Tough Mudder

IMG_0386Over the last couple of months, we’ve been helping a team of “Toughies” get ready for Tough Mudder, Hamburg, October 2014.

It’s one of the most hardcore obstacle courses on the race circuit. At around 18km in length, it’s not for the faint-hearted. In addition to that lengthy run, Mudders have to deal with elements such as ice, walls, electric-shocks, and, of course, mud. It’s not just a physical event, but a test of character too.

We designed 16 training sessions over a period of 2 months to incorporate all the necessary elements that would prepare the team for this endurance event. Not only did they need to be physically fit, they needed to be agile, strong and used to digging deep when the going gets really tough.

2014-08-16 09.34.42As we live and work in a European Capital City, and even though Berlin is famous for its beautiful forests and lakes, and of course, the remains of a rather large wall, we were not going to be training on terrain that would directly compare to  a Tough Mudder course. However, we like a challenge, and part of the fun of these sessions were the locations we used to find the urban features that could mimic the obstacles the guys would face during their event.2014-08-16 09.22.07

In playgrounds we used ropes, ladders, balance beams, climbing structures, sand running.

City Parks provided steps – 104 mean, long, steep, consecutive steps, hill running, monkey bars, trails and flaktowers

2014-08-19 08.48.40

Running tracks were for speed and agility.

At the office we concentrated on body-weight strength training, Tabata intervals and High Intensity Interval Training (HITT).

Plus, the hundreds of equipment free exercises that all added up to an intense training program that challenged their heart, lungs and muscles.

We asked the guys what they thought of the whole experience:

 What was the best part of the event?
“Finishing! But I most enjoyed the Double Mud Mile. Sliding into and climbing out of mud is fantastic”
“….3 days after when the soreness started to settle”
“The camaraderie!”
How would you rate the atmosphere and organisation of the event?
“….well-organised. Everyone was very excited and pumped to be starting”.
“… the atmosphere was great. Good warm up at the beginning, was nice to have a crowd at the obstacles and everyone was helpful and nice”
3. What was the worst part of the event?
“The 12ft walls were just soul-crushing, and incredibly difficult”.
“Sean breaking his fingers”.
“The electric wire… hands down”
4. Would you enter another obstacle race?
“Yeah I probably will. But I’m good for now…”
“I’d love to do another obstacle race that doesn’t require electricity”.
5. Why did you choose to use a trainer building up to the event?
“I started training for my physical well-being… I didn’t expect to feel good enough to enter the race, so was happy that my fitness progressed quickly enough to enter.
“To ensure I got into shape before undertaking this kind of activity…a smart training plan to achieve my desired results. Without it I would have been too disorganised, lacking on commitment and probably wouldn’t have achieved the same level of fitness”
“Just needed an additional bit of motivation”.
6. How would you rate the training your received?
“On a scale of 10 to 20 push-ups, it was a fun 18… 19… 20!”
“While I did not attend all of the sessions, the ones I did attend were great and they really pushed you. With Lucy’s help, you get to target different aspects of your fitness and are well prepared for the event”.


Obstacle endurance event races have become extremely popular, so it’s now pretty easy to find one taking place not far from where you live. Tough Mudder is one of the biggest, more established, worldwide events, but if you prefer something a little shorter or a slightly different focus, look out for Spartan (3 different events ranging from 5km to 20km course), Tough Guy, X Runner, Zombie Evacuation (complete with Zombies), Total Warrior, Survival of the Fittest (Urban 10km), Mud Masters (Germany), Braveheart Battle (Germany), Strongman Run (Germany).

We’d like to send out a huge thank you to the “Tough Guys” for sending us their feedback and providing a race report, for taking part in all those challenging training sessions, and for making the whole process thoroughly enjoyable and good fun. Next time, we promise to be in it with you!



 Hamburg, October 2014. They did it!

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