Preparing for a Tough Mudder Half

As I noted in the Are You a Tough Mudder? post, I have run one marathon, a team marathon, a handful of half-marathons, and lots of 10k and 5k runs. If you are like me, and have participated in a number of more traditional road running events, you are likely bored, or at least somewhat bored, by the basic format. There really isn’t a whole lot to registering for an event, training for a period of time, showing up on the scheduled date, and just, well, running. Enter …

Tough Mudder

It’s likely that you have heard something about Tough Mudder events. The basic idea of the events is to introduce obstacles – which often require teamwork to overcome – over an off-road running course. The four specific types of events are broken down as follows:

Tough Mudder is a 10-12 mile mud and obstacle course designed to drag you out of your comfort zone by testing your physical strength, stamina, and mental grit. With no podiums, winners, or clocks to race against, it’s not about how fast you can cross the finish line. Rather, it’s a challenge that emphasizes teamwork, camaraderie, and accomplishing something almost as tough as you are.

Tough Mudder Half is not a race, it’s a challenge. Designed to test teamwork and grit on a 5-mile obstacle course without fire, ice or electricity, it’s all the mud and half the distance. It’s the first step to joining a community of 2 million strong around the world, who’ve found camaraderie overcoming mud-drenched obstacles and adrenaline pumping challenges. Epic obstacles and fewer hours wasted on a treadmill – it’s all your friends and no excuses.

World’s Toughest Mudder (WTM) is an extreme 24-hour obstacle course challenge. While the man, woman and team who completes the most 5-mile course laps in 24 hours will be crowned champion, those who complete 25, 50, 75 or 100 miles will be honored for their efforts. WTM is open to athletes of all levels, and there are no formal entry requirements.

Fruit Shoot Mini Mudder is a 1-mile obstacle course mud run designed specifically for adventure-seeking kids. The course gives kids the chance to work as a team, get muddy, and experience the thrill of adventure.

It is featured at all Tough Mudder events in the US, UK and Ireland. Kids must be between the ages of 7 – 12 and over 1.1m (3.5 foot) tall to participate.

Tough MuddersREUTERS | Jessica Rinald

A New Challenge

As I indicated in that earlier post, I planned to identify and register for a Tough Mudder event. Well, that time has come. A couple days ago I registered myself, my wife, and my brother (Team Name: Pain Inc.) for the Tough Mudder Half in Mesa, Arizona in early April.

The Tough Mudder website notes the Half event in Arizona is the leading five-mile obstacle course challenge in the world. One of the most scenic courses in the Tough Mudder lineup. Participants get to soak in 360 degrees of stunning red rock views as they tame – I’m certainly hoping that’s the case – the Arizona course.

While we have downloaded the suggested Tough Mudder training guide, and we may use it to some extent, at this point, we’ll likely stick to our regular workout routine, which for me and my wife, includes walking, running, yoga, weightlifting, and the occasional hike. My brother, whose primary focus is weightlifting, is looking to improve his cardiovascular endurance over the next few months.

As with many things, more is merrier. If you will be in Arizona on the 8th of April and are interested in completing a Tough Mudder, contact me, I would love to have you on the Pain, Inc. team. Stay fit, healthy, and savvy, my friends!

Blogger-in-Chief here at RetirementSavvy and author of Sin City Greed, Cream City Hustle and RENDEZVOUS WITH RETIREMENT: A Guide to Getting Fiscally Fit.


  1. James, that’s awesome! What a great challenge, and something to keep you motivated over the coming 4 months! DO keep us posted, and send some pics from the event! I’m a bit envious, may have to think about something like that for ’17!

    Funny, in the shower this morning (isn’t that where we all think?), I thought about Googling “long distance swimming events” in Georgia. Getting excited to set up a challenge for ’17 to keep me on track. Glad you already found yours!!

    • We are excited and looking forward to the challenge. In fact, we just returned from a morning workout at our local gym … a little too cold to run outdoors this time of year.

      Summit Fitness - Morning Workout

  2. Mr. Groovy did the Spartan Race with his brother a few years ago. The training manual would no doubt help if you were hoping to finish within a specific time frame. But if you’re simply looking forward to the challenge and having fun I, too, would stick to my regular workout schedule. Can’t wait to hear how it goes.

    • Yep, treating the event as more of a challenge – and the satisfaction of participating with family/friends – and not as a competition. I’ve been hyper-competitive my entire life and have less interest in that approach as I grow a little older. I’ve looked briefly at Spartan events … maybe one will find its way onto my calendar in the future.

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts, my friend.

  3. Sounds like a ton of fun! I’m going to see what events are in PA this year. Thanks for the inspiration!

    • Excellent! Would love to hear about your experience upon completion, my friend.

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