[This is part of the Tough Mudder Training Series.]
I think one of the most asked questions when you participate in Tough Mudder is “What should I wear?”
I’ve run a couple Tough Mudder races and a Spartan Sprint in Georgia and I feel like the best stuff to wear is a sleeveless dri fit shirt, running shorts, gloves, and cross country flats. The less clothing, the better. Less is more, especially in 30 degrees weather.
“Shouldn’t you be wearing long sleeves in the cold?”
No, not exactly. Remember that Bear Grylls videos:
When you have clothes on and you are submerged in cold water, the wet clothes will actually take body warmth away from you. So when you are wearing minimal clothing, you get drier quicker and won’t stay cold. AND even though you are wearing minimal clothing, since you are running around and climbing over stuff, your body is already warmed up from doing all these physical activities. The Tough Mudder that I participated in this year was 30 degrees in the morning and warmed up to 40 degrees, even in this weather I saw girls running in just a sports bra and running shorts. So don’t stop and grab a thermal blanket. Best thing you can do is keep moving! Even if you are just walking.
The only con in wearing minimal clothing is that you will get scrapes. So if you don’t care about not getting scrapes on your legs, arms, or torso go minimalistic. But if you do, then wear longer clothing but it might keep you cold and might hamper your race experience. It all depends on what you want.
Gloves – I say wear gloves to prevent yourself from getting splinters climbing over stuff. I just got $10 football gloves from Target. Just remember to take the gloves off when you do the funky monkey because you get better grip that way.
Shoes – I prefer to wear cross country flats. I wore the Saucony XC Shay Flats.
I think this is the best balance of regular shoe and the Five Finger Vibrams. They are minimalistic and lightweight enough to run like you are wearing Vibrams. They are a snug fit, don’t hold water, they have excellent traction, and professional, collegiate, and high schoolers have been runnng in them for years. They also offer better protection against rocks. One of the main complaints I hear from people wearing Vibrams in Tough Mudder is that when they run over rocks that it hurts. Racing flats provide enough protection that it doesn’t hurt.
Just remember these shoes are lightweight and you need to run in them before and let your body get use to it. And remember to order “spikeless” shoes. And you can only wear spikeless shoes at Tough Mudder events anyways.
In pictures if you didn’t get it =P
You get drenched by obstacles like Artic Enema.
You get drenched like this. (Notice the girl right next to me wearing only sports bra and biker shorts. She was actually kind of cute. Should’ve got her number…dayam!)
You get drenched but water comes off of you like this when you wear dry fit or minimal clothing.
So just remember:
- Dri Fit shirt (preferably sleeveless)
- Short shorts
- Racing Flats
Or just go run naked…haha…the most primal way to run.
But then again, if you don’t care about staying dry and just want to have fun. You can always wear a costume.