Tough Mudder has taken the world by storm since it was first launched in 2010. Whereas the first participants won’t have known what awaited them and the amount of endurance they’d need for the 19km obstacle race, since that time it has spread like wildfire to places such as Indonesia and Germany. With events taking place in Sydney in October and Melbourne in November, we’ve collected a few hints and tips on how to train for Tough Mudder so you can get the most out of it - it won’t make it much easier, but you’ll be a lot more prepared.
The main draw for taking part in Tough Mudder will probably be the obstacles involved. Alas, they are the shining beacon of fun at the end of long stretches of running across all kinds of terrain. It’s an endurance race at heart, and that will involve a lot of running up and down hills, across mud, and through obstacles as part of those 19km. With this in mind you want to be practicing your distance running on varying terrain outdoors – while a running machine may help it’s not built for purpose.
Get To Grips
Gloves and trainers with good grips are a must for completing Tough Mudder, helping you grab onto obstacles such as Berlin Wall – a scale wall that’s nearly 4m tall - when you’re wet and muddy and make climbing a little bit easier. We’d opt for open-fingered gloves such as weight-lifting gloves as these are built for similar purposes.
Get Training With A Gang
At heart, Tough Mudder was set up to revolve around teamwork. With this in mind camaraderie is a key component throughout the course, with many of the obstacles designed in a way that encourages group participation and help. For an example of this, look no further than Everest - a quarter-pipe slicked with mud and grease where the key to getting to the top often involves reaching out and grabbing a friends arm at the top.
With obstacles and challenges such as Arctic Enema, Electroshock Therapy, and Funky Monkey that all exploit common human fears such as fire, water, electricity and heights, it’s imperative that you accustom yourself to the shock and the cold. With this in mind you want to train outdoors as much as possible. I know we don’t get many cold mornings or much rain so with this in mind you could go to the lengths of dousing yourself in cold water prior to going for your morning run.
Upper body strength is just as important as your running when it comes to preparing yourself for the obstacle course. Whereas weightlifting will obviously be of some use, it doesn’t prepare you for the type of challenges you will face on the course. From swinging on bars, climbing ropes, pulling other humans up over obstacles, and running through tires they all require a great deal of specific physical strength which is why we'd personally opt for functional fitness workouts involving bodyweight.
By putting these simple steps in practice you’ll be one step closer to the finish line - your hard work will pay off and you will enjoy the pride and satisfaction that comes with being a Tough Mudder.