In a year like 2020 you really have to laugh so you don’t cry. With every Tough Mudder event in North America postponed, we had to try and see the bright side and Mudder Nation certainly helped us to do that. From the weirdness of lockdown to reminiscing days out on the course, we’ve done our best with a trash fire year. Here’s to 2021 – it can’t be much worse.
Candles, bubble bath and ugly sweaters – we’ve all had to plaster a grateful smile on our face when we’ve unwrapped a gift that doesn’t quite hit the spot. But if there was a year where everyone deserved an epic Christmas present it’s this year. So why not make life easy for you and those you love and give the gift of mud, teamwork, personal achievement and a damn good time? Here are our top five reasons why Tough Mudder is the best Christmas present…ever.
Why You Should Give The Gift of Tough Mudder
1. Goodbye Wrapping
Christmas might be the season of giving but after this year, there’s no harm in looking after number one (that’s you by the way). Give someone the gift of Tough Mudder this year and the most you’ll need to do is write a card – if you even want to do that. Forget wrinkled wrapping paper ripping right at the wrong spot and sticky tape stuck to absolutely everything in sight. This year treat yourself to no wrapping and instead perhaps indulge in a little Christmas tipple? We know what we’d choose.
2. Give the Gift of…YOU
Not only is a Tough Mudder ticket an invitation to an unforgettable day where the lucky recipient will get outside of their comfort zone and make themselves feel proud, it’s also a reunion. What better way to get the whole team back together, after almost a full year of socially-distanced walks and video calls, than getting seriously hands on to tackle teamwork-demanding obstacles? There is none.
3. Ahead of the Game
You see them every year, in the middle of a jam-packed shopping centre. They’re pale and sweaty and they have fear in their eyes. It’s Christmas eve and this poor soul hasn’t finished their shopping yet *insert blood curdling scream*. This could be you. Or you could be at home snuggled up on the sofa, smugly eyeing the piles of glittering gifts beneath the tree. Book your Tough Mudder gift tickets today and…you’re done. No last minute panic and definitely no , “sorry it got lost in the post”.
4. A Family Affair
So there’s mum, dad, your two sisters and half brother (and they all have partners). Then don’t forget Auntie Shabnam and Uncle Dereck and their two kids. You should probably get your two best mates something, and don’t forget your significant other – they’ll be expecting something special this year. Feeling panicked? Don’t. This is your team and you need Tough Mudder tickets for everyone. With events ranging from 5K to 10 miles and Lidl Mudder too, there’s no reason you can’t get everyone involved. Plus, you’ll be arranging the next family get together – that will earn you some brownie points.
5. An Epic Gift
There’s lots of ways that giving the gift of mud makes your life easier. But perhaps you just really want to treat the people that you love the most this year. Maybe they overcame some obstacles of their own in 2020, or maybe you just think they deserve to kick back and have some real fun. Either way, imagine their face when you tell them you’re taking them to Tough Mudder and then compare it to the face they give when they open that really nice jumper you got them…No comparison.
Tough Mudder Challenge: Mission Sea to Space provides a unique opportunity for like-minded individuals to take on a new challenge. Whether you are a fitness guru, someone looking to take control of your personal health and wellness, or looking for an escape out of the ordinary, Tough Mudder Challenges continues to create an outlet for all Mudders. Navy Federal Credit Union Branch Manager and long-time loyal Mudder participant, shares his personal fitness journey that motivates, inspires, and encourages others to stay active.
Today’s Mission Highlight: Bernard Byers
Fitness has been a major part of my life for as long as I can remember. I have participated in over 110 different running events all over the US, ranging from 5Ks to marathons. Overall, I have completed 13 Tough Mudders as well as a 2X participant in the annual World Toughest Mudder event. I love that Tough Mudders push you mentally as well as physically for their runs. For instance, getting ready for a World Toughest Mudder event is truly a year-long training process. You must prepare yourself in both weight training and conditioning activities to be successful in completing the 24-hour run.
Nutrition is a very important part of the process as well, as you must stay hydrated, manage your calorie intake and find the proper vitamin regimen for your body. Receiving the proper rest and recovery is a major component for Mudder success as well. Without Tough Mudders, I wouldn’t have taken any of these items as seriously as I do and being disciplined in your training translates to positively affecting non-athletic parts of your life.
