In 2018 I ran my first World’s Toughest Mudder. I’d never run a 24 hour event and had no idea of what I was getting into, so like most people I pored over the internet looking for every World’s Toughest Mudder tip, trick, and piece of advice I could find. There was a lot of advice out there, some good and bad. So in an effort to help others I’m putting together a lost of tips that helped me place top 25 overall.
Below are my top World’s Toughest Mudder insider tips.
Preparation and Pre- Race Tips
Find a crew
A good crew can be the difference between having a good race and needing to visit the medical tent. Start asking friends early and make sure to treat them well. They will be keeping you alive during one of the longest nights of your life.
Get a good tent
We saw a lot of different set ups, some good and some barely standing. Making it worse, a storm hit the area Friday night between setup and race day blowing insecure tents into a near by pond. Lesson, get a good tent a make sure it staked down. I really recommend this pop-up canopy tent setup, work like a champ for 3+ people.
Bring Food for Your Crew, There may not be any at the Event
If the weather is like it was last year don’t expect there to be many, if any food options during main hours and most likely nothing overnight. Thankfully I’m an Atlanta native and my amazing GF brought my crew a hot pizza. So to keep your crew happy by making sure to ask them what they want, have a ton of extra snacks and maybe even pick up a pizza the night before to have for the race. Based on what my crew told me, people would have paid big $$$ for even a microwaved slice of Little Cesar’s. Hopefully this year there will be more options but better safe than sorry.
Watch the weather
Every venue presents a unique Wolds Toughest Mudder experience but Atlanta is another monster. It could be 70 degrees or snowing, be prepared for everything and watch the weather early.
Test all your gear (including your wet suite)
This may sound like a no brainier but with people picking up so much gear last minute I think this should be re-emphasized. Make sure to take a training run in your wet suite, don’t forget the lube… lots and lots of lube.
Test your nutrition
Make sure what you eat while training is what you eat while racing. My go to’s include Payday bars, peanut MM’s, Lays chips, Honey Stingers and those camping/backpacking meals for something hardy.
Bring Rain Boots for the Pit Area
If it rains at all the weeks before the race, expect a wet and muddy pit area for check-in through check-out. A pair of rubber rain boots for your and your crew will be much appreciated.
Bring a Wagon
It’s a long walk from parking to the pit area, especially if it’s muddy. We saw a lot of people with these little collapsible wagons with bog mud wheels and I really wish we would have had one. (link coming soon)
Bring Plastic Gloves for your Crew
They will be dealing with bodily fluids, rubbing lube, placing food directly into your mouth, and helping strip your naked body out of your wet suite after 24 of sweat, mud, urine and what ever else is on that water. The smell is indescribably awful. Do them a favor and get them gloves.
Blegg Mitts and Mechanic Gloves for the Win
Don’t overthink your grip, get some Blegg Mitts and a few packs of these cheap and effective mechanics gloves to wear under them. They’ll keep your hands warm and the mechanics gloves grip very well when wet.
Time on Feet is Just as Important as Miles
I credit part of my success to dedicating a lot of training time on feet. I spent hours standing. After a long training day I’d meet up with friends for a few beers. standing the entire time. Some days I’d just do chores all day in a 25# vest, spending 4-5 straight on my feet.
World’s Toughest Mudder Race day Tips
Going to the Bathroom
Go before you get into the starting coral and your next opportunity will be following the large group that veers off course as soon as you enter the first set of trees on the course. From there it’s a game of find a tree or port-a-potty until you put your wet suit on. Then get comfortable peeing on yourself while running, you’ll treasure the warmth. Oh, and never trust a fart.
The Water is Warm
The water on the course is much warmer than you would expect and I would take 30 second breaks there rather than out of the water in the freezing air.
Run/Walk at Your Own Pace
You’re going to meet a lot of people on course but if you find yourself talking to them for more than a few minutes it means you’re either slowing down or they are. Going at your own pace means having a lot of little conversations in passing.
Don’t Throw Yourself Into Obstacles
A 24 hour event is very different than your typical OCR where you know you only have to go a few hours and can throw your body into every obstacle. Every bump, bruise, twist, and awkward angel takes its effect on your body. To help delay the inevitable pain your body is going to feel, approach obstacles with a purpose being efficient with your movement. Mitigate risk. Slow is smooth, smooth is fast.
Slow Down on Lap 3
At this point all of the obstacles will be open and every racer will still be on the course. This will be the most congested lap of your race. So unless you have a elite bib expect to be waiting at some obstacles. Use this lap as a recover lap, move but tell yourself mentally to slow it down a bit and to be patient at any lines. Don’t waste too much energy fighting the crowds, save it for once the sun sets and the course is clear.
Tie Your Headlamp to Your Bib
More than a few people lost their headlamps, don’t be one of them. This will also save you from having to take it off and holding it on some of the full submersion obstacles. Instead attach your headlamp to your bib with a string and then just pull it down around your neck before going under water.