Thinking about running a Tough Mudder or Warrior Dash? I have now done both. :)

edited February 2012 in Barefoot(ish) Activities
I have noticed over the past several months that many forum members have run, or want to run in a Tough Mudder, or similar event. I recently came off the couch to run in the 2011 Colorado Tough Mudder. all told I spent 17 Months re-conditioning my body to accomplish this, and I'm quite proud of myself. With that said, I don't claim that this is the best or only way to prepare for an event like this. If you know something I don't, please contribute!

This post started as a response to another post from someone looking to pick up a pair of Vibrams for training and to eventually run in a Tough Mudder.  I was giving some perspective in the thread and somewhere in the middle of that I thought- I should post this as it's own topic so people can reference it, and hopefully ADD TO IT. Please add your ideas about training for an event like this.

My Tough Mudder training...

Here is what I did, and then I'll give you some ideas as to what I'm going to do to train for next year.

I literally came off the couch to run in this event- I hadn't run competitively since High school,  I'm 36 now, and smoked all through my 20's (dumb I know) so I had a long road of 18 years deconditioning  to overcome before the Mudder. Fortunately I was able to really focus in the final 4 months of preparation and got my conditioning in line with what was needed.

First- I went to a Sports Doctor and got a physical assessment. Tough Mudder is NOT a joke, and I wanted to be sure I was physically capable of making the run. Had the Doc nix'd the idea then I'd have been pissed, but I have a lot of things worth living for, so I'd have bowed out. In my case the Doc was pretty cool about the whole thing, and gave me a checklist to help me get started on my conditioning- VERY cool Sports Doc, I highly recommend finding one.

To get started I did a lot of roadwork. I was averaging about 12-15 miles a week by the time I was done. That doesn't sound like a lot- but it was more than adequate. The only way I have seen to really build up your VO2 Max is to train mileage. Considering my event was held at 8500- 11000 ft, I knew this would be a factor. I picked up Couch to 10k app for my iPhone and used that to get me started. I outpaced the program after about two weeks and then put it to bed, but it was a nice way to get myself going in my first attempts at training.

I have also been training Brazilian Jiu Jitsu for the last year and a half- this was my primary workout before training for the Mudder. The school sponsors training runs on the steps at Red Rocks Ampitheater- I wish I had done more of those. Stair and hill work would have been REALLY beneficial. i'll be training those every chance i get before next years run.

Here is another thing i did- I used my Facebook page to raise money for Wounded Warrior Project- Tough Mudder gives you a donation page when you register. You don't HAVE to raise money to run in the Mudder, but I still managed to raise over $1000.00 for our wounded Veterans. This served an additional purpose as it also kept me accountable, and motivated in my training. Most folks gave $20.00 but a few of my close friends dropped over $100 each towards the cause- Money is hard earned. NO WAY was I going to fail them by not training to complete the event!

In the final 4 months I increased the intensity- I started rolling 3 and 4 times a week at the BJJ school. I also started building upper body into my cardio- we have treadmills in the basement at work so I'd go down there during the day and run a mile, then hit the weights for a moderately heavy set, then run a mile, then hit the weights again- this was useful training for the climbing obstacles.

I started using a volumetric exerciser to increase my lung capacity- the thing was cheap- bought it on Amazon for $12. I can now easily pull the max while maintaining the "best" flow rate. It's a cool thing.

I put myself on a diet starting in March. I am 6'1, and I was 202lbs when i started. I went online at and ordered myself a Bodybugg armband like the ones they use for "The Biggest Loser". I set myself a program for nutritional content- 60% protein, 25% carbs, 15% fat and then planned my eating habits around that, and a calorie ceiling of 1700 per day. My intended burn was 2700 calories a day for a 1000 calorie deficit. I was really focused on this, and totally quit fast food wuith the exception of Subway but still I only averaged 45% protein, 25% carbs and 30% fat month over month- it is REALLY HARD to get good, lean food and still be a meat eater, but i digress...
It still paid off. At the time I started the Mudder I weighed in at 176lbs. 26lbs lighter is actually a LOT lighter especially when you are hauling yourself over the 12ft Berlin walls- all 6 of which I assaulted without assistance. I intend to maintain my "walking around" weight at 180lbs- I feel great at this weight- more confident, and it actually shows on my face. I look like I did in my mid 20's (if you're not looking at my grey hair) I feel MUCH better than I did as a couch potato.

