How to Fuel Ultra-Distances: The World’s Toughest Mudder

A couple weeks ago, I received an enthusiastic email from a group of Aussies. They were planning on competing in the World’s Toughest Mudder (WTM), a perversely-warped, extreme version of the regular Tough Mudder that has contestants complete as many 8-10 mile circuits as they can in a single 24-hour period. To get the spot in the WTM, their four-man team had to place in the top 5% of finishers in the Melbourne Tough Mudder, so they aren’t physical slouches by any means. They’re also Crossfitters, rugby players, and avid Primal eaters. Simply put, these guys make us real proud.

They weren’t writing just to say “hi,” however. They also needed Primal fueling advice, especially since the guy who won last year’s WTM ate anything but Primally. For a single, one-time, all-out event, I’d actually say that making concessions with your diet are fine, but these guys weren’t having it. They wanted to stay Primal for the duration and avoid all the sugary gels and extruded pasta in a vacuum bag (yes, people are really eating this).

Did I already say they make us proud?

Well, is such a thing even possible? And if so, how would you go about doing it?

Let’s read the relevant portion of their email before we begin:

Hi Mark,

On the 31st of March 2012, myself and a team of mates competed in Australasia’s first ever Tough Mudder race on Phillip Island in Melbourne, Australia. Tough Mudder is a 20km obstacle course race designed by British Special Forces which tests endurance, strength, mental commitment and teamwork and is one of around 30 events held annually across the globe.

Out of the 26,000 entrants in the Melbourne event, my team and I managed to finish in the top 5% of all finishers and subsequently have been selected to go to the world championships in Englishtown, New Jersey, USA. The world championships puts the world’s most hardcore Mudders through a grueling 24-hour challenge designed to find the toughest team on the planet. When the mud settles on November 18th, 2012, a select few winners will have bested 500,000 others worldwide for the right to call themselves the World’s Toughest Mudders.

Like any good team about to undergo a huge challenge we have been researching the event and preparing mentally and physically. As Primal eaters we are obviously interested in diet. Last week we found the winning athletes’ diet (Junyong Pak) from 2011 below is his advice and Race Diet plan (I think this much sugar could kill all 4 of us!)

‘In addition to Powerbar gels, I decided to supplement with canned fruit in heavy syrup, pasta, PB&J, protein drink, gatorade, honey, eggs, and bananas. I forgot to eat the honey, and did not make eggs or bring bananas but ate everything else. The canned fruit (peach chunks, halved pears) was a huge winner. I packaged these into vacuum seal bags such that each bag contained half a can of fruit, or 175 calories. These were robust bags that did not break, relatively compact, and also supplied some of my water intake. I could bite off a corner of the bag without taking my gloves off and bite the fruit out like a gel. I packaged the pasta in similar fashion with much success.’

Mark, as you can see, I think if we did this we would all be in a sugar coma and never wake up. Can you help us come up with something Primal to fuel us through the race?

4 Man Team:
James Laird: 28 yrs, 6’2″, 95kg
Scott Laird: 25 yrs, 6’1″, 80kg
James Stiles: 28 yrs, 6’2″, 88kg
Marc Burbrough: 25 yrs, 6’4″, 92kg

Thank you and regards,


Here’s a video of the guys in action to give you an idea of what they’re up against:

It’s gonna be like that, only crazier, and performed multiple times across the day.

First of all, hats off to them. If I had to do another ultra endurance event sometime in my life, the World’s Toughest Mudder would probably be high on my list. It looks like good, clean (well, dirty, actually) fun. It may be fun that takes a week to recover from, but fun nonetheless.

Second, the WTM is not just an ultra-endurance event. With some 24 obstacles ranging from sprints up steep muddy hills to climbing towers and vaulting over walls to swimming through ice-water (and plenty of as-yet unannounced obstacles), you’re not just going to chill out in the oxidative energy pathway, burning fat for energy. The bulk of your energy can – and will, if you take the necessary steps – come from fat, but defeating most of those obstacles (over and over again across 24 hours) will also require intermittent forays into the ATP-PC and anaerobic pathway. Your nutrition, then, has to take both aspects of the race into account.

