Tough Mudder FAQ

After posting about TM on Instagram this weekend I've had lots of messages about training for the event and what's involved so I thought I'd answer all of the questions and add my training tips in one place in case you fancy the challenge.

How far is it?
The first thing to know about TM is that it's an obstacle course so although you have to be able to do the obstacles you need to be able to get around the course. There are two options: the half and the full. The half is 5 miles with 13 obstacles and the full is 10-12 miles with 20 obstacles.

Do you have to be a good runner?
It might sound weird but no not really. Or at least not for the half. Although the full course is 10 miles you don't have to be able to run that far in one go. You do need a good basic level of fitness though just so that you can enjoy the course and run in between the obstacles.

Do you get muddy?
Erm, yes very!!

Is it hard?
It's tough! Haha see what I did there. It is a challenge yes but it isn't impossible. There are ways to make it easier and more fun. For example: Go with a great team. Tough Mudder is all about team work and working together to get under, over and into the obstacles. Teaming up with people who like a challenge will make the day more fun. Also, think carefully about what you wear on your feet. I was lucky to be given the chance to run with Team Merrell who sponsor TM so I was kitted out in their latest TM shoe, the Avalaunch. The grips on that were amazing, even better than their shoe the year before. I was able to run up and down muddy hills without slipping once.  The were also really comfy and light weight but at the same time tackled all of the obstacles and gave me confidence to perform. One thing I would say though is that they have a pulley cord fastening. I managed to get a foot full of stones on one of the obstacles and the fastening was too blocked with mud for me to open with freezing hands. A TM course marshal got it open and given there aren't many times when your shoes would get that muddy so it is unlikely to be a problem that many people would encounter, as a result I would highly recommend them.

Is it worth the money?
In all honesty it's so much fun and even the parts that aren't fun, like when you are freezing cold, you get through those bits and feel incredible for doing something that is pretty tough. It's like nothing you've ever done before. It's not a running race and it's not a military boot camp it's so much better and the obstacles are hard which makes it more worthwhile.

I have no upper body strength, like I'm a total weed, can I still do it?
In terms of training you have to be able to run. I'd also recommend circuit training to practice changing between using different muscle groups. If you can, have a go at doing monkey bars and also doing pull-ups. Don't worry though I can't do a pull-up and I still made it through. You'll need to have grit determination to get through some of the obstacles. To try training for this set yourself challenges which are tough like pyramid burpees - e.g. 5, 7, 9 with limited rest. Coaching yourself to believe you can do it is really helpful.

Will I ruin my clothes?
Possibly. I wore running leggings and a running t-shirt both times and didn't have any rips in my clothes but I did see people on the course with tears in their clothes. You might want to wear old clothes or fancy dress but don't forget you want to be comfortable running for 10 miles so you might not want old clothes. You also need to be able to get over the obstacles so just make sure any fancy dress costume isn't too restrictive. On the whole though most things clean up pretty well, even if they are really muddy.

These are just the answers to the questions I've been asked so if you have any other questions then head over to Twitter @lucy_fitness and ask as many questions as you like. Plus if you're planning to book your ticket you can get 25% off tickets with the discount code 5BDAY if you book before 11 May 2017 (this code isn't linked to me and I don't get any kick-backs if you use it).

Hope to see lots of you toughing it out later this year.
Lucy x