What if my attire can make me a better mud runner?
The right attire does actually make you a better runner and this is a no brainer. In Malaysia, obstacle course challenge can be consider a relatively new sporting event, so a lot of first timer wonders if their usual running attire can cut it. The answer is, NO. So before you take plunge into the mud, read this list of what you should wear in an obstacle course challenge.
How about we start with the basics – never ever ever wear anything cotton. Cotton tops expands when it comes into contact with water, it becomes heavy and it sucks. Opt for a snug dri-tech instead which allows you to move freely and lower the chances of you getting stuck on barbed wires, ropes or even slides. If you look at most elite runners, they prefer less clothing with (some) men going topless and women with just their sports bra on.
When finding the right pants, you would want to avoid all pants with pockets. This is because in every obstacles you will run through either mud, water or dirt; so you surely do not want to pack that extra pounds of dirt together with you till the finish line. Shorts are a good options but leave the baggy ones at home if you wouldn’t want to run most of the race with just your underwear.
Some believes compression attire – be it shirt or pants; can improve your performance and help your muscles recover faster. In an obstacle challenge, wearing compressions makes you more aerodynamic when going through obstacle and it also saves you from scratches and scrapes if you choose to wear it underneath your short sleeves tops and shorts. The tight quality of every compressions will prevent even the thickest mud comes into contact with your skin.
One of the essential that every obstacle challenge runners should have is gloves. No matter how hard you trained to make your grip strong, hand slipping from obstacles are inevitable. Invest on a pair of synthetic gloves equipped with rubber material on the palm for great traction. Not all that, having the right kind of gloves can also save you from rope-burn and scratches from body-weight obstacles.
Let’s face it, specific shoes for obstacle race are scarce and not many brands in the market are producing it. Best option when you can’t get your hands on an obstacle challenge specific shoes is to use your trail shoes. Their ability to easily get you through mud is no doubt beneficial, however, be careful to choose from the range of trail shoes with good drainage. The one without good drainage will soak your feet in water all the way through the race.
One can easily forgets that the wrong socks will punish them in the race. If you think running with pebbles in shoes is bad, imagine it being inside your socks. This can happen if you choose to wear even the tightest cotton socks. Where they’re wet, they become loose and all kind of dirt will be there waiting for you. Get sports socks made of moisture-wicking fabrics and save yourself the trouble.
In the past Mad Warriors events, we received lots of female participants with hijabs on. If you choose to run with hijab on, we suggest that you pick your hijab from lycra materials or any other light weight material. Of course hijab with dri-tech material will be scarce, so the next best thing would be to wear your swimsuits hijabs that are widely sold across the nation. Lastly, don’t forget to secure your hijab with pin or by tying in properly to avoid it covering your vision when running.
Whatever you opt to wear on the day of the race, choose attire that are lightweight and could quickly dry . You might get stuck in those outfit at least for an hour, these qualities can actually minimise injury, rashes and blisters. Leave your other belongings at home or at the bag check and on top of it all, don’t forget to have fun.