World's Toughest Mudder Training

Published 11/12/2013

About 2 months ago I reflected on a sub-par performance at Bold r Dash.  Perhaps I’d taken theminimalist approach too far?  Maybe I should train more than 1-2 hours/week?  Well, especially for what’s looking like the most physically challenging event of my life, it was then I decided to take it up a notch.  For World’s Toughest Mudder, I increased my training to a whopping 3.5 hours per week!

Here’s a full recap of the last 9 weeks of training:

  1. MovNat MODs.  I did 8 Advanced MODs (MovNat of the Day) + 1 Intermediate MOD + 1 LbF-designed MOD.  These took 30 minutes on average. I tried to complete them outdoors and as fast as possible while maintaining good form and keeping in mind that the main goal was skill development.  Total time = 5 hrs.
  2. Fun runs.  November Project, Downtown Disney crowd run, running with the Saturday ART class, a couple solo runs around Apponoag where I mixed in jumping over fire hydrants and fences, balancing on curbs, ducking under railings, etc., and a rope climb/barefoot run/plunge combo from home.  Total = 4.75 hrs.Barefoot Tree
  3. Gear tests.  I did two Sunday sessions at Goddard Park to test my gear.  Both went like this: run approx 1/2 mile down the beach in one of my wetsuits, swim back to starting point, run the trails for a while, carry random rocks and logs, strip down,plunge, run 1/2 mile down beach, plunge, run back, plunge.  The first session on 10/27 was in my thin wetsuit and I ran the trails for about 20 minutes.  The second session on 11/3 I tested my thicker wetsuit and hood and ran for about 45 minutes.  Total time = 2.25 hrs.
  4. Strength days.  I threw 4 heavy days in the mix.  2 Back Squat sessions, 1 Deadlift session, and 1 Atlas Stone session.  Once this is over I’m going back to 3/month since I’m not quite as strong right now as I’ve been before.  It’s cool though since the Winter is usually my strength training season…Total time = 3 hrs.
  5. Waterfires.  I’m counting my time rowing a large boat down a narrow river in the dark while dodging other boats, fire, ducking under bridges, etc. as relevant practice!  It’s good and steady low-level activity for which I must be sharp or “on”  and actually accounts for the biggest chunk of “training.”  There have been 4 Waterfires in this block and I’ve done 34 trips.  Also, I tried to go without long sleeves for all of the fires except the last one on 11/9.  That was a pretty chilly night!  Total time = 17 hrs.


    Pretty sure that's me dodging koi fish, boats, fire. etc.

    Pretty sure that’s me!

  6. Cold conditioning.  After reading this article six weeks ago, I started taking cool-cold showers.  Also, I haven’t turned on the heat in my truck (ex. defrosting the windshield), the studio tops out at a balmy 62, I’m not wearing pants until this is over, the cave stays at 60 or under unless strong protest by the First Laidy, and in general I’ve been trying to under-dress for the conditions.
  7. Armor building.  Basically I’ve tried to make my skin a little tougher.  Being barefoot on the cold studio floor helps, as well as: monkey bar calluses, moving (figure 4’s, dynamic kneeling, crawling, rocking, tumbling, etc.) with no mats, growing a serious beard, etc.  Hopefully this tactic helps me tough this thing out!


  1. Wetsuits (1 swim skin + 1 3mm wetsuit)
  2. Diving Hood
  3. Gloves (waterproof + 2 pairs of typical running gloves)
  4. Socks (2mm neoprene + 3 mm neoprene socks)
  5. Shoes – I’m planning to do the first lap or two in my vibrams but then I’ll rock theVivobarefoot Breatho Trail shoes for the rest of the event.  I don’t expect to do any lapsbarefoot but I’m not eliminating the possibility…
  6. Camelback – stocked with water and a dry sack with: superglue, tape, contacts, lube, food, etc.
  7. Tent – my base camp will have towels, lots of food, and a bunch of different outfits for the course.
  8. Sleeping bag – which I hope not to use/need.
  9. Headlamps + backup batteries
  10. Other – I’ll detail later if there’s anything significant I’m forgetting.

That about sums it up since this week I’m resting!  The workouts are definitely going to help me out there but (for the mathematicians out there) I’m doing the equivalent of 7 weeks of training in a 24 hour period!  So I believe the other types of training will be more important as I expect this event will be “all mental!”  In the last 6 weeks especially, I’ve been trying to regularly fight and win mental battles.  Does this all sound crazy?  Yes.  Will it work?  I really hope so!

I’ll recap the experience next week and include my nutrition strategy leading up to and during the event.  Stay tuned and please keep me in your prayers!

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