Tough Mudder!

For followers of my blog, you may remember that over the past four months I have spoken about my training for Tough Mudder. I’m surrounded by peers who are fitness obsessed or dance fanatics so it’s hard for me to fathom anyone not knowing about Tough Mudder, but for those out there that have no idea what I’m on about, this is what Tough Mudder is:

“Tough Mudder events are hardcore 10-12 mile (20km) obstacle courses designed by British Special Forces to test your all around strength, stamina, mental grit, and camaraderie. With the most innovative courses, half a million inspiring participants, and more than $2 million dollars raised for the Wounded Warrior Project, Tough Mudder is the premier adventure challenge series in the world.”

Above is the video for the Melbourne Tough Mudder event which I took part in on April 1st (hell of a way to start the month, hey?).

I heard about the event and thought I would push myself to do it and managed to get a whole group of girls from my dance school along with me. Now, I’m reasonably fit, but I’m not one to compete in “fun” runs or marathons or anything boring normal like that. Tough Mudder appealed to me because it wasn’t about competition, you weren’t timed, it didn’t matter how long it took you – it wasn’t a race! Tough Mudder is all about teamwork and pushing your body and your mind to the limit and really testing yourself. That’s why it appealed to me. I’ve never been one to care about competition or winning. Growing up, I always leaned towards more solo sports, which is why I’ve always loved dance. I’m certainly not against teamwork – teamwork is great – I just never cared enough about winning to enjoy competitive sport. Challenging myself? That’s more my style. I don’t need or want to prove anything to anyone else. But I do love the idea of working towards a personal goal and achieving it. Still, in the weeks leading up to the event I started to question what mental state I must have been in to sign up to such an event in the first place.

I drove down to the event early on the morning of April 1st – wondering (read: hoping) if indeed this might have been a big elaborate April fools joke – with my best friend and her parents who were coming along as spectators (oh yes, us crazy particiants were being made a “spectacle” of). The week before I had been fighting of a hella cold while spending equal to the registration fee ($150!!!) on non-cotton, breathable, quick-drying, compression, light-weight gear for this godforsaken event while seriously considering pulling out all together.

ready for tough mudder

pole dancers represent!

Fear of the unknown. Thankfully I was smart enough not to pull out as I can honestly say that participating in Tough Mudder was one of the most rewarding and most fun experiences of my life! The obstacles weren’t as hard or as terrifying as I had made them out to be in my mind and it turned out to be a genuinely fun day as opposed to an arduous four or five hours running/jogging/walking/limping 20km, wading through muddy waist deep water, crawling through mud underneath barbed wire, carrying logs through rivers, crawling through manholes, walking through fire, climbing walls, getting submerged in an ice bath, jumping into lakes and getting electrocuted. Who knew that would be my idea of fun!?

I don’t usually post photos of myself on my blog, but I couldn’t resist giving you a taste of how muddy I got at Tough Mudder (this isn’t the half of it). This is me after I got home covered in dried mud, asking my boyfriend for a hug while limping towards him like Frankenstein (I messed up my knee from all the running and the cramps from the icy water). For some reason he wouldn’t hug me until I came out of the shower an hour later (there was that much mud in my hair).

after tough mudder




Tough Mudder!

Just watch this…

Yes, I’m doing it. No, I’m not crazy (well maybe a bit…). Anyway, I’ve signed myself up for Tough Mudder 2012 in Melbourne. Which gives me almost exactly 3 months to train to take on this mammoth task. Now, I’m relatively fit and pretty active but I am going to have to get in some serious training to be Mudder Tough by April 1st.

To take on Tough Mudder it is said that you should be running 2+ times a week, can do 15-25 push-ups in a row, 6 pull-ups in a row and are able to swim 45m without stopping. I’m getting there.

Tough Mudder Training

The recommended training regime includes running a distance of 8-10km about 3-4 times a week as well as taking on the Tough Mudder Workout three times a week which includes the following exercises (click here for more information as to what each exercise entails and proper technique):

  1. Running Man
  2. Tough Mudder Push-Up
  3. The Fist and the Fury
  4. Scissor Kick
  5. Back Row
  6. Dumbell Side Lunge
  7. Push-Up and Row
  8. Lunge and Twist
  9. Shoulder Press
  10. Decline Push-Up
  11. Quick Feet
  12. Tough Chin-Up
  13. Superman Plank
  14. Drunk Superman Side Planks
  15. Angelina Jolie
  16. The Tough Squat

I’m relatively fit, am a qualified personal trainer and dance around 3 times a week. Because of the style of dance that I train in (Pole and Aerial Hoop) I have a pretty decent amount of upper body strength. My major downfall is cardio – in particular, running. I hate running. I find it pretty boring, not to mention that after about 500m of running my knee often feels like it’s about to snap and give way for my femur to smash down onto my tibia. Not nice. Nevertheless, I’m trying.

I did my first 8km run/jog/walk/hobble a couple of weeks ago and, despite the crazy knee pain, it felt pretty good. Plus I ended up at this beautiful river…

My Reward

Not being a runner, it will obviously take a while to build up to running 8-10km, 3-4 times a week but I’ve been making a conscious effort to get out the door and do what I can whenever I can. Just this morning, while visiting my parents home, we took the dog down to the beach and went for a long walk and I ran along the sand with Woody.



I’ll keep you posted on how my training is going, wish me luck!

Eleanor x