Wednesday, November 23, 2011

My Indiana Tough Mudder Gear


When I was training for the Indiana Tough Mudder, I found it really helpful to go to the blogs of people who had did one previously and learn about their experience and what type of stuff they wore the day of the race.  So, thought I'd do the same and hopefully it will be helpful for someone out there getting ready for one of the best experiences they could ever have ... a Tough Mudder.

The Indiana Mudder was cold.  I don't have quite the physique to run shirtless (without causing someone around me to throw up in their mouths) haha ... so I was looking for some cold weather gear.  The UnderArmour Cold Weather Leggings were a huge help for me.  They kept me warm, kept my legs from getting really scracthed up, and honestly were just really comfortable to wear.


The UnderArmour Cold Gear Compression Mock was a great shirt for me also.  I had never owned a compression shirt before and, not only did it keep me very warm during the race, but it was very comfortable.  I could barely tell that I was wearing it.  I also wore one of my running shirts over top of it.  


You never know what to expect from a November in Indiana.  I was anticipating the temperature to be very cold.  When we started the race, it was in the 30's, but warmed up as our time went on.  But, the wind was very chilly and, combine that with all of the water obstacles ... I definitely wanted to be warm.  So, I also decided to buy an Under Armour Cold Gear Hood.  It was really helpful and dried out quickly after the water obstacles.  When I got hot (which was only the first mile of the Mudder because we hadn't been in the water yet) I just pulled it down.  Once we started getting wet, I pulled it back over my head and kept it there the rest of the race.  


Gloves were a concern for me.  I was diagnosed with cancer in 2007 and went through 7 months of chemotherapy treatments.  Ever since that time, my hands and feet have been very sensitive to the cold (one of the gifts of chemo that keeps on giving).  So, I wanted a glove that I was confident would keep my hands warm, but also one that would allow me to have full use of my hands and fingers.  I settled for the UnderArmour Cold Gear Liner Gloves.  My hands only got cold after being fully submerged in the water.  But, the gloves dried out quickly.  That combined with simply the desire to keep moving, kept my hands and fingers fairly warm.  The grip of the glove was adequate.  Not great.  Not awful.  My only real complaint with the gloves is that is was hard to get the mud off of them.  Really, the only thing that would remove the mud was when I'd get in the water.  I liked the purchase, but would consider using another glove for future Mudders.


Part of my training for the Mudder involved running through a retention pond on our church's property and also running through a creek at a local spillway.  Most of the times it was done early in the morning and was very cold.  At first, I only had running socks and I noticed that my feet would get really, really cold after being in the water and that the socks didn't wick the water away as much as I had hoped.  A friend of mine then suggested wool socks.  So, I got a pair of those and was really pleased with how they worked.  The only time my feet got cold during the Mudder was when we did a part called the Frozen Forrest.  We were literally in waist deep water for 15 to 20 minutes.  By the end of that I was pretty cold.  But, overall, the wool socks were awesome.  I purchased the Pearl Izumi Infinity Trail Sock


A few other things that I found helpful ... Body Glide Anti Chaffing, Band-aids (sounds gross, but on the nipples), and a pair of ear plugs.  Much of the heat that is lost from the body is lost through the ears.  So, I just wore a pair of ear plugs throughout the race.  My shoes were simply a pair of road running shoes that I had worn for my marathon last year.  I had debated on whether or not to buy a pair of trail shoes, but decided against it ... honestly because I didn't have the extra $80 to $100 to get them.  But, next time I think I would invest in a good pair of trail shoes.

Overall, I was very happy with all of my gear.  I didn't really get cold at all until after the race when I was just standing around waiting to get my bag.  Gloves and shoes are the only thing I would change about what I wore.

4 comments:

  1. Can't wait to see you do this, Andy. And, I'll be at the 1/2 marathon running as well. Proud of you, bro!

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  2. Did the ear plugs really work? Did they stay in?

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  3. Yes, the ear plugs worked pretty well. They stayed in the entire time and, after only a few minutes, I didn't even realize I was wearing them. Not sure if they are an "essential" part of the gear, but they were definitely a nice addition for me.

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