I ran a 5k "Tune Up" event called BeachPalooza early in June to see where I stood as far as conditioning. I ran the event in my Vibram KSOs. I had a blast, but 5k wasn't really all that challenging. There was very little elevation change, and if I'm being honest- the "obstacles" were a joke next to the ones encountered during Tough Mudder- still it was a good way to work on my pacing running in a crowd. I'll be running the 5k Warrior Dash in the Rockies @ Copper Mountain in August which is promoted by the same company as BeachPalooza- my expectations of comparative challenge are not incredibly high, but my wife is running with me, so it ought to be fun.

I Finished The Colorado Tough Mudder in 2hrs and 40mins- 10miles, I averaged a 16 minute mile- which to my old HS Cross Country standards... Sucks- HOWEVER, considering the terrain with it's monster climbs, and waiting for others to clear the obstacles, and then clearing the obstacles myself I'm going to say my performance was a little better than average. I'll be training harder for next time, definitely working on my downhill as I lost a LOT of time I could have made up on those sections.

Ok, so what would I have done differently?

1. I'd have climbed some trees. Not kidding. Tree climbing would train a lot of the dexterity and skills you need in the Tough Mudder.
2. HILL WORK!!! Dear God I'd have hit hills every chance I got- both up, and more importantly DOWN! My form was so piss poor in the downhills that I had to slow up or risk injuring my knees since I was basically heel striking in my Vibrams (REALLY BAD)
3. grip exerciser- you can find them at REI in the rock climbing section- monkey bars are a very grip intense exercise. Wish I'd have trained for them better. I am thinking of building some "training obstacles" in my back yard- adult sized wooden monkey bars will be part of this.

Some advice for people who intend to run a Tough Mudder

Dress the Part- for the Mudder I wore the following
1. a long sleeve rash guard shirt- this saved my elbows in the crawling obstacles, it dried out quickly after the water obstacles, and basically felt like a second skin- this was an extremely good idea.
2. 3/4 length Solomon running pants- my buddies made fun of me for wearing "capri pants" i had the last laugh when my knees weren't all busted up and snow rashed
3. northface running shorts- I'm too modest to be displaying my package in the running tights alone.
4. very basic, no frills Camelback- carry your own water! There are water stations, but they are few and far between. I took pulls from my Camelback several times during the run. You want to have water when you need it. Also, you want a very basic pack since when you get immersed in water the more elaborate camelback models may fill with water, and ice cubes (we had an obstacle that was just a vat of food colored water and ice cubes).
5. swimming goggles- these were pointless. the water is so murky you couldn't see your hand in front of your face anyway. Just extra weight, I wouldn't carry again.
6. Fingerless cycling gloves- these were great for every obstacle until i hit the monkey bars- i fell right off. This could also be due to weakness in my grip, but the gloves weren't a help there. Advice- wear gloves- take them off and pocket them for the monkey bars.
7. (most important for this forum) Vibram 5 Finger Shoes- I'm torn on this. I wore my Komodo Sports-  the Vibrams were GREAT for the climbing portions, great on the trail running portion, great on the obstacles, but man did i suffer in those downhills. This is my fault for poor form, and lack of training but still... I'm not sure I'll run in Vibrams next time- and that is VERY hard for me to say since I love them so much. I will definitely train my downhill form in them, and see if i can't improve it to a point where I am more capable in them.

