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Training for Tough Mudder

Tough Mudder icon2What’s up? So I want to share with you my 2013 Charlotte, NC Tough Mudder experience. If you read my post from last year I pretty much go over with you what to look for, how to dress and some advice on my Beachbody programs that you can use to get ready to do your Tough Mudder. If Im going to be 100% honest with you I was a little under trained last year. I had done Body Beast I think for the most part, and I had done Insanity the Asylum, but I hadn’t ran at all and that was my downfall. Last year was super tough for me. This year, I kicked ass and so did my team. So I want to offer a little better advice on how to train for events like this.

How should I train for a Tough Mudder Event?

Like I said, I trained really hard for this years Tough Mudder. I’ll tell you what I did and what I think I could do to improve a little more.

Let me start out by saying that I was already in pretty good shape to start. Since becoming a Beachbody Coach in August 2011 I’ve pretty much worked out consistently since then, doing programs like P90X and Body Beast on a regular and doing the new releases like P90X2, Asylum and this years release of T25. After the release this year in July of T25 I did the first 35 days straight of T25 and then for the last 25 days of Beta and the entire Gamma phase I added in the Body Beast workouts each day and I also ran 6 miles twice a week for 2 or 3 months and have included strength training equipment to my training. If you don’t know, Body Beast is pretty much all weight lifting. Lots of old school moves and some new school moves. T25 is a nice mixture of cardio and resistance, all based around tight schedules. Its only 25 minutes a day 5 days a week. P90X is pretty much push and pull. So lots of push-ups and lots of pull-ups and there is a nice mixture of weight lifting to.

My Advice on Training

I would train at least 4-6 months ahead of your scheduled event. Any of the programs that I listed above will get you into great shape. Upper strength will save you time an time again in this event. You want to use your legs to run, and use as much upper body in obstacles as possible. Run, run, and run some more. My advice is to run 10 to 15 miles a week for 4 to 5 months. Some of the guys in my group ran once a week and they did an awesome job. I ran twice a week 6 miles each time and I did great. Honestly I stayed in the back of our pack the whole time. I’ve had knee issues in the past and because I didn’t run to train for the 2012 Tough Mudder that’s why my knee blew out on me, so I was extra cautious this time, but I believe that because I ran in training this year I didn’t have any issues what so ever.

There are some times that you have to swim. So of course if you want to complete 100% of the obstacles then I would advise you to know how to swim. I did get a cramp one time in the last 2 miles, and it was directly after an obstacle that I had to swim. Thats the hard part. Unless you have somewhere that you can run and swim directly after and then run some more, then its hard to train for it, but I think if you can run 10 miles nonstop you’ll be ok.

For those of you who may not know a lot about Tough Mudder its a 10 to 12 mile course of about 20+ military obstacles.

Charlotte NC, 2013 Tough Mudder Coures Guide

  1. Kiss of Mud
  2. Hazard – big pool of mud that had holes to step in. Nice way to start off!!
  3. Glory Blades
  4. Arctic Enema
  5. Hazard – I don’t remember what it was
  6. Cliffhanger
  7. Hazard – I don’t remember
  8. Warrior Carry
  9. Balls to the Wall
  10. Hold Your Wood
  11. Hazard – I don’t remember
  12. Mud Mile
  13. Berlin Walls
  14. Boa Constrictor
  15. Just the Tip
  16. Hazard
  17. Electric Eel
  18. King of the Mountain
  19. Cage Crawl
  20. Walk the Plank
  21. Hazard
  22. Funky Monkey
  23. Everest
  24. Electroshock Therapy

The group of guys that I ran with were great and we helped and motivated each other. We’ve all trained hard so that we could run this course nonstop with the only exception of stoping  for the obstacles. We finished the 11 mile course in 2 hours and 37 minutes. I want to say we actually ran it in 2 hours 17 minutes which I think is freakin bad ass. I mean there are some people/teams that may finish sooner but it was a great accomplishment for us! The average according to Tough Mudder is 3.25 to 3.75 hours to complete the course, so almost 1 hour ahead of average is pretty damn good in my book.

Just below tells why I we would have finished 15-20 minutes sooner…

One Obstacle Changed Us All!

There is one obstacle that my whole team agreed was the best and changed us all. This obstacle wasn’t even on the map. I had actually finished the Boa Constrictor obstacle. I was the last of my team mates to make it through this one. We were on about mile 7 I think. As I run over to meet my team so we start running again, just 100 feet from the obstacle was an extremely muddy 20 foot steep hill that we had to go down. There was a team of 5 that was trying to get down it as we approach. We had made such great time and wanted to just keep going, but we seen that this team was having a hard time figuring out how to get one teammate down the hill. He was in a wheel chair.


Now this in my opinion took great courage. This guy had to put a lot of trust into his team. This guy is no saint. He’s no better or worse because he’s in a chair. And we didn’t treat him any different. What we did do is what Tough Mudder is all about. We saw a fellow Mudder that needed help. And we helped to get the chair down and back up the 20 foot hills. My team can’t take full credit. We did stop and we did help. But so did the other 50 to 100 people at the end of the Boa Constrictor obstacle. I couldn’t get a hand in to help on the way down, so I went to the bottom to wait so I could help going up. (This was in the woods mind you…not man made and there was a small but wet creek at the bottom to get through) As I basically slide down the muddy hill, I stand up and look up. I don’t care how manly you are, but I had goose bumps come over me. It went from my team of 4 plus maybe 10 others helping to what looked like 50 to 100 people. All standing arm-in-arm, working together to get this chair down the hill. It was truly amazing to see so many strangers, with one thing in common (fellow mudders) come together to help someone. To put another team before themselves.

