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The advanced tech training plan for obstacle races

Tough Mdder
(Image credit: Unknown)

Don’t just finish the race – dominate it. This plan, designed by Brian ‘Harry’ Callaghan, an instructor for outdoor fitness provider British Military Fitness (BMF), will get you ready to take on virtually anything – including 20km of obstacle-packed hell.

‘Your training has to be as diverse as the obstacles,’ says Callaghan. ‘You should sprint to prepare for steep ramps, perform longer runs to keep you going during plods between features and do total-body resistance work to build the strength to pull yourself over walls. Train at a high intensity to get used to maintaining a high heart rate in case you need a few attempts to get past a feature.’

To keep your preparation on track, you should record your training runs and workouts. You can accurately track your runs using SmartWatch 3 from Sony, now on the improved Android Wear platform, which includes a reliable GPS tracker so you don’t have to risk lugging your smartphone around. You can sync it with leading running apps such as iFit to review your performance, log your progress and figure out where you could pick up the pace. It also has an impressive IP68 waterproof rating, which basically means if you were to be jogging past a freezing cold pond and want to simulate Tough Mudder’s notorious ‘Arctic Enema’ ice bath you could take a plunge without harm – to the watch, that is; we can’t be held responsible for the fate of your other prized possessions.*

SmartWatch 3 gives useful information at a glance and responds to your voice. It feeds relevant and specific information as you move. When you’re training you can track your activity and movements, as well as sync with Sony’s Lifelog app afterwards. SmartWatch 3 uses fitness apps to display how many calories you’ve burned, and how much progress you’ve made with each activity.

If you follow the workout below to the letter, your scores will be off the charts. Get your body used to a high daily workload and you’ll take the 20km of the Tough Mudder course in your stride.

*SmartWatch 3 is rated waterproof up to 1.5 metres for no longer than 30 minutes

THE WORKOUT 

This eight-week plan will get the distance in your legs to handle the 20km of the Tough Mudder course, while developing the full-body strength and conditioning to avoid injury and handle any obstacle the race throws in your way. Ideally, your week breaks down like this: 

Monday is a middle distance run.

Tuesday is a conditioning workout.

Wednesday is a faster interval run.

Thursday is a different conditioning workout.

Friday is a rest day – relief.

Saturday is longer run at first, then more fast intervals.

Sunday – double relief – is another rest day.

Each week the amount of work increases to ensure progression. There’s no kit required (apart from the tech you use to record your progress). In the final week, strip the workload right back so you’re fresh for the race itself. Good luck.

WEEK 1

Monday: Run 5km

Tuesday: Conditioning workout 1. Sets 2 Rest 90sec

Wednesday: Interval run 1.6km. Sets 3 Rest 2min

Thursday: Conditioning workout 2

Friday: Rest

Saturday: Run 7km

Sunday: Rest

WEEK 2

Monday: Run 7km

Tuesday: Conditioning workout 1. Sets 2 Rest 60sec

Wednesday: Interval run 1.6km. Sets 3 Rest 90sec

Thursday: Conditioning workout 2

Friday: Rest

Saturday: Run 7.5km

Sunday: Rest

WEEK 3

Monday: Run 8km

Tuesday: Conditioning workout 1. Sets 3 Rest 90sec

Wednesday: Interval run 1.6km. Sets 4 Rest 2min

Thursday: Conditioning workout 2

Friday: Rest

Saturday: Run 8km

Sunday: Rest

WEEK 4

Monday: Run 10km

Tuesday: Conditioning workout 1. Sets 3 Rest 60sec

Wednesday: Interval run 1.6km. Sets 4 Rest 90sec

Thursday: Conditioning workout 2

Friday: Rest

Saturday: Run 8.5km

Sunday: Rest

WEEK 5

Monday: Run 9km

Tuesday: Conditioning workout 1. Sets 4 Rest 60sec

Wednesday: Interval run 1.6km. Sets 3 Rest 60sec. Then run 3km.

Thursday: Conditioning workout 2

Friday: Rest

Saturday: Run 1.6km faster than on Wednesday. Then running conditioning circuit. Sets 4 Rest 2min

Sunday: Rest

WEEK 6

Monday: Run 12km

Tuesday: Conditioning workout 1. Sets 4 Rest 30sec

Wednesday: Interval run 1.6km. Sets 4 Rest 60sec. Then run 3km.

Thursday: Conditioning workout 2

Friday: Rest

Saturday: Run 1.6km faster than on Wednesday. Then running conditioning circuit. Sets 5 Rest 2min

Sunday: Rest

WEEK 7

Monday: Run 14.5km

Tuesday: Conditioning workout 1. Sets 4 Rest 0sec

Wednesday: Interval run 1.6km. Sets 5 Rest 60sec. Then run 3km.

Thursday: Conditioning workout 2

Friday: Rest

Saturday: Run 1.6km faster than on Wednesday. Then running conditioning circuit. Sets 6 Rest 2min

Sunday: Rest

WEEK 8

Monday: Run 16km

Tuesday: Rest

Wednesday: Interval run 1.6km. Sets 3 Rest 60sec. Then run 3km.

Thursday: Rest

Friday: Rest

Saturday: RACE DAY

Sunday: Rest

CONDITIONING WORKOUTS

Ideally, find a park or field with hills you can test yourself against. You’ll start by just doing circuit 1 and circuit 2 in the first four weeks. In weeks five to seven, add the running conditioning circuit. Form guides for the moves are below.

CONDITIONING CIRCUIT 1

15 burpees

10 press-ups

5 jump squats

Fast bear crawl to top of hill

Fast crab walk to bottom of hill

Fast bear crawl to top of hill

20 jump lunges (each leg)

Sprint to bottom

CONDITIONING CIRCUIT 2

Part 1 (perform once in weeks one to four, twice in weeks five to seven)

5 x 100m sprints, 30sec recovery between sprints, 2min rest after all five

Part 2 (perform twice in weeks one to three, three times in weeks four to seven)

50m backwards run up a hill

Crab walk down the hill, 90sec rest

Repeat the circuit four more times before taking a 2min rest

 

Part 3 (perform once in weeks one to seven)

30sec squats (full depth)

30sec one-leg squats

30sec squat holds (thighs parallel to the floor, 5sec hold at bottom of move)

30sec shallow squats (thighs 45° to the floor)

30sec jump squats (full depth)

RUNNING CONDITIONING CIRCUIT

20 burpees

30sec bear crawl to top of hill

30sec press-ups

30sec crab walk to bottom of hill

30sec jump squats

30sec high-knee sprinting on the spot

CONDITIONING MOVES

Burpee

Get into a press-up position. Bring your legs in, stand and jump, then crouch and kick your legs back to return to the start.

Jump squat

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Squat until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Push your feet into the ground and jump.

Bear crawl

Fall forwards so you’re walking on your hands and feet (not hands and knees). Crawl as fast as you can.

Crab walk

Sit on the floor and place your hands flat on the ground behind you. Lift your body off the floor and walk forwards.

One-leg squat

Stand tall with your arms straight out in front. Lift one foot off the floor and squat as far as you can.

High-knee sprint

Run on the spot, moving your legs as fast as you can and lifting your knees as high as you can.

Find out more about XperiaZ3 from Sony  (opens in new tab)and its benefits for your Tough Mudder preparations. 

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