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Time has been and will always be of the essence for an athlete, not just athletes alone, but humans in general. An athlete knows they are getting better by the less amount of time required to complete a required distance, just a single second can determine if progress is being made or not.
Thanks to the advent of new technology, athletes can now evaluate their performance on not just the time factor, but other stats, such as heart rate, amount of cholesterol burnt, etc. The sweet side to this improvement is not just in the data collected, but how it is collected.
Many people before now would have laughed at the idea of a wristwatch being able to collect so much data that would usually be collected in a workout studio, but not anymore. Smart wristwatches have become one of the biggest game-changer in the world of athletics, and every day, millions of runners have accurate data of their workout regime which can be very useful in helping them push for more improved performance.
For a mud racing event, one of the questions that usually begs to be answered is “Can any smartwatch survive a mud run?” and the answer I have seem to grow weary of giving is “No”. Most smartwatches are built for data collection and the likes, but not all smartwatches are built for the intensity and roughness that mud racing is known to be associated with.
Because of the popularity that mud racing events have gained over the years, watch companies including Apple, are now designing their watches to stand the rigours and roughness of mud racing. While some wristwatches are simply smart and pretty on the wrist, others are not only smart and pretty but also rugged and tough. Most runners choose to go for the latter, and I concur with them.
So, if you intend to participate in the next mud racing event and you are wondering if you should attend with your smartwatch in other to gauge your performance, please, ensure they meet the following guidelines before you give it a try. ( Read Also: Can You Go To A Mud Run Unprepared In 2021?)
In A Hurry? Here Are Our Top 4 Picks Of The Best Watch For Mud Run & Other OCRs In 2021
|Garmin Fenix 5X||Check Price|
|Suunto Spartan Sport HR||Check Price|
|G-Shock Mudman Compass G9300||Check Price|
Best Watch For Mud Run – Buyer’s Guide
Now, while most watches will give you probably the same function, such as a GPS tracker, heart rate count, data collection, fitness regime, sleep tracker, and does many other cool things does not make it suitable for a mud run. Remember when I said they have to be also rugged and tough right? Let me explain what I meant by that.
By implying this, I don’t just mean it should be able to withstand the drenching of rain or a simple splash. If it wasn’t built to survive in a watery environment for a long time, then you shouldn’t consider bringing it along.
It’s not just the water that is the problem, but the mud water and mud itself that will definitely get a hold of it, and would, therefore, require you to use lots of water to get it out. And by water, I mean water from a source with high pressure which could only be withstood by a very good mud resistant watch. Now you see what I mean right?
2. GPS Battery Life
Notice I said “GPS battery life” and not just “Battery life“. Most smartwatches can go a very long time before requiring a charge, but only a few will last for some hours on GPS before requiring the next charge. If your smartwatch can’t last for at least 5 hours while using the GPS (which is an important feature to use in any racing event), then you shouldn’t bother, because what’s the point of wearing a wristwatch that can last for 6 days to a race, if it can’t last long enough to track your full mud run?
3. Size And Weight
Mud racing requires all the strength and endurance you are willing to give, and you can conserve some of these by wearing a wristwatch that doesn’t weigh heavily on your wrist. It also shouldn’t be too large on your wrist so as to enable you to have a free and comfortable wrist movement.
If your heart tingles anytime your smartwatch drops on the floor, then I suggest that you Kindly follow the easy path and leave your watch at home. Your smartwatch will not just be dropping, but smashing itself from time to time on walls and other obstacles you can think of, so if you know you can’t bear the sight of seeing your wristwatch suffer this way, then like I said earlier on please keep it at home.
Having said all that, if your smartwatch does not thick all the boxes as stated above, then I suggest that you get one of the watches I will be reviewing below based on the factors I stated above.
These watches have all it takes to make your mud run a memorable one in terms of all the data analysis you might need for the race. They have been tested by mud runners to survive the toughness of mud racing without any form of damage. See for yourself.
Best Watch For Mud Run – Reviews
As the name implies, the Casio shock mud master is intentionally designed to survive under harsh environments, and mud racing is no exemption from this. Its explicit design will make it a plus to your watch collection.
This watch is not only water-resistant but also dust and mud-resistant. It is designed with a structure that has a filter inserted between the case and the buttons to keep the dirt out. It is perfectly sealed around to protect it from any form of illegal entry. The water-resistant will also function in a depth of up to 200 meters. It doesn’t get any better than this!
It is equipped with a quad sensor that detects compass bearing, gauges temperature, measures atmospheric pressure and altitude, and also counts your steps.
Excellent GPS Function And Battery Life
It has an excellent GPS indicator that displays compass bearing directions as well as the distance covered. The battery life is also designed to last for as long as you want it to, and this is because you don’t need to charge it like a normal smartwatch. The battery is solar-powered and will charge itself once exposed to sunlight. If used properly, you can be sure to get almost a decade from your G-SHOCK.
