Taking part in Tough Mudder in 2017 and looking for some advice before event day? Wondering how on earth you're going to train for such a challenge? As the Official Nutrition Bar Partner of Tough Mudder UK, we’re on hand with The Balanced Nutritionist to provide seasoned advice alongside some expert nutrition tips!
6-12 weeks before Event:
- Bring a friend: Tough Mudder is all about teamwork and you’ll best enjoy yourself running as part of a team. Around 80% of people at the start line are there because of a friend dragging them along! Don’t worry if you’re not able to persuad any mates to come along, of course you can go on your own as well, and many do! You'll find that you will tag on with a group by the first obstacle, or other solo event goers!
- Get outdoors: Train in all elements and all terrains, to get used to the excursion in wet and cold conditions. And let’s face it, training outside is way more fun than being in the gym.
- RUN: Get running up to 10k, this will give you enough stamina to get through the course. The courses are usually 10-12 miles long. You can train to that distance if you want to but you might want the sense of achievement in running your furthest distance and completing the course at once!
- Strengthen Upper Body: Work on your upper body strength. Think bar hangs, pull ups, chin ups, and monkey bars! HIRT (high interval resistance training) classes in your local gym will be a huge help.
- Build Stamina: HIIT (high intensity interval training) is all the rage these days and there’s no wonder as it’s so great to build up overall fitness and stamina.
- Opt to fundraise for the event: This will give you further purpose in making sure you complete the course. The official Tough Mudder charity Partner is “Help For Heroes” and you can find out more about this here. (open in new tab)
- Get your Sleep in: Make sure the night before your Tough Mudder, that you get at least 8 hours of sleep, so you are good to go, and able to perform at your optimum.
- Eat well: We’ve pulled together a handy 7 day sports nutrition meal plan to help fuel you for optimium performance.
On the Day
- Stay Warm with your clothing choice: Wear clothing that wicks moisture away quickly. Avoid cotton. Wear a thermal base-layer if you get cold easily. Choose close-fitting clothes over loose fitting clothes, to avoiding chaffing.
- Footwear: Wear old trainers (that still have good support left in them), so you don't mind them getting covered in mud.
- To opt for gloves or not? Wearing 'grippy' fingerless gloves will not only help you grip wet obstacles, but will keep your hands from getting too cold. Some prefer to go glove free un-aided. It’s up to you.
- Embrace the course. Yes you wall fall, yes you may feel some fear, yes you will look silly (look out for ElectroShock Therepy!). Just throw yourself into it, and enjoy every moment! The nothing better than the feeling of accomplishment after completeing something you were worried about!
- Don't Stress: Remember if you really don't want to/can't do an obstacle, you can run around it, to the next one.
- Fuel: An hour before your start wave eat your favourite TREK Protein Energy Bar. They’re made for slow release energy rather than using energy gels that will give you a sugar spike and ultimately a come down. Make sure you take on plenty of water before you start as well. Out on course there are plenty of hydration stations so ensure you taken on water here too. Keep an eye out for TREK Feed Stations too where we’ll be handing out TREK Protein Energy Chunks to keep you going.
- After event: Don't forget to bring a towel, wipes, and a change of clothes (and footwear!) to enjoy the post-event celebrations.
Expert Nutritional Tips:
- 72hrs before event: Start food prepping for the event, rather than carb loading the night before, as this may leave you feeling sluggish and heavy (I call this the 'Food Hangover' feeling). Eat meals containing complex carbohydrates (such as brown rice, oats, sweet potato, and quinoa), good sources of protein, and plenty of fruit and vegetables. I don't recommend following a low carbohydrate diet running up to a Tough Mudder event. You want your glycogen stores fully topped up ,and primed to fuel you through the event! Make sure you hit your 2l+ water intake target each day too.
- After: Within 20mins of finishing, eat another TREK bar (they’re packed with 9g of protein and handed out at the end!). This will provide with a good source of carbohydrates and protein, which will aid in muscle recovery. Re-hydrate, either drink water or a drink that contains electrolytes. Make your own healthy sports drink up: 500ml coconut water, 1 tbsp maple syrup, pinch of sea salt and the juice of half a lemon. Simply put all ingredients in a sports bottle, shake well and it's ready to drink. Take a Magnesium Citrate supplement to aid recovery. I recommend 400 - 800mg.
- Stretch: Make sure you don't skip on the stretches, once you have completed the course. This will help you recover quicker.
- Evening: Enjoy a meal of whatever you fancy, you've earned it!