Top 5 Tips to Get Ready for Tough Mudder


When it comes to mud runs, Tough Mudder is a big deal.  This event covers ten to twelve miles of muddy running interspersed with challenging obstacles.  Using the word “challenging” when describing the obstacles along the course is an understatement.  Obstacles include getting an electrical shock, running through ice-cold water, jumping over fire, climbing over walls, and things you’ve seen when watching American Ninja Warrior.  Plus these obstacles are all done on a rugged, muddy terrain.  So, maybe the word dirty-insane-challenging would be a better fit to describe the Tough Mudder.

Don’t let this description lead you to think that this is an impossible feat.   The Tough Mudder website states that 1.3 million people have completed this event since it’s inauguration.  If Tough Mudder is on your bucket list, know that if they can do it so can you.  Here are 5 tips to get you ready to tackle the Tough Mudder.

1) Train: This tip seems obvious, but it’s not.  Many people are standing at the start line hoping for the best.  This strategy puts you at high risk for injury and not completing the event.  You need to train anywhere from 8 to 12 weeks for the Tough Mudder.  Use this guideline if you have a regular workout routine established.  If you’re new to exercise or have been on a workout hiatus you may need 4 to 6 months to get ready.  Carve out time in your schedule to train 3 to 5 days a week to prepare for this event.  If you need some guidance, join a training program to provide a road map to Tough Mudder success.

2) Run:  Tough Mudder is like a half-marathon on steroids.  Running is critical component when you find that you’re traveling up to a mile between obstacles.  Incorporate running intervals, hills, and fartleks into your training program.  Start your training off with a new pair of running or minimalist shoes so that by the time your Tough Mudder comes around your shoes are ready to get trashed.

3) Simulate Obstacles:  To feel confident at the start line of Tough Mudder, you need to practice skills that can help you with the obstacles.  This will reduce your risk of obtaining any injuries during the event.  Utilizing stairs, fences, playgrounds, rock climbing walls, football fields, lakes, and beaches are great places to start when looking to simulate obstacles.  Check out the Tough Mudder website to see a list obstacles.  Use your imagination to find ways to incorporate obstacle training in your workouts.   

4) Simulate Terrain: Running covered in mud with wet shoes is much different from running on the treadmill.  Running in the grass, on the sand and through the water is much different from running on asphalt.  Get ready to be a little uncomfortable.  Your shoes will begin to slide around on your feet and your clothes will cling to your body.  Get ready to work a little harder.  Your stride will be affected by the changes in terrain.  Practice running on the grass, in the water, and in the sand.  Make sure you get wet and run with soaked shoes and clothes. You’ll realize what shoes and clothes to wear on race day to be the most comfortable and effective.

5) Team: Teamwork is what Tough Mudder is about.  Teamwork is what keeps drawing people back to the Tough Mudder venue.  From the start to the finish, it’s about getting everyone across the finish line.  If you’re struggling to get over a wall, a hand is there to help pull you up.  When fatigue is setting in, another person is there to bring up your spirits.  You’re not alone out there.  At other races you find you’re left in the dust.  At Tough Mudder you are overcoming challenges with your muddy buddies. Get together with friends or a training group to form a team bond that will keep you accountable with your training and support you to the finish line.

Want personalized training???  Schedule a virtual appointment with Amber.

"Black holes" on heart scan

"Black holes" on heart scan


Lots of smokers, especially younger smokers, rationalize their habit by telling themselves that they'll stop if and when any hint of adverse health effects develop.

The problem is that, even in the first decade of smoking, dramatic and profound effects can develop--but you won't know it.

One of the most graphic examples of this I see every day in people who have heart scans. While CT heart scans are, of course, for identification of coronary plaque/coronary disease, they're also great for visualizing the lungs.

This man is a light smoker. The lungs are the black tissues (that's normal) on either side of the (white) heart in the center. Now, note the holes in the lung tissue. That's what they literally are: holes left by the destrucive, tissue-eating effects of cigarette smoking.

How common are the holes (or emphysematous "blebs", as they're called in medical lingo)? Very common. You'll even see them in 30-somethings who've smoked only a few years.

These are holes that have nothing in them. The lung tissue that was destroyed to create the hole will never grow back, even when smoking stops. The holes in this example are actually small to average in size. I've seen much bigger. And this only represents the early stages of lung tissue destruction. A long-time heavy smoker shows all other sorts of abnormalities.

Whenever I show these "black holes" to people who smoke, they are horrified and I've actually gotten many people to quit. Take the opportunity to quit as soon as you can if you smoke.

Comments (1) -

  • Bix

    11/13/2006 12:28:00 PM |

    Holy cow!  That's unbelievable.  One more reason to quit.

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