Other useful info
1. They are going to write your race number on you with permanent marker. They want to write it on your forehead- BUT you can have them write it on your neck instead! I opted for this, and as a result I was one of the few Mudders at the bar that night that didn't look like I had come from the worlds sloppiest Ash Wednesday service.
2. the Dos Equis Facebook updates are pointless- don't stand in that line. per discussions at the bar afterwards it didn't work for half the people who signed up for it. It worked for me, but I only got 3 so/so puictures posted to my page, all of which were on the Super G (possibly the lamest obstacle on the course) and there were 2 posts on my wall that were generic- my friends were going to try and use those to guess where i would be next so they could try to get there for pictures, but it was a wild goose chase. All my photos from the event are at the start, and just before the finish.
3. per the above- if you want pictures taken during the middle portions of the race, you need to have your people in place before the start- they can easily get around the course and eventually down to the finish line before you using the resort chairlifts, gondolas ect.
4. Wear your number on your chest- they use this for the professional photographs. Also- take some time after the pro photos are posted and browse ALL the pictures- this is how I found my avatar pic. My number was covered so they didn't send it to me, but I found it anyway.
5. Don't believe the distance they publish for the course- Tough Mudder advertised the Beaver Creek Course as 9 miles (approx) I hit mile marker 9 and still had the 6 obstacles to go! (super G, slip-n-slide, snow slide, monkey bars, Everest, and electroshock) I'd estimate it was closer to 10 miles maybe a bit over- that last mile was all downhill though, maybe they think that doesn't count LoL.


Here are my pics- posted elsewhere on the forum, but gathered here as well...

This is me, with my friend Kristie before the start. Kristie was the person who told me about Tough Mudder last year. She was telling us about this event she wanted to run and I think she was half expecting my wife and I to think she was crazy- instead we said "I'll do that with you" LoL. My wife didn't make the run because she failed to meet some fitness milestones she had put forth, but she is well on her way for next year and has committed to Warrior Dash in August as well as a few other 5k events.

This is a pic that was meant to be posted on a friends Facebook wall- Bill Caswell is an inspiration to me. His efforts are automotive related, but basically he races an old BMW in World Rally, and hillclimb races all over the continent. The story of how he built a $500 BMW he bought on Craigslist into a racecar, and then raced it against $250,000 purpose built race cars to 3rd place in a World Rally Championship in Mexico has been optioned by Jeremy Renner (The Hurt Locker) and picked up by Paramount to be made into a motion picture- currently the working title is "Slingshot". Bills moto? Build. Race. Party! I adapted it for Tough Mudder Train. Race. Party!
So here is what i posted on Bill's FB page- that is his sticker on my Camelback.

Here i am at the bottom of the start

Coming off the Super G- notice my short stride? Poor downhill form FTL...

running down what was supposed to be a slip-n-slide. The material my shorts were made of didn't allow me to slide on the surface- so I ran down instead. i like this pic as it looks like the TM Logo but with water behind me instead of fire...

Running away after the slides- much better stride here. Ran well on more level ground...

approaching Electroshock- it stunned me (no pun intended) how many people came full stop in front of the obstacle- YOU COULD SEE THE FINISH LINE!

The birth of an avatar... I chose to hit the Electroshock at full speed- i got zapped about 3 times as i went through. My friend kristie got knocked out- seriously, she went out and fell face first into the hay bale i am vaulting here. The pictures of her getting back up are EPIC! I'll see if it's cool to post them here.

Kristie and I at the finish- Headbands earned, and in place!

GOOD TIMES! Seriously, if you are thinking about it- DO IT. It was awesome. I'm all pumped up again just remembering it.




  • Wow!! That is so cool!!! Like seriously. I saw this one and the warrior Spartan race and now I'm stoked and totally want to do it if it ever rolls by close to home.

    What were some of the courses like? Like what were you doing in the colored ice water, etc?

