Tuesday, May 3, 2011
How does one taper for Tough Mudder?
4 days to go until I attempt probably the craziest, most challenging, most insane race I've ever done. I'm kinda starting to freak out. What do I wear? Should I carry gels? And a hydration pack? Goggles? Gloves? A helmet? I mean, I have had several concussions(5 or 6, I lost count) in the past, if I take a good hit to the head it could be lights out for me.
In case you are not familiar with what Tough Mudder is, you can check out more details at Toughmudder.com But I'll sum it up for you, 10+ miles of trail running up and down Mount Snow in Vermont, plus ~25 military inspired obstacles designed by the British Special Forces. Some of the obstacles include: barbed wire crawls, cargo nets, 12' barrier walls, tires, underwater tunnels, monkey bars, fire, and last but not least, live electrical wires you have to run through. And I PAID to do it.
You might wonder how to train for such an event. Well, considering much of the last 4 months has been focused on training for the Boston Marathon, I haven't really done a significant amount of training until the last two weeks. I have been doing a lot of upper body strength training and the long runs for the marathon will definitely help me endurance wise, but how can you train for electrocution? And even if there's a way, I don't want to do it. So, in the last two weeks I've been doing the playground workouts and body weight exercises and some upper body strength.
Now with 4 days to go I'm wondering how do I taper for this event??? Avoid falling in mud, cut back on playing with fire, don't jump off of high stuff, skip the monkey bars at the playground? I've done two other similar races (Spartan Race, and Ruckus Boston), but both of those were only about 3 miles long and 10-15 obstacles. This race promises to be way more Badass. I wonder if you could use the race finish time prediction calculators for a race like this. If it took me ~45 minutes to complete the 3 mile course, it should take me roughly two and a half hours to complete Tough Mudder. That IS what they say on the website. If that's the case, I should treat this like a very tough half marathon. I will need a few gels to get through it and they will have water stops on the course (not talking about the icy cold water we will be jumping into).
Now onto the dilema only a girl would struggle with, what to wear...I was thinking it would be wise to wear as little as possible because as soon as I get wet I don't want to be dragging heavy soggy clothes for the rest of the race and wet clothes will be COLD clothes. My original plan was to wear tri shorts and a tank top - Quick drying, aerodynamic, not going to snag on barbed wire, race tested in water and running. Then someone mentioned to me that there will most likely still be snow on the mountain. Now I'm thinking Under Armor might be a better choice, Long sleeves and capri pants - will provide a little bit of a barrier from the mud, fire, and barbed wire and maybe even from the electrical wires. I can't decide!
No matter what, the race is going to be TOUGH. Parts of it are going to be really fun, parts of it are going to hurt a lot, parts of it are going to just pretty much suck balls (excuse my language), but ALL of it will be AWESOME and I can't wait to do it.