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Mud Run Training for Beginner & Intermediate Fitness Levels

23 Mar 2012

Do you have your sights set on a mud run? Are you planning to put your fitness level to the test by attempting an obstacle endurance challenge like the Tough Mudder?

If you’ve been following my blog regularly, you may have tried the “square one” or “beyond square one training” programs I posted a little while ago. This is a progression to these routines.

This workout will be more challenging than the original “beyond Square one” routine, but not as hard as an advanced obstacle racing circuit.

Try this routine once or twice a week outside of your running and active recovery sessions.

Training for your first tough mudder or other mud run? This workout will push you beyond the beginner & intermediate fitness levels!

Tough Mudder SoCal #29

CC Image Courtesy of Chrispy Photography on Flickr


Tough Mudder Workout Warm-Up

10 Single Leg Deadlifts (alternating legs)

10 Lunges

10 Squats

10 Push-Ups

30 second Plank Hold


Tough Mudder Workout Circuit

1. 4 minute jog at moderate pace

2. Strength circuit with Bodyweight (30 seconds each exercise)

a. Push Ups with rotations

b. Plank Runners

c. Lunges

d. Lunge Jumps

e. Side Plank Hold

Repeat a-e once (so you complete twice total).

3. 4 minute run

4. Strength circuit with Dumbbells or Tubing (30 seconds each exercise)

a. Push Ups with Dumbbell Rows

b. Bent Over Rows

c. Squats

d. Squat Jumps

e. Crunches or Sit Ups

Repeat a-e once (so you complete twice total)

5. 4 minute run

6. Flexibility circuit

a. 10 Side Lunges with Torso Twists

b. 10 Hand-walks

c. 10 Forward Leg Swings

d. 10 Side Leg Swings

e. 10 Reverse Lunges

*Step back with one leg and drop your knees towards the floor so you feel stretch in quads/hip flexors of back leg.

7. 4 minute jog at easy pace



Tough Mudder Workout Cool Down

*Hold each for 20 seconds or Foam Roll

a. Hamstrings

b. Quads

c. Glutes (pretzel stretch)

d. Chest (doorway stretch)

e. Back (child’s pose)


The entire workout should take you just under an hour, about 50-55 minutes, including your warm-up and cool-down stretches.

Only have 30 minutes? Cut the running time to 2 minutes each.

Remember to think of your training as building blocks. Square One Training is the cornerstone, over which you will place future blocks, all in efforts to conquer a super circuit that will simulate race day. Each training block will include, at least to some extent, each of the following components: endurance, strength, and even dynamic flexibility work.

If you find this workout helpful for your training, please share with friends!


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14 thoughts on “Mud Run Training for Beginner & Intermediate Fitness Levels

  1. Hi Kimberly,
    Thank you for your question! You can do this workout once or twice a week outside of your running and recovery sessions.

  2. Thanks. I just noticed it says it above. I had read it 3 or 4 times
    not sure why my brain didn’t register it. Lol

  3. So how many rest days do you have and do you run or do other forms of cardio on the other days?? Thanks

  4. If you have enough time to train 5-6 days/week, this is my ideal obstacle race training schedule:
    2-3 days running (with the third day being an easy or shorter run day)
    1-2 days total body (which is what this workout is)
    1-2 days strength (you can do one standalone traditional strength training day and a second one on the same day as your short run)
    1 active recovery or rest day http://www.myexercisecoach.net/toughmudderworkout/

    Realistically, though, most people may see 4 days as more reasonable. This is okay for a shorter run, but for a more demanding & longer run like the Tough Mudder, Spartan Race, or even 15k Rebel Race, you should devote 5-6 days week.

    Here’s what a 4-day plan would look like:
    2 days running
    1-2 days total body circuits
    0-1 strength training

    Whether or not you do a day of strength or two days of total body circuits will depend on you. Some people may feel like they need to work more on strength and may prefer to devote a day to strength. Some may think endurance is their weakness, so they may prefer to do a total body circuit twice a week.

  5. Thank you!
    What would a strength day look like for exercise?
    Can than be in addition to the two full body days
    or would that be to much?

  6. How many times do you repeat the circuits? How many times does one repeat a-e?

  7. Hi Johnny,
    Thank you for your question. Steps 1-7 are done one time through. A-e under steps 2 and 4 are repeated once (i.e. so you complete a-e twice total).

  8. I am looking for a 40 week training plan for someone over weight and out of shape but wants to run a super spartan race in 48 weeks from now

  9. Can you share a link for a circuit to compliment a runner? I run 4 days a week and want to circuit train twice a week

  10. I’m doing it with a friend as a duo team and we’re SO BLOODY EXCITED IT CAN’T BE CONTAINED! YIPEEEE!

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