How to mentally prepare for Tough Mudder

mental Man
(Image credit: Unknown)

Even though you need stamina to make it round the course and power to overcome the obstacles, mental strength is vital to completing a Tough Mudder. Obstacles such as Electroshock Therapy tap into primal fears and getting through them goes against all survival logic you’ve learnt so far, therefore preparing your mind is just as crucial as training your body.

The lead-up

‘Visualising the event is an effective way to prepare for race day,’ says personal trainer and Tough Mudder veteran Mike James. ‘Be specific and detailed, visualising the obstacles, what you're wearing on race day and what the weather is going to be like. The more specific you can be with the sites, sounds and emotions, the more calm and confident you'll be when the actual day comes around.’ Take that confidence even further by tracking your training so you’ve got concrete evidence of how prepared you are. Apps like RunKeeper run on any Android phone, such as the Xperia™ Z3+ from Sony and allow you to track your progression. Or take it a step further still and pair your SmartBand Talk with your Z3+ to provide an even more detailed breakdown of your training. There’s nothing to fear on race day if you’ve got proof you can do it beforehand.

The night before

The evening before Tough Mudder plan your race day breakfast and lay your kit out ready so you haven't got to worry about anything in the morning. Perhaps most important is getting a good night’s sleep. Using the sleep monitoring functions of SmartWatch 3 and Sony’s Lifelog app you can decide the best time to go to bed and wake up based on your sleep patterns over the last few weeks. This will ensure you get a high-quality, uninterrupted snooze.

‘You should also aim to do something completely unrelated the day before your Tough Mudder,’ says Johannes Klose co-founder of wellbeing and holistic membership Somuchmore ( ‘Something calming, restorative and slow-paced such as a walk in a park is best.’ If you can’t trust yourself to keep the pace down, use a Sony SmartWatch 3 to keep an eye on your speed and ensure it doesn’t turn into a last-minute training run.

Race day

Arriving at Tough Mudder can be overwhelming thanks to all the people and noisy distractions. Don’t let yourself get distracted. ‘Run though your warm-up routine and focus on your breathing,’ says James. Direct your thoughts to the physical and mental aspects you can control rather than focusing on the unknown. Again, use your RunKeeper app with your Xperia™ Z3+ from Sony to give yourself something familiar on race day and to keep track of your pace.

‘Try concentrating on what it will feel like to complete your Tough Mudder and visualise yourself at the finish, hands in the air, the smile on your muddy face and the happiness of your friends and family who’ve just watched you complete one of the world’s toughest obstacle races,’ says Klose.

Good luck

When it comes down to the actual race it’s all about confidence and sticking to a pace you feel comfortable with. ‘Accept that there will be people running faster than you, says James. That’s fine, just let them push on rather than making you feel inferior.’ If fears or negative emotions do come up during the race, focusing on your breathing by counting your inhales and exhales. This relaxes your nervous system and helps create a distance between you and your fears.

‘If all else fails, remind yourself that the worst case scenarios our minds come up with hardly ever actually happen,’ says Klose. Or to quote Mark Twain: “I've lived through some terrible things in my life, some of which actually happened.”

Find out more about the Xperia Z3+ from Sony and its benefits for your Tough Mudder preparation

Coach Staff

Coach is a health and fitness title. This byline is used for posting sponsored content, book extracts and the like. It is also used as a placeholder for articles published a long time ago when the original author is unclear. You can find out more about this publication and find the contact details of the editorial team on the About Us page.