Tough Mudder is here
Tough Mudder is here – Are you prepared?
In 2010, 4500 obstacle course pioneers sprinted down a mud and obstacle infused Ski Mountain in Pennsylvania. The event raised more than $500,000 for the Wounded Warrior Project for returned army veterans. By the next year Tough Mudder participants had increased seven-fold and the number of events held exploded from 3 to 14. Since 2010, 2.5 million people have participated in over 200 Tough Mudder events in 10 countries, with over $10 Million being raised for charity.
Sydney’s Tough Mudder event is running this weekend, 17-18 November in Glenworth Valley. It’s described as the perfect location for a Tough Mudder challenge. Thick muddy flats combine with rocky passes and dense shrub to create a 16km+ test of endurance, strength and resilience. Guaranteed to have the most amount of mud at any Australian event, your legs, gluteal muscles and back are going to be crying out for some dry land to run on. That’s even before you get to the 20 odd obstacles. High wall climbs, electroshock runs, log carrying, rope climbs and piggybacking your teammates is going to be placing a high amount of tension and stress on your body. Tough Mudder is already tough, there are a number of ways to prepare your body for the stress and plan your recovery to ensure that the most painful part of the event was getting your Tough Mudder tattoo.
Last minute preparations
By this stage, if you are competing in Tough Mudder you have likely (hopefully) been doing specific training for some time to prepare your body for the physicality of the event. If you have any underlying injuries you should have discussed these with your Dee Why Physio. Anything left at this point should be smaller things you can focus on to improve your performance and increase the effectiveness of your recovery.
Eat right and hydrate
As with any major event or race, it is important to properly fuel and prepare your body. Being 24 hours from Tough Mudder, it is important not to take carbo-loading into carbo-overloading territory. You want to avoid waking up bloated before the event. Picking carbs that are friendly to digestion, like pasta, tortillas, oats, skinless potatoes and brown rice will ensure you are fuelled and ready to go. Drink at least 3 litres of water and the use of an electrolyte formulation will help provide your body with the sugar, sodium and potassium needed to get through.
Dress for success
Obstacle course events are not your typical sporting event. There’s mud, running, jumping, climbing and you’re bound to get soaking wet. Make sure you have durable clothing, dry-fit is best and avoiding cotton will stop you getting bogged down by wet clothes. If you have compression calf sleeves or shorts, wear them. A good sports shoe (waterproof if you can) with a sturdy sole will help to support your arches and avoid unnecessary strain on your knees and ankles.
Use the RICER method if you are feeling some soreness
Rest properly and resist the temptation to down a number of celebratory alcoholic beverages. If you must go out, keep hydrating, don’t party too hard and let your body recover.
Ice – this will help constrict the blood flow to sore areas and help to reduce inflammation and soreness. If you feel up to it, you can always take your second ice bath as you likely already took your first one during the race.
Compression of the legs and arms will help flush out the lactic acid that has accumulated. Wearing compression gear will work great for this. Pairing compression and icing will ensure they work symbiotically and will shorten your recovery period.
Elevate your legs as you lie in bed thinking about how awesome and tough you looked covered in mud, running through electroshock stations, carrying logs and kicking butt.
Referral – see your local sports physio if you are still sore after 48hrs. Physio’s are trained specialists and can assist the healing process ensuring your body gets special attention recovery.
In the coming 1-2 days you can expect a visit from the DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness). To help reduce the length and impact of this, continue to eat and drink well, supplying your body with the proper nutrients. It is also suggested to keep active with some light walking around.
Your Northern Beaches physio can create a bespoke treatment plan for your every need to ensure that you are fully recovered. Treat yourself to a cutting-edge program that will take a look at every aspect of your physical health to help you recover from this year’s event and to plan to improve for next year’s.