A month or two before the race:

Become a fat-burning beast.

This may not be a stretch for you bunch, seeing as how you’re already following a Primal eating plan. If you are fat-adapted, stay adapted. If you aren’t, get fat-adapted. Being a fat-burning beast will help you efficiently burn all that body fat for energy (and even the lean among us have enough body fat to provide energy for a 24 hour ultra distance event) and hold off on burning glycogen until you really need it. Doubleplusgood. If you aren’t already adapted, I would recommend limiting your daily carb intake to around 60-70 grams in the months leading up to the race. This will train your body to rely on fat for energy while sparing glucose.

Titrate down your Crossfit metcons.

I know, I know – if you’re like most CrossFitters, you get off on the metcon intensity, and you owe a lot of your physical prowess to training that way. But those metcons burn through glycogen like crazy, and if you continue to follow the 3 on, 1 off (or even 2 on, 1 off) workout schedule without upping the carbs, you’re going to burn yourselves out. Keep the metcons to once, maybe twice a week, shorten them up considerably (5-10 minutes instead of 20-30 minutes), and up the intensity while reducing the volume. Make sure to do some simple, basic, low-rep, low-volume, high-intensity, low-stress strength work instead.

A couple days before the race:

Fill those glycogen stores.

But Mark… didn’t you just say to go low-carb to maximize our bodies’ fat-burning and glucose-sparing potential? What gives? Simple. Two days of (healthy Primally sourced) carb loading to the tune of 350 grams or so per day will top off your glycogen stores. Since you’ll be getting your carbs from whole food sources like sweet potatoes, potatoes, squash, fruit of all kinds, and, if you swing that way, rice, you may have to eat what seems like a large amount of food. It’s not, not really. People act like it’s impossible to eat carbs while eating Primal, and I don’t get it. Just reach for the tubers and fruit.

Take it easy.

Don’t CrossFit, don’t lift, don’t do much of anything that will sap your stored energy and exhaust your muscles. Go for a walk, work on mobility, do some yoga, or do nothing at all. Enjoy your (brief) time off!

Race day:

Eat a light breakfast.

Couple strips of bacon, a couple eggs, some fruit, and strong coffee. This will give you a bit of something in your stomach without weighing you down, and the coffee will liberate some fatty acids for use during the event (not that you need help with that).

Eat some medium chain triglycerides (MCTs).

Why MCTs? They can’t be stored, meaning they must be utilized for energy. MCTs also increase the production of ketones. These are good things, since fat is going to be your ticket through this race. In most cases, I’d tell you to get your MCTs from a whole food source, like coconut oil. Not today. Today, I want you to take three tablespoons of pure, unadulterated MCT oil. If the thought of that appalls you, try frothing it up in your coffee.

Drink some salty broth.

Broth, especially homemade broth dosed with plenty of sea salt, provides easily-assimilable electrolytes like sodium, calcium, and magnesium. You’re going to be excreting a lot of sodium, so add 2-4 grams of sodium. Not salt, but sodium. Hey, didn’t I say to drink salty broth? For reference, sea salt is about 1.8 grams sodium per teaspoon, while table salt is about 2.3 grams sodium per teaspoon.

During the race:

Keep a fat source at hand.

MCT oil, nut butter, and coconut oil are squeezable and fat-rich. Maybe toss in some hard-boiled eggs for protein and fat.

Keep a slow-digesting carb source at hand.

Peter Attia, the endurance athlete who’s been training in a ketotic state for months now, recommends Superstarch, a non-GMO cornstarch that provides steady, even glucose. Best of all, Superstarch doesn’t spike insulin, especially when compared to maltodextrin, so you can take it during a race without impacting your ability to burn fat.

If you can’t get your hands on Superstarch, plain cornstarch (not maltodextrin, which is absorbed too quickly and results in too large an insulin spike) will work tolerably well.

Keep an energy drink on hand.

