World’s Toughest Mudder Training: Tips for Completing 50 Miles

Published on July 7, 2014 by Matt Alesevich

While there will indeed be a World’s Toughest Mudder winner, being the first to cross the finish line is far from the only reward of the day. In fact, simply staying on the 5-mile military obstacle course circuit for the entire 24-hour race is reason enough to celebrate. Knowing this, leading up to World’s Toughest Mudder (WTM) in Las Vegas on November 15, 2014, we’ll be highlighting the training and preparation regimens of a variety of Mudders with different mileage goals.

Today’s featured Mudder? Thirty-six-time Tough Mudder finisher and WTM 2013 contender Devon Musko, striving for 50 miles at WTM 2014.

First off, tell us a little bit about yourself. 

I’m from North Olmsted, Ohio, and I’m a branch coordinator at an energy company. I’ve run 36 Tough Mudders, including World’s Toughest Mudder 2013. 

What inspired you to register for World's Toughest Mudder 2014?

My main goal is to go back to WTM 2014 and improve on my WTM 2013 performance. I ran 40 miles and completed 154 obstacles in 2013. I had to take a break at about 3am because I wasn’t feeling well. My goal is to do at least 50 miles at WTM 2014 and to be on the course all 24 hours without stopping. I have to plan my nutrition and gear a lot better than I did last year. Thankfully, I can take what I already know about WTM and apply it to my second time around.

You've mentioned that your goal is 50 miles in 24 hours. How are you planning your pace?

My plan is to keep going. I have stayed up for 24 hours straight since WTM 2013, and I am capable of completing 50 miles within that time frame. However, that’s without doing any obstacles, so I need to step up my training to be able to hit my goal. 

What is your pre-race meal and what will you eat during the race?

My pre-race meal will be a hot, healthy meal. It will probably consist of egg whites, some type of breakfast bread and fruit. This is important because it will be the last “normal” meal you will have for a day and a half. During the race I will have meal bars, tortillas with peanut butter and honey and blended up fruit.

This year, WTM will be in the desert for the first time ever. How will this affect your training?

I’m not sure exactly what the course will look like, but it sounds like I need to go find sand to practice running in.

Live in the moment. It’s one of the best moments you will ever be in.

In a typical week, what does your training consist of?

Monday through Friday is a couple of rest days with a lot of cardio and upper body strength training. I have a Tough Mudder season pass, so on the weekends, I run as many Tough Mudders as possible. Luckily, being from Ohio, I have a lot of good courses within an eight hour drive of my house.

Where do you train? What sort of outdoor training do you do?

I train in my basement and on the trails near my house. I don’t have a lot of time to make it to the gym due to my busy life schedule, but it’s nice to sneak down to the basement for an hour of WTM training.

What is the most extreme aspect of your workout routine?

I complete six to eight Tough Mudders and other obstacle course races per month. People call me crazy, but it’s the best workout because I love doing it so much that it doesn’t even feel like a workout.

Having done Tough Mudders before, what advice do you have for other WTMers looking to hit the 50 mile mark?

Go into it with an open mind. Even if you don’t hit your goal of 50 miles, I promise you will still have the time of your life. My goal was 50 miles last year, but even though I didn’t reach it, I don’t regret anything. I loved every minute of the race. If you’re going for 50 miles, then you clearly aren’t going in with the mindset of winning, so it really becomes a race against yourself. Don’t get caught up in what others are doing because it may not be what’s best for you.

What will your gear consist of?

At least two wetsuits, neoprene gloves, socks and hood, wool socks, toe sock liners, shoes with a good grip, compression base layer, a Camelbak, headlamp, my UnderArmour stormgear beanie, a muscle roller and lots of body glide.

For those who have never even completed a Tough Mudder before, what can they expect from the experience?

The camaraderie never dies, and you will meet some of the most amazing people you can imagine meeting. People are so nice and helpful throughout the race and just about anyone you make eye contact with will cheer you on. The 24 hours fly by and the next morning you can’t believe it’s all finally over. Live in the moment. It’s one of the best moments you will ever be in.