The Lake District

April, 2016

“Yeahhhhhh, fuck it.” I said, as I paid £100 for a ticket to Tough Mudder – ignoring the voice telling me dropping a tonne on a headband and a free beer after 4 hours of horror is a bit ridiculous.

I’d had a Red Bull and two creme eggs in the space of about fifteen minutes and, twisted on Cadbury’s, anything seemed like a good idea – after all, I needed something to keep me motivated at the gym. So @SamsFitDiary and I forked out our cash and started training… sort of.

I mean, we did train in the sense we were hitting the gym 4 times a week – more because it was Summer and our asses weren’t going to graft themselves into a bikini. But literally the week before we were bladdered, rolling round the hotel floor in Brighton eating minstrels. 6 days before we were eating 6000 calories each of cheesy chips just to try to drown out our headaches.

But we still did it. And we’re going to do it again. So for anyone who’s wondering what they’ve signed themselves up for, here’s what you need to know!

tough mudder blog

What training do I need to do?

Unpopular opinion: you don’t actually have to “train” to do Tough Mudder. Obviously it helps, but realistically anyone can get through it.

But, if you are going to put in a bit of effort:

 – Don’t worry about the running. I’m not a runner. Never have been, never will be – so the idea of 12 miles of pure cardio was… well I wasn’t exactly excited about it. I spent the month leading up to it attempting HIIT training to get my cardio up. That’s a lie by the way, it was ‘HIIT’ in the sense that I would run for three minutes with Buddy then stagger after him clutching my chest for 10. Honestly though, I shouldn’t have worried. There are stints where you can run if you want, but you can also walk – and there ground is so slippy by the time you get 3 miles in, you can’t really run anyway.

– Work on your core. As I said, it’s slippy AF – so good balance will help if you want to go home with your ankles and knees intact.

funny tough mudder


– Build your stamina. Whilst you don’t need to worry about cardio in the sense of suddenly transforming into a long-distance runner, you still need to make it up and down hills for 12 miles. So make sure you do some uphill walking training.

– Train your upper body. If you want a fighting chance at keeping hold of the soaking wet monkey bars, or not collapsing into a puddle after carrying logs for ten minutes straight, you’re going to need to work on your upper body strength. And no, 2kg bicep curls don’t count.

– Wear your fucking shoes in. It should go without saying that your trainers are going to get wrecked in the mud – so it’s worth buying a pair of cheap ones that you can lash at the end. But for the love of god don’t put them on for the first time that morning. Have I mentioned it’s 12 miles of obstacles? You don’t want to do that with blisters.

best tough mudder advice

What should I expect on the day?

The one thing you need to be prepared for is that it’s going to be a rollercoaster of emotions. One minute you’ll think “this is a piece of piss”, the next you’ll be trying to hold back the tears, and the next you’ll be buzzing off your own ability. So don’t worry – just take each step as you go along and remember that you can skip any obstacles that you think might actually kill you.

That said, here are some things you should know before you arrive:

  • Scope the obstacles first. As I said, you can skip any you don’t want to do, but it’s going to be a lot harder to opt out if you’ve already squeezed yourself halfway through a tunnel with people in front and behind you. Also, make sure you’re comfortable with who you’re doing it with – it’s one thing encouraging someone to tackle and obstacle if they’re nervous, it’s another thing bullying someone into doing something they don’t want to do.
  • Check the height restrictions on the water obstacles. Don’t wait until you’re already in there to realise you’re too short for your feet to touch the bottom, make a god-awful scene and have someone pull you out. Like I did.

tough mudder advice

  • Don’t wear anything too heavy. You’re going to get wet, a lot. So unless you want to be carrying round an extra stone of water in your t-shirt, wear light materials.
  • Don’t wear a crop top. I totally get that you want to show off the abs you’ve trained for 4 months, but if you turn up like fitness Barbie 1. you’re going to look like a dick and 2. your whole body will be scratched to fuck by the time you get home.
  • Be nice to people. However tough you think you are, I promise you’re going to need a strangers help more than once during the event. So help people where you can and turn your bitchy resting snarl off for a few hours.
  • Most importantly: don’t take yourself too seriously. You’re going to fall over. You’re going to look like a drowned rat. You’re going to embarrass yourself by smacking a stranger in the crotch. But so is everyone else, so you might as well have a fucking laugh while you do it.

Until next time… x

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