This is my Tough Mudder Training Program that you should consider following week to week as you get into shape for any type of mud/obstacle run.
I designed this training plan for someone who would like to run the whole course and complete all the obstacles. You can make a mud run race as simple or difficult as you would like. Many people run the whole race; others walk and skip the more difficult obstacles. Remember the goal is to have fun and do the best you can.
During your week of workouts, I recommend that you do the following routine. Starting from roughly three months out from your race date. Three of the days should be dedicated to increasing upper body strength and three days dedicated to cardio training.
Of the three days that you do a cardio workout, one of them should be a long run, and one of them should be cardio and a strength workout combined. The Tough Mudder is usually 10 to 12 miles long with around 20 to 25 obstacles. Averaging that out, for every half mile run there will be an obstacle to cross. Have one workout a week reflect that type of effort. Run for four minutes, then do pull ups. Do some more running, then do some sit ups. This will help you simulate the actual race.
Here is my Tough Mudder Training Plan to get you ready for the race.
Sunday: Long Distance Running – Start working on the longer run right away. If you can only do three miles slowly at the start of your training program then that’s all you can do. You can work your way up. Just start slowly but try to add distance to this long run very week. If your plan is to run the whole way through the Tough Mudder, then your goal should be to run about 10 miles in under 2 hours before race day. This is about how far you should be able to go assuming you are using a 12 week training program. As an example: The first week: 1 to 3 miles. By week 5 you should be up to 5-7 miles, week 10 you should be working up to 10-12 miles.
Monday: Strength – Your best bet for strength workouts are where you work against your own body weight. Pull-ups, push-ups, core strength, dips, and anything that you can do to increase your grip strength is really going to help you. In my opinion the two of the more difficult obstacles to overcome are the “Funky Monkey” which is where have to cross the monkey bars over water, and the “Hanging Tough” which is where you swing from ring to ring across the water. Even if you are very strong, if you cannot handle your own body weight, they will be extremely for you difficult to complete. Luckily, if you fall in the water you can just swim across and you don’t have to try again though.
Tuesday: Cardio – Do various forms of cardio workouts. Run, bike, swim whatever gets your heart rate elevated for an extended period of time. I would suggest you shoot for 45 to 60 minutes of cardio. After you are done with cardio now do some sprints. This will increase your quickness and explosive speed. One of the obstacles that require speed is the obstacle called “Everest”.
Wednesday: Strength – Basically a repeat of Monday, make sure you get in some core exercises. You can do core on every day but wait until after you finish your cardio workout to work on your core.
Thursday: Cardio – Best to do an easy jog for 30 – 45 minutes. Friday will be your all-out effort day where you mix cardio and strength, so you don’t want to wear yourself out too much today.
Friday: Cardio and Strength – This workout will the most important to get yourself ready for the Tough Mudder. This will be your heavy interval training day. Run four minutes, do a set of a strength exercise (pull-ups, push-ups etc). Repeat this pattern of running followed by a strength exercise for at least 10 to 20 times. To give you an example of what I do: Run a half mile, do five pull ups. Run a half mile, do twenty push-ups. Run a half mile, do an Army crawl for 20 yards. Keep repeating this process over and over.
Saturday: Rest, you earned it.
My training program is basically a simplified version of the “Turbulence Training” program by Craig Ballantyne. I would recommend his program if you are really serious about doing a Tough Mudder, or any other type of “Mud Run”.
The program is designed to get you into peak fitness in a short period of time using “Interval Workouts”, which have been proven the most effective way to lose weight and get into phenomenal shape. Its a complete program of workouts and how to eat for the most effective results.
If you follow this training plan you should be ready for the Tough Mudder, Spartan Race or Warrior Dash!