Preparation time for Tough Mudder

- Mudder Guide: Chapter 2.1 -

You can’t do it without training!

Theoretically, you could do Tough Mudder’s 10 to 12 miles without practicing. After all, you could simply amble the entire course and rely on your iron will.

In that case, you would get your legion headband, but you would be risking aching muscles at least, possibly even serious injury. Needlessly damaging your health would definitely prevent you from having fun.

We from Mudder Guide call upon your sanity and your athletic ambition. After all, you want to finish Tough Mudder with your head held high, not crawling on your knees.

Therefore, your goal should be to attack Tough Mudder with a certain basic fitness. You don’t have to be a perfect athlete, as times and positions aren’t that important.

It wouldn’t hurt you, however, to keep a serious attitude towards training and preparation. Tough Mudder isn’t a walk in the park!

Tough Mudder: no pain no gain
We get you in shape for Tough Mudder!

We from Mudder Guide will show you how you can acquire this basic fitness and give you important tips for training.

Follow these tips, and you will be able to “enjoy” your Tough Mudder, be proud of your performance, and be back to full strength only a few days later.

How much time do I need to prepare for Tough Mudder?

First of all, we want to establish how much time you need to prepare for Tough Mudder. Our goal is to make you conquer Tough Mudder somewhat confidently (not crawling and crying). The following skill levels will give you a rough indication:

Complete novice

Your only contact with sport comes from watching it on TV. After walking the stairs, you have to catch your breath. Maybe you’re even a littler overweight.

After running 2 miles, you need an oxygen tent. If you’re a man, you can neither do 20 push-ups nor one chin-up.

To survive Tough Mudder, you need to practice very intensely. You need an iron will and the willingness to change your habits. If you give it all you got and make no excuses, 3-4 workouts a week will get you to the necessary level within 16 weeks.

You’ll start with workouts of 20-30 minutes and increase the time as you fitness level improves.


You’re not in the best shape, but you’re somewhat athletic. Running 1-2 miles would exhaust you, but at moderate speed, you could do it. If you’re a man, you can do at least 20 push-ups and ideally at least one chin-up.

You still have a long way ahead of you. Ideally, you have at least 12 weeks to prepare with 3-4 workouts per week.


You can run 6-miles at a medium pace and you’re physically somewhat fit. You can do at least 40 push-ups and at least 5 chin-ups with good technique.

You haven’t reached competition form quite yet, but you have a solid basic fitness. Train 3 times a week for 8 weeks, and you’ll be well prepared to attack Tough Mudder.


As a woman, you can work with the fitness level that fits your running ability. Should your arms be very weak, add 4 additional weeks. In addition to your run workouts, do circuit training. Then, you’ll definitively be fit enough to start Tough Mudder.

Remember, though: You don’t need to be as strong as a man. You only need to be able to handle your own bodyweight.

In the end, everybody’s exhausted

Tough Mudder is a challenge for everybody. You can vary the intensity of Tough Mudder by varying your speed.

Much like in the gym, where beginners might have trouble bench pressing 100 pounds while experienced athletes easily manage 250 pounds, but both are completely spent after 8 reps, after a Tough Mudder, everybody will be equally tired.

If you have too much energy during the race, you can spend your waiting time at obstacles worthy of a true mudder – by doing push-ups!

Tough Mudder: Before attacking obstacles, mudders do push ups
Taking a break, mudder style
spread the word...Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Pin on Pinterest