Top 5 Myths About Doing a Tough Mudder

Published on July 10, 2014 by Meredith Frame

When you think of running a Tough Mudder, do the words "yea, right" come to mind? If so, you're far from alone. We are always shocked to discover just how many Tough Mudder finishers thought they wouldn't be able to finish a Tough Mudder before signing up. The takeaway here? We're all stronger and more capable of accomplishing lofty goals than we think. And to help prove that, we've gone ahead and crafted a list of the top five myths about completing a Tough Mudder.

1. You need to be super-jacked.

If you have a 12-pack and chiseled arms, more power to you. You probably look great in that tank top--and that's worth something to some people. However, you don't need all those bodily bells and whistles to achieve Tough Mudder glory. What you do need is some workout regularity and a whole lotta mental grit and determination. You have to really want to cross that finish line and accept that you're going to have to get out of your comfort zone to get there. After the first obstacle, you'll feel the adrenaline rush and encouragement from other Mudders helping push you through.

2. You need to train for over 10 hours per week.

You know those people you always see working out at your gym, no matter what time of day you go? Well, you don't have to be one of them to run a Tough Mudder. Most of our past participants worked out 4 to 6 hours a week during training. Besides, there's no reason you shouldn't be dedicating at least 1/42 of your week to staying fit anyway. As an added bonus, you don't always have to train at the gym: you can run outside, sign up for a local boot camp or play a sport on your off-days. And no, golf doesn't count. Kidding. (Kinda.)

3. You need to be able to run 12 miles.

A Tough Mudder course is interspersed with military-style obstacles. For the most part, you run one mile and then face an obstacle--run another half mile and face another. If you're not much of a runner, we're not saying you should write off cardio and agility training, but establishing a beginner workout routine and building from there is a good start. Before the event, we recommend getting to a point where you can run six or seven miles at a time without having a meltdown. Another thing to keep in mind is that Tough Mudder events are not timed, so if you can't go on and need to take a break, walk for a bit. We're not going to judge you.

4. You have to complete all the obstacles.

You can skip obstacles. Yeah, we said it. If you are severely claustrophobic and can't swim, don't be a hero and attempt a water obstacle where you'll be confined to tight spaces. On the other hand, if you can't physically complete an obstacle, you can always ask your teammates or other Mudders for some assistance. Whatever your fitness level, you should try to complete as many obstacles as you realistically can. Tough Mudder is about trying things that challenge and sometimes even scare you. Sure, you have the option to skip, but facing your fears is way more badass than standing on the sidelines. When it comes down to it, silently repeat your favorite motivational quote, throw caution into the wind and do it for the story.

5. You can't run it alone.

Don't have any teammates? Fear not. While it's true that you can't complete certain obstacles on your own (we're looking at you, Pyramid Scheme), you can absolutely sign up and run a Tough Mudder on your own. Other Mudders on the course will have your back - it's what they do. Additionally, it's not uncommon for people to find and join teams during the course. There's something about struggling through the mud together for a common cause that makes people get real chummy.

No matter what your limitations or reservations may be, you can push yourself to be better than you were yesterday. Everyone has that ability - you just have to choose to do it. Go ahead and tap into that potential of yours. Once you complete a Tough Mudder, you'll be shocked at how easy it is to do other things you didn't think you could do.