My fitness life has evolved throughout the years from participant to teacher.
In the past few years, I started a club basketball organization for young women aged 6-14 years old. We travel from city to city across the US playing in tournaments. I have been able to incorporate my Tough Mudder training into our basketball practice schedule by offering a special weekly conditioning day on Sunday mornings. During these sessions, we work on long-distance running, weight training, various core activities and share healthy tips on nutrition. I also train all of the parents and family members so our sessions can get quite packed. Since I create, run and monitor all of the basketball and conditioning based sessions, these are purely volunteer-based and the families can attend every week without paying a dime. Some of the parents have joked the sessions are harder than the paid private trainers that they have!
None of these successes would exist if it wasn’t for signing up for my first Tough Mudder 10 years ago. I’m excited to participate in the upcoming Tough Mudder Challenge sponsored by my employer, Navy Federal Credit Union.
Navy Federal Credit Union is proud to serve all branches of the military, the DoD, veterans and their families. We want you to earn more, save more and live the life you want knowing we’re behind you each step of the way, because our members are the mission. Learn more and become a member. Insured by NCUA.
Tough Mudder Challenges: Mission Sea to Space is in full swing and challenge participants are taking on some of the most intense military inspired challenges, pushing their physical and mental limits to new levels. Tough Mudder and Navy Federal Credit Union are continuing to drive motivation through the personal wellness journeys of Navy Federal Credit Union employees and challenge participants, showcasing the joy that can be discovered through focus, dedication, and a commitment to one’s fitness.
Today’s Mission Highlight: Denise Lockwood.
Currently working as an Assistant Branch Manager for Navy Federal Credit Union, Denise shares her powerful fitness journey that has led her to her first Tough Mudder challenge.
Here is her story in her own words:
Losing 80 pounds is no easy feat. That amount of weight is 2 four-year-olds or a large dog. For years and years, I have been carrying that weight with me and considered that my normal. I have had type 2 diabetes for 13 years and took medication for high blood pressure and high cholesterol. After the birth of my third son, I finally decided it was time to take care of me if I wanted to be able to take care of them.
I started my journey at the doctors. I told myself the habit I had of going every now and then to manage my diabetes was not the way to fix the problem. So I went to every doctor’s appointment and took all the tests to find the right medication for me. Then I asked to see a nutritionist and saw her every 3 months.
Once I was working on my medications and food choices, I started adding exercise. I have always been athletic and love working out but never remain consistent. I started with a couch to 5K app on my phone. It allowed me to have a training plan and started off slow and based runs on time instead of distance.
After 3 months of training, I was able to run 30 minutes. After that, I started setting distance goals for myself, starting with that 5K. I knew I needed some strength training to help boost the weight loss so I started looking into a new gym that was opening in my city called F45. F45 combines elements of high intensity interval training, circuit training and functional training. Since every day is a different class, I made a six-month commitment and have been attending 5-6 times a week.
Running, F45 and my guidance from doctors have allowed me to transform my life. I can now run 6 miles nonstop and am no longer taking any medications for diabetes, high blood pressure or cholesterol. My kids have a mom who can keep up with them and will be around for every milestone in their life. I am no longer carrying around 2 four-year-olds or a large dog on my body, and I will use this newfound freedom to continue this journey and continue challenging myself and hopefully motivate others on their paths. I work for Navy Federal Credit Union and am proud to represent them in the Tough Mudder Challenge this year!
Navy Federal Credit union is proud to serve all branches of the military, the DoD, veterans and their families. We want you to earn more, save more and live the life you want knowing we’re behind you each step of the way, because our members are the mission. Learn more and become a member. Insured by NCUA.
Over 100,000 Mudders have grabbed their tickets for 2021 and waves are filling up. Here’s a rundown on how we’re planning to manage events and keep you safe in 2021.
If you’re itching to get outside and get back to your favorite Tough Mudder obstacle course, we’ve got news for you: things are looking good for 2021.
