Those readers following the updates – here, here, and here – know that along with my wife and brother, I have been training for a Tough Mudder. We decided to tackle a Tough Mudder Half (five miles and thirteen obstacles) for our first event. We figured a Half was the best way to dip our toes into the [dirty] water. This past weekend our event was held in Mesa, Arizona, about three hours from our home.
Unfortunately, my wife ended up having her gallbladder removed a few weeks before the event and was strongly encouraged by her surgeon not to attempt the event. Though she hated not participating, considering all the hard work she put in, she heeded the advice and my brother and I were left on our own to represent Pain, Inc.
Tough Mudder Morning
A couple of observations from my first Tough Mudder. First, neither my brother nor I thought it was as tough as we imagined it would be. I believe that is because we both have been very active with various sporting (e.g. soccer, track and field, wrestling) activities and lifting weights pretty much our entire lives. Fitness has always been a part of our make up. Also, for me, considering I spent the first few years of my career in the US Army in the Infantry, jumping out of airplanes, it would take a lot for me to really be pushed and physically challenged. With that said however, it was a great deal of fun. It was great to see a lot of people out there pushing others and themselves in ways they may not have before and revel in the teamwork and camaraderie.
My brother gets in a pre Mudder stretch … or something like that
Second, although you can download a training plan from the Tough Mudder website and there are a number of videos describing suggested exercises to prepare for an event, I would suggest you really only need to perform one activity and three basic exercises to get ready. The activity is running. It doesn’t get any more basic than putting in some miles starting a few of months before a planned event. The three exercises are pushups, sit-ups, and pull-ups. Between those three exercises you will get all you need to strengthen your core and build upper body strength across your back, shoulders, and chest.
The goals my brother and I set were to run between each obstacle – many people walk a significant part of the event after the first mile or so – and overcome each obstacle. Missions accomplished! For a greater challenge, we plan to run a Tough Mudder Full in the near future, perhaps after we do another Half with my wife, giving her a chance to get one under her belt.
More images from our Tough Mudder …
Faces in the Corral Crowd
The Blockness Monster
Tough Mudder Finish
Post Mudder and a Beer
Although the event was less demanding than I imagined it would be, we had lots of fun and it was a great way to spend a Saturday morning. Perhaps more important than the event itself is the fact that it served as a way for us to stay focused on a goal and maintain a high level of physical fitness.
Stay fit and savvy, my friends and challenge yourself to a Tough Mudder or similar event!