NAVIGATION

Road to WTM: Build up to WTM

Share

IMG_4301At 40 years old, I decided to attempt my first ever Mudder event. Why not tackle World’s Toughest Mudder – go big or go home, right?!   I was lucky enough to win a sponsorship from ORM and WTM after my result on my very first obstacle race, Spartan Ultra Beast Vermont. There is something about the endurance races that I find calming. I haven’t completely put my finger on it but I suspect it has a lot to do with settling in for the long haul and getting out of your head. When the race is a long one, the ticking of that incessant clock fades away. It is so grounding to be removed from this fast paced society and dig in, get dirty and continually moving for a full day or maybe even 24 hours. Anxiety and nerves are conspicuously absent. WTM provides an enhanced level of calm, as it is a self-paced race where each individual can dictate how far and how long. I’ve only run two obstacle courses, so my theories are somewhat uneducated, but I truly believe women are suited to the longer races – especially those of the chronologically, but not biologically, aged variety like myself.

Gear:

Wow, there is a plethora of opinion on what gear one ‘needs’ for WTM. You could literally spend every waking moment researching, reading and purchasing. But, honestly, who has the time or funds? So, the real task becomes how to narrow it down the necessities. I’d suggest finding a mentor that you trust, someone who has been there and can guide you a bit. Once you sign up for WTM you can join a closed Facebook group with a great gear guide list.

I tend to be a minimalist and avoid excessive gear changes. This may also have something to do with frozen fingers and laziness. I heard some people changed every lap whereas I wore the same compression socks, tights, top for the entire 24hrs.  I’m sure if you had a pit crew to help you change (dry you off, pick the rocks out of your shoes and make up for the lack of dexterity), fresh, clean clothes would feel amazing. That said they would only stay fresh for a few minutes before being subjected to mud, dirt and water.

image1Secretly, I didn’t want to remember what clean, dry clothing felt like (I believe that is called denial). I made the mistake of taking my wetsuit off because I got too hot the first lap after nightfall. My next lap I spent utterly frozen and never regained full feeling in my fingers (an epic windstorm kicked up the moment I took my wetsuit off).   It is a tricky balance but once you get too cold, it is very difficult to warm up again. Being too hot is easier to deal with because you can increase your water intake, spend an extra moment in the water to cool down and, if need be, eat some salt tablets. Too cold is a more difficult fix and definitely led to many people dropping out of the race.
Here’s what I believe to be the bare minimum gear list:

  • Hydration pack
  • One great pair of trail running shoes (two if you can swing it)
  • Sunglasses
  • Buff
  • Compression tights (2)
  • Long sleeve running shirts (2)
  • Compression tank (2)
  • Windbreaker shell with a hood
  • Toque (oh ya, I’m Canadian – that means winter hat in American)
  • Compression socks
  • Individual toe running socks
  • Headlamp
  • Strobe light (2) (although apparently I break these immediately so I will use glow sticks as well)
  • Wetsuit
  • Neoprene gloves
  • Mud gloves
  • Arm sleeves
  • Boy short undies (just incase you rip a hole in your tights – very possible and happens often)
  • Sunscreen
  • Lip chap
  • Advil/Tylenol/Gravol
  • Electrolytes/gels/bars
  • Food – such a huge topic! Bring what you like and what you’ve tried. Pack individually portioned zip locks so your dirty hands don’t contaminate all food immediately.   Amelia Boone swears by Pop-tarts so everyone should bring some, obviously. I felt desperate for salty foods as a break from sugary gels and sweet electrolyte water. Next time I will bring more brothy soups to microwave – I snagged a sip of one last year and fantasied about more all night long.
  • Tent
  • Blanket
  • Vaseline
  • Wet ones/wipes
  • Kleenex
  • Industrial paper towel
  • Eye drops
  • Plastic bags
  • A clean outfit/shoes for after the race kept in a separate bag.

 

Training:

I’ll be the first to confess that I didn’t research my training for WTM. I pretty much kept with my usual exercise regime but I will share the training I did leading up to WTM. I typically attend 3x Crossfit classes and trail run 3x every week. These runs are most often 13km (8 miles) in length but I did increase the distance one run per week approximately 8 weeks prerace. That said, I’ve never run more than 20km (12.5 miles) in training and, for me, this works. I like going in to races with fresh legs avoiding overuse/strain. I realize this strategy won’t work for everyone and some benefit immensely from putting the mileage on their legs prerace.

I mix up my runs so that I’m not getting used to a route. I choose hilly over flat always and I try to run fast up every little hill I stubble upon. Pavement running is something I avoid unless the trails are icy and I haven’t run on a treadmill in years. This stubbornness means that I have to run amidst whatever Mother Nature has to offer – snow, rain, wind, sun, MUD!!! I’m thinking, after last years’ sandstorm/windstorm at WTM, that embracing local conditions and getting out for runs no matter what is rather important. I realize not everyone has access to endless trails so stairs and treadmills become staples for training.

Grip strength. This is such an important topic but definitely worth a research.   Crossfit certainly helps in this area – deadlifts, farmer carry, pull ups etc. all aid in strengthening one’s grip.

Swimming. Who knew that swimming would be so very present in Vegas?! I felt very grateful to my parents for insisting I take swimming lessons as a kid and for having great comfort in the water. I’d highly recommend brushing up on those swimming skills and ensuring you are ok with jumping off platforms into water. Each lap at WTM 2014 had at least 5 head dunks per lap as well as substantial swimming. Unfortunately, my friend was DNF’d from the race on her first obstacle lap because she couldn’t swim across the penalty leg for the cliff jump safely. So, get out there and get your swim on!