And you’re not alone– over 100,000 Mudders have already reserved their spot for 2021. Start waves are filling up fast, make sure to read through for the full rundown on how we’re planning our return to a full season in the mud for next year.
LIFE IS RETURNING TO NORMAL
We’ve seen vaccine distribution rolling out and as a country, we expect to see an increase in the numbers administered. By the time our season kicks off in April, vaccinations will be well underway. President Joe Biden has made it his goal to vaccinate 100 million Americans in his first hundred days and Dr. Anthony Fauci says this goal is “reasonable.”
We’re tracking promising innovations on the testing front too. Rapid tests are commonly available now, and can return results in under 15 minutes. Several companies are working on even faster saliva- and breathing-based tests that you’ll be able to self-administer.
We know we’re not out of the woods yet as far as COVID is concerned– and we all have to do our part over the next several months to make it through the remainder of winter. Please be smart, wear your mask, practice distancing and take your training virtual or in safe settings.
But on the other side of this is a 2021 Tough Mudder season that we’re feeling pretty damn excited about.
BEING OUTDOORS IS THE BEST PLACE YOU CAN BE
Even as COVID-19 begins to be eradicated in 2021, we’re still laying in detailed plans to make sure we can keep you safe. Studies over the past several months have continued to demonstrate that socially-distanced outdoor athletic activity is incredibly low risk– lower than some of our normal everyday activities (grocery shopping, outdoor dining, etc.).
Endurance events are coming back online around the world, including Tough Mudder events in the Middle East and many triathlons, running races and obstacle courses here in the United States. With modifications to encourage distancing, reduce touchpoints and allow for thorough cleaning, the endurance industry is proving that being outside and moving is certainly much better for your health than being stuck behind your computer all day.
NEW PLANS TO KEEP YOU SAFE
Early in COVID, we assembled an internal task force to map out modifications to our events to ensure that when we returned to the mud, we could do it safely. Earlier this summer, we announced we were removing on-site cash collection in favor of a flat parking and bag drop fee charged at the time of ticket purchase. Not only is that saving you an average of $20 per person compared to prior years, but it will reduce lines and waits and streamline your arrival experience. You can read more on our anticipated COVID measures here.
CAPACITY IS LIMITED– AND WAVES ARE BOOKING FAST
The other big change we’ve rolled out is limits to the size of our start waves, to ensure we can manage the number of people on the course and in the festival area to comply with local regulations and allow enough space for adequate distancing. Prior to the 2021 season, you would have registered for a Tough Mudder event, and we would have assigned a start wave to you a few weeks prior to event day. Now you’ll have complete freedom and control to select your desired time at the time you register.
How does this work?
- We’ve limited capacity to a fixed amount of people per hour, and you’ll be able to select your start time window in hour ranges when you purchase your ticket.
- You’ll want to get your team together and ensure they all purchase the same time window as you to ensure you can start together.
- Providing there’s available inventory, you’ll be able to transfer your ticket between start waves prior to event day. If you’re transferring to a more expensive ticket, you may need to pay the price difference.
- START WAVES WILL SELL OUT. We may be able to open up additional space closer to the event based on final plans with local governments, but plan for you and your crew to book early to confirm the time you want.
Want more info on the new start time program? Check out the FAQ here.
We’ve had a busy extended off-season at TMHQ, and have a whole slate of exciting new announcements rolling out over the next few months. We’re overhauling many of our obstacles, launching new training programs and if you want a sneak peek, check out the new shop.toughmudder.com.
We’re full steam ahead for 2021– and we can’t wait to see you there. Earning that finish is going to feel even better after conquering 2020. Time to get off the couch and commit to a new challenge, and we’ll meet you at the finish line with an ice cold, well-deserved beer.
This article appeared on Spartan Unbreakable and has been published here with permission.
The best tools to get us through life’s toughest obstacles are free. The most important artillery for life’s obstacles isn’t something we buy; it’s something we build. One of the most powerful tools? Your breath!
Why Proper Breathing Is SO Critical
Let’s face it: We are stressed to the max. According to a Gallup poll from 2019, Americans are some of the most stressed people in the world. Add a global pandemic, social isolation, and economic upheaval into the mix, and that stress level has only increased. We’re in trouble, and we need a healthy escape. Even if you’re working out, taking cold showers, and meditating, stress inevitably builds up throughout the day. Having a quick valve to decompress is critical.
