What a weekend for triathlon!! Between Ironman Los Cabos and Oceanside 70.3 it seemed like everyone I knew was racing. It’s been almost two weeks since the LA Marathon so I figured it was perfect timing to test out the legs with a race of my own, settling on the new MudderMan, an Ironman distance race with obstacles and strenuous stages throughout 140 miles of pain.
Adventure races are a great way to test your fitness while having fun in a social environment. The inability to simulate race day conditions adds an element of excitement and keeps your body guessing while pushing you to the very limit, both physically and mentally.
I love having fresh equipment on race day so I stopped by a local running store Saturday to pick up some new kicks. There’s a type of shoe I haven’t tried before that has been gaining in popularity called the Vibram or “5 finger’s” which I I’m told are great for forcing you away from heal striking. This is a problem I’ve dealt with in the past, so I figured they’d be perfect for me.
Vibram is the official shoe of Mudder Man
They also came with a free pair of compression socks that are proven to increase performance in racing and look equally sweet, my lucky day!
Prerace meal. It’s all about getting in the most food possible the night before the race, especially ones full of calories. I prefer to carbo-load with pasta in a creamy sauce, that way I can almost drink my calories down. Alfredo is my favorite but I pigged out on Carbonara this time.
Race day Performance
I like to take my races out fast!! The technical term for this in coaching is “banking miles”. You take the time savings from your splits in the front end and you ‘bank’ them for later, which can pay great dividends!! I also try to avoid water stations whenever possible, as the mess of dealing with people while grabbing cups and Gu’s always slows me down. You can see from below that this strategy worked splendidly –
I picked up some tips prior to the race and am happy to say they worked out great!
1) Always carry super glue! Great for closing wounds on the run.
2) Keep your arms folded across the chest during the electric shock obstacles. This caries the charge down and through your legs versus out to the extremities. Never compete with a pace maker!!
3) Remove all body hair. This will pay off greatly in the fire obstacles, believe me!!
4) Write your blood type in permanent marker on your body before you race. This would have helped a lot of unfortunate racers yesterday.
5) Call your loved ones prior. Life’s too short as it is! let those close to you know you care before it’s too late.
6) Take a before picture. You’ll want to remember the way you were.
Ultimately I’d say I did alright, not as great as I would have hoped for but I’m still happy (a performance worthy of the Mudder Man tattoo). I had the top time of the day through the gas chamber but rolled my ankle in the alligator pit. My thoughts go out to all the racers that were severely injured on the course, I hope you all will have the opportunity to race again, even if it’s in the very distant future. To everyone else, happy April 1st.