We all agreed that it made the whole event worth while. It was a very humbling event. Im proud of the men that I ran with and Im proud of the other Mudders that helped out. I know for a fact that each TM event is like that in its own way. Mudders helping Mudders. Its a great thing!


Dow Pender, Scott Mercer, Cliff Pender and Patrick Fry. I was honored to be able to call this my team! Im already looking forward to next year!

Moral to the Story is…

You can do anything that you want to in this world. There are always obstacles to face. But facing them and conquering them is what makes us stronger and better. Sometimes we are forced to rely on someone to help us. We have to humble ourselves and ask for help. Remember that asking for help isn’t a sign of weakness, but a sign of intelligence. In todays world we have to work smart. Set your goals and conquer them!

Pray-for-BrandonI dedicated this run to Brandon, a 10 year old brave little boy! Brandon Matthew Ingram has been battling Ewing’s Sarcoma since before he was diagnosed on November 28, 2011. He is now fighting a second recurrence. I wore a shirt to honor Brandon and to remind me that giving up was just not an option.

Anything is possible. How far past your limit are you willing to push?

I always ask that if you found this useful to share it amongst your Social networks. I truly hope this post was a joy for you! If you have any questions on the programs I used or about Tough Mudder post them below and I’ll be happy to answer them!


How to Train for Tough Mudder

Yep, that’s me and my teammate. Tired wasn’t the word for it. But it was an absolute blast to do this challenge. We ran in the Tough Mudder Carolina’s 2012 on Saturday, October 27th. We live in NC so we had to drive down to SC and stay the night that Friday. It wasn’t really that far away, just a little over 2.5 hours. Neither of us had ever done TM before so we were just like you are now…NERVOUS! I don’t think either of us or even the girls slept that Friday night. We had an 8am start time, so the only thing that we were really, Im going to use the word anxious about was the obstacle called Arctic Enema. Jumping in a big dumpster full of 32˚F ice water at 8am was a bit intimidating to say the least. I think we all ended up getting out of the bed about 5am that Saturday morning getting ready and heading out to the course which was only about 10 minutes from our hotel…thank you Tough Mudder! If one sleeps on a Hybrid Mattress there is a high chance of sleeping soundly and peacefully.

Advice on Tough Mudder

The first bit of advice I would give you is, get there about an hour to hour and a half early. Theres plenty to keep you entertained while your waiting. It probably going to take you about 10 minutes to get from the car to the entrance, then you’ll check in, then have someone right your number on your forehead and leg/arm. My teammate wanted to get a mohawk, so we had to wait on that also. They were actually calling our time as he was in the chair getting shaved so, you want to be sure to allow time for stuff like that.

What Type of Clothes Should I Wear?

That one is really going to be a hard question to answer. It’s really going to depend on what the weather is supposed to be like. If it going to be hot, probably just a pair of runners shorts or some ball shorts, assuming your not going to dress up for it, then your on your own. We actually got lucky and it was about 60˚F all day so I chose to wear UA (Under Armour) Cold Gear Compression shirt and leggings, with a pair of BBall shorts over (for courtesy) and just a light T-Shirt over top. From being wet most of the day, the UA actually kept me warm the entire time, and dried relatively fast! I would definitely recommend it if your not running in warm weather! As far as shoes, I wore the MEN’S UA CHARGE RC RUNNING SHOES. The shoe itself performed well. It was light on my feet and it cleaned up VERY EASY. The only problem the I had was I got a lot of sand in my shoes, of course that is to be expected when your running 12 miles in mud that sometimes came up to my chest (im 5’7″). Im going to continue to research before our 2013 run. I did find that once I got home and washed out my socks that most of the sand was actually inside my sock, so that leads me to believe that the shoe did its job. So if you ran in that shoe, I would suggest getting some long knee socks, and not ankle (footy) socks. Either way, remember that unless your Superman your going to get dirty, sore and maybe if your lucky some cuts and bruises.

These Were Our Obstacles in Order:

  1. Arctic Enema
  2. Kiss of Mud #1
  3. Spiders Web
  4. Berlin Walls #1
  5. Hold Your Wood
  6. Dirty Ballerina
  7. Electric Eel
  8. Trench Warfare
  9. Walk The Plank
  10. Cliffhanger
  11. Berlin Walls #2
  12. Log Jammin’
  13. Mud Mile
  14. Dong Dangler
  15. Underwater Tunnels
  16. Kiss Of Mud #2
  17. King Of Mountain
  18. Hangin’ Tough
  19. Funky Monkey
  20. Boa Constrictor
  21. Everest
  22. Electroshock Therapy

How to Train for Tough Mudder

Now I have done just about ever kind of workout that Beachbody offers plus just done normal workout that you would do in the Gym/treadmill etc. I actually have 4 suggested workouts. I would use 2 of them together in combination to get ready for Tough Mudder, because it is probably the toughest event on the planet.

I would highly recommend these 4 workouts to train at least for 6 months before your TM.

Now me personally I’m on my last week of Body Beast and I incorporated Insanity the Asylum in about 45 days leading up, but mind you Im in pretty good shape. I would do P90X or Body Beast with either of the Insanity works. I have tones of Hybrid workouts so just let me know your training for TM and I’ll send you the schedules. Now I would recommend getting either the P90X or Body Beast Challenge Pack. You need to feed your body the right things so don’t waste your time on the cheep stuff from Walmart. You put good in your get good out, you put bad in your get bad out!

Im not going to go into lots of detail here, Your just going to have to trust me. In fact let me just say if you get either of the challenge packs, just get Insanity the Asylum. The moves in this workouts really help in the most all the obstacles your going to go through and it helps build stamina for running/jogging the 10-12 miles!

If this helped you at all, please share this page and click the ‘Like Button’ below. Good luck fellow soon to be Mudders. When you get done with it you will have definitely earned that head band!

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