I recommend the molasses/honey/coconut water hybrid mentioned in this post. Consider mixing in more sea salt for sodium, too, as you’ll be excreting tons of that.

That’s what I’ve got. The key to doing this thing in a low-carb state, of course, is that you are completely fat-adapted. Becoming a fat-adapted fat-burning beast will make you or break you. Choose wisely, my friends, and be sure to let us know how you do! Grok on!

About the Author

Mark Sisson is the founder of Mark’s Daily Apple, godfather to the Primal food and lifestyle movement, and the New York Times bestselling author of The Keto Reset Diet. His latest book is Keto for Life, where he discusses how he combines the keto diet with a Primal lifestyle for optimal health and longevity. Mark is the author of numerous other books as well, including The Primal Blueprint, which was credited with turbocharging the growth of the primal/paleo movement back in 2009. After spending three decades researching and educating folks on why food is the key component to achieving and maintaining optimal wellness, Mark launched Primal Kitchen, a real-food company that creates Primal/paleo, keto, and Whole30-friendly kitchen staples.

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103 thoughts on “How to Fuel Ultra-Distances: The World’s Toughest Mudder”

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    1. I think it is unhealthy to constantly train for them. This is a bit different because you have to do so much other stuff to really be ready. Running is only a small part of it and you are often waiting at the obstacles so you do get some “rest”.
      Also, I am not sure these events are about being healthy, they are more about pushing yourself to see what you can do. If you train properly you’ll recover pretty quickly.

      1. Well said. Training hard like you have to for this event long term is not healthy. But, you can recover. And they aren’t doing it to try and be as healthy as possible.

        They want to push themselves to the max!

      2. Go Guys! Training for a goal – and having a BALL in the process is an excellent objective! Not like they will be doing this all the time and what an achievement! Go Aussie GO!!

    2. First of all, 20km is not an ultra distance. It may well be ultra hard to run it, but the distance does not quualify as ultra. If you want to race for 20km (or 42km for that matter) and train for this then you need to push quite hard for quite a while. It is unhealthy. It is a bit different with ultra runs (>42km). Unless you truly want to compete, you will just want to finish and will take it easy. You will also have to pay more attention to quality nutrition and stress management. You will have to perfect your running style. You will have to learn to listen to your body, stay mindful. You will have to train your body to burn fat for fuel. You will probably run on trail rather than concrete. All of these are good things! Paradoxically, running an ultra, every now and then, can be healthier than training for and runningh multiple marathons per year.

      1. you’re right, 20k is not an ultra distance, however, it says in the opening section that their objective in this is to complete ‘as many’ of these 8-10 mile cicuits as they can. So, a little simple multiplying will quickly get them into the realm of ultras.

    3. unhealthy when you think they will make you immortal and act accordingly

  1. I’m doing my first Tough Mudder in Englishtown, NJ on Oct. 20. This post could not have been better-timed. Thanks Mark, and thanks to the hardcore Aussie group for inspiration…and for posing the Primal-prep question. I’ll be sure to share this with my team.

  2. I just completed the Tough Mudder at Beaver Creek, CO. I am not going to say these guys have it easy but add about 11,000 feet of elevation and man, it adds a whole other element to the event.

    Anyway, awesome post. These guys kick ass. I was out there for almost 5 hours, I can’t imagine 24.

    1. I was there too! Agree 100% – the elevation was a major ass kicker!

  3. Thank you thank you thank you Mark! I qualified and signed up for WTM and was looking for exactly this advice!

    1. We’ll be sure to let Mark and everyone here know how we go after the event.
      Thanks for all your support and awesome comments – Marc Burborough.

  4. I want to recommend macadamia nuts as well, for the weight they are the best fat with a bit of protein that you can carry in your pack. Antarctic explorers have found them to be their perfect fuel, though they eat the chocolate covered ones… No fear of melting.

    1. Ooooh, macadamia nuts covered in super dark chocolate. That would be great to take on the 10 day high altitude backpacking trip that I am training for.