Built For Toughness
This Casio G-shock is made with a carbon core guard structure that has a rigid carbon-Fibre reinforced material. This carbon structures also help to increase the toughness. You can be sure it will survive any kind of tough condition you find yourself in.
Size And Weight
Have you ever met a tough-looking person, only to discover how easygoing they actually are? That’s the impression of the G-shock smartwatch. It’s intimidating look has nothing to do with its weight. It is extremely lightweight and can almost equate to you wearing a light cloth on your wrist.
It also has additional features such as being able to adjust the time once it is paired with a smartphone and a mission log feature that automatically takes record of the altitude data and GPS data from the watch to a smartphone using a dedicated app.
If you intend running dirty as you should, then having a G-shock on your wrist will ensure that you do so with peace of mind that comes with being assured.
2. G-Shock Mudman Compass G9300
Yet another beast from the G-shock series. This version provides you with the confidence and assurance you need to enjoy every aspect of your mud race whilst keeping the required data with which you can judge your performance. Here are what it has to offer.
Water And Mud Resistant
The case of the body, as well as those of the buttons, are totally sealed to prevent any form of dirt, mud, or water from getting in. It is also shock-resistant, which should allow you to face the ‘electric obstacle’ in some mud events without any risk of electrocution.
Excellent Battery Life
It has a solar rechargeable battery, which means that you can put on the GPS throughout the duration of the race without having to bother about your battery. There are also power-saving functions that are sure to make your battery last for even longer than advertised.
Tenacious And Very Durable
The G-shock series are known for their toughness and durability, and this is no different. It is made from a highly durable carbon material that gives you the freedom to do whatever you want, without fearing for its appearance. G-shock takes care of themselves even if you don’t.
GPS Enabled Features
Its GPS features are top-notch! One of the bright spots to this is a declination function that enables you to adjust the watch’s magnetic north direction reading to indicate the true North reading. The writeups are also composed of electroluminescent (EL), this helps you see even in the dark.
It comprises of 31 time zones. No matter where you are, you are sure to have the right time interpretation. A preprogrammed calendar that dates up to 2099 is also included in this package, just in case you feel like passing it on to future generations. It is everything smart you can ever think of, and you can be sure to storm through the mud with no worries whatsoever.
3. Garmin Forerunner 920XT Watch With HRM-Run
Garmin has been a household name in smartwatches over the years, and when it comes to having all the required details you need to judge your performance, a Garmin watch is sure to do justice to it. Below are the reasons why you should have this smartwatch on your wrist.
Sleek Design And Wonderful Screen Interface
If you’re looking for a light feel to your wrist, then I suggest you go for this product. It really looks pretty lying on your wrist, but it is sure pretty enough to withstand the obstacles in mud racing. The rubber straps also make it very comfortable no matter how tight you strap it to your wrist.
It uses a transflective screen that uses the available light to make the screen clearer. This feature also means that you can use it at night. The fact that it uses buttons instead of a touch screen makes it awesome. This also means that you can adjust your race data or save your data without having to wipe your hands dry.
The interface can easily be navigated with extreme ease. The Garmin connect app allows you to connect with your phone and see the capabilities of the watch on a whole new level.
Good GPS Battery Life
The GPS is very easy to navigate, and even though the GPS or GLONASS (Russian version of GPS) is on, your battery can last for more than 14 hours which should really be a huge boost for you.
It is extremely water-resistant for up to 50 meters depth which also means that you won’t have issues washing it after the race.
Heart Rate Tracker
The heart rate viability, commonly known as HRV tracking tells you when you are tired and can tell you when you stop running with oxygen (aerobics) and start running with your muscle fuel (anaerobic). At this point, you are advised to rest and take a breather because running with your muscle fuel will only sustain you a while, and its side effects are usually painful.
It also monitors your lactate production and can tell when it is in excess. Asides these features above, it can carry out any other function you would expect a smartwatch to accomplish such as listening to music, getting message notifications, Bluetooth, etc. There is just so much on the store for you.
In conclusion to this, you should not be scared to take your Garmin 735xt on a mud run since you now know that it is also built for tough conditions.
4. Garmin Fenix 5X
Another wonder from the stables of Garmin. The Fenix 5X is built for everything spartan you can think of. It also has a very sleek design that can go with your everyday wear. You are definitely gonna like this one.
-It has a scratch-resistant lens and a PVD (physical vapour deposition) button. The PVD helps to increase the resistance of the stainless steel towards corrosion and scratch, which is normally the norm in mud racing.
You don’t need to touch the screen to make the necessary adjustments, which can usually be a challenge during mud races. The buttons allow you to navigate seamlessly even with mud all over you.
