How To Train For A Mudder

If you’re a die-hard athlete looking for an event that will push you to the max, you should consider participating in a Tough Mudder event.

Tough Mudder events are some of the most difficult physical events on the planet! The courses include 20-25 obstacles spread out over 10-12 miles, and they’re a true testament to your physical strength, endurance and ability to work with others. Many of the main principles revolve around working as a team.

The obstacles also play on common fears and involve things such as electricity, fire, water, mud and heights. As the concept continues to gain in popularity, new events are added. For instance, if you’re a beginner, you may want to try the Tough Mudder Half or Tough Mudder 5K.

For more advanced athletes, there are events like the Tougher or Toughest Mudder. There’s even a Mini Mudder event for children (ages 7-11).

It’s important for Tough Mudder participants to understand the event isn’t a race, but a challenge. Participants must agree to put teamwork and togetherness before individual course times and commit to helping their fellow “mudders” complete the course.

The goal of Tough Mudder events is to work together within the mudder community to overcome all fears and finish this intensely physical challenge.

To  prepare for a Tough Mudder event, it’s important to consider each of the following areas:

Physical Strength & Stamina


Running is a large component to all Tough Mudder events, so it is important to make sure you can easily run the distance of your specified event. For those training for the Tough Mudder (10-12 miles), it is helpful to use a marathon running schedule with modifications to the intervals and fast paced runs because these aren’t necessary. For the regular Tough Mudder events, the focus is on finishing the event and not on how quickly it can be completed so training time is better spent focusing on areas such as strength training rather than increasing your run time.

Strength Training

Tough Mudder events are about so much more than running because you also need to have the physical strength to complete the obstacles. To ensure you are strong enough to handle the obstacles, it is important that you can lift yourself because many of the obstacles require that you lift your own body weight. To prepare for this area of the event, you can successfully train using simple bodyweight exercises such as pull-ups, push-ups, sit-ups, planks and dips.

Conditioning Training

Tough Mudder events take place outside so it is advised that you train within similar conditions. For example, if you are planning to participate in a Tough Mudder in the middle of summer, you must prepare for racing in hot weather. It is important to note that heat isn’t something you will want to plan on beating the day of the race. Instead, plan ahead and optimize your performance by preparing for the hot weather and acclimating to physically performing in the heat. It is also important to condition yourself for the obstacles, which often include icy liquids. To help with this, you may want train outside if it is cold or practice using ice water baths. It is also helpful to make sure to train in the rain because with the weather being unpredictable, there is a chance you may be participating in the event while it may be raining. The main idea is to train in the elements that you may encounter during the race. Do that, and you will be in great shape come the day of the event!

Diet & Nutrition

Prior to the Race

When participating in a Tough Mudder event, it is important to start focusing on your nutrition at least three days prior to the race. Nutritionists advise participants to begin eating small low-fat meals containing protein and carbohydrates every couple of hours. This helps to better prepare your body for packing in the carbohydrates the night prior to the race.

Race Day

If participating in a Tough Mudder event, you should begin your day with a smaller meal. It is best to avoid fiber and excessive protein and always consume your meal a couple of hours before the race. During the event, it is recommended that you refuel by consuming a small amount of fluids every 15-20 minutes but this may be challenging during an event like the Tough Mudder. If this is the case you may need something more to keep your energy up like consuming a gel once an hour after you have been participating in the event for an hour or so. To help you gauge the amount of gel you may require during these events, experiment throughout your training to see what does or doesn’t work for you. After you have completed the race, it is important that you restore your carbohydrates and proteins. To do this, it is recommended that you eat a light meal that has both carbohydrates and a quality protein, which will help with muscle recovery.

If you are interested in partaking in a Tough Mudder event and are looking for help with training in the Beaverton area, the personal trainers at FIT Academy can assist! Our trainers can help you develop and implement a plan that will provide you with all of the essentials you will need to help you finish strong!

For more information, stop by FIT Academy or call (971) 371-3666 today!

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