    Jeez. You might have just sold me right here! :)
  • Great post!  Thanks for the info and congrats on your achievement! Repped!  ;D
  • Thanks! I have been a "dreamer" for a very long time, it is just during these last few years that I have become a "doer" if you can understand that.

    For info on the obstacles my best advice is to google Tough Mudder (I'd post a link but I'm posting from my phone) on the Tough Mudder page you can watch videos from the different events. This is what I did prior to running to set my expectations and determine how to train, and what gear I needed. I just looked at what other people wore and theorized from there.

    I'll say NOTHING prepared me for the plunge into 32 degree water during swamp stomp, underwater tunnels and the chernoble jacuzzi (the food dyed obstacle you asked about). Everything else was practical- wall climbing, cargo net climbing, crawling through those irrigation tubes, and through the mud ect.

    Good fun!

    If this post inspired you then I am really pleased! I hope you enjoy it as much as I did and will again in the future.

  • Great post. Thank you
  • OK, so i finished my Warrior Dash (Rockies) yesterday and i have some notes as a comparative / contrast of the events.

    Differences- I chose to run Warrior Dash in traditional running shoes. This was a decision based on the misery I experienced running downhill in Tough Mudder. I wanted to see how the other half lives so that I could make an informed choice for Tough Mudder 2012. Unfortunately, I am left with a total mix of emotions over the choice. The benefits of VFF were glaringly obvious in some portions of the race, while my feelings about downhill running were also verified.
    The answer I have arrived at is that I am more confused than ever. I am running the Rugged Maniac 5k in Oct. and I have an idea that I might try. More on this later, but let me emphatically state that I LOVE my VFFs, and missed them during this event.

    As for the rest of my kit for this race I went with a more loose fitting arrangement than I did in TM. I wore Northface running shorts, which I like because they are longer in length like the basketball shorts I like to work out in, but they also have a built in compression liner under the loose "short". I chose a loose fitting Nike dri-fit shirt for my upper body. The whole kit was a mistake and I'll get to the why of that during the race description. Long and Short of it (pun intended) is that you don't want loose fitting clothes for these races. I'll carry that with me into the future.

    Warrior Dash is a 5k as compared to the near 10miles of the TM. There were fewer obstacles, BUT they are closer together, and the obstacles in Warrior Dash were either comparable, or in some cases more difficult than those in TM. Regardless- WD is no joke, and I felt challenged. I'll definitely do WD again next year- I had a lot of fun.

    We started with a stretch of pavement running, then transitioned to trail. The first obstacle was to run through some old tires that were hung from overhead at various heights- not hard when they were stagnant, but once they were swinging it was tough enough to fend them off, and I got some nice bashes in. Then there was a short climb up a ladder board, then more trail leading up to the over/under obstacle- I think they were 4 foot walls to go over, then some wood fences to duck under- i think there were 4-5 set of these in the series. I vaulted the walls, then hung onto the bottom rung and swung myself under the fences. this was followed by some more trail running where we passed through the area where the crowd was observing. I saw my Mom and my Daughter as I ran past. then there was the gratuitous mud pit- it was basically a pool filled with a heavy slurry of clay based mud- there is barbed wire strung over it and you need to belly crawl the stay under that. This is where I really started to pay the price on my footwear choice. when I came out of the slurry I was wearing this heavy heavy clay mud all over my body. At this point i realized my error in wearing loose clothes, and also my traditional running shoes felt like cinderblocks.