  5. I love sweet potatoes. But, I find that they spoil too damn quickly. Even when the best-by date is not for 4/5 days after purchase, I have found that they can be spoiled once i cut them open. I know how to inspect for good sweet potatoes, but sometimes it’s only when you slice them that the truth is revealed. If can avail of good sweet potatoes, consider yourself lucky.

    I have a nutritionist friend who works with athletes and even prepares some of there meals. He has access to a Whole Foods and he never encounters spoiled potatoes, unless of course food is not used.

    1. Sweet Potatoes shouldn’t spoil quickly, are you keeping them in the fridge or something? If you keep them in a cool dark place they should keep as long as white potatoes.

    2. Hummmmm…not sure where you live or what you’re doing wrong? I keep my cut sweet potatoes in the fridge and they usually last 2 weeks! I can also put them in “fresh & Crisp” storage bags for lasting longer. Uncut ones I keep in a dark place in a cupboard. No problems, last for 2 MONTHS!!

  6. What blows my mind about these top athletes’ diet is the utter lack of nutrients. Our bodies require so much nutrients to make shit happen. I mean, they need vitamin C for protein synthesis, which is going to be pretty important as they’re breaking down muscle constantly. They need b-vitamins and electrolytes. Magnesium gets used up pretty quickly in times of stress and inflammation will need to be calmed with anti-oxidants.

    Anyway, it’s just not all about calories is it?

    Props to you, Mark, for advising they drink bone broth!

    1. I whole-heartedly agree! I was just thinking this exact same thing today while preparing my post workout meal.

      To bulk up you need calories. You need protein and carbs. You need fat too.

      You also need vitamins and minerals. If you passed on these then you would miserably fail.

      No wonder REAL FOOD works so well?

    2. Good call Peggy!

      Athletes tend to think of “What fuel do I need to have a good performance?” and forget to ask “What micronutrients does my body need to make use of this fuel safely and effectively?”

    3. Excellent point–some of the most processed, nutrient-bereft garbage diets I’ve seen are consumed by endurance athletes. There is such a focus on numbers in these events, I think all they see is fuel in fuel out. I also think there is a bit of elitism, fueled by clever marketing by the producers of supplements (“what? Your race fuel is food? Aren’t you going to supplement? How naive…”)

        1. Well thank goodness!
          I have to admit, this was one of the first things that I wondered… Melbourne gal here. Yes, v proud..

          Boys, put simply, you’re hot!

  7. Wow, that seems really fun, besides that Electro-shock Therapy! Even though this is designed by the BSF, I seriously would love to do this. Anyone else agree?

  8. That is the most B.A. thing I’ve ever seen. And they’re still smiling at the end of it!

  9. Good lord. I badly want to compete in my first ever tough mudder event or something like it. All the obstacles but for only 5K.

    Doing this repeatedly for 24 hours?


    I wish you guys all the best. Let us know how it goes.

    Mark – I think you should have them write up a guest post one they finish the race. They can tell us how they trained and how well they did.

    1. There is just the thing you’re looking for. It’s called Warrior Dash. Only 5K, but obstacles to overcome like Tough Mudder. Just a mini version…

      It’s usually held in conjunction with Tough Mudder, so should be easy to find one.

      1. The Warrior dash is a blast! Definitely not as hard as the tough mudder… I’m hoping to do the tm next year, though…

        1. I just did the Warrior Dash myself and loved it! It’s fun and do-able. I actually had so much fun that I immediately signed up for another one!

        2. I’m due to do the Mud Ninja Extreme Challenge (also a 5K) on 7/28. I’m frankly scared that I will be crushed into the mud by the stronger and larger, and found months later when they detect a smell…

          I sincerely hope it IS actually fun.

    2. On behalf of the team thanks for the well wishes Todd, We’ll be sure to let you know how it goes. In the mean time you can follow our progress by liking our facebook page. Marc Burborough.

  10. I’ll recommend coconut water. Possibly the best source of nutrient dense carbs with tons of electrolytes. I’m surprised Mark did not mention this.

    Full of potassium, magnesium and sodium.

