Tough Mudder Tri State and Being Good at Running Without Running

Published 11/17/2011

Tough Mudder is literally snapping necks and cashing checks!  If you haven’t heard, TM is a challenge (not a race) which tests physical conditioning and pain/discomfort threshold during 10-12 miles and 30 +/- military style obstacles.  Tri State on 11/12/11 was my second go ’round; an opportunity for redemption after being severely humbled by the VT course in May.  Video below courtesy of fellow Sofa King Team Member Bill:

I chalked up the ass-kicking I received to a lack of training (due to a foot injury) and lack of hydrating (due to ignorance/underestimation), in a desperate effort to save my pride.  So when I signed up for round 2 I was determined to train right and adjust my drinking strategy.  Fortunately it paid off!  I felt awesome out there and did not experience any discomfort (outside of freezing cold water exposure)!  I must say this course was significantly easier than VT.  It was longer (12 mi vs 10 mi) but was flat!  VT had an elevation gain of over 13,000 ft!  This one didn’t get into quadruple digits.  The obstacles were roughly the same and the conditions were slightly rougher but nothing significant.  The result – although 2 miles longer, this one took 45 minutes less to conquer.

So how did I get ready?  Well you could read the posts below this one for the details but I’ll recap it quick as well:

Raw strength sessions – .5 hrs/week avg.

Hills/sprint sessions – .5hrs/week avg.

Kettlebells – .5 hrs/week avg.

Skill/technique practice (i.e. run, balance, jump, crawl, climb, tumble, etc.) – .5 hrs/week

Rest and relaxation – unknown hrs/week avg.

Those are rough estimates but consistent with the LbF style for the last couple years.  2 hrs/week!  This brings me to the point of being good at running without running.  Running is a skill that can be improved through proper repetition.  However, proper repetition falls into that simple but not easy category.  Thanks to video analysis, a Russian doctor, a couple seminars, and a lot of “practice,” I rocked 12 miles at TM Tri State in Vibrams after running less than 12 miles cumulatively (excluding Bold R Dash and Do it in the Woods) since the 10 miles of Frankenstein shuffling I did during round 1 at TM VT.  I’ve said it before, I used to run 20 miles +/- in a week like it was fun and healthy!  Of course I was dealing with shin splints, knee pain, a bunch more fat, and a bunch less free time.  And frankly, running kinda sucks!  Think about it: how many smiling yoggers do you see out there?   


In conclusion, run smart and hard (not long)!  It leaves time for fun – see below from “Walk the Plank” at TM VT.


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