    After the mud crawl was about a football fields worth of heavy wet clay that had deep foot impressions and was hard to "run" through- most people opted to walk here and try to shed some of the heavy mud from the mud crawl. It was hard to dodge the crowd of walkers here. We then came into a spiderweb of bungie cords stretched over the trail. Id say it was about 30 ft to get through the web, and it was made more difficult to step over or climb under because other people were also doing this and the stretchy cords were whacking others in the face, or tripping you as you negotiated the way through. After this we hit the hill climb section which always sucks, even more so in Colorado altitude. first we entered a low tent where you crawl over dirt piles while inside a low building- I did this in a low crouch. Once out the other side there was a spirit breakingly long climb up hill to reach the next obstacle- a balance beam sort of thing- then you turn the corner to the downhill and run back down the hill just climbed- running shoes did well here. The first obstacle near the bottom of the hill was a cargo net stretched over span on a wooden frame. I traversed this on my hands and feet. The next obstacle was a steep angle wall climb. one side had ladder boards nailed to it, and once you wet over the top the other side  was a ladder down. Then a cargo net climb which I think was done better than TM. The cargo net was on a large wood frame about 30ft tall (guestimate) climb up and over the top of the frame then climb down the other side. Had the frame been rocking in an ocean I imagine it would have felt the same as it did for my Grandfather when they climbed into the landing boats during the invasion at Leyte. Next obstacle was a rope assisted climb up a steep angle, then climb down the opposite side with the twist of the last 10 ft being a shear drop- they replaced the ladder with sheet wood so you slid down it. Then we were in the final 1k- there was a guy hosing us off as we ran the paved trail toward the finish (I assume to uncover our numbers for the photographer), At that point I kicked into my passing gear and started my finish line charge, leaving the group I had run with for most of the challenge behind. I came around the corner into the home stretch and there were 2 fire lines to hurdle before making the last turn to come down the chute to the finish.



    Things I'd do differently- I'd have worn a skin tight rash guard, and compression shorts instead of the loose fitting kit I wore- skin tight clothing is a must when you are diving into the mud. Having loose fitting clothes laden with mud hanging off my body totally sucked, and definitely slowed me down. I think if you are going to get that muddy, you want to be as close to naked as possible, so a skin tight kit is the way. Since this is also a "costume" type event- a wrestling singlet might have been a good yet still functional costume type arrangement.


    I think for a race of this length I should have gone with my VFFs. Sure, in the downhill the running shoes had an advantage, but that was only like 1k out of the 5. The payoffs from the VFFs over the other terrains would have easily made up for the lost time in descent. Also, I need to work on my downhill form- that would help too.

    The whole race went by pretty quickly. There were no mile markers at all on the course, so I went by my gut to figure when to kick for the finish. As mentioned above the course was challenging even though much shorter than TM. I had a great time, and definitely think it is worth doing again. This is also a great intro to mud-running for those of you who might be on the fence.

    Next up is Rugged Maniac in October. It's another 5k, but this time at the lower altitude of the front range instead of in the mountains. I'll be running in my Komodos and I'm gonna try something different in training- I'll be Gel'in. Lets just see how that goes.

  • on 1314030550:

    OK, so i finished my Warrior Dash (Rockies) yesterday and i have some notes as a comparative / contrast of the events. . . . .


    I completed the Rockies Warrior Dash last weekend as well (I missed Tough Mudder because, due to an injury set-back, my mileage wasn't where I wanted it to be).  Phil's description is pretty much spot-on.  I just wanted add and emphasize a few things.  First of all, for clothing, I would say that cotton clothing in general is a no-no.  I was debating whether to go shirt-less or not, and I settled on wearing a tight cotton tank-top.  I'm not sure what I was thinking.  Shirt-less would have been better.  All the tight-ness of my tank-top disappeared after I went through the mud.  The cotton soaked up it's weight and then some in mud, and I felt like I was wearing weight vest for the rest of the course.  If I'd had my druthers at the time, I would have taken my number off, put it in my pocket, and thrown my shirt to the side.  For shorts I wore a short swim suit (not a speedo, but running- shorts short), and that turned out to be perfect.

    A few other problems I ran into -

    About the "low-tent" obstacle that Phil described... I believe they call it "Blackout".  It IS basically a low, long tent that's dark inside.  I dove into this one and started crawling assuming that the ground was going to be covered.  Big mistake.  I quickly realized that I was crawling over a rocky surface and (with some difficulty because I'm 6'4') crab-crawled the rest of the way.  But it was too late to escape injury.  It turned my lower legs to hamburger.  

