Hey Mudder Nation!
I am Sarah Vinyard, a current Tough Mudder Ambassador, since 2020. I started my Tough Mudder adventure in 2018, due to a friend talking about her passion for obstacle course experiences. After a while, I wanted to see what all the buzz was for myself and signed up for a Tough Mudder 5K. We ended up having so much fun, and I was proud that I completed the full course!
Fast forward to 2019. The OCR bug had bit me hard. So much so, that I decided I wanted to complete the Holy Grail. I trained hard to prepare for feat of completing all Tough Mudder Endurance events (Tougher, Toughest and World’s Toughest Mudder). In the process, I ended up losing 60 lbs in the process! I ended up completing Tougher in Nashville, Toughest in TriCities and Words in Atlanta to earn my Holy Grail 2019.
Did I hit any amazing mileage goals? Heck no! Did I screw up a lot along the way? Absolutely!
I could write a post only on what NOT to do!
Do I think anyone can do it if they have the right work ethic? Absolutely!
Here are my tips on going from 5k/Classic to Tougher/Toughest/Worlds:
Discover the reason why you want to do it in the first place. Many call this “your why.” You will question your sanity many times during training and even during the events. Your why will help you push through those doubts, I promise you this. My why was to show my daughters they can do anything they set their minds to.
Be honest with yourself on your goals for your events. If you have never ran before in your life, it is going to be a huge amount of work to get you ready for 50 miles at Worlds Toughest Mudder. Nothing is impossible. This is being true to your goals, your capabilities and the amount of time and energy you can commit.
I gave myself 3 levels of goals every event:
#1: If everything went perfect and a perfect amount of mileage was gained.
#2: If stuff went wrong, just to finish based on the rules of that race.
#3: If everything went to crap and I got hurt or screwed up, try not to end up injured enough to go to the hospital or die.
It helped me stay flexible when I got injured or something went south.
I highly recommend joining the Facebook Groups for the events you are considering or a part of. Worlds Toughest Mudder has one specifically for ‘first timers’ that was extremely helpful for finding gear recommendations, training tips and general race knowledge. Plus, you will make friends that you will see on course!!!!
If you can afford it, hire a coach specific to obstacle course events. The money is worth it, especially if you don’t have a lot of free time and need to work smarter in your limited time.
Train in the gear and eat the fuel you will use in the event before any Tough Mudder weekend! Blisters from new shoes or a new food causing you to poop your wetsuit can be avoided by planning ahead!
Last thing is enjoy the journey and have fun! I really hope to see you all on some big courses, helping me up and over an obstacle, telling me it is your first big Tough Mudder 🙂