My Last Meal

Well, the time has come. The Tough Mudder is less than 24 hours from now. With that in mind, I’ve been a little more careful about what I’m eating and drinking today. I’m trying to take in a lot of carbohydrates and water. Hopefully, that will give me energy and keep me hydrated while on the mountain.
On top of that, I also picked out some clothes for tomorrow. I’m thinking cotton is a no-no, since things are going to be wet up there, obviously. It’s also probably going to be pretty cold, too. So I tried to find some light-weight, water resistant clothing that wasn’t too expensive (so it wouldn’t be a big deal if its gets ruined in the muck and mud). Just go to your local sporting goods store and find the clearance rack. You’re bound to find something.

This is most likely my last post before I run. If you’re going tomorrow too, best of luck!

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No more training!

To quote one of my favorite songs from the 1980s, it’s the final countdown! I did my last long run yesterday (going the full seven miles), and I felt really good afterward, so I’m taking that as a good sign for Saturday. Typically, it’s good to taper off training a few days before a big event, so today and tomorrow will just entail light runs. No more training! Soon the fun will begin.

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Sunday is still open

I’ve been told by the Tough Mudder people that Sunday registration is still open, and you can even register the day of the event if you want to. As far as I know, it’s $75 for Sunday, which is half the price of what it cost most people to race on Saturday.
Also, I hear that spectator tickets are going fast, and there probably won’t be any available by Saturday. So if you’re planning on being a spectator, get your ticket in advance.

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One more day to register

Still on the fence about doing the Tough Mudder? Well, you better act fast. The race for Saturday, Oct. 9, has been sold out since Sept. 13 (3,500 people), but there are still a few spots left for Sunday, Oct. 10. However, registration closes tomorrow (I incorrectly said you could register on race day in a previous post), so you better get off that fence quickly, otherwise you won’t be able to climb over some next week.
In other news, I heard about another similar event that is taking place this weekend in Bakersfield. During a training session at Grupe Park, I ran into a couple people who were preparing for the Volkslauf. It is sponsored by the U.S. Marine Corp and looks to be very similar to the Tough Mudder, although it’s not at elevation. Registration for that event (takes place tomorrow) is also closed, so if you were looking for a tuneup you’ll have to go elsewhere.

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It’s got to be the shoes

One thing that was brought to my attention recently was that running shoes might not cut it for the Tough Mudder. Participants are going to be running across varied terrain, sometimes at steep inclines, and running shoes aren’t designed for that kind of activity. Furthermore, do you really want to ruin a nice pair of running shoes by traipsing through mud, fire and the like?
What I ended up doing was buying a cheap pair of hiking/trail running shoes from Big 5. The tread on the bottom will make it more than effective, and at $19.99 it’s not a big loss if they get ruined.
An important thing to remember is to break in the shoes before the day of the event. Running more than seven miles in brand new shoes could wreak havoc on your feet. I’ve been training the past few days with my new footwear. They are as light as my running shoes, so it has taken some getting used to. But I hope it pays off by giving me more grip and traction at Bear Valley.

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Registration information

For those of you who are still considering doing the Tough Mudder but have yet to sign up, I have some good news: You can register the day of the event (Oct. 9 or Oct. 10).
This info comes direct from Tough Mudder: “Participant registration will be open on both days at 8:00 am. Please allow 45 minutes to register.
All participants must bring a valid I.D to registration and will be required to sign and initial a liability waiver.”
The first wave of participants takes off at 10 a.m., and there will be 11 different waves of up to 350 participants apiece. The last group takes off at 12:45 p.m. (same each day). The post party begins at 12:05 p.m. (band starts playing at 12:30) and goes until 5 p.m.

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Time off

Sometimes taking time off from training is unavoidable, and that’s how it was for me when I went on vacation this past week on a trip I had scheduled long before I started preparing for the Tough Mudder. While it’s not ideal, taking time off can give your body time to recover and recuperate, and in some instances you can return better than before. I have yet to resume my training since I only got back yesterday, but with a little more than two weeks to go before my day in the mud, I’m interested to see how I feel my first time back out there, which should be Friday or Saturday.

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The beat goes on

It wouldn’t be a good idea to take your iPod with you when you’re competing in the Tough Mudder, but it might not be a bad idea to use it while training. Studies have shown that listening to fast-paced music while working out improves the workout by up to 10 percent, without the person even realizing he or she is trying harder. Conversely, if you’re listening to slow-paced music, it will slow you down, so make sure you pick your workout mix carefully.

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The first step is the hardest

Before I go into any of the training I’m doing to prepare for the Tough Mudder race, let me first say that I’m no fitness expert, nor have I consulted with one as of yet. I’m just going by common sense, which usually goes a long way in these types of things.
As I write this, the Tough Mudder race in Bear Valley is about 42 days, 19 hours away (or 43, 19 if you are planning on doing it the second day). That’s really not a whole lot of time to get in shape if you’re starting from scratch. Luckily for me, I’m not. I have been running about four times a week for more than five years (about three miles per run), but I increased my training about a month and a half ago to prepare for my day in the mud.
Instead of just running on flat surfaces, I sought out stairs or steep inclines so I’d be adjusted to running uphill during the event (which has an elevation change of nearly 2,000 feet over the seven miles). Granted, Stockton is not the best place necessarily for steep hills or stairs, but if you look hard enough, you’ll find something that will work.
A great way to get started is interval training, which alternates high bursts of energy with periods of rest. So, if you’re doing stairs or inclines, sprint to the top, then walk back down and rest before you do it again. This type of training has been shown to be more effective in building endurance than extensive running without any rest.
Depending on your fitness level, you may only be able to do a small amount of repetitions to start, but over time you’ll definitely notice a change. It’s a great way to get in shape, even if you don’t think you’re ready for Tough Mudder.

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Welcome to the Mud Blog!

Welcome to the Mud Blog, which will chronicle my training for the Tough Mudder race at Bear Valley on Oct. 9. Before I get into my training specifics, I wanted to mention another similar type of event that will be coming to our area in the near future. The Down And Dirty Mud Run will be holding 5K and 10K races on Oct. 31 in the Sacramento area. More info can be found at It doesn’t sound as intense as Tough Mudder, but that might be a good thing for some people.

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