Training for the Tough Mudder

tough mudder

Tough Mudder events are die-hard obstacle courses intended to assess your all-around stamina, strength, friendship, and mental perseverance. With a wide-range of courses, over one million participants to date, and more than $5 million U.S. raised for charity, the Tough Mudder is quite the innovative adventure challenge. Generally, the challenge is based on distance running, between ten and twelve miles. As a result, training for distance is more relevant to the challenge than sprinting would be. Comparatively, the training used in 10K competitions is quite similar. The 10K training plan uses what is known as the VDOT system to govern training intensities. This system was established by Jimmy Gilbert and Jack Daniels, and is a measurement of an individual’s running aptitude based on performance times from a field test or race that are used to generate an aerobic score. That mark is then used to fix precise training intensities in order to yield specific adaptations such as improved endurance, economy, or speed. Training at the right intensity at the right time is an important component of a training plan, and is of paramount importance to training for the Tough Mudder. Naturally, the environmental and terrain conditions of each race course will affect the VDOT values. As is the case here, the target event will be run on an undulating path with hostile conditions, and as such a run on similar terrain or in similar conditions should be used to acquire the most precise forecast. Using this VDOT system, you would be able to obtain your proper training intensities so as to perform maximally during the Tough Mudder.



  • Klein, Sarah. “How Dangerous Are Tough Mudders?” The Huffington Post., 16 Nov. 2013. Web. 13 Jan. 2014. <>.
  • Reuter, Ben. Developing Endurance. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics, 2012.


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