You can connect it to your smartphone via the Garmin connect to receive notifications directly to your watch. The LED backlight enables you to access the data on your watch even whilst under direct sunlight.
Lightweight And Design
It has an extremely lightweight and will fit your wrist regardless of the structure. You also have a variety of wristbands to choose from that ranges from leather to metal and silicon. You can choose to look classy in the mud if you want.
Superb Battery Life
It has a two weeks average battery life without needing a recharge and can last for a little over 60 hours with the GPS on. That’s more than enough time to have your race data for future reference. The battery life can also stay a whooping 24 hours without needing a recharge if the GPS and heart rate monitor is on.
Excellent GPS Tracking
Be it up in the mountain or down in the valley, the GPS/GLONASS reception is strong and dependable. It also tracks your steps, heart rate, and distance. You could also sync your watch to a strava account to access all the fantastic features that include planning your routes, as well as uploading them.
This product matches every hype that surrounds the Garmin franchise, and for good reason too. It will also make a perfect gift for a loved one.
5. Garmin Vivoactive 4S
The Garmin Vivoactive is another masterpiece to align with from the Garmin collection. Like the other Garmin watches we have reviewed in this article, it is extremely lightweight and has a very beautiful appeal to it. But, that’s not all it has to offer.
Inbuilt Fitness Program
It has over 20 preloaded indoor sports apps that include running, yoga, swimming, and more. You can easily learn from the animated workout plan that shows on the watch of the screen such as cardio, strengths plan, and yoga. It also guarantees you access to free 5k and 10k programs that helps you to achieve your goal on a normal run.
Good GPS Battery Life
It can last for up to 7 days without the GPS being used frequently, and up to 5 hours of the GPS and music are on simultaneously, which is enough to get you through your mud race.
Easy User Interface/Friendliness
The Garmin Vivoactive gives you easy navigation once paired with your phone. You can easily pick calls, read messages, go through reminders, and so much more. It also allows you to download songs to your phone from Deezer, Spotify, and Amazon music. You can listen to these songs from your earphones to enjoy the feel.
Excellent GPS And Fitness Tracker
You can keep track of your energy levels, respiration, stress, menstrual cycle, heartbeat, hydration, and so much more. The GPS tracking feature includes a special ‘incident detection and assistance’ that works once your smartwatch is paired to your phone. This allows your device to send your current and exact location to the emergency contacts on your list in case of an actual emergency.
It can be used underwater for depth not exceeding 50 meters. It is highly durable and will survive the toughness of a mud race whilst providing you with the necessary comfort and race data. Satisfaction guaranteed.
6. Suunto Spartan Sport HR
SUUNTO has been a household name in terms of creating outdoor equipment for daunting outdoor events or deep ocean surveys, and their spartan smartwatch is one that is built to survive the harshest condition you can ever find yourself in.
Water-Resistant And GPS Functionality
It is highly water-resistant and can withstand water pressure for depths up to 100 meters. It’s not like you will be expected to experience such depth in mud racing, but it’s definitely worth knowing. It has an inbuilt barometer (measures atmospheric pressure), altimeter (measures altitude), a well navigating compass, and a fully functional GPS.
For its pretty look and feel, I wish I could stress more on how durable it is. SUUNTO is known to produce gadgets that are tough enough for their task, and this smartwatch is no different.
Excellent Battery Life
Even with the GPS on at full stretch, the battery will last for up to 26 hours before needing a recharge. You definitely have everything under control with this one.
With over 70 sports modes installed, this spartan watch gives you a high variety to choose from without needing to go too far to seek other options. The touch screen feature is designed in such a way that you get to see the screen clearly from any angle, and also under direct sunlight.
It also has other exciting features know for a smartwatch such as weekly planning tools for a workout regime, calorie monitor, Bluetooth enabled, and so much more. You can also wear it on special occasions as well.
Having any of these smartwatches on your wrist is sure to make your mud run fun and exciting. They can also serve as a perfect gift to your friends.
Best Watch For Mud Run – FAQ
What Is The Best Watch For A Runner?
For starters, any watch that can track your time, route, calorie count, heart rate, has a Bluetooth or other wireless feature is good to go. It doesn’t have to be a household name before you consider it. Asides from the features I just listed, it should also be water-resistant just in case it starts raining while you go for your morning workout, or you simply feel like working out in the rain.
Having a smartwatch that has a good battery life is also a big plus for you, I would be so upset if my watch died on me while I still have about a mile to complete my race. What I mean to say in essence is that, the longer your battery the happier you tend to get, that’s my own theory though feel free to make yours. But is it advisable to wear your apple watch to a mud run? Should you even think of such a possibility?
Of course, you can! There are lots of Tough Mudders who have worn their apple watches to a mud run without having any sort of problems whatsoever. However, there were some cautions they employed before they felt comfortable using their apple watch for such a rough race.
