion something that “others did”. Now sitting comfortably ,dry, exhausted, a little sore and nursing some minor scratches, I’m finally taking the time out and reflecting on a challenging yet rewarding day out in the mud.

It started pre dawn with the team bus departing from Claudefit right on time for the hour and a half drive to Phillip Island. As you would expect the groups feeling initially was quite nerve racking for the newbie’s sharing the sharing in the anticipation with the seasoned participants on what was to come.

Sometimes having “been there done that” is not a good thing as you know what you are about to partake. With Tough Mudder it’s a fair chance that you’ll be thinking about the past obstacles that previously challenged you and the scary new ones that have yet to be experienced.

Start line

Once we got there and collected our event bibs. It wasn’t long before we were front and centre ready to roll out on the next wave. This is where the MC pumps you up during the countdown, the nerves are setting in and it finally time to focus. 5,4,3,2,1 Boom! were off.

The harders part during Tough Mudder is the Running component, lots of it! After all it is a running event along with the obstacles thrown in for good measure. They are frightening, quite challenging for some and a cakewalk for others (which are all optional) You don’t have to do them. It’s alright to give it a miss and allow those who can give it a try. After all we all have our strength and weaknesses as I clearly demonstrated by not even reaching an obstacle called the leap of faith and landed in water!

if you decide to opt out the waiting time is an opportunity to give the legs a rest from running, get your breath back and be ready to march on towards the next challenge once the team has all completed the obstacle.

Team work

The team covered the terrain at a reasonable pace which meant we didn’t leave anyone behind, It’s what we do. With the awesome and giving support from previous Tough Mudder participants my role as a team leader on the day was pretty straight forward.

  • Ensure that all participants stayed together
  • Keep an eye out for individuals who needed help
  • Encouraging my clients to take park and enjoy
  • Being aware of what was required within the group dynamics
  • Not placing then in any situation for potential injuries to occur.
  • Not eat the mud. The stuff gets everywhere.

Adrenalin and fatigue don’t mix ,we play it safe at Claudefit.

A job well done

Overall the team did an exceptional job in keeping an eye out for each other while individually tackling the obstacles and helping each other out when the need arose. I mean how do you scale a 12 foot wall alone without getting a boost? How do you manage to jump off a 5+ meter ledge into the water? (Think Momba birdman rally here for those who can remember) how would you get up on top of Everest after running 19klms? (giant ramp) without a helping hand waiting for you on top?

Well you have a team that supports you that’s how. The new members consisted of individual just like you. Take for example Kimberley and Justin who each have sought my services as a trainer one with one on one Personal Training and the other joining our ladies semi-private group. Both have their own goal and continually put in the time and effort to make the changes required. My wife who prefers to do Mini triathlons, Caroline that clearly turned up prepared, Jackie who can knock off a run at the drop of a hat, and Shai who in the past “only lifts heavy stuff for cardio” who decided to give Tough mudder a crack and on the day.

All did what was required to rough it out and give it a crack!

Once at the finish line it was all about the celebrations, photos, hugs, handshakes and thanking your new mates who witnessed your great achievement in getting the job done.

Well done to all the new Mudder’s support crew and repeat offenders.

Next stop, Pizza shop!

Tough Mudder is all about the headband

Time for Tough Mudder

Given the recent interest in all things obstacle racing by the general public and the abundance of choices promoting these events I thought it might be good to educate some on what these things are all about. I’ll use Tough mudder.

You have to like to run (20klm) on dirt, mud, gravel, pavement and trott along paddocks. You have to like getting mud everywhere. And I do mean everywhere. If you are the type of person that likes to jump of moderate heights into a dam, slide down a makeshift water slide, get “mildly”electrocuted, trounce over knee deep mud, enjoy and ice bath, swim in cold water and even crawl underground for a few dark metres you should be ok and will survive. 

At the end of the line In Tough mudders case , we are welcomed with a complimentary beer which to me was unusual to drink straight after running 20klm. Not to be too anti social and really wanting to drink anything that did not have mud in it turned out to be quite a treat.

On completion your effort are rewarded with a once size fits all orange head band along with a finishers T-shirt. ( plus that beer ) You then look like everybody else around. Filthy, exhausted, jubilant, proud, somewhat energised, ready to tackle the world knowing you have smashed  the challenge and possibly conquered some fears, All while proudly showing off your new kit!

I really treasure my “silly little headband” It is after all my badge of honour.

Preparing for an Obstacle Event

Our preparation began by getting the required physical strength to ensure we would all have a better chance of  finishing injury free. Let me put it this way. Lack of preparation will show up on the day. period. Like any endeavour this will ring true. The better the preparation the better you will be both mentally and physically ready to not only run the 20klms plus 18 obstacles, but to actually complete the event well. That is after all our plan.

Our team will be tackling this event for the third time and having been through the initial “first scary one” we know what lies ahead, what it takes and now how to prepared for it better. We have a team of around 10 plus our support crew/cheers squad tagging along for the ride. For the tough mudder crew in addition to their own particular training requirements our basic programming over time has been lots of bodyweight movements, regular running and all the basic compound lifts ( pulls, press, push and squat) utilising both barbells and Kettlebells for variety.  A solid serving of hard style kettlebell swings was always a regular treat.

The Cardio component in particular with the ladies group has been complimented with Boxing training. ( A great cardio full body workout) Overall the group is well prepared and physically ready to tackle the coming challenges.

With a basic preparation of running along with a solid strength base anyone should be able to complete the course without much trouble. A properly followed program readies you for the event, allows you to recover quicker and reduces the risk of injuries. If you are one of many and turn up unprepared with only a bare minimum of preparation, (and believe me I’ve seen plenty examples out there) You might somehow find a way through and eventually make it. However I don’t like your chances of pulling up well the next couple days or even worse, get an injury that could have been prevented if you just prepared. 

Our groups newbie’s naturally are a little nervous but with all our events they will be taken care of by the more experienced among us during the day by our more experieved runners allowing us all to finish together as a team should.

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