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Tough Mudder | Tough Mudder Review and YouTube Videos

Updated on July 12, 2012

Tough Mudder | What is the Tough Mudder?

The Tough Mudder is a hardcore fitness event founded by Will Dean while getting his MBA degree at Harvard. It consists of a 10 to 12 mile obstacle course that was designed by British Special Forces. The course can now be found in numerous countries across the globe, therefore no two races are the same. The Tough Mudder is designed to test not only your physical strength, emotional fortitude, and stamina, but also your ability to work as a team and help fellow Mudders complete the course.

Tough Mudder Logo
Tough Mudder Logo | Source

Will created the Tough Mudder because he was bored with conventional marathons and races that basically involve running in a straight line. To him, the only thing more boring than running a marathon was watching a marathon. Additionally, Will didn't believe running a typical marathon was a true test of one's strength, endurance, physical and mental stamina, and overall fitness. Therefore, he created what is probably the toughest event on the planet, the Tough Mudder.

Tough Mudder 2012 Preview

Tough Mudder | NOT A RACE!

Before signing up for the Tough Mudder, one should have a clear understanding that it is not a race like a marathon, triathlon, or your typical endurance run. In fact, participants are not even timed. It is a personal challenge where the goal is simply to complete the course. However, it should be noted that for elite athletes the Tough Mudder can be timed where participants compete for a chance to qualify for the World's Toughest Mudder competition. I'll assume most of the audience won't be able to qualify for this portion and leave it out of the remaining discussion.

How Should I Train For the Tough Mudder?

Without doubt, the Tough Mudder is a serious physical and mental challenge. Regardless of ones level of fitness, Tough Mudder participants should train for the event to help minimize the chances of fatigue, dehydration, and injury. Participants are encouraged to increase their level of phyical fitness, stamina, and mental fortitude prior to beginning the challenge. The course constists of between 10 and 12 miles of rugged terrain including brutal hills, sloppy mud, freezing water, fire, and even electrical shock.

Since the Tough Mudder is not simply a distance race, participants don't need to be able to run 12 miles non-stop. The course is broken down into both running and obstacles. Often participants can catch their breath before beginning the next obstacle. Regardless, getting your body into strong running shape is a must and participants should be able at run at least 5 miles. Running at least twice a week is highly encouraged. Additionally, the Tough Mudder will challenge participants physical strength by forcing them to traverse large walls, climb hanging ropes, and scale monkey bars. These obstacles require a fair amount of upper body strength so participants should be able to do at least 10 pull-ups. So get to the gym to lift weights at least twice a week as well. In addition, the Tough Mudder is not only a physical and endurance test, it will require mental stamina to keep going when your body clearly wants to quit. One of the course obstacles requires being submerged in ice cold water. This challenge immediately sends those without mental fortitude back to the warmth of their beds.

Tough Mudder YouTube Helmet Cam

Tough Mudder Workouts

Now that you at least have an idea about what the Tough Mudder challenge is, sign up and start training! Here are a few sample work outs I've been doing to prepare. Give them a shot and let me know in the comments below how they go:

TM Hill:

The Tough Mudder is a running event, however this is not your typical marathon running on a flat street. The TM course is rarely flat, rather almost always up or down muddy hills filled with sharp rocks, cold water, and fallen trees. Therefore, you must be able to carefully run UP and DOWN hills! Keep your focus and watch your footing. As a general cardio workout, find the largest hill in your neighborhood and run up and down that bad boy until your exhausted, then do it a few more times. Remember, 10-12 miles of UP and DOWN hills. Training for hills will help dramatically!


-For time (that means go as hard as you can!)

  • Run 0.5 miles
  • Stop and do 50 push ups, 50 situps (without an ab ball)
  • Run 0.5 Miles
  • Stop and do 50 push ups + 50 sit ups (without an ab ball)
  • Run 0.5 miles
  • Stop and do 50 push ups + 50 sit ups (without an ab ball)
  • Row 600m at maximum resistance


-For time (go so hard you almost puke!)

  • Run 1 mile
  • Complete 100 pull ups, 200 sit ups, 300 air squats
  • Run 1 mile

Note: For either of these routines you could swap in your favorite exercise, say burpees, jumping jacks, bicep curls, lunges etc..

Tough Mudder Poll

Are You A Tough Mudder?

See results

Tough Mudder Pledge

Prior to the start of the event Mudder's recite the events pledge. As a Tough Mudder I pledge that:

  • I understand that Tough Mudder is not a race but a challenge.
  • I put teamwork and camaraderie before my course time.
  • I do not whine - Kids whine.
  • I help my fellow Mudders complete the course
  • I overcome all fears.

After completing the course refuel with one of these great protein shakes.

In conclusion, the Tough Mudder is an extreme challenge, but it isn't about finishing the race first, or last. It's about pushing yourself, hanging out with friends, and getting you away from the computer and doing something to enhance your overall fitness. So the question is "Are you a Tough Mudder?

Tough Mudder Faceplants

The reward for successful completion of the Tough Mudder course.
The reward for successful completion of the Tough Mudder course. | Source

Tough Mudder Tips

Here are a few tips for the Tough Mudder:

1. Wear comfortable shoes (tie them tight) and compression socks!

2. There are numerous areas you can take a break and rest!

3. Obstacles are often crowded and will force you to wait!

4. Use your fellow Tough Mudders for help if you needed!

5. Bring a water proof camera to document your experience!

6. FOCUS! Watch your footing when running up and down the hills. It is extremely easy to slip in the mud loose your balance and fall. Ankle sprains and knee injuries are common in this race so FOCUS on where you step!

Let me know in the comments below how your Tough Mudder experience goes!

When you've finished you will recieve your covetted orange Tough Mudder headband.

Follow me on Twitter @enni82.


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    • Enni82 profile image

      Enni82 5 years ago from Rochester MN

      Leann O,

      Next year is quite a while from now. You have plenty of time to get ready! Make a plan and stay committed, best of luck! Let me know how it goes :)

    • Leann O profile image

      Leann O 5 years ago from Pennsylvania

      Hey! I plan to do Tough Mudder next year, but I have a LONG way to go! Thanks for the tips!