Prehab. Don’t ever underestimate the value of a great foam roller and lacrosse ball. Rolling out before and after every workout/run will pay off tenfold.

 

Lastly, come day race just let it go. Have a plan and a goal but be open to letting the race be…what it shall be. Enjoy every moment; soak it all in, take note of the views, fellow racers, volunteers, the highs and the lows. I’d bet you’d be hard pressed to find someone who regrets running WTM, regardless of his or her finish place. The energy is palpable, the people are amazing and the accomplishment is one of the greatest of my life.

This entry was posted in Road to WTM. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • Categories

  • Archives

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to posts:


  •   Hyper Vest SXY and FIT from Hyperwear.com
  • Instagram

    • Having fun providing @mudrunguide coverage at World’s Toughest Mudder. I am in love 😍 playing with my new lenses on my camera. Most of the photos are over on Facebook.
.
#wtm2018 #wtm #obstacleracing #toughmudder @tough_mudder
    • Made it to Atlanta to cover World’s Toughest Mudder. Every year I get nostalgic about the first year of WTM in 2011.
.
Can’t wait to cover the action for @mudrunguide. With the temps predicted in the 30’s overnight I excited to see how the new venue plays out.
.
Excited to get to work tomorrow.
.
#wtm #wtm2018 #toughmudder #obstaclecourseracing #mudrunguide #ocr #tbt
    • Have you heard of the online community @trail_sisters?
.
We have the story behind this huge movement encouraging more women’s voice in the outdoor industry and getting more women on the trails.
.
@ginalucrezi shared her passion and mission on this week’s podcast.
.
Temp Link in Bio
.
#podcast #trailsisters #womenwhotrailrun #findyourtribe #findyourtrail #womenrunning #allwomenalltrails #speakyourtruth #womenpodcast #getoutside #trailrunning #trailrunnersunite #runwithher
    • How many times as a kid did someone tell you to “take a deep breath” - if you are like me, a lot.
.
Breathing is essential to life and yet so much of the time we don’t breathe deeply. A couple years ago I did the @iceman_hof method course, documenting the journey.
.
Above the cold training and pushups the greatest gift after the course was a renewed focus on breathing and deep breaths.
.
Yet years later it’s so easy to forget. These days when stress levels are high or I have too much on my mind, I head out into nature and breathe.
.
Whether it’s getting my heart pounding on a run or slowing it down and focusing on deep breaths. It’s a simple and free self care technique that pays you back 10x.
.
When was the last time you truly took a deep breath?
.
#mondaytrailrun #trailtherapy #trailrunning #selfcare #justbreathe #speakyourtruth #utah #keepacoolhead #teamheadsweats #getoutside #goodr
    • This house took Halloween to the next level...
.
#houseon9th #jurassicpark #jurassicworld #halloween #lawnart #winewalk #vitamincommunity #saltlakecity #utahunique #epichalloween
    • Did you catch the new episode with @runningrosie released yesterday?
.
We had a raw, unfiltered conversation about motherhood, childbirth, body image, balance, competition, being a professional athlete, and life. Sounds heavy but as always we laughed along the way.
.
It was great having her back on the podcast 109 episodes after her first go around. If you missed the first time on the podcast talking about her childhood, check out episode 25.
.
#spartan #motherhood #nofilter #speakyourtruth #podcast #womeninspiringwomen #womenpodcasters #womeninpodcasting #ocr #obstaclecourseracing #obstacleracing #anw #friendship #spartanrace #realtalk💯
    • Fall means leaves changing, colder days, and the pond currently looks like a tea but makes some great reflections on a sunny day.
.
Sometimes there just isn’t time to get to the mountains but it doesn’t mean you can spend some time outside doing backyard chores.
.
#fallinlovewithfall #fall #winteriscoming #backyarddesign #pond #yardart #getoutside #loveyourspace #utahgram #hiddenspaces
    • Friends come in all shapes, sizes, and forms. One thing I’ve learned throughout the years is whether a friend is a next door neighbor you see everyday or someone you see once a year, it’s important to find those who have you back.
.
Sefra @puddyrara and I met in the woods of Vermont during the Peak 500. Little did I know the adventures we would embark on.
.
From the volcanos 🌋 of Nicaragua to Showing up during WTM in Vegas, stopping for an overnight in SLC, or outside Miami for a 24-hour BattleFrog (RIP). Or like this picture in Tahoe for the @spartan world championships.
.
I literally never know where in the world I will see her but I know we will have deep conversations about plants, seeds, life, spirit, and generally freak out everyone as they mostly have no idea what we are talking about.
.
Friends don’t have to be people you talk to or see daily. They just need to be your ally and have your back in a jam.
.
I’m lucky and blessed to be part of the slingshot mafia with this lady.
.
Blessing Sefra! Also I have no idea why this picture is so funny but it is to me.
.
#gratitude #friendship #blessings #spartanfriends #spartan #worldtraveling #worldwidefriends #speakyourtruth #findyourtribe #travelbuddies #spartanog #spartanwomen
    • One jar of trash a year for a family of four!
.
Sounds impossible at first but Bea Johnson of @zerowastehome is on the podcast to talk about how it’s not that hard. In fact Bea talks about how it frees up so many other aspects of life. So you can spend more time and money doing the thing you want while producing less waste in the world 🌎!
.
Do you think you could live in a zero-waste home?
.
Find the latest episode on your favorite player or link in my bio.
.
#zerowastehome #zerowaste #zerowasteliving #podcast #womenpodcasters #zerowastecollective  #podcastforwomen #minimalism #savetheplanet #savemotherearth #5rs #livelighter #onejarchallenge #reducereuserecycle #reducewaste #reduceplastic

    Follow Me!