Meet Kieran – experienced tough mudder...
Hi everyone my name is Kieran and I will be joining the Hodge Health & Fitness team at the 2017 Commando Challenge in Exmouth this year. I'm one of Jason's Boot Campers over in Filton and like Jason I was military. I wanted to relive my youth so started to do mud runs. To date I have completed 9 Tough Mudders, 3 Rat Races (including the 20 mile obstacle run) as well as a handful of others. I would pass on some things you might find useful for the event from my experience and mistakes of the last 8yrs.
First things first
Mud runs are fun they are not a competitive environment, it's more about getting you and your fellow runners over the line. So it doesn't matter if you sprint, jog, walk or crawl over the line, just get round it, enjoy it and try everything in terms of obstacles!
The best kit
Ok so kit, the most important thing you could have, you can read thousands of articles on this and all will give you a thousand different opinions so here is mine:
- Foot ware: unless you plan on doing lots more of these I would not spend a fortune, if indeed anything! These days I wear Salomon speed cross 3, but they are not cheep, throw them in washing and come out like new and have lasted 5 or so runs. However I did my first tough mudder running with a pair of road trainers that I had they did the job! Yes traction maybe hard, but, even my salomons lose that when the grips are full with mud! Sports direct have a good cheep range of Karrimor trail runners if you want to get something, but remember whatever you wear on your feet need to be comfortable because they will be wet and muddy, they are not coming home in the same state they went!
- Socks: I wear purpose running socks, again to help prevent rub and they dry out better than cotton.
- Clothing: wearing long sleeves and legs is a new one to me, but rules are rules. I have on occasion worn long sleeves and leggings during the colder month runs, all I can suggest here is make sure they are skin hugging and quick dry material, compression type items. NO COTTON. Again these don't need to cost the earth, the vast majority of my gear I have picked up in TK Maxx and made sure it was cheep so I'm not worried if they rips, then I top them off with a cheep pair of running shorts and running vest again not to baggy and quick drying to protect the compression gear. Remember the more you wear or thicker it is the harder it makes the run, you also need to consider your comfort and of course rubbing in various places.
- Gloves: These always divide opinion, I like to wear fingerless gloves as it give my hands a bit of protection. Again they are a cheep pair of rugby gloves as they give a small amount of grip but dry off quickly.
- Black Bag: Yes this is one thing that can be overlook. You things at the end of the day will be wet and muddy so to have somewhere to put it all after changing is vital to making you feel human again, nothing worse than being dry and warm and having a cold wet bag over your shoulders.
Whatever kit you are going to run this event, I would suggest you begin to train in it now so you know the pros and cons of it before the day and get use to it.
Best places to buy kit
If you are going to look for new kit then I recommend not splashing out on fancy gear as its going to get ruined and possibly destroyed, the following 3 places have always provided me with excellent, cheep gear for these type of events.
- Sports Direct
- TK Maxx
If you have any questions about the event or particular kit then I will be more than happy to point you in the right direction, or you end up getting the Mud bug after this and want to do more then I'm always looking for teams!
Please also take a look at Jason's blog with lots more tips on the Commando Challenge website here: https://www.commandochallenge.co.uk/blog/2017/09/27/top-training-and-preparation-tips-for-commando-challenge-2017
Thank you Kieran, we love your tips. You might also like to know that there are some limited edition T-Shirts available to all our Commando Challengers. Please ask Jason if you are interested in getting one.
Photos courtesy of: www.commandochallenge.co.uk and Rat Race Dirty Weekend