    I wore bicycling gloves (at the recommendation of my brother, who had run Tough Mudder), and they turned out to be mostly unnecessary. I guess they were nice to have for the ground-crawling in "Blackout", but other than that, they just made the rope obstacles more slippery (especially that "rope-assisted climb at a steep angle" one).  Doing it again, I would have pocketed the gloves after "Blackout."

    A horrible thing happened to me in the mud ... As I was exiting, I suddenly found myself blind in my right eye.  From what I could tell, a drop of mud most have flown up and landed on my contact lens, right over my pupil.  It wasn't terribly uncomfortable, but I couldn't see.  Normally I could have taken care of something like that by sticking my finger in there and moving the lens around, but my hands were covered in mud.  So there I was running through that quarter mile or so of uphill slop that came after the mud pit, blind in one eye, blinking like crazy ... then I got to that damn "rubber bands across the trail" obstacle.  That was a REAL challenge with no depth perception.  I was not having fun.  I started thinking that I might have to quit because I couldn't see.  What a lame reason that would have been to not finish: mud in the eye.  Then suddenly, I blinked a hard blink and I could see again.  The obstruction was gone!  Rejuvenated, I killed the rest of the course.

    Shoes -

    I wore my KSO Treks.  They performed as fantastically well as I had expected ... until they got wet.  That kangaroo leather stretched like a mofo.  I felt like I was wearing shoes a size or two too big.  Trek Flows would have been nice.  Also, the pinky-toe pocket on my left foot filled up with mud somehow, so I had to jam my pinky toe in with forth toe.  Thankfully the stretching of the leather made this possible, but it was a bit uncomfortable.  

    Mud in my eye:

    Fire jumpin':
  • Hey Peter- did you run in the Sunday 3:30 wave? I'm curious because...


    I think- based on the people around me during the race (the girl in the pink there) that it might be me the red arrow in the background is pointed to.
  • WAY awesome!!  Congratulations you guys!!  That looked like so much FUN! Now I want to do it for sure!

  • on 1314304119:

    Hey Peter- did you run in the Sunday 3:30 wave? I'm curious because...

    I think- based on the people around me during the race (the girl in the pink there) that it might be me the red arrow in the background is pointed to.

    Yes!  The Groupon wave!  (did you use a Groupon to register?) 3:30 Sunday. What are the odds?
  • Enjoyed reading your posts. I was just wondering, did your kso treks return to normal size after they were washed and dried?
  • on 1314315677:

    Enjoyed reading your posts. I was just wondering, did your kso treks return to normal size after they were washed and dried?

    Yeah, they're back to normal.  I've washed them before and they haven't stretched out, so I wasn't really worried about it being a permanent problem. In fact, examining them now, I'm not sure that I can blame the kangaroo leather for the stretching.  It may have been the KSO-type fabric between the panels of leather around the mid-foot and the heel that was stretching.  Next time I wash them I'll have to do a closer inspection while they're wet.

    The stretching-out problem wasn't helped, by the way, by the KSO Trek's leather insole.  It gets slippery, making the loose-shoe problem even worse.  KSO Treks were obviously not designed to be worn wet. 
  • Peter and Phil, thanks for the information! I'm doing the Tough Mudder this October. I have KSOs that now have paper-thin soles, Treks, Komodos, and Flows. From what Peter says about the Treks, they may not be the best shoe for the Tough Mudder due to the slipperiness inside and how it stretches out when wet. The Komodo insole would probably slide around too. Should I use the Flows, or am I risking a bad fall due to the lack of traction on the bottoms?

