The 2016 Tough Mudder season is officially here so it’s time to pack your bag(s), hop in a car/bus/cab and get moving. You’ve done all the legwork – choosing the right date, training to prepare for the gnarly course, and rallying your team. Now it’s time to pack. You may have a certain duffel bag or backpack in mind, but let’s face it, you’ve been creating a mental checklist of things to remember so you don’t end up on the course without a crucial event day component. To take the worrying out of the game for you – make sure you bring these 10 things with you and you’ll enjoy a hassle-free day full of mud and camaraderie.
This list doesn’t represent what you’ll be wearing on the course. These are things to include in the bag(s) you bring with you into Mudder Village.
You’re going to want to walk into Mudder Village with at least a half gallon of water. An easy way to carry this much water in without actually carrying a gallon is getting a Blender Bottle Pro 45 shaker bottle, which has a 45 oz. capacity. This plus two water bottles should cover your hydration needs before and after you run the course. Why bring all of this water? It’s called playing it safe in case you arrive just in time for your start time, you won’t have to walk around in search of some last minute sips. There’s water on the course itself so hydration packs are a personal choice, but it’s better to be prepared than not.
Bring a second shaker cup with you to mix up your pre-race supplement concoction. This is another personal preference, but you can’t go wrong with branched chain amino acids (BCAAs). For BCAAs, check out Cellucor’s Alpha Amino Xtreme which has some caffeine in it too. Once your body uses the glycogen stores from your morning oatmeal and last night’s pasta, it’ll tap into the protein chains (BCAA’s) for energy. Consuming BCAAs before a Tough Mudder, which has elements of strength and endurance, can prevent muscle damage and provide lasting energy.
CHANGE OF CLOTHES
Every Tough Mudder course is different but you’ll guaranteed to cross the finish line with mud in places you didn’t know existed. You don’t have to change immediately after crossing the finish line, after all walking filthily around Mudder Village is an essential component of a Tough Mudder day, but for the sake of the interior of the car or train you’re leaving in, you might want to change before you depart. There are rinse stations available and Old Spice will cover your shower, deodorant and hair product needs. You’re responsible for a second pair of socks, shoes, underwear, shorts/pants, shirt, jacket (in case it gets cold in the afternoon), and a towel. You can donate your old clothing or bring them home, which would travel best in a plastic bag.
Yes, your gloves will get wet and muddy too, but that doesn’t mean they’re completely useless. And they’ll be at 100% use until you reach muddy obstacles. Popular glove manufactures for tackling obstacles are Mechanix, Ironclad, and RockTape, and many people swear by football wide receiver gloves. This obstacle enthusiast has been wearing the same pair of old Reebok NFL Lineman gloves for about six different courses, including the 2015 Tough Mudder Tri-State. Without having tried wide receiver gloves, I see no reason not to experiment with lineman gloves since they have both grip and extra padding for grip-heavy obstacles like Balls to the Wall.
Between Los Angeles, Arizona, and Texas, things are sure to heat up this Tough Mudder season. To avoid a long-lasting farmer’s tan and/or annoying sunburn, pick a water-resistant sunscreen that stays on even when you sweat such as Neutrogena’s Cool Dry Sport, Banana Boat’s Sport Performance Stick.
Print, sign, and bring your waiver to the event so you save time having to get one upon arrival. Waivers are posted on the event page the week of the event. Also, print and bring your ticket and a valid photo ID, such as a driver’s license or passport.
Included in your registration is a finisher beer, T-Shirt and headband. You’ll need cash for parking if you drive, food, a second beer, cool Tough Mudder gear and any other transportation costs you may have.
Whether it’s using a foam roller, lacrosse ball, or massage stick, self myofascial release can only help you overcome obstacles. Trigger Point Therapy makes a 4-inch long foam roller, perfect for travel. Bring your roller, ball or massage bar into the festival area, find a spot with open space, and start improving blood circulation by targeting the glutes, hamstrings, quadriceps, calves, upper back, hip, and chest. Overall range of motion will increase by loosening up these muscles prior to the event which will help you reach higher with your arms and legs.
Sometimes you just need something in your system right before an endurance event like Tough Mudder. Almonds, walnuts, pecans, protein bars, and beef/chicken/turkey jerky are nutrient-dense snacks for munching on before you start warming up. Also, these snacks will come in handy post-Mudder when you’re about to leave for home or need some extra energy during the commute home.
Yes, we’re talking about last-minute texts, phone calls and e-mails to family, friends and co-workers to either come run the Tough Mudder with you or come watch as a spectator. Your main selling points are trying something new, challenging yourself, drinking beer and partying afterwards. Plus, the “what else are you going to be doing?” argument. The words Tough Mudder are almost infectious to people of all fitness levels: once someone plants the bug to another and they both agree, it’s hard to convince both of them NOT to follow through with their decision to try a Tough Mudder.
Put your mental grit to the test on a course this season. Check out the full lineup HERE.