Tough Mudder, an annual extreme sporting event that challenges daring athletes and regular Joes to tackle a ‘hardcore’ 10 or 12-mile obstacle course, is something that half a million people worldwide have already taken on. Some will succeed, some will fail – the only thing you can do is ensure you train properly, giving yourself the best possible chance at completing the course. Below are my top tips for preparing yourself for the big day.
Keep Your Exercise Regime Varied
With a marathon, training typically involves running a series of shorter routes, before gradually building up the length to reach the almighty 26 miles. With Tough Mudder, you need to do this and then some…You have to be in tip-top shape, physically, because throughout the course, you’ll face steep uphill climbs, electric shocks, be forced to pull/carry heavy items, conquer rope ladders and much more. That means you need to be at your fitness prime, which can only be achieved by pushing your body in many different ways. A personal trainer may be able to help with you this, unless you think you have the stamina and discipline to challenge yourself enough alone.
Don’t Forget Nutrition
With all that exercise comes the need to maintain a healthy, balanced diet that properly nourishes your body when under strain, but also minimises weight gain ahead of the big event. Taking in plenty of protein (from lean meat, fish, poultry, eggs, nuts, legumes and pulses), along with a good amount of fruit and vegetables will do you no harm at all. Good fats and carbohydrates should be incorporated too. These include wholegrain rice, pasta, bread and potatoes (in moderation); in addition to avocado, oily fish, seeds and olive oil.
Another way to help re-nourish your body after putting it through a tough workout regime is to supplement your diet with whey protein. This can not only keep your muscles healthy, replenishing them, but also encourage them to become strong, defined and of the right size. This is because of the glutamine within the protein. Some whey protein products also aid weight loss; targeting those stubborn fat pockets that gather on your frame.
When it comes to Tough Mudder, mental preparation is as important as physical. It’s a tough course, hence the name. You need to prepare yourself to work as part of a cohesive team; overcoming obstacles when all your body is screaming for you to do is lie down. You need to build willpower, discipline and the ability to overcome any negative thoughts. It’s tricky; don’t underestimate how much your body can make you do when it’s under immense strain.
All in all, you can do months of preparation, but if your heart isn’t in it, you may not succeed. As such, it’s important to go into the event with an air of confidence, motivation and determination. This winning combination will help you get through. Good luck!