How To Train For Tough Mudder

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how to train for tough mudder

Electrocution, mud and fire. But what about the training?

You are drenched in mud, you are tired, and what’s in front of you? Fire, ice and a large wall to climb over. Yes, it’s Tough Mudder.

Here at Supplement Centre, we’re very good at telling you how to lift weights, what protein to take and how act in the gym, but we have never really covered obstacle course events. Until now…

Here is how to train for Tough Mudder.

A background to Tough Mudder training

brad ledson tough mudder

Image source: Brad Ledson
Looks…fun?

So I guess this is where earning the title Tough Mudder Legionnaire (3 to date, marathon 4&5 planned 13th Sept) comes in handy, if called on by Supplement Centre to do a post on Tough Mudder training, then you are pretty clued up.

When training for a Tough Mudder, it’s good to train all year round and I always do a mixture of things from basic compound lifting, to muscle group isolation or boxing training; the list goes on. But come Tough Mudder time, it’s an idea to focus on a core set of sessions.

I do a mixture of long distance running and interval training as this is what best emulates the course. Yes the Tough Mudder Course is 13 miles (or a half marathon) but you’re not actually running continually. You need to condition your body to a lot of stop/start running. Hence the importance of intervals.

The course itself is made up of about 25 obstacles so that’s around 2 per mile, so as long as you are able to do multiple bursts of at least 1.5 mile you’re fine. The obstacles will challenge your whole body; being able to run 13 miles is great but not if you can’t do a single pull. You have to train everything.

A typical Tough Mudder workout

A typical morning in the gym for someone training for a Tough Mudder event is a mixture of running and lifts.Stick to main muscle groups and then finish with some core.

Bench press: 3 sets 8-10 reps
1km run: (10.5 kmph Incline 3.5)
Squats: 3 sets 8-10 reps
1km run: ( 10.5kmph Incline 4.0)
Pull ups: 3 sets 8-10 reps
1km run: (10.5 kmph Incline 4.5)
Shoulder Press: 3 sets 8-10 reps
1km run: (10.5 kmph Incline 5.0)
Bicep curls: 3 sets 8-10 reps

With the run I either increase the speed by .5 per interval or the incline .5, just to increase the intensity a little.

Core: 100-200 reps of weighted and bodyweight exercises.

Brad’s Tough Mudder

brad ledson tough mudder finish

Image source: Brad Ledson
Muddy fun!

I do add other bits and pieces into my workouts so they are not the same every day, but the structure will stay this way for at least 8-10 weeks building up to an event.

It’s the best way I have found to challenge different parts of my body and keep a steady running pace. Use this routine at least 3 days a week, and try and do some strength and conditioning classes, with informed personal trainers.

Added to this, make one day a week a big run day, and make it the the day you’ll be running Tough Mudder.

For me, in September thats a Sunday, so Sundays are my run day. This Tough Mudder is a little different though, as it’s my first attempt at 2 circuits on the same day, so my runs have increased from around 10 miles to last week hitting 20, next week 22-23 and so on.

As a tip, go off road as much as possible, hills, fields, the beach, don’t just road run. In the past when I have done one circuit 10 miles was the furthest I ran, the adrenaline on the day will carry you the rest. Trust me, you will be PUMPED! If the teams at the event do one thing right its making you feel invincible on that starting line.

So get a gang and get signed up for the next Tough Mudder, you won’t regret it. Try my training routine and see if it works for you, or feel free to comment with your own methods/experiences.

About the author

mudder-legionBrad Ledson is a blogger, Tough Mudder enthusiast and fundraiser for Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research. He blogs about training, diet and supplements, and when he’s not doing that, he’s also a dad. You can donate to his Tough Mudder challenge here.

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