tough guy – anybody done it and got some tips?

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  • tough guy – anybody done it and got some tips?
  • Fantombiker

    My 17 yr old son and his 4 mates have entered for next week. They have not done anything like this before. Anybody got any tips? Also, is it dangerous?? cheers


    Mates have done it. There is a ~10km XC run at the start to spread everyone out – the slower you are over this the longer you spend queuing for each obstacle and thus getting cold. So in sum, peg it.

    Premier Icon Haze

    I’ve never done it but spectated there a couple of years back.

    Think it’s allowed to bypass obstacles that are too far out your comfort zone, easy for me to say but nothing that looked that dangerous so long as you’re sensible about it.

    They’ll have a great time though, really good atmosphere…almost electric 😉

    Have a mate taking part (sc-xc off here) so hoping to be there next week.

    Premier Icon somouk

    There are quite a few tips knocking around on the web but get used to running and then queueing at the obstacles.

    Bit late for training so just a case of making it around, remember it’s a team event not a single event so work together 🙂

    Premier Icon shadowrider

    I done it about 3 years ago, it was tough but a good laugh. I don’t know if I could give any tips though, it’s just running up and down hills, thru mud/water/ice, and then the obstacles,which are pretty tough but good fun. If it’s below freezing it will be a bit bracing in the water, be prepared for serious ball shrinkage.

    Premier Icon lapierrelady

    Wear something you are happy to bin afterwards as it will smell unsavoury! Also, a long sleeved top that doesn’t ruck up will give some protection in the Vietcong tunnels for pointy elbows. Also don’t overdress…you will overheat on the run.


    I’ve been putting in loads of 8 mile runs (the run bit is 15k). Lots of squats, chinss and dips to help with the obstacles.

    I suspect it’s all going to go out the window when we set off…


    I’ve done it 6 times now, and wrote this after last year. Hope it helps.

    Prior Planning Prevents Perishing Poor Performance

    Tough Guy Advice – take it or leave it, the choice is yours…..

    When the weather is kind, the winter ToughGuy is harsh. The weather in the lead up to the event, and perhaps more importantly, on the day can lead to a downright Perfect Storm of Cold.

    This article mentions the race, but more importantly the post race phase of the day. It aims to assist you enjoy the experience and hopefully help you from arriving at the Fields of Pleasure to leaving happy with the well earned title of Tough Guy.

    Preparation is key. The training and physical aspects are up to you, but these are some thoughts, ideas and observations that may help you on race day

    ToughGuy is a very popular event with 4 – 5000 participants. Register early, preferably before the day. If you have no option but to register on the day, aim to arrive on site NO LATER than 9am. Registering late is the beginning of the end.
    Dress in you race gear before you arrive. Add warm layers on top. Keep your feet warm and dry. Wellies / plastic bags. Remember to put plastic bags in bins though when you take them off!
    As soon as you have registered, locate the changing areas. Stow your gear and make a very clear and positive note of the EXACT location of your gear. Not only the location, but also the CORRECT BARN. Leave it, then, go back to it from the finish area / showers 2 or 3 times so you know exactly where it is. Ideally, make your bag conspicuous. DO NOT rely on friends and supporters to bring your bag to meet you. If they are late or you don’t find you, you could be in a whole world of misery.
    You WILL finish the race cold. Packing your post race bag is an art and a skill. Apply plenty of thought about the order in which you pack it. Think about the order you will need things. Towel on top, underwear, very warm hat(s), full body thermals, fleece(s), trousers, buff, thin socks, thick socks, windproof trousers, windproof top, footwear, warm gloves. ALSO, consider contingencies. When you finish, your fingers will have the dexterity of frozen fishfingers. How will you get you shoes off. Pack some easy to operate scissors or maybe a small sharp knife.
    As soon as you get to your conspicuous bag, and before you even open it, REMOVE as many of your wet clothing as you feel comfortable with. I suggest the absolute maximum that you should be wearing is base underwear. The windchill from wet clothing is hugely significant. Evaporation from clothing WILL continue to chill you whilst ever you are wearing it. Skin will dry quickly and evaporation will stop.
    Get your towel out and dry yourself vigorously. Large and exaggerated muscle movements will generate heat and help restore heat.
    Dress quickly. Leave socks to last. Putting socks on frozen feet with frozen hands is VERY SLOW. Once your body stops loosing heat and starts to warm up, your hands and feet will follow.
    Be proactive in warming yourself. Just as during the event, you generate heat from your large muscles. Punch the air hard and vigerously for 30 – 40 seconds, 15 deep squats will get your legs generating heat quickly. You will feel the benefit with in seconds.
    Tidy up your race gear. Get a warm drink
    When your are warming up, head back to the changing barns and try and help people who are in a worse state than you. Some people with think they know better, and be sitting in wet cloths, slowly descending into hypothermia. HELP THEM. If you see someone sitting still in their race clothes they are AT SERIOUS RISK.

    Race Clothing

    This is very much your choice, but there are some things that you should avoid.

    Any clothing that will hold moisture. The main culprit is cotton; t-shirts, jogging pants, cotton combat pants. It is well worth investing is a ‘warm’ training / event top. Gloves that are warm when wet. Neoprene gloves work very well.

    Footwear. It will come as no surprise that there is mud. Mud everywhere. Consider wearing trail shoes at the very least. Those will specialist mud shoes seem to sail past others. Not only faster, by also less energy sapping and you are less likely to slip and twist an ankle, or maybe worse.

    Headwear. A warm hat. Even a wet fleece or knitted hat will be far warmer than a rubber swim cap. You can regulate your temperature very effectively by adding / removing hat and gloves. If you aren’t wearing them, stuff them down the front of your pants. If you drop your hat during the country miles, stop and pick it up! You WILL feel the benefit.

    The Race

    In the water, keep as warm as possible. Punch the air, big fast arm/ shoulder movements will send a degree of warmth to your hads.

    Don’t stop. It’s only the heat generators in your legs that are keeping


    That is brill, cheers Jerry.

    I’m gonna send it to my fellow wannabe tough guys!


    thanks Jerry some great advice..I am only glad I am not doing it and just watching…is there a best spot for spectating?


    The top tip for the runners in the last Tough Guy appeared to be dump your car in a side road because the traffic is awful and urinate in the hedgerows.

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