Soooo my friend Rob who was an avid marathoner somehow managed to get me to sign up for a 10k even though I have really never been a runner. Not really wanting to do it but knowing as I get older I really needed to get back in shape I grudgingly agreed.
So the day of the run I think I cramped up more than I have even have in my life but being a person who doesn’t give up easy I still managed to complete the race. I didn’t set any records but I finished!
Now after that you would think I learned my lesson but no I was now being asked to run a Tough Mudder. At the time not knowing much about one other than they were brutal I succumbed to peer pressure and agreed.
What was I thinking?
Now having a bit of trouble with 6 miles wasn’t enough, this was obstacles and a lot of mud. Now being a competitive person I didn’t want to be embarrassed that my friend who was 10 years older than me had did one the year before and finished.
If he could do I could right?
Well I am proud to say that I completed the race and didn’t embarrass myself.
So are you thinking about doing the Tough Mudder? Well if so then this article is for you!
Training for Tough Mudder
Ok, well lets talk about how to train for a Tough Mudder. First off you should know I HATE running.
Even though I was in the Army for 8 years I think the only time I ever ran was boot camp and maybe one time after it a few years later. Now this was 10+ years ago!
So my only real cardio in preparing for Tough Mudder was my CrossFit workouts. Now they are difficult but not really a big cardio workout, at least the one I do. Its more for strength.
Now should you do more than CrossFit? Yes you should BUT and this is key, its not like a 11 mile run because its not constant running so its not like your doing and almost half marathon.
A good portion of the time you will be fighting your way through nearly waist deep mud. Not only that but when you approach the obstacles you end up doing a lot of waiting so you will get plenty of time to rest.
Being there were 22 obstacles in the Tough Mudder I had plenty of time to rest and catch my breath before pushing on.
One thing I will tell that I would have done differently is more hikes in varying terrain. I have done a lot of hiking in the trails in Yosemite but its been several years since I have done that. It would have been great training however. Doing a 12 mile hike with a backpack would have been great training to get my legs in shape.
Another friend of mine who ran the same race and about the same fitness level gave me his tips and advice of how he trained.
He said he trained a pretty hard but started out even worse than me. He couldn’t even run a mile when he started training. By the time he ran the race he was up to 5 miles at a time. He focused on a mix on running twice a week with interval training using HIIT 3 days a week. So he trained 5 days a week. More than I did…
One nice side benefit was I lost 23 pounds in the process of getting ready for Tough Mudder! My next race I will definitely focus more on upper body strength. I had issues with the monkey bars. I couldn’t make it across. Next time I will…
What to Wear for Tough Mudder
I preferred the separation of my toes, it really is comfortable. I really like the Salomon SpeedCross shoes with the gaiters that wrapped around my ankles to get rocks and sticks out of my shoes. They really do help.
One more piece of advice is to make sure you have a pair of gloves. You don’t want to wear them all the time, just shove them in your pockets when you don’t need them but I can tell you they really do help with several of the obstacles.
Your going to see some crazy outfits! A lot of teams all wear matching costumes, they looked like they were having a lot of fun! But that’s the idea, be a little crazy and enjoy the competition.
I was a bit disappointed that I didn’t get a shirt but a headband. Now I must say I really do treasure it. Its like I got a gold medal.
The Tough Mudder is not for everyone but if you put in the effort it is worth it.