#HealthyMe: Running a Tough Mudder (With Video)

Brian Bell

| 3 min read

Tough Mudder Thumbnail
My friend and colleague Kyle Hall and I tackled one of the trendiest fitness challenges this past weekend – the obstacle-filled dirt run!
We ran the Tough Mudder held Saturday, Sept. 20 in Brooklyn, Michigan at the Michigan International Speedway Grounds.
Kyle and I started dry and finished soaked in mud from head to toe.
My personal health goals this year include wanting to recover from a stress-fractured tibia enough to run a race longer than a 10K (6.2 miles) and to be strong enough to do a variety of tasks beyond running, such as an organized obstacle course.
Kyle’s goals were a little different. He wanted to bulk up and gain muscle so training for the Tough Mudder set him back a little bit because of all the cardio but in the end he was glad that he took on this challenge.
Tough Mudder courses run nationwide, developed by a British Special Air Service veteran, are 10 to 12 mile runs and feature such tests of fitness and endurance as:
  • The Arctic Enema – a jump into an ice- and water-filled dumpster
  • Berlin Wall – climbing a wall eight feet or higher
  • Electroshock Therapy – running through a field of live wires
  • And many others!
A small portion of funds from the Tough Mudder go to the Wounded Warrior Project, a non-profit that supports a variety of programs for wounded veterans.
The run emphasizes teamwork and it is stated clearly that Tough Mudder is not a race, it’s fitness done with your friends.
When I heard about the Tough Mudder, I thought: What could be a better test of my improving health, and healing bone, than this crazy course?
I found someone healthy enough, crazy enough and willing to run the Tough Mudder with me – my friend and colleague Kyle Hall.
Brian and Kyle at the end of their first Tough Mudder.
Brian and Kyle at the end of their first Tough Mudder.
The Tough Mudder practically requires a team or at least a partner to help you over the course.
Kyle practically leapt at the opportunity to get electrocuted. Kyle is fit enough that he regularly lifts 300+ pounds over his chest and head. Running over some mud doesn’t even phase him.
To train, I put in nearly 200 miles of running over the course of about four months. I (tried) to lift weights every three days. I did home-video pilates a couple times a month, though I was very inconsistent about using my “powerhouse” on any kind of regular basis. At the end of this training, I find I’ve dropped about 17 pounds, my blood pressure is lower and my pulse rate runs about 10 beats less a minute than it used to run.
Kyle started training two months before the race. His biggest obstacles were running consistently and endurance. He started off running one mile three times a week and one month before the race, he made it up to two miles. His first time running five consecutive miles was only one week before the race.
After almost 4 months of training, the morning arrived and Kyle and I ran.
Over obstacles.
Under obstacles.
Through obstacles.
Through electricity.
And most of all, through the MUD.
What a great morning it was to run the course! My teammate and I plowed through it.
I find myself with no regrets for running it and I’m already planning my next Tough Mudder run and getting even more of my friends to join me!
Photo credit: Brian Bell
This blog post is part of #HealthyMe, a personalized web experience based on your health and wellness goals. To sign up today, visit https://www.ahealthiermichigan.org/healthyme

A Healthier Michigan is sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, a nonprofit, independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association.
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