Inside Information You NEED to Know When Training for Tough Mudder
The Tough Mudder contest, hands-down one of the world’s most challenging obstacle courses ever created, will push you further physically and mentally than you’ve likely ever been pushed before.
Only a percentage of people that set up to compete in a Tough Mudder ever successfully finish, which is kind of crazy considering the fact that you’ll likely have to pay at least $150 – and sometimes much more – just to get the “opportunity” to push yourself to the brink of physical exhaustion over 12 miles.
This challenge definitely isn’t for the weak or faint of heart. This is a challenge that you will have to train for, the kind of challenge that you will have to conquer physically as well as mentally, and the kind of challenge that will reward you tremendously if you come across that finish line and beat it.
Here is some inside insight you’ll need to know when you are training for Tough Mudder.
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Focus on RUNNING More Than Anything Else
At its very core, every single Tough Mudder course is going to challenge you to run between 10 and 12 miles – and we mean RUN – but this is the area that the overwhelming majority of Tough Mudder participants are weakest in.
Maybe it’s because people get hung up on the obstacle course part, or maybe it’s because training to run just isn’t that much fun. It definitely isn’t as fun as diving through mud, leaping through fire, and climbing over crazy man-made obstacles – but when you are training for Tough Mudder you need to be training to run first and foremost.
Marathon training schedules (you can find plenty online that fit your athletic level to a T) are going to give you a significant advantage over the rest of the field. This is where the bulk of your time spent training for Tough Mudder needs to be focused, and the rest will just kind of fall into place.
(Train for 15 miles. It’s overkill, for sure, but you won’t feel gassed as you fall across the finish line.)
Do keep in mind though that if you are unable to run 12 miles straight that is alright. While it is ideal for your personal performance and endurance to be advanced in your running, the run times are broken up with the military-style obstacles courses which help give you a break from running.
The benefit of being able to run the full 12 miles is the overall endurance your body will have, both for the running and the obstacles.
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Bodyweight Exercises Are More Beneficial Than Pumping Iron When Training for Tough Mudder
You are going to find plenty of people in the gym cranking out rep after rep with barbells and dumbbells all in an effort to better train for a Tough Mudder event. But the people that are able to really light these kinds of competitions on fire are the kinds of people that focus on “functional strength” – controlling their body, remaining flexible, and being able to recruit ALL of the muscle fiber and central nervous system in their body to get through the course.
Look at most of the people that set records in the Tough Mudder world and you’ll find plenty of gymnasts among them. These are the kinds of athletes that spend the bulk of their time focusing on building strong, functional, and flexible bodies – which is exactly what bodyweight exercises are going to help you create.
Many of the obstacles require core fitness and upper body strength, so focus on exercises such as planks and pull-ups to work these groups. If you lack strength in these areas, you will be able to find help from other participants on some of the obstacles like Mt. Everest. However, others like the Funky Monkey all depend on your own strength and mental grit.
If you’re serious about training for Tough Mudder you want to come out on top, spend more time doing push-ups than bench pressing the world.
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