You will start the Tough Mudder race start in a group of about 500 people. They usually take off every 15 to 20 minutes.
You might start the race at 8 a.m. or as late as 1 p.m., it depends on the event and how many people signed up for the race. So you will need to plan your pre-race meal(s) according to your start time.
You don’t want to “bonk”, cramp up, or just run low on energy and slow your team down or worse, join the 22 percent of contestant who don’t finish.
Here is a good plan to prepare you for the race:
3 Days Before the Race
72 hours before the race starts start eating small quantity meals every two to three hours that are low in fat and high in protein and carbs. Eating small meals consistently throughout the day will prepare your body better than the old way of carb loading the night before the event.
Example of an ideal meal: A turkey sandwich with cheese, lettuce, tomato with mustard for flavor with a side of fruit. Another good side is a cup of whole wheat pasta with a cup of vegetables, go light on butter and salt. Stay hydrated, two to three hours before a workout drink 60 ounces of water.
Drink another 16 ounces of water 30 to 60 minutes before your work out. Then another 8 to 16 ounces of water 15 minutes before your workout.
Morning of the Race
Start the day off with a light meal, a banana and a small bagel with some peanut butter. Don’t eat anything too heavy. Eat your meal about an 1.5 to 2 hours before the event, and stay away from fiber and a lot of protein.
They will draw energy away from your ability to perform well. If your time is in the afternoon, plan on eating meals like the ones you’ve been eating for the past 72 hours such as a turkey sandwich, instead of the meal like breakfast outlined above.
During The Race
Obviously it will be difficult to keep your body properly fueled during the race, but its key to get some energy into your body so you don’t “bonk” the second half of the race. You need to take in some electrolytes. Tough Mudder will provide at least three water stations on the course.
Bringing a gel packet or two in a zippered pocket is a viable option. Taking in a few sips of electrolyte-rich fluid every 15 to 20 minutes of the race, if possible. Try to take in a gel packet or two every hour AFTER the first hour of the race. To get a good idea of how much fuel you will need, experiment during your training to have a good idea how much you will need to carry with you.
After the Race
Make sure you replenish your carb and protein stores by having a small meal that has high quality protein and carbs for muscle recovery.
A peanut butter sandwich on whole wheat bread, nuts and raisins is a good option. Other proteins like chicken or tuna will work fine. About 10 to 20 minutes after finishing the race, take in 10 ounces of water or a sports drink like Propel or G2. I would recommend you rehydrate BEFORE the beer drinking at the after race party.
If you are really serious about doing a Tough Mudder, or any other type of “Mud Run” the training program I recommend is the P90X. It has gotten me into the best shape of my life. The program was created by fitness expert Tony Horton, frequent author for Men’s Health.
It is designed to get you into peak fitness in a short period of time using “Interval Workouts”, which have been proven the most effective way to lose weight and get into phenomenal shape.
If you follow this training plan you should be ready for the Tough Mudder, Spartan Race or Warrior Dash!