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Trail running is a huge component of Tough Mudder. The distance of the race is usually above 15km, a significant run. On top of that, there are obstacles designed to break you. I often get asked: what is the best way to prepare for an obstacle race like this? I can’t emphasize running enough. If you plan to run the race, you need to be prepared for a long run.

Why not climbing and crawling?

There will be climbing and crawling involved in the race. You will do better if you prepare for these challenges. However, you don’t have to climb or crawl. It is possible to walk around obstacles that you are unable to finish. After that obstacle, there will be a long run to the next obstacle. There is no way around that.


Any type of running will help. However, trail running is more similar to what the event will be like. So, it is good to get used to running on the trails. I like this site for finding good trails to run.

How much running is best?

It is best if you run 2-3 times per week. Most of your training should be slow steady runs that gradually increase in distance (no more than 10% per week). However, interval training is a great way to increase your cardiovascular fitness. So, hit the hill or work in some sprints!

Running with others is a great way to stay accountable. If you are in a team for Tough Mudder check out this post about making sure your team is compatible.

Yours in fitness,

Tim Begley

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