A Beginner's Guide To Tough Mudder

Looking for a challenge that will bring you and your friends closer together? Something a bit out of the norm? Then you can’t get much better than the Tough Mudder challenge.

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But what is Tough Mudder? Lucky for you we’re here to help, with a guide to all things a prospective Mudder could want to know.

The low down

Tough Mudder is a 10-12 mile (16-19 km) obstacle course crammed with unique challenges, designed to test your all-round strength, stamina, teamwork and mental grit. Tough Mudder is probably the toughest event on the planet. But it is not a race - the focus is on getting you and your team mates across the line together, so that you have an awesome story to tell.

A brief history

The masterminds behind the event are two Harvard graduates - Will Dean and Guy Livingston. They came up with the idea while competing in a university business challenge, before launching Tough Mudder in 2010. They’ve never looked back. There are now over 100 Tough Mudder events spanning three continents with more dates being added all the time. To date Mudders’ (that’s participants) blood, sweat, and tears, have helped smash the £5 million mark for charity.

Why on earth would you put yourself through it?

Beats the concrete jungle… Tired of pounding that never ending treadmill that is the pavement. Running in a straight line is a real adrenaline junkies dream. Oh wait, maybe not. But, Tough Mudder is! Where else can you throw yourself into pools of ice cold water, muddy trenches, flaming hoops, and dodge electric wires knowing that your friends have your back covered. Tough Mudder is one challenge you and your friends will never forget.

Free beer…

That’s right, you heard us - free drinks for everyone! Well not quite, you do have to earn your tipple. Everyone knows how great a beer tastes after a hard day’s work, and Tough Mudder is as hard as it gets, so as a celebration, Mudders are given their free beer once they cross the finish line.

Achieve a real goal…

‘I will watch less TV’, ‘I will finish this level on my game’ - goals for the weak. Be strong and set a real goal. Get set for your Tough Mudder, after all, when you’re preparing to take on a an awesome obstacle course designed by the SAS, other goals pale into insignificance.

Don’t wait for the next wedding…

That last wedding was brilliant, all your mates in one spot, and the banter was incredible. But who’s getting married next? Why wait for a wedding to have fun when you can recruit your friends and defeat a Tough Mudder together. There’s no limit on how many people you can bring, so why not bring everyone?

Prepare for hell!

If you think you’re ready for a Tough Mudder because you pump some iron on the bench press, or run a few miles a week, then sorry people, but you’re wrong. Tough Mudder is designed to break both your mind and body, it wants you to go home crying. But, train right, and you can make the course your own. The course will force you to use muscles you never even knew you had, so ditch the dumbbells and start your crossfit training or P90X routine when you sign up.

Gear is king

You can train to your heart’s content, but you can still blow your lines by kitting out in the wrong gear on event day. Make sure you have the basics covered, comfortable shoes - these will be your best friends, after all they are the bad boys that will carry you across the finish line. Also, go for lightweight synthetic clothing, the key isn’t how many layers, but what you layer up with, water plays a huge role in the challenge so you will get soaked, so more clothes means more weight, and ultimately more drying time.


The beauty of Tough Mudder is, you’re all in it together. Whether you choose to go it alone (a stupid idea) or with other Mudders, other course warriors will be there to help you through. Standing at the foot of a sky high hero wall you’ll thank whoever you worship that you have back up.

It’s all for a good cause…

You might sign up for your own reasons, but remember it’s also a great way to give others a helping hand too. Tough Mudder is partnered with Help for Heroes in the UK and the Wounded Warriors Project America - supporting projects that allow wounded members of the armed services to reclaim their lives, whether it be heading back into the armed forces, or dealing re integrating into civilian life. You can also support your own cause, just pick a charity and go for it.