The Ultimate Endurance Training Guide For Obstacle Running | Tough Mudder, Bali X UFIT

UFIT are an official training partner for Tough Mudder Bali 2016

Have you signed up for the latest Tough Mudder Challenge in Bali? Or an obstacle challenge in the future, but aren't sure how to train for it? With a few months to go we will get you up to speed, literally and clocking those all important miles. These training sessions are brought to you by UFIT's Obstacle expert Daniel Lundberg and will help to increase your endurance, strength and fit into whatever training plan you already have in place. Here’s your 3 month training plan to help you get ready to go the distance.

Go to for more information on the first Tough Mudder in Asia.

UFIT are an official training partner of Tough Mudder Bali 2016

UFIT are an official training partner of Tough Mudder Bali 2016

Where do I begin?

When training for an obstacle challenge like Tough Mudder first you have to be able to go the distance - that means running. A 16km obstacle challenge will boast up to 30 obstacles, but it still means that you have to run 16km. It will be broken up with climbing, crawling and jumping, but that only makes it harder. During the runs between obstacles you will try to get your heart rate down while trying to maintain some speed.

So how do you prepare yourself for the running part of obstacle challenges? It´s the same as training for a 16km trail run with a few minor differences. You need to start by building a base and then increase the speed. A suggestion would be that you run three times per week, if you’re currently doing this then great – just start increasing the kilometres which in turn will increase your speed. Remember that you will have to train strength two to three times per week as well! As much as possible of that running should be on trails, getting used to different terrain watching out for uneven ground. The more technically difficult the trail the better, especially closer to the challenge date. This will work on your agility as it’s more realistic to the obstacle course that you will face. Also try to include some hills. A lot of obstacle courses like Tough Mudder include big hills to climb.

Places in Singapore to kickstart your training would be areas like Mount Faber tackling those stairs, Macritchie Reservoir, Tampines Eco Trail and Singapore’s UNESCO Botanical Gardens. These all offer varied terrains mixing up your training with hills and stairs. A clear favourite and more realistic to the course would be Macritchie Reservoir.

UFIT Training Guidelines

1. Ensure that you’re comfortable with running about 30mins – about thrice weekly before starting on this plan.

2. Each week should consist of three running sessions, making sure you’re having a rest from running in between and one full rest from running.

3. The purpose of this training is to ensure that you’re gradually increasing your training to be able to run the 16km.

4. To ensure you get over the walls, rope climbs and other skills you will need to be introducing (if you’re not already) training sessions on the upper-body strength, with moderate to heavy weights twice a week on non-running days.

5. Be creative with your strength-training exercise. Join UFIT Singapore at CrossFit Bukit Timah from Sunday 21st August for specific Tough Mudder training sessions. Until then UFIT Bootcamps are an essential part to your training with HIITFIT, MetCon and Fort Canning F.I.T Elite being the classes that will up the anti. Our CrossFit Tanjong Pagar and Bukit Timah WODs including Fitness and MetCon will help to build strength.

6. Allow 2 or 3 days of upper-body recovery between strength-training sessions. This is important in preventing exercise burnout and injury overall.

7. Taking protein and seeking advice from your UFIT Nutrition team after a hard bout of exercise can aid muscle recovery and shore up the immune system post-workout.

8. We have selected to use the MAF run where intensity is low (as described) and you should never aim for distance. Instead aim to maintain the minutes/hour for a specific time. If you aim for distance the heart rate will increase too much. 

9. Sign up with UFIT and get 15% off your ticket, we've got the accommodation and flights sorted so get booking. Join our Facebook support group, we're signing up as a team and running as TEAM UFIT! For more information contact

So what do I need to do?