I’m not a yogi, like my mom was, and I never will be. But when it comes to breathing, I’m all in. The science is irrefutable. Breathing is good for your mind and your body, and in today’s world — where chaos is at every turn — we need something at our disposal that calms us down fast.
Not all of the science has been completely ironed out yet, but there is one thing we know for sure: Breathing changes your state of mind. Neuroscientists at the University of California, San Francisco have been conducting research on what they call the “breathing pacemaker,” which basically tells your brain to chill out. The details are still a bit hazy, but the consensus is that changing your breathing is a surefire way to change your state of mind.
Breathing truth: When you focus on slowing your breath, you are tapping the breaks on your entire regulatory system, which lowers your blood pressure. High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is a big problem in the U.S., and the even bigger problem, heart disease, is the No. 1 cause of death in America. The fact that we have this medication-free, no-cost, available-to-you-whenever tool that helps reduce blood pressure is one more reason to start your deep and slow breaths right now.
Box Breathing Is a Game Changer
Still not convinced? Check out what the Navy SEALs are doing. Former U.S. Navy SEALs Commander Mark Divine — also the founder of Unbeatable Mind & SEALFIT — recommends box breathing. His method goes as follows:
Hold a deep breath in for four counts, take a deep breath out for four more, and then hold again for four counts. This method is both simple and satisfying, as you feel yourself literally begin to turn down the volume on all things stressful.
Very little feels in our control right now, but as I’ve been reminded time and time again by Dr. Lara Pence, Spartan Chief Mind Doc, “feelings aren’t facts.” We have more control over our mind and our body than we think we do. And your breath is one thing that you can control and implement for free.
Start now and take control of your own stress level.
Halloween is creeping up on us this year, and while school is out it can be hard to think of creative and spooky activities to keep your Mini Mudders busy at home. Fear not – we’re here to help. We’ve rounded up some Halloween inspired challenges so good they’re scary. They’ll keep your tots active and occupied this week leading up to All Hallows’ Eve.
We’d love to see how your mini monsters conquer their fears and get into the Halloween spirit. Share your videos, photos and stories using the hashtag #LidlMudderChallenges (UK Mudders, check out the link here to see how you can turn these activities into a contest) and we will repost any photos and videos that give us a good cackle.
Get the whole family involved in this spooky sack race challenge. Dig out some old pillow cases and carve out a scary-good Ghost. Use a black marker pen or pieces of black felt to recreate the ghost’s eyes and mouth. Similar to the Mini Mudder start line, line up your troops, and may the best ghost win.
Scary Scavenger Hunt
A Halloween scavenger hunt is a great way to keep your Mini Mudders brains ticking over during the school holidays. Hide a selection of Halloween treats and items around the house for the kids to find and give them a few clue cards to help them out along the way. From our experience, the better the costume the higher the chance of winning.
Miss being out on course? Us too. Put your kids balance and problem-solving skills to the ultimate test. Get your little ones to create their own spider web and challenge them to collect as many spiders placed around their web without stepping off the lines. Super strong spider-proof tape will work both in and outdoors.
Spooky Camp Out
Ask your parents to help you set up camp and spend the night sleeping under the stars. No garden? No problem. Create an indoor den in your living room to complete this challenge.
Be creative when building your den – there are lots of different things around the house that can transform your camp. Sheets, pillows, and flashlights are a great addition, but don’t forget the snacks, movies, and scary masks too. Have fun with it and share your photos with us.
Mudders near and far, you’ve risen to new heights for the Grand Canyon Challenge, trekked the distance of Fiji, and found your power in the Marvel Edition Challenge. Now, we are taking it all the way from Sea to Space.
November presents a challenge that honors our troops and the traits we admire in them most. Tough Mudder and Navy Federal Credit Union alike are dedicated to recognizing the military community, both active and retired, for their service and dedication. From the sea, to land, through air and into space, each challenge pays tribute to a different branch of the military and the veteran’s who have served our country.