    My alternative would be lightweight trail running shoes (not minimalist).
  • I'm 6'1 and NOT in shape and ran WD at around 260-265 and did very well in flows. It would help if I would have run more than 6 feet before running 5k, but I did fine. I cannot believe I was not sore after.
  • on 1314311781:

    on 1314304119:

    Hey Peter- did you run in the Sunday 3:30 wave? I'm curious because...

    I think- based on the people around me during the race (the girl in the pink there) that it might be me the red arrow in the background is pointed to.

    Yes!  The Groupon wave!  (did you use a Groupon to register?) 3:30 Sunday. What are the odds?

    Thats it! LoL I think I recall you running past me on the first paved section. I remember because I saw your Treks (I tend to try and identify shoes on other VFF runners) and thought immediately to myself that I was making a huge mistake to be running in traditional shoes.

    I missed my Komodos, and won't be making that mistake again.


  • on 1314360722:

    Peter and Phil, thanks for the information! I'm doing the Tough Mudder this October. I have KSOs that now have paper-thin soles, Treks, Komodos, and Flows. From what Peter says about the Treks, they may not be the best shoe for the Tough Mudder due to the slipperiness inside and how it stretches out when wet. The Komodo insole would probably slide around too. Should I use the Flows, or am I risking a bad fall due to the lack of traction on the bottoms?

    My alternative would be lightweight trail running shoes (not minimalist).

    I ran my Komodos in Tough Mudder and they performed superbly. They offered plenty of useable traction on the slick surfaces, swam well, and shed caked on mud quickly, They were great on the obstacles. As mentioned above, I did not do well in the downhills but that was a result of poor form, and not the fault of the shoes. I'll be downhilling quite a bit in my Komodos before TM 2012, but I DO intend to run them (or another similar pair) again.

    Having run Warrior Dash in the Adidas I can now speak intelligently about the differences, and I will say VFFs have the numerical advantage in a pros & cons comparison.

  • Phil, thanks for the reply. I was surprised they were perfect for you because whenever I leave Crossfit after working up a good sweat, my foot slides around in my Komodos - the insole actually moves from side to side a bit. I take it you didn't have that problem at all?
  • on 1314387683:

    Phil, thanks for the reply. I was surprised they were perfect for you because whenever I leave Crossfit after working up a good sweat, my foot slides around in my Komodos - the insole actually moves from side to side a bit. I take it you didn't have that problem at all?

    I tend to run the strap that goes over the top of my foot pretty tight, for the Mudder I also tightened the stabilizers in the heel, and did not experience any shifting what-so-ever.

    This may be an issue with the differences in foot shape ect.- for instance, my Komodos fit pretty snug even before tightening anything- if you have really narrow feet, or wide feet it might be different for you
  • I'm running the "Rugged Maniac" 5K tomorrow. I'm going to run my Komodos again and see how it goes. I predict good things.

    Also registering for Tough Mudder TX Coast on Jan 28th 2012 @ 11am. a friend of mine and I are flying down from Denver to run it. Anyone interested in grouping up let me know. Always good to have a pack to run in- and some people to drink a beer with after.

    Amassing a team for Tough Mudder CO 2012- thus far we are 5, need to get to 7 to hit the group discount. Hit me up here if you are interested in joining us, and I'll pass you our team info

  • Let us know how the Komodos perform! I decided to go with Treksports for the Tough Mudder this Saturday.

    Also - the Komodos usually let some stuff in around the heels - they're not KSO's after all. Are you wearing them with or without toe socks?
  • I am tempted to train for one of these. 
  • Rugged Maniac was a lot more challenging than Warrior Dash was- it was held on a Motocross track- which is cool because it is spectator friendly, and it was challenging because of the amount of elevation change- we started uphill (a first for me in these events) and then a long fairly steep ascent to the top of the course, and then basically repeated similar ascents 3.5 times during the 5k- they were STEEP ascents, and descents- very challenging due to the course material- mostly clay. It was hard to get traction on when it was dry and harder to get traction on when it was muddy. The Obstacles were pretty typical- some higher walls (probably 7-8ft) a cargo net climb with a drop into a track and field type "pit" pad, a slog through some nasty deep clay mud, a few ladder climbs, 2 low crawls under barbed wire, a rock-hop, and another walk across loose stumps. There was also a Mr. Myagi sort of pier jump- logs about 10-12 inches across driven into the ground to create piers about 3 ft tall. Each pier was about 3-4 ft apart so you had to jump from one pier to the next. there were about 5 jumps, and it was challenging. The whole thing ended with a climb up to a 15ft platform, and then a steep slip-n-slide into a nice cold pool- once in the pool, there were floating over/unders to deal with, a rope assisted climb out and then a run up (yes up) to the finish line.

