Have you signed up for testing your fitness knee-deep in mud, while you crawl through electrified wires? Yup, Tough Mudder time has come around again! For the uninitiated Tough Mudder is a 16-20km obstacle course (depending on if you choose the half or full) that’s big on getting down and dirty. And it’s coming to Sydney (well, near Sydney).
If you haven’t signed up yet, there’s still time! For those who have their spot secured, we asked our expert personal trainer (and Tough Mudder survivor) Alex Georgeou for his top tips for the day.
1. Cardio is your friend.
“The race is roughly 16-19km long, so cardio conditioning is a high priority (unless you choose to walk it, but that’s no fun!). Aim to be running at least 3-5km a day and increase that to roughly 10-15km in the lead up to the day. Make sure the running is increased incrementally. Schedule in a mix of running styles, e.g. sprints, long distance, trail runs, hill runs etc.
2. Bring on the strength training
Plan to incorporate strength training 3-4 days a week. Focus predominantly on ‘pulling’ muscles, as a lot of obstacles in Tough Mudder require you to pull your body weight up (and over) things. You might want to work on your plyometric training as well. Learning to jump over your obstacles might be easier than pulling yourself over them.. haha!
3. Add sprint training
Also, incorporate a lot of short burst training, such as sprinting mixed with squat jumps or burpees as that will simulate similar situations you’ll be in when running the race. Long distance jog for a while where you can steady your heart rate, then a challenging obstacle where your heart rate goes through the roof, then back to a steady jog, etc.
4. Don’t go overboard with training
Some people would recommend pouring iced water over yourself to get ready for the ice plunge they have there, but I don’t think it’s necessary… What you should really do is electrocute yourself so you can get used to that. Joking! … Or am I?
5. Get creative
Carrying randomly shaped objects, as weird as it sounds, will help you prepare for this race. Considering you’ll need to pick up logs, bags, bodies (!), basically whatever they decide will create the most challenging experience, it might be helpful to have experience carrying something odd shaped… Please don’t go throwing your dog over your shoulder and heading on a 15km uphill run. I don’t think they’ll be as happy to help out with your training as you think!
Basically, the overall gist is – be cardio fit, learn how to jump high and pull yourself over things. The most important thing is to have fun, it’s not life or death… just try to avoid being electrocuted, it hurts.”
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