MudRun Irvine

Top Ten Tough Mudder Tips

Top 10 Tough Mudder Tips


If you’ve signed yourself up for the Tough Mudder, read the following tips from a fellow Mudder so that you can prepare yourself for one awesomely tough day.




  1. Run. If you’re not a runner, start running today. Hopefully you have a few months to prepare (which is plenty of time) so start gradually but start today. The Tough Mudder is 10-12 miles so you’ll want to build your endurance and get your legs ready to trot up and down hills for a few hours. If you’re already a runner, start trail running and running steep hills. There’s an obstacle called “Death March” and trust me when I say, you want to be ready for it.

  2. Buy the right gear. Don’t run in anything made of cotton. It is heavy and will weigh you down after you get wet and muddy. Buy synthetic materials that will dry quickly and keep you cool (or warm depending on where/when you are running). Nike and Under Armour make great gear for mud runs.  (Check out our Best Mud Run Gear Guide for specifics.)

  3. HIIT. Don’t know what it is? Check out some of our articles here ( ). It is important to incorporate HIIT so your heart is used to the intensity of the race, so your muscles are used to the intensity, and so the rest of your body is used to the intensity of the race. Plus it’s fun and will get you into amazing shape.

  4. Practice hanging on things and pulling yourself up. So many of the obstacles are about pulling yourself up and over. If you can’t pull yourself over a wall with someone giving you a boost, you’re going to have problems. Go to your local kids park and chances are, they’ll have monkey bars and/or rings. Go play. Seriously, it will pay off.

  5. Hydrate. Not just the day before or the day of (unless you want your legs to seize up on you during the run, leaving you in the middle of the course crying in agony like a whiny baby). Start drinking electrolyte beverages a week before the race. Hyper-hydrate. Drink coconut water or other natural electrolyte drinks. Stay away from Gatorade and Powerade if you can.

  6. Visualize the run. If you haven’t done so already, watch some YouTube videos on the course you’ll be running. Don’t fixate on the “fail” videos. Just study the tips and read articles like the one you’re reading now. Then visualize yourself going through the course with your team (or if you’re a crazy solo badass, visualize running with hundreds of people who will become your teammates during the race).  See yourself tackling the obstacles calmly and safely. See yourself kicking ass up the hills. See yourself dawning the orange headband. It’s going to happen. It’s going to kick major ass.tough mudder tips

  7. Train with your team. Get together at least once a week with your team and train together. It will make you bond which is important when they need to carry your ass during the race. It will also show each person’s strengths and weaknesses (so you’ll know what to expect during the race). It will be a journey that you’ll experience together and we all know that that’s the best part.

  8. Get flexible. We saw lots of pulled muscles. We saw some ankles and knees pop. We saw limping. You will be contorting your body in ways that you normally wouldn’t so that you can get over a wall. You’ll be stuck in deep mud and have to pull yourself out of it while your legs feel like lead bricks. You’ll be jumping over things and well, you saw the videos. So practice some yoga. Not only will it keep you loose and limber, it will help keep you calm when you’re in confined spaces. I had to get zen in “cage crawl” and remember my yoga breathing. Thank Buddha I did.

  9. Get your hotel and parking for the event early. We bought premium parking (which sells out super quick) and we agreed that it was the best decision we’d made. The truck was an easy walk away and that made all of the difference when we needed to get things before and after the race. If you have spectators riding with you, get premium parking for their sake and yours. Hotels in the area sell out really quickly, too. We learned that the hard way and had to cough up $300 for our room.

  10. Decide whether or not this will be a race for you. The Tough Mudder is not timed. They are very big on teamwork and not leaving any Mudder behind. If you’re super competitive and know that you’ll want to run as fast as you possibly can, do the run solo or tell your team beforehand. Don’t be the dick who leaves your team in the dust at the starting line if they are relying on you to be there. I will say that the team aspect was the best part for me and I’m more proud of helping my injured teammate cross the finish line than I am of completing the Mudder.


So there you have it. Top 10 tough mudder tips. Check out the rest of our Mud Run section for more tips and info!

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