    1. Mark did recomend coconut water. You probably just overlooked it. Check out the ingredients in the energy drink he recomends…

    2. Coconut water is in the energy drink…last item in the article.

      My 40 year old daughter completed her first Tough Mudder in January this year in Arizona. So proud of her! She’s been primal about a year, and as far as I know, did not bow to ‘conventional wisdom’ and use any of the ‘preferred’ products.

      Would love to hear the results of this competition. Totally rooting for the Primal Aussies!

      1. just so you know… rooting for aussies is umm a bit rude..

        rooting means something COMPLETELY different down under

        LOL I love the English language..

        I asked a woman in the USA on holiday if I could nurse her baby.. she nearly dropped off her chair…

        Nurse means hold in Australia

        Root means… well google it. LOL

  11. Justin’s Nut Butters are available in small packets like energy gels, some with maple syrup & almond, some with chocolate/hazelnut butter.
    Not 100% primal probably but easily portable!

    1. Ricardo, you’re welcome to follow our progress on our facebook page. The link is below. Cheers!

  12. Make sure you try the MCT thing before race day at some point to make sure it sits with you! NOTHING NEW on race day!!!!!

    1. Completely agree! Taking MCT oil can make even us fat adapted folks nauseous when you start taking it all of a sudden. I totally recommend taking a little bit in the beginning-like MONTHS before race day and slowly upping your dose over time. I made the mistake of putting an entire TB in my morning coffee the first time I tried it and THEN performing a HIIT. Uuuhh, yeah, big mistake.

      Primal Tough Mudders: You guys ROCK!! Ever thought about adding a tough, American female to your team?? 😉

      Awesome advice, Mark. Enjoyed your post, as usual. Keep up the great work.

      1. haha thanks Ashley, We’d love to make you part of the team but unfortunately you need to qualify for WTM. Good advice on the MCT oil, we’ll have to try it out.

  13. Yes you must build up a tolerance to MCT oil or else you will have more than mud in your pants. 3 tablespoons worth on your first try will make for a bad day.

  14. One of the race directors (& an exercise physiologist) at the recent PCT 100-mile event gave a strong recommendation for ‘Succeed’ brand electrolyte caps (versus all the usual electrolyte drinks available at the aid stations), based on his personal and race experience. They incorporate much of their sodium in the form of sodium bicarbonate. IFIRC, this guy’s magic formula was 1 capsule with every bottle of water (16-24 oz?); worked wonders to prevent hyponatremia, especially after about 30 miles on hot days. If true, then your recommendations for high salt are right on, for these real long races.

    All the usual disclaimers, etc.

    1. Although in “Food and Western Disease”, Lindeberg points out that high salt requirements may only be necessary in those who are used to a high salt intake (p.37).

  15. I ate bacon, pickles, and pickle juice every 13 miles during a double marathon recently.

  16. Great article! I still have over a year before my first TM (Buffalo ’13) but this gives me a lot of inspiration for my training.

  17. How is a homemade honey/starch concoction superior to or qualitatively different from, say, Hammer Gel?

    (From the website, Ingredients: Maltodextrin, Filtered Water, Apple Juice Concentrate, Energy Smart® (Fruit Juice, Natural Grain Dextrins), Ground Cinnamon, Malic Acid, Vanilla Extract, Potassium Sorbate (as a preservative), Salt, Amino Acids (L-Leucine, L-Alanine, L-Valine, L-Isoleucine), Potassium Chloride.

    While I appreciate their devotion to Grokhood, it seems arbitrary. To me, eating whatever you can get and keep down is most effective fueling…

  18. This is primal at its best. Love it! Totally dug the subtle 1984 reference too.

  19. Wow, I wish that I had this article last year when I ran the NorCal Tough Mudder. Not nearly as intense as the World’s Toughest Mudder, but I could still have benefitted from the fueling advice. I will try these tips this year, since I’m running it again in a couple months. Thanks Mark!

