On 30 April the Outdoor Fitness team took a deep breath and took on the Tough Mudder in Henley on Thames as part of the Merrell team
With 12 muddy miles and 25 obstacles now under our belts, here’s what we learnt from the day…
- Help your comrade. Forget personal bests, Tough Mudder is not about completing the course at record speed, there are no timing chips. The only way you will make it round in one piece is by working with your fellow Mudders.
- Take spare clothes. If you are not caked from head to toe in mud by the end you have not fully experienced the race. So unless you want to smell like a swamp on the train home, bring some attire to change into.
- Avoid the cold. Many obstacles in fact most- involve immersion in freezing cold water. While running in between hurdles will get the blood pumping, this is Britain and it can get chilly. Make sure you bring warm clothes and use the feeding stations.
- Quit the whining. This is not a Saturday morning workout in the park, you know what you signed up for! The guys manning the obstacles don’t have too much time for Moaning Minnies, but if you don’t feel up to an obstacle just go round it, nobody will think any less of you.
- You don’t have to be an Ironman. An array of different individuals take up the Tough Mudder challenge, from timid first timers to seasoned legionnaires. There’s a level of fitness needed, but let’s just say you don’t need to spend weeks on the track beforehand.
- You’ll have the best cider you will ever taste at the finish line. It slips down your throat like nectar of the gods. Savour the experience.
- Not just for men. Get your kit on ladies, this event is not reserved for burly guys. In fact on many obstacles the girls showed more mettle than the men!
- Wear the correct footwear. A good pair of trainers is essential. You’ll need something with great grip that tie up tightly; losing a shoe in the mud is the last thing you want. We wore Merrell’s All Out Tough Mudder race and training shoes.
- Give it a crack. Obstacles like King of the Swingers or Everest 2.0 may look terrifying but you’ll never know unless you attempt it. So take a deep breath and take the plunge, literally.
- Wear your finishers t-shirt with pride After finishing you’ll want the world to know you’ve conquered the Tough Mudder course. Don the finisher’s shirt with glory.
If this sounds like something for you, head to the Tough Mudder website to find an event near you