|No mud yet, must have just started.|
Speed Intervals: Speed training will help you move faster more efficiently and with less chance of injury. It also trains the energy systems that will help us to put in the lactate threshold and anaerobic strength efforts of climbing over obstacles before transitioning back into a run. Why is this necessary? Its necessary for a couple of reasons. The transition between obstacle and back to running is where many participants get gassed. Training to overcome this predominant fatigue trap will make your race easier. The second reason is that a large number of Tough Mudders who don't complete the race don't do so due to hypothermia. Being able to come out of the water and continue running will be important for restoring and maintaining body temperature.
|Get out and keep going.|
The intervals I'm currently utilizing for myself are a 50-100 m sprint or hill run followed by a 3-4 minute run at my usual running pace. I take a five minute rest period and then repeat two to four more times. I warm up with some running drills and short sprints first and then cool off by laying on the grass and questioning my motivation for doing such a horrible thing to myself.
|Avoid hypothermia, it will keep you from finishing.|
It is important to note here: You will not get any stronger during this time. This race requires strength endurance and to try and increase overall strength will be counterproductive. Dial back your limit strength training to optimize your efforts.
|Crawling on your belly is not easy. Especially if you're in|
the almost 40 and over crowd and you haven't done this
since you were in diapers.
As we become proficient at these challenges we will begin to blend the skill blocks with the running blocks that follow them. We will complete an obstacle and immediately run (or jog or walk) the next distance. We will have a short rest period before attacking the next obstacle. During this time, we will be increasing the number of obstacles and running distances.
There is really no point to risking injury while training. A reckless approach won't prepare you any better, just increase your chances of hurting yourself. By taking things more slowly and focusing on skill development before speed, we get stronger and improve our ability to tackle these obstacles while learning how to do them well.
How to put it all together: My most prevalent philosophical training practice is that the individual must improve what he or she needs to improve and not do what everyone else is doing. So, before taking a look at this plan, realize that you may have some deficiencies in your base strength or endurance and you need to address those first before anything else. So, for the next three weeks, if running is your Achilles heel, you need to run more than anything else. It's really too late to get appreciably stronger, but by practicing body weight strength moves, you can wake up a lot of your previously developed strength potential with lots of practice.
|I'm thinking this may have to be a practice obstacle.|
About a month out from the race, we will want everything we do to be race specific. Distance, conditioning, and obstacle specific strength work three days a week should be all we need to work on at this point. One week out, we'll do our most challenging training of the cycle followed by a week of lighter workouts focusing mostly on recovery. And then, on October 27th, we'll see what we're made of.
*I need to credit Dave Van Skike, former pro mountain bike racer, current Highland Games thrower and lifter of very heavy things, with helping me develop this final training plan.