They ensured that it was perfectly fitted to their wrist, there was no gap but it wasn’t too tight either so as to enable blood circulation. They charged it to full capacity before embarking on the race, considering the fact that the GPS would be on all through.
Some have advised the use of screen guards in other to protect your screen from damage. To feel completely at peace, I really buy into the idea of getting a screen guard for your Apple watch. Nothing beats a peaceful mind during a race.
How Do I Clean My Watch After An Obstacle Race?
Cleaning your watch after an OCR is quite easy, considering the fact that OCR watches, such as the ones reviewed in this article are water-resistant. Follow these simple steps below, and your watch will retain its proper look. (Read Also: How To Clean Shoes After Mud Run With Steps)
- Remove the watch from your wrist and place your watch directly under a running tap, preferably a kitchen sink.
- After a few seconds, use your thumb and clear out the mud that should be soft by now due to the running water.
- Continue this process, and your watch should be just fine. Please note that using any form of soap might affect the screen of some smartwatches, and apple will specifically void your warranty if such ever occur to your Apple smartwatch. Do well to heed this warning.
Are Garmin Watches Better Than Apple Watches?
This debate has indeed raged on for a while between athletes, and this is due to the fact that both watches are heavyweights in the industry. So, to sort this out, I will be looking at the strength and weakness of both watches using their latest editions which is the Apple 5 smartwatch and the Garmin Fenix series 6, and then allow you to arrive at your own verdict. Are you set? Well then, let’s begin with the Garmin smartwatches
Strengths Of Garmin Smartwatches
- Garmin watches can last hundreds of days as long as it’s in the max battery mode. Germain watches are actually more about functionality than style and design
- The Fenix 6 pro-solar can be solar-powered.
- The workout schedule can be targeted with accompanying stats, respiration rate, metrics, PacePro features, as well as other lovely applications that are sure to aid the development of every athlete.
- The look of the watch can be easily customized by the owner.
- They usually come in different sizes and functions. You can be sure to find one that suits your need based on your budget.
- It comes in the trademark Garmin GPS as well as its navigational functionality.
- It comes with stress reaction metrics that can be used to strike a balance between when you need rest from work, and when you should be working.
- It also provides sleep monitoring.
Now that we are acquainted with the strength, let’s slide over to its weaknesses and take a look.
Weaknesses Of The Garmin Fenix 6
- In all honesty, it is really expensive.
- They say “Too many cooks spoil the meal”, and that seems to be the case for the Garmin Fenix 6. Its features can be really overwhelming, especially if you don’t have an idea of what the various functions are used for.
- The payment system can only be used in 7 banks across Europe.
If you own a Garmin watch and I seem to be missing anything, do let me know in the comment section. But in the meantime, let’s see what Apple 5 has to offer.
Strength Of The Apple Series 5
- The screen is always on for easy access and convenience
- This new model has a lot of storage space as well as a new core processor to increase the processing speed.
- It has a very easy to use the operating system.
- You can easily customize your user interface.
- It can guarantee you long battery life as long as the always-on feature is turned off.
- Its built-in compass is accurate to a very large extent.
- Well thought out running apps and health tracking software to help an athlete in training. It also gives you room to download apps that are beneficial.
- Apple pay can work with over 30 banks which is really a big plus.
Weaknesses Of The Apple 5 Smartwatch
- This a very little difference from the series 4 model. Well, it’s something Apple has been found of doing over the years, making minor upgrades and giving a higher price that does not always justify the input.
- If your palms are sweaty, then you are gonna face some challenges operating it.
- The new features are more health-conscious than fitness conscious. A professional athlete will seldom benefit from this.
Well, to draw an even verdict to this, I would say that in terms of looks and display, the Apple series 5 wins it for me due to its streamlined design.
If you are a fitness enthusiast or a professional athlete, you would surely need data to help challenge you on your workout regime, and since the Fenix 6 is clearly designed for such and has the more designated feature, then, in my opinion, the Fenix 6 is the clear winner.
So there you go! If you are simply a runner who goes about just trying to lose weight and the likes, then I suggest you go for the Apple series. But if you are looking to become a professional, then go the Garmin way!
Best Watch For Mud Run – Conclusion
Technology has evolved in so many aspects, and that has involved the sporting world as well. Getting a smartwatch should not be an option but a necessity if you truly want to gain anything from your workout schedule.
Take, for instance, a smartwatch would tell you how much calories you have burnt in a workout whilst also letting you know the amount to allow in your body. This not only saves time but makes the result of your workout visible to all.
If you are a professional and you really want to take your game to the next level, then I think you should know how important getting your workout data is to your progress. Remember, “Tick tick says the clock, whatever you do, do quickly”. You can only get better. Cheers!