  20. My husband and I are planning to do our first TM in October. So excited! And scared! We have a lot of training to do, but if I can manage a strict, nourishing primal diet to uphold all the rigorous exercise throughout the next few months, I’m hopeful we’ll not just survive but thrive!

    1. My husband and I are doing our first one in October as well (Austin). We’re excited! I’m working on transitioning him to Primal.

      Good luck to you!

      1. I was actually looking to do my first one as well. I’m also in Texas, and I seem to have trouble finding information about where the next Tough Mudder will be here and when. You seem to have a pretty good idea, could I please have you tell me more info about it? Thanks and have a wonderful day!

    1. Totally going to do Tough Mudder NZ, I wonder where it will be held first? Central Otago? I’d like to point out too that the team is 3 Aussies and 1 Kiwi (Me!)

  21. Hey Mark,
    I don’t want to sound challenging or accosting (I’m a big fan of Primal eating and your work), but how come you don’t use Superstarch in your supplements (I’m not sure how many of your supplements use maltodextrin, I was curious since I didn’t know an alternative to maltodextrin was available, though I don’t know how costly it is)? I don’t know if maltodextrin works better when making supplements (and I get we should really be eating whole foods and relying mainly on supplements like Omega-3s, etc.) but it was just a thought I had. Is it practical to make supplements that have all-Primal ingredients?
    Thanks, and love your work!

  22. Thanks for all the extremaely usefull information for fueling up for the WTM, ime another aussie who qualified from the melbourne mudder and have been going bongers trying to find out some easy to understand basics on fueling up and training for the event also. Thanks guys.
    Hopefully i will run a leg or 2 insight of the the other Aussies, i am running it without a team but i hope to hook up on the day with fellow aussies to pace myself with and help each other were possible.. GOOD LUCK TO ALL THE MUDDERS WORLDWIDE, have fun..

    1. Neil, drop us a line on our Facebook page, we’d love to catch up in NJ. (click the hyperlink attached to my name)

  23. This article is so helpful! I am just about to compete in the Sydney competition in september with four of my girlfriends. We are all 20 or 21 and very into fitness, but are doing this more for ‘fun’ than anything else. It’s great to have these diet tips. You read so many other pre-comp plans, but considering I’m coeliac and try to stick to mainly a paleo diet (with dairy sometimes) they’re all very unhelpful. Thanks Mark!

    1. Some of us are doing Tough Mudder Sydney, if you wanna catch up drop us a line through our Facebook Page (click the hyperlink below).

  24. Not to be antagonistic, but one common argument is that carbs are the best source of fuel for ultra-distances.

    Proponents of this belief will say that most successful ultra-marathoners follow a high carb low fat diet.

  25. Kick some ass guys. No, I take that back–Kick ALL ass!!! Good luck!

  26. Great stuff lads!
    I’m also primal and I’ve not long completed a 170 mile bike ride, road/tracks over two days, maybe not as extreme as your event, but i survived on water, bananas and pitted dates filled with coconut butter, i put 4 dates in bags for convenience and just had my usual primal breakfast and evening meal. Good luck!

  27. Excellent article!! One additional question to follow up the recommendations… How would the “recovery” phase be?

  28. How about putting whey protein in your race energy drink? In endurance events your body also burns amino acids for fuel. Adding some protein may mitigate muscle loss.

  29. I’ve done Tough Mudder twice now. The first time in Englishtown NJ (11/2011) and it wasn’t that bad, with the exception of the wicked cold swim across the lake. That my friends was not very fun.

    From one crossfitter to another, good luck!

    1. Cheers Karen! The temperature is definately something we are factoring into our training, NJ Winter’s look brutal.

  30. I’ve signed up for something called the Dirty Dash, being held close to where I live in Idaho. It’s 5 miles with obstacles, but much more laid back than the tough mudders. I think it’ll challenge me though and provide some fun teamwork and competition. I’m 48 yrs. old today and this is the first time in twenty years when I even considered doing something like this. Thanks to Primal and the community for changing and improving my life. Good luck tough mudders, I’ll be thinking of you when I’m scrambling through my own race.

