Tough Mudder, Tough Training

I finally hauled my lazy arse back to the gym last night and other than a quick jaunt on the treadmill, stuck to my fairly standard chest & triceps workout. It wasn’t a bad work out, but it did get me thinking I need to start training smarter and probably more specific if I want to get through Tough Mudder not just alive, but relatively unscathed (though, how do you train for electrocution?).

I took a look at the Mudder bootcamp training program on their website and read some articles and blogs written by people who have done a Mudder previously. Absolutely none of them gave me much hope! None of them sugar coated the cold, hard truth that the Mudder is going to mess me up. It is going to be relentless, painful and uncompromising. Just how I want it!

Looking at the examples of obstacles I’ll be facing and terrain I’ll be running on, it has become apparent that I’m going to have to focus on three key areas of training:

Stamina/endurance: lots of it, I could well be exerting myself for 3-4 hours out there and it only gets tougher the further you go round. I’ll need plenty of physical and mental stamina for this.
Strength: Running for miles and miles is all well and good, but I’m going to need all round conditioning to climb those walls and swing from those monkey bars. Plus all that running through knee/waist deep mud, I’m going to need strong legs. Really strong legs.
Lean up: I need to shift my useless weight and replace it with useful lean weight, I would be nice to get my body fat % in to single digits, but I’ll settle for just losing my tiny but ever present beer belly. Hopefully shifting the last of my chubby pounds for the infinitely more useful muscle pounds, I’ll be a more efficient Mudder machine.

How? Well, I think for general body conditioning and stamina improvement (i.e. increasing my threshold for dealing with lactic acid build up) the way to go is circuit training. I’ve adapted the Mudder Bootcamp workout to suit the gym I use and from next week hope to start some intense circuit workouts.

I’ll also be aiming to run at least twice a week. Rather than fussing about how often I run, I think I’m going to approach it from a distance point of view. I’m going to plan to run at least 10k a week to begin with until I get my rhythm back then increase it to 20k a week, then 30k a week by August. I’ve also worked out some pretty challenging off-road runs between play-parks, which will be handy for practicing monkey bars, pull ups etc. while out running.

I’m going to keep at least one workout a week for weight training to hopefully keep some mass and continue to improve my strength. I’ve not planned out exactly how I’ll work out yet, but most likely will be based around some big compound moves, squats, clean/jerk, bench press, pull ups etc.

As for leaning up, hopefully all of the above will sort out my metabolism, the rest will be up to me learning some more will power when it comes to nutrition. I need to say no to chips, cakes, pizzas, ice cream, pies, burgers and beer… well maybe not beer, you gotta have something right?

Hopefully soon my training week will look like this:

Monday – circuit training
Tuesday – Run
Wednesday – weight training
Thursday – Run/Football
Friday – circuit training
Saturday – Run
Sunday – Rest

The key to all of this will be intensity, hopefully if I keep it intense I’ll get the returns I’m hoping for. Will see how it pans out anyway, will keep you posted.

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