    My downhill form is MUCH improved since the Mudder. I kept my weight forward, and was really trucking downhill this time- I passed a lot of people in the downhills so that each descent was basically a slalom around slower runners. My knees still feel great, so I must have been "doing it right".

    The Komodos did well enough in the climbs thanks to the flexibility of my feet. also, the muddy climbs had rope assists available so I benefited from that. I did have to scramble for traction a few times on the steep climbs where the clay was packed down really hard. A woman slid down past me on one of these, I stopped to offer assistance and found myself sliding down past her... LoL, I learned after that to go to the outside edges of the track on the climbs- material was looser out there and easier to get traction on.

    When I got into the deep clay mud I ran into my first issue with the Komodos- getting through was fine, but running away afterwards the support around my ankles vanished due to that area filling with mud. To my surprise the heel cups became very sloppy just as Barefeet has described above (so I stand corrected  ;) ). I was really surprised by this because i didn't experience anything like that during Tough Mudder- It was a real issue though, and it made me a little uncomfortable- especially when they started to dry out and the grittyness of the material started to grate against the skin around my ankles, and heels. I don't think trek Sports would be much better- what you really need is an adjustment around the ankle to cinch closed in order to KSO- something like what the classics have would do nicely.

    I went back to the same clothing style I wore for TM, and that was a good move- no wardrobe malfunctions to deal with, so that was nice. We didn't get many pics this time, but I'll post whatever I get from the event.

    In summary- Rugged Maniac was challenging. The production value was a bit lower than other events I have run in, but all in all it was a good event, and I'll probably run it again since i have heard these things tend to get better each year as the organizers learn and become creative from their experience.

    For this race I finished 10min faster than average and finished in the upper 3rd of the field. Not terrible, but I don't run these things for time.

    Next up is another Tough Mudder! This time we are headed down to Edna TX on Jan 28th. They are advertising an 11 mile course with 25 obstacles to tackle. Should be a good time!

  • Thanks for the update on the Rugged Maniac! I'm still undecided about whether to add injinjis to my Treksports this Saturday, if only to make them just a bit tighter. I know I'd regret it if they just trapped the mud and grit, though.

    OTP question: I wear contacts. If water gets into my eyes, my contacts WILL pop out and I'll be blind as a bat. I see some people say yes, go for swim goggles on the water obstacles and others say no. Your thoughts?
  • on 1318956916:

    OTP question: I wear contacts. If water gets into my eyes, my contacts WILL pop out and I'll be blind as a bat. I see some people say yes, go for swim goggles on the water obstacles and others say no. Your thoughts?

    Thats a good question. For my first Tough Mudder I wore swim goggles- they were around my neck the whole time. I put them on for the underwater tunnels, but I couldn't see anything anyway so I figured it was a waste.

    But then I don't wear contacts- for your needs I'd say take them, it just seems like a good idea.

  • Rugged Maniac Pics...


    Cause I gotta be formal, but I still like to party...


  • Hi everyone.

    I'm doing the IN tough mudder on Sat.  What vff's do you recomend?  KSO's or Flows?  (or... regular running shoes?)

    I'm leaning towards the Flows but they're a bit tight on my feet, and for 11 miles...?

    I'm all set with everything else...


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