We aren’t about to candy coat it; this challenge will push you. Like all Tough Mudder courses and challenges, anybody can complete it. But that doesn’t mean it won’t test you. For those with that special combination of mental grit, strength, and the power of will, the title of finisher is yours. Do you have what it takes to make the commitment to complete this mission in honor of those who’ve completed so many missions for us?
Going The Distance
Maybe you can talk the talk, but can you walk the walk?
For this challenge, you’ll have to walk, run, bike, paddle board, row, or gain a good number of miles through any means necessary. How many miles? That number is still a mystery but it’s not small.
Taking on this challenge is a commitment you’ll make to yourself and one that will test you all the way through. We know you got this, though. Just need a little hard work, determination, and willpower.
Knot What You Think
When it comes to the Sea to Space Challenge, you might find yourself in a bit of a bind. It might challenge you, frustrate you, and make you want to throw in the towel. But ultimately, we’re about to learn some new skills, Mudder Nation and that’s all we’re going to say about that.
It’s not as brutal as bootcamp. There are no 5am wake up calls or drill sergeants shouting in your face. But it will test you, hone your skills, sharpen your wits, and spit you out on the other end with a stronger power of will. You’ll see what we mean.
While you hopefully will never need to use them, but it’s always good to have basic survival skills. If you join the military, you will obtain advanced survival skills throughout the course of bootcamp and active duty. While we won’t push you quite that far, we are going to make sure you sharpen your skills and walk away from this challenge with enough to get you through a cold night.
So the only question that remains is do you have what it takes?
Tough Mudder Challenges – Mission: Sea To Space, presented by Navy Federal Credit Union, begins November 10. We’re ready to dive in. Will you be there with us? Sign up here and commit to the challenge.
Navy Federal Credit union is proud to serve all branches of the military, the DoD, veterans and their families. We want you to earn more, save more and live the life you want knowing we’re behind you each step of the way, because our members are the mission. Learn more and become a member.
Mudders across the United States, Canada, the UK, and beyond tapped into their power at the commencement of the Tough Mudder Challenges – Marvel Edition.
The virtual challenge, which can be activated until November 12, is a feat not only of power and strength, but also the mental willpower.
It’s not the miles we’ve run or the obstacles we’ve traversed. It’s the mindset of Mudders. So far, Mudders across the globe have trekked over 125,000 miles, and completed 60,000 workouts. And we are just getting started.
How are the Challenges Moving us forward so far?
“First virtual Tough Mudder and I’m a little nervous about the reps and elevation the most. I plan on biking half of the miles at least and broke down the reps for a daily amount. It’s an overwhelming amount of stuff to do..but I’ll just keep plugging along. I’m hoping to get a few extra miles to donate..fingers crossed” – Kerry
“I have completed two Challenges this year and have been surprised at how fast the miles add up doing 1-2 short walks/runs per day. I was such an underdog when I started and now I have had extras to share” – Heather
Lets start at the beginning
The origin story of these challenges is one you already know. A year of chaos confined us all to our homes and wiped away our hopes and dreams of conquering Tough Mudder courses near and far. But Mudder Nation is a scrappy bunch and when things took an unexpected turn, a brand new adventure came out and Mudders stepped up.
Each Challenger begins with 4 compulsory obstacles. These are the tried and true feats of strength we must complete to be a finisher. They are not for the faint of heart. Take, for example, Black Panther’s Mount Bashenga. Challengers travel to Wakanda to tackle Mount Bashenga in honor of warrior-shaman Bashenga, the King of Wakanda and first Black Panther. Challengers must individually reach the mystical nation’s highest point over the 21 days, at an elevation of 4912 feet. Many have already met the challenge while others are still trekking away. So far, we have collectively conquered 1,500,000 feet and that’s just the beginning. With two more weeks to go, we will rise to the challenge and beyond.
And that’s not all we’ve done. Three other compulsory challenges await those who are up to the feat. 21 days is all we have to rack up the miles and reign in our strength
Fantastic Four Hero Carry
Each week Mudders find a set of optional challenges in their inbox. Two out of four possible obstacles must be completed fully. In this challenge so far, we’ve found our inner Super Hero and carried our friends, family, and neighbours to safe keeping (or at least a reasonable distance from where we’ve started). As you may recall, Hero Carry is our classic obstacle that requires Mudders to carry teammates to a checkpoint, piggyback style.
