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How To Train For a Tough Mudder

How To Train For a Tough Mudder

People who take on a tough mudder race are demanding a lot of themselves. Practice and training are a must, but how can you customize the training?

What Is Tough Mudder?

Tough mudder competitions include obstacles such as fire, great heights and water hazards. They run over courses that are more than 10 miles long. They encourage camaraderie and helping other participants by working as a group – but ultimately, you must reach for something deep inside to finish one.

They are, in short, extremely difficult. No wonder one of the creators is an ex-British counter terrorism officer.

But they also are great fun and a huge challenge. Getting ready for one takes time and preparation. Here are a few ideas to get you there.


To complete a tough mudder, you need to run 10 to 12 miles. That’s a lot. Building up your running endurance means getting out there and hitting the pavement (or the treadmill) consistently. Most marathon runners begin training as long as six months before the event. They typically work in two-week cycles that include long runs, “race pace” runs (meaning much faster), maintenance runs that are more relaxed but keep your body active, and rest days. It’s probably best to do more long runs (with some uphill climbs) then do a lot of “race pace” runs.

Tough Mudder Obstacle Course

One idea to get yourself used to running through, around, over and under obstacles is to simply rent one and practice. It’s best to get the longest obstacle course possible or use two or three in a combination. Adding an obstacle course practice to your running schedule can help you get in the right shape and mindset to take on a tough mudder competition.


There’s always debate about diet when it comes to tough mudders, marathons, bike races, you name it. Generally, you want a lot of lean protein, fruits and carbs such as oatmeal, quinoa and whole wheat bread. In short, what you would eat with a good diet, anyway. Don’t weigh yourself down with any kind of junk food. You’ll also want to plan to eat at home, not doing a lot of eating out.

Eat more the day before the race, especially complex carbs.

Strength Training

You’re going to need a lot of energy and strength to complete a tough mudder (only about 70 percent of those who start one finish). Home workouts can include push-ups, pull-ups, planks and even some light weight training. Just remember to not do the same exercise on back-to-back days, giving specific muscle groups time to rest.

Mental Preparation

Like a lot of things, it helps to visualize success. That’s one important step for mental preparation before taking on a tough mudder. Another is to stay positive and stick to your workout and diet routines. Mediation to achieve calmness is also a formula many follow. Whatever it takes to leave you feeling positive and calm, do that. Repeatedly.

A tough mudder is, well, one tough mudder. Completing one is a major accomplishment. You’ll feel great when you do. Just remember to find a good training routine and stay with it. You’ve got this.

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