For the first 5 weeks from now if you’re a complete beginner, you have plenty of time to build clock up the distance starting at 3km – 5km. To start building your aerobic base you will need to start running slowly and building the time and distance you run over the course of the next 5 weeks. Slowly means slow enough that you can maintain a comfortable discussion with your running partner. If you are using a heart rate monitor use the MAF method. That means that you subtract your age from 180 and don´t let your heart rate increase over this number (your MAF heart rate) during your run. Take 15 minutes to slowly build to your MAF heart rate and then keep your heart rate within ten beats under it. Beware that this will feel ridiculously slow. But stick to it. You will get faster while maintaining the same heart rate. Below is a sample program that you can start using today. If you’re a regular runner already clocking up 5km – 15km then you will just need to tailor your program to the distances you’re starting from and build upwards.



Phase 1
Duration: 5 weeks
Workout type: Medium - Long runs
Intensity: Medium

Week 1 - 2 x 30min runs, 1 x 45mins, 2 x S&C, 2 x Rest Days. 
Week 2 - 2 x 35min runs, 1 x 55min runs, 2 x S&C, 2 x Rest Days. 
Week 3 - 2 x 35mins runs, 1 x 65min runs, 2 x S&C, 2 x Rest Days.
Week 4 - 2 x 40min runs 1 x 90min runs, 2 x S&C, 2 x Rest Days. 
Week 5 - 2 x 40min runs, 1 x 65min runs, 2 x S&C, 2 x Rest Days. 

*S&C = Strength & Conditioning

Phase 2

Increasing your speed, distance and upping your strength & conditioning is the key to .

When Phase 1 is done it´s time to start adding some speed work. This will be done using intervals. The speed during the intervals should be the fastest speed that you can maintain the whole interval. Rest between intervals by jogging slowly for three minutes. During this phase it´s also time to start adding some obstacle simulation during your long run every other week. You can do this by e.g. doing 20 burpees each km or why not 50 m bear crawl. Use your creativity! When you run in-between your burpees (or other fun exercises) try to get your heart rate down and focus on your breathe.

Week 6 - Rest, Run 40min, S&C, Run 4x3 min, Rest, S&C, Run 70 min*
Week 7 – Rest, Run 40 min, S&C, Run 5x3 min, Rest, S&C, Run 80 min
Week 8 – Rest, Run 40 min, S&C, Run 6x3 min, Rest, S&C, Run 90 min*
Week 9 - Rest, Run 40 min, S&C, Run 4x4 min, Rest, S&C, Run 60 min
Week 10 - Rest, Run 40min, S&C, Run 5x4 min, Rest, S&C, Run 90 min*
Week 11 - Rest, Run 40 min, S&C, Run 6x4 min, Rest, S&C, Run 100 min*

*Obstacle simulation run
*S&C = Strength & Conditioning


The only thing that remains now is to taper for your Tough Mudder. Stay tuned for your guide to building strength & conditioning and working on your skills. Until then, have fun and train hard!

Are you looking for your next challenge? Tough Mudder, Bali is definitely it! Join UFIT’s team and experience the very best combining teamwork, fun, mud, awesomeness and then some more MUD! For more information about joining UFIT’s team please email

About the author

Daniel Lundberg is UFIT’s CrossFit Bukit Timah Coach. Daniel still actively competes in obstacle challenges and triathlon and the occasional CrossFit competition at an amateur level. He believes in setting measurable goals and working towards those. That goal can be a specific challenge, reaching a specific weight or lifting a certain weight on the bar. Whatever that goal may be hard work and commitment is what will be required.


About UFIT

At UFIT, we exist to inspire and guide our community of members to realise levels of fitness and confidence beyond what could be possible by themselves. Fitness isn’t our job, it is our way of life. 

This is our promise – to provide experienced , results-driven coaching that goes the extra-mile to help our members achieve their greatest transformation. Join our community. Together, we have the power to change. At UFIT we provide a number of different services to suit your fitness goals from Personal Training, UFIT Bootcamps, CrossFit at our two boxes Tanjong Pagar and Bukit Timah as well as helping you recover and rehabilitate mind & body through the likes of meditation and physiotherapy at the UFIT Clinic

Photos provided by TMHQ


Go to for more information on the first Tough Mudder in Asia.