It turns out teamwork transcends the course, with extra flair for creativity. In this month’s Fantastic Four Hero Carry, we first dressed up ourselves, our teammates, and pressed on for the distance. So far we’ve tackled over 100,000 Meters of Carried distances and we’re still moving forward
But we stopped at nothing. The Fantastic Four Hero Carry was just one obstacle we encountered in our first week of our physical and mental training. While we were at it, we challenged ourselves to Rocket’s Refreshments, one of the more mentally challenging activities. In this challenge challengers lined up 6 tablespoons of condiments, each inspired by the Guardians of the Galaxy. Those snacks? They include mustard, mayo, pickle juice, and hot sauce, among others. Challengers rolled a dice and found their fate lies with the numbers rolled. Here’s a highlight:
Lets talk about Avengers Tower
If you tackled this one, you have the mental and physical strength of a Super Hero. In this activity, challengers took on one of Marvel’s most iconic skyscrapers Avengers Tower. Challengers took the stairs and climbed 1130 feet to the top of the tower. And did we mention they had to do it in one day?
But this is just the start. Two more weeks await with a load of more challenges to test Mudder minds. They are mental, physical, enduring, tiring, and straight up weird. But that’s how we like our fitness adventures and we know you do too. Until next time, Mudder Nation, keep pushing your power and we’ll see you on the other side.
Looking for a challenge you can commit to? There’s still time, Mudder Nation. Join the Marvel Edition Challenge and find your power today.
2020 may have been it’s own obstacle course, but we’re fully in 2021 mode.
We’ve got a full line-up of events on the calendar for next year, and for our most dedicated Mudders who are looking to go all-in, our brand-new upgraded VIP passes have just launched.
Packed with perks, our new season passes are perfect for the dedicated Tough Mudder legionnaire who values the insider access, year round discounts, and new exclusive gear to show off at the event.
Looking to upgrade your Tough Mudder season? You’ve got three options to choose from:
- REGIONAL Pass: Includes five 5k or Classic registrations in one of these areas:
- US – Northeast: New England, Tri-State, Long Island, Philly, DC
- US – Midwest: Chicago, Twin Cities, Michigan, Indiana, Missouri
- US – West Coast: Seattle, LA-Tejon, LA-Glen Helen, NorCal, Denver
- SEASON PASS: Unlimited 5k or Classic registrations in North America
- ALL ACCESS PASS: Full and total access to any Tough Mudder event, any distance, any country, all year long.
The more you use your season pass, the better the value. On top of great access to our 2021 event calendar, passholders are in for a whole new suite of added benefits this year, including:
- Merchandise Credits: Cash to use in the new ToughMudderGear.com store to get outfitted for the season.
- Merchandise Discount: You’ll want more gear throughout the year– and you can get it at great passholder-only pricing.
- Complimentary Spectator & Kids Entries: Bring the whole family along– passholders will get one complimentary Mudder Village ticket or Mini Mudder ticket every time they redeem their pass.
As our top tier of loyal Legionnaires– Season Passholders and All Access Passholders get even more perks:
- Dedicated Customer Service: A private email address reserved for passholders, getting you guaranteed 1-business day response times on your customer service needs.
- Digital Access to Tough Mudder Challenges: Expanding in 2021, passholders will get complimentary digital access to Tough Mudder Challenges, with the option to upgrade for the gear.
- Passholder Gear Kit: No better way to show off your loyalty than with the exclusive 2021 Season Passholder event bib, a branded dry bag to keep your valuable secure at the event, and our 2021 North America season wall map to keep track of your accomplishments.
- Companion Ticket Discounts: Bringing friends or family to enjoy the event with you? You’ll get 10% off your first five companions on 5k or Classic in 2021.
- Exclusive Access & Events: Previews, pre-sales, merchandise launches, and on-event special hospitality are just a few of the special perks we’ve got in store.
The 2021 Tough Mudder season is cleared for takeoff– and what better way to experience your return to the mud than as a true VIP?