If you’ve signed up to take part in a Tough Mudder competition, good for you! You are about to embark on a wildly exciting and deeply satisfying fitness journey that will test your physical and mental limits and help you realize that you can achieve great things if you put your mind to it. However, because this type of competition is extremely taxing on your body, it’s not just something you can show up for and hope to do well. In fact, if you don’t train at all, you may not finish it due to either injury or physical exhaustion. ToughMudder.com even states that nearly a quarter of their participants (22% to be exact) never cross the finish line. So, if you want to find yourself in the 78% that do, where do you start?
Make Safety a Priority
First and foremost, you want to make sure your body can handle a Tough Mudder by meeting with your family doctor. He or she knows all about your health and can advise you whether or not this particular race is for you. Plus, if there are any special guidelines you need to follow, who better to provide them than the one person who knows you inside and out?
It’s All About the Intervals
Part of what makes The Tough Mudder, well, tough, is that it involves intervals of cardiovascular exercise broken up by obstacles that are designed to test your strength, flexibility, and agility. Therefore, you have to incorporate all of these areas into your fitness regime in order to expect to do well on race day.
Plan to work out 5-6 days each week while training. Each session should start with a 5-minute warm up and end with a 5-minute cool down so that you don’t harm your muscles. What goes in between these two fragments of time is intervals of cardio and strength training. For instance, you may decide to do 2 minutes of cardiovascular activity (such as running or riding a bike) and then spend the next minute doing some sort of strength training activity (like pull-ups, pushups, and crunches).
Alternate between these two types of activities for 10 minutes total at first, adding one more 3 minute cycle to it each week until you’re at 40-60 minute sessions. Follow this regimen and you’ll be ready for the Tough Mudder to arrive. And you’ll be in the 78% that finish. That makes it a win/win all the way around!