Everything You Need to Know Before Tough Mudder

Everything You Need to Know Before Tough Mudder


Have you signed up for Tough Mudder or tempted to? Let's talk about everything you need to know before taking on the muddiest challenge around. Here we go over what a Tough Mudder is, what to expect if you can go solo, what to wear, and all the other muddy information you need to know.

What is Tough Mudder?

Tough Mudder is an obstacle course challenge. It will put your endurance, ability to be part of a team, and mental grit to the test. The challenge has been developed to be tackled in teams. However, if you're rocking up alone, that's totally fine. You'll be put into the Solo Runner Wave, where you'll team up with other solo mudders and leave covered in mud and with a bunch of new mudder mates.

But how 'tough' really is a Tough Mudder? There seems to be some debate around how hard they are. There are three different types of Tough Mudders and they vary in length so you can choose which you want to tackle depending on how capable you are. But remember, it is an endurance test and will put you through your paces.

How Long is a Tough Mudder?

If you're based in the US, Tough Mudder offer three obstacle courses to choose from:

  • Tough Mudder 5K
  • A fast-paced 3 mile course featuring 13 obstacles.

  • Tough Mudder 10K
  • This is 6+ miles of mudder fun, with 20 obstacles to complete with team mates.

  • Tough Mudder 15K
  • The ultimate mudder. This course spans over 9+ miles and has 30 obstacles to smash.

Tough Mudder Obstacles

Each Tough Mudder consists of a variety of obstacles which include pushing through icy water, balancing on a wooden beam, and climbing up a slippery mud heap. As we've mentioned, there are a total of 30 obstacles in the 15K mudder. Let's dig into three Tough Mudder obstacles and their challenges. Obstacles may differ depending on the year and location. The following is based on the 2022 events.

Arctic Enema

Arctic Enema is included in all three Tough Mudders. Prepare to be plunged into a giant ice bath. This obstacle will test your mental strength. According to Tough Mudder: "making it through Arctic Enema is all about understanding that your body will feel shocked from the cold and focusing on your movements through the icy bath. There is no need to panic, once you re-surface from the first dunk, take a breath, plunge under the second baffle and keep your feet moving. You will be out the other side in no time."

Pyramid Scheme

The Pyramid Scheme obstacle is in the 10K and 15K mudder events. This intensely focuses on the ability to work in a team and will test your core strength. The objective of the obstacle is to hoist yourself and your teammates up the pyramid. However, this won't be easy. You will need to work as a team to create a base for each mudder to successfully reach the top of the pyramid. The pyramid is a steep-sloped wall with no grip. Each mudder will need to work together to create a human ladder.

Funky Monkey

Think 'extreme monkey bars'. The Funky Money obstacle is the ultimate upper body strength test. It is included in 2022's 15K Tough Mudder. You will need to keep momentum to reach the end without falling. For Funky Monkey tips, Tough Mudder suggests: "Once you reach the spinning wheels, you’re going to need grip and upper body strength to get across these. Take time with your transition, moving from the ladder to the first moving wheel is going to throw you so prepare yourself for the lurch and try to get two hands on the wheel."

Tough Mudder Training

Now you know what a mudder consists of, let's talk training. Depending on which mudder you're planning on completing, this training differs. The Tough Mudder website offers free day-by-day training guides which span over a 5-week period.

Training tips

  • Warm up and cool down: You don't want to get too stiff. Make sure to properly warm-up and cool down before and after every training session.
  • Put your best foot forward: Keep as positive as you can, this is supposed to be an enjoyable experience so fully embrace it for exactly that.
  • Train outdoors: Try to mimic the obstacles in your training regime, it's the best way to ensure you're prepared.
  • Include plenty of high-intensity training: Tough Mudder involves so much HIIT on the course, that you will want plenty of training in the area prior to the event.
  • Run!: Your cardio capacities will be pushed during the course. You will be running between obstacles while tackling slippery, muddy hurdles. So make sure to include enough cardio in your training.
  • Train in wet conditions: When you're out on the course facing obstacles, you will encounter cold, wet situations. Don't let this be a shock to your body and incorporate it into your training schedule.

Download your free Tough Mudder training guide.

What to Wear for Tough Mudder

According to Tough Mudder, to train you will need the proper gear. Make sure you have:

  • Cross-training shoes
  • Moisture-wicking tops and bottoms
  • Warm layers for mixed-weather training

For race-day, wear:

  • Base layers
  • Moisture-wicking leggings, shorts, and t-shirts
  • Comfortable trail shoes

Tough Mudder Checklist

Now you know what to wear, what do you need to take with you? Pack your bag with these five things below, you'll thank us on race day!

  • Water bottle: The first thing you need, and we cannot stress this enough, is a reusable water bottle. It's so important to stay hydrated so your performance doesn't suffer the consequences.
  • Sunscreen: Even if it's not super sunny, the sun can do some serious damage. Apply before the course and make sure you use sunscreen that's specific for sport.
  • Change of clothes: Yes, you've guessed it. You are going to be very muddy after the event. Pack a change of clothes and include some shoes too. You'll need them. Make sure you pack a plastic bag to put all your muddy gear in.
  • Gloves: Gloves will help grip and temperature control when you're navigating through icy waters.
  • Snacks: Food is fuel! Have a nutritious breakfast on the morning of the event, like a banana or porridge. Nothing too heavy. You may want to take something to eat that is easy to digest about an hour before the event begins as well. And for after the race, you'll need carbohydrates and a protein-based snack to replace all that expelled energy.

How Much Does Tough Mudder Cost?

Price for the event depends on your location and which mudder you want to complete. For example, if you're in the US the 5K event is $69, 10K is $89, and the 15K Tough Mudder is $109. These prices are for the 2022 events and may vary depending on the year. See the Tough Mudder website for the full list of events, prices, obstacles, and how to get involved.

Check out ARTILECT Performance Clothing to find your fit for Tough Mudder.