Tough Mudder vents are organized every year, with different courses, at different difficulty levels, being held around the world. Because of this, there is something for everyone: wherever you are, whether you want to get the kids involved, or if you’re an elite athlete, or if you’ve never run a race before in your life, Tough Mudder’s events will cater to your needs.
Tough Mudder has recently found its way to the Emirates. After a successful run in 2019, it is coming back for another season this year, spread across various locations. Dubai’s Festival City will hold races, beginning on 15th November, as will near to GymNation Ras Al Khaimah, beginning on 20th November. If you want to put your fitness first in Dubai or anywhere else in the UAE, Tough Mudder is a good place to start.
Though, of course, Tough Mudder is held in the great outdoors, where mud can be found aplenty, most people will want to spend a significant amount of time training in their local gym. Today, we’re going to run through some of the ways you can get in shape for Tough Mudder in any gym near me.
Tough Mudder’s core race is a grueling, 20km slog through a series of around 25 obstacles. The obstacles all complement each other, testing you comprehensively, using their natural settings to their advantage. The race is hard, muddy, and it should represent a challenge in both strength and endurance that few races offer.
If you want a goal to work towards, whether it be for strength, stamina or endurance, Tough Mudder could be it. Training should focus on all three, combining steady-state cardio with short burst, high-intensity intervals designed to build power and strength. Really, this kind of training works as a good way to ensure a well-rounded approach to fitness.
However, as mentioned above, it isn’t all about the hard slog- there is something for everyone in a Tough Mudder event.
The 20km race is hard- it taxes you physically and mentally, working through cardiovascular endurance, strength, stamina and sheer brute willpower.
However, if this sounds like a lot, don’t worry. Tough Mudder also offers a 5km course with a dozen or so obstacles. This will give you a challenge that may be more appropriate to your fitness level, giving you all the perks of the main event without being too extreme. It may be all you want to do, or it may serve as an introduction to this kind of race, spurring you on to challenge yourself further in future years.
Either way, training for this kind of event will be great for your health and fitness.
Mini Mudder is a great option for the kids- it will be a fun, challenging day of racing and a good excuse to get them up, about and moving. It uses a 1.6km obstacle course that is filled with adventure and challenge. It’s open to children aged 5-12 and will help to teach them how to work in teams and overcome set trials.
All children must be accompanied by, and checked in by, an adult (18+).
Whichever course you choose, if you’re in the Emirates this November, it’s well worth checking out Tough Mudder UAE. For more information, or to book yourself into a course, visit Tough Mudder and get your tickets!
Training for Tough Mudder UAE
But how do you train for Tough Mudder? What are the main fitness components needed when getting ready for this kind of challenge? And how can you train using your gym membership or leisure centre?
As mentioned above, and broadly speaking, there are three main areas you need to train with regards your physical fitness. All of these can be worked in any standard gym.
It should be noted that some of the challenges themselves will be unique to an obstacle course- rope climbing, crawling through obstacles, jumping walls, etc. However, regular exercise in the following key areas will give you the strength and stamina needed to complete even the toughest of courses:
We’re mostly talking about sprinting, here. Obstacle courses like Tough Mudder require bursts of intense power interspersed with the steadier state cardio that we will go through below. Therefore, sprint, interval and circuit training will be a must in your preparation.
Try for sprints themselves, either on a treadmill, upright cycle, or spin bike, or on foot on an athletic track. Intense 20-30 second bursts will be needed. You will want to get your heart rate up to 90%+ of its maximum.
As well as this, try going for some higher tier circuit classes and engaging in full body HIIT protocols. Explosive output is key.
As much as bursts of power will be needed to get through the obstacles themselves, we can’t overlook the fact that you will be running several kilometres, through difficult terrain, whichever version of the course or which event you choose.
You will therefore need to have healthy cardiovascular endurance to enable you to keep going.
Steady state cardio will have to feature heavily in your plan alongside sprints. Running and swimming will be perfect, keeping your heart rate up at around 60-70% for long stretches (30-60 minutes, at least a couple of times per week). Alternatively, most gyms will offer aerobic fitness classes which will all be perfect for the varied challenges posed by a Tough Mudder course.
Muscular strength and endurance
Finally, you will need a degree of full-body strength and muscular endurance to help you deal with the obstacles included in a Tough Mudder event. This means resistance training- working your muscles against force.
There are a few forms of resistance training that will benefit anybody looking to take part in a Tough Mudder course. The most obvious is weight lifting. Get into the weights room a couple of times per week and focus on large, compound movements. These include squats, deadlifts, bench presses, overhead presses and rows. Work sets of 6-12 to build muscle and strength, and sets of 12-20 for endurance.
Alternatively, a Body Pump class could be of use, especially for those uncomfortable with lifting weights. Yoga and Pilates will also be good, especially for core strength, upper body stability and coordination. Finally, swimming is a great upper body builder- combine power and resistance by sprinting laps of the pool.