  31. I can’t recommend the UCAN Superstarch enough. The stuff is awesome and no taste when mixed with cold water. The stuff rocks and lasts for hours. I’ve been carb restricted for 8 months (less than 50 a day for the most part other than a few cheat days here and there) and just finished a half marathon with hills in San Diego. Never felt better before and after, no carbs, superstarch at the start and ran 5 minutes fast than last year with the same training. There is no need for a lot of carbs for distance events. Matter of fact every event I did this year so far I have PR’s in from previous years and I’m 47…

  32. I would like a little advice on which Superstarch product to buy. I am running a 24 hour race on soft sand at the beach. Should I order the plain powder, the flavored drink mix, or the superstarch with protein powder?

  33. I volunteer for the Greased Lightning challenge. That looked like a lot of fun. Otherwise, the first Berlin Wall would have been the end of me.

  34. Something else for good Aussie lads to think about is to make sure you have a good kit of cold weather gear/clothes. I ran the very first Tough Mudder in Englishtown, NJ (not the Toughest version, just the regular 12 mile course, once). If I remember correctly, air temperature that day was about 44F and the water obstacles were about 36F. To say it was “bitter” would have been an understatement. One of my team, a small man with very little bodyfat, had to be ambulanced off the course due to hypothermia. I heard there were so many hypo cases that day, the directors shut down the water obstacles. So, get yourselves properly suited up and also get a lesson on how to manage your swimming/breathing in severely cold water. If I’d not had a lesson by a former French Navy SEAL, I might have panicked when I hit the water the first time.

    Probably the only time my 32% bodyfat was an advantage! 😀

    1. Thanks for all your help, Yeah we are well aware of the temperatures at last year’s WTM. By the looks of last year’s results, almost half the competitors failed to complete 1 lap and I’d say the majority of that would be attributed to the cold. Luckily for me, where i’m training at the moment (Rotorua, New Zealand)is hitting similar temperatures which has made for good practice.

  35. Aussie Aussie Aussie Oi Oi Oi

    You go guys…..from a Melbourne girl!

  36. I did the Tough Mudder in Oct of last year at that course and qualified for WTM but decided it was too cold for round 2! Man, on my race day it was 43 degrees F out and that ice bath and all those water obstacles were tough (and lots of mental grit). I ran it with Paleo and Crossfit training also and couldn’t have been happier with my result. Hats off to you guys! Hope you killed it.

  37. I just got notified that I also qualified for the WTM in November.. Been reading lots about ultras lately (finding ultra, born to run, eat & run). Thanks for your advice. I’m pretty excited about the news.

  38. I was SO excited to read this article just now! My girlfriend is trying to talk me in to doing the Tough Mudder event in our area. Thankfully its not the 24 hour version but it both scares the bejesus out of me as well as pumps me up! Thank you SO much for this info! I’m working on becoming fat-adapted right now. You are awesome Mark! Always full of such great educational info that keeps me motivated!!!!!

  39. Looks like the race is Nov 17-18. I hope to see an update article with some interviews of this gang afterwards.

  40. Can anyone un-confuse me? In his 12/7/11 article “How To Fuel A Marathon,” Mark recommends 150 gm of carbs daily during training. For ultra training, above, he only recommends 60-70 grams daily. Why the difference?

    1. I think the issue is to become fully fat-adapted well in advance of the race. Ultras require less sustained anaerobic work than marathons, and so the training ought to be more in the oxidative pathway.

  41. I did the tough murder in black diamond/Seattle last year. I had a huge breakfast of eggs, bacon, sausage, potato wedges, and black coffee. I had the breakfast around 07:00. My event started at 14:00 and I was done by 17:00. You wait at different obstacles and bottle necks. Ran the entire 12 miles. I never lacked for energy or GI troubles. Had a beer at the finish. No hunger. I had a small dinner of meat and veggies. An amazing day. Clean eating really works.

  42. Hi there, would potato starch be a suitable replacement for superstarch? Not sure if we get that here in South Africa. Thanks your work! ;D