When it comes to mud pits, barbed wire, and ice-cold water, not only do you need physical toughness and a team of Mudders ready to escape the ordinary with you… you need mental strength and to reveal the Super Hero within.
You’re already running, box jumping, and bicep curling your way to physical greatness, but now it’s time to start doing some mental burpees. Truth be told, building mental toughness isn’t as easy dropping to the floor and cranking out 20. It takes work to get your brain to a point where it is willing to push longer and harder than it ever was before, finding strength you never even knew you had. And while we swear that anyone can do a Tough Mudder or Tough Mudder Challenge, reaching new heights and breaking distances, is no joke.
Fear not Mudders, here are 5 ways you can train your minds so that your neurotransmitters don’t fatigue and quit leaving you waist-deep in a pile of muck, but instead set you up for success and unbeatable toughness that will activate those Super Heroes powers.
1. BLAST YOUR TUNES
Let’s start real easy…just grab your headphones. It has been shown that music can boost athletic performance…if it’s the right kind of beat. The key is finding music that inspires and motivates you. In training, the music will distract you from your effort, which allows you to go harder. So when you’re training to pass a challenging physical test, break a personal record, or gear up for your first time hitting the mud, listen to one specific song. Do this on your hard training days only. Then, when faced with the challenge, blast the song before you dive in. You’ll feel it throughout your body, invigorating you to go harder and longer just like you practiced. Finding the right music allows you to block out those fears and distractions, enhances your senses, and lets you take on any obstacle in your way
2. STICK TO A ROUTINE
While the post-training bath or celebratory meal may feel like the most important part of a training, they’re not. Creating a workout routine is. Challenging yourself to get out there when you don’t feel like it, when you’re busy, tired, or the weather’s not ideal, will boost your discipline. If you can make a sweat-routine that you stick to no matter what, it’ll begin to feel like second nature. Plus, it’s that much more rewarding to push boundaries and finish a workout in tough conditions than in easy ones.
Need help finding a training plan that works for you? We’ve got you covered with our Tough Mudder Training Guide. Unleashing the courage of Captain America, this guide will have your mind and body start and finish line ready in no time, intensify your speed, stamina and endurance to new levels you never even knew you had.
3. BE PREPARED
Obstacle course and endurance athletes know the drill. Meaning, if you’ve prepared for anything, you’ll be able to handle anything. If in training you know that you’ve done everything possible to get to your goal, on event-day or during challenges you’ll be vibing on a next-level-feeling-of calm.
You should know on race day what you’re going to eat, what you’re going to wear, and what your routine is going to look like the morning of. The morning of your event is not the time to try out whipped-cream on your protein waffled after a year going dairy-free… nor is it the time to see if your stomach is as tough as the rest of you. Eggs loaded with Sriracha? Not today, buddy.
If you’re planning on impressing your fellow mudders and want to prove that your super powers aren’t only within, you’d be wise to have your Marvel themed outfit sewn, sized, laid out and ready for wear the next morning. If you’re not planning on decking yourself out in Super Hero garb, we’d still advise you to figure out what you’re going to wear to the toughest event on the planet prior to game-day.
4. BE POSITIVE
In training and when you’re taking on challenges, there will be a dialogue going through your mind; some of these thoughts will be negative, but others will be positive. In order to be successful, focus on the positive elements – mental and physical toughness, strength, durability – that will allow your inner powers to intensity in unconventional ways. If you think you can’t muscle through the Black Widow – Standing Bicycle Crunches, you can’t. If you think you’re going to lose your grip on the Thor Dumbbell Swings, you will.
An easy way to keep a positive frame of mind is to create and use a mantra that gets you pumped up. Phrases such as “We are okay”, “We’ve got this”, “One foot at a time”, or “Yes we can” can help rid the brain of negativity and replace it with feelings of “Yes we can.’ Whether you’re the leader of your team and dig deep to find your inner Black Panther protector and leader power or bear the weight of the team through your immense Hulk strength, success is found by the individual or joined forces only when positivity outweighs the negativity.
6. VISUALISE YOUR SUCCESS
Before you step foot on the start line, you should have already completed the course mentally. Look over the map of obstacles as part of your training preparation and visualise yourself getting through each one successfully. Once you’ve completed the course with your mind, all you have to do is complete it with your body.
Now, it is go time. Your senses are intensified, your fear is gone, your physical toughness is amplified, your mental strength has reached new heights and your Super Hero powers have awoken and are ready to tackle any challenge thrown your way.