Now that we’re within a month of WTM, we get to see the final set of rules! There was a lot of speculation behind these rules for this year's event. Tough Mudder recently sent out the updated rules for 2016 and the community starting chatting. When we sign up for crazy events like this, we’re allowing the HQ to define the parameters for our efforts to count, so it’s important to understand exactly what these rules are so we can do as well as possible on event day.
For those who love Obstacle Course Racing and participate year round, chances are your performance has been effected more than once by the cold. Whether it be an all-night sufferfest at World’s Toughest Mudder (WTM), being stuck at an obstacle at the OCR World Championships or just racing on an exceptionally cold day. Seeing the freezing updates from the 2016 Spartan World Championship and Ultra Beast, it seems like a perfect time to talk about a new product that is about to hit the market.
I grew up very active in sports and played a little over a year of college football. OCR gives me that opportunity to still feel competitive. OCR also allows me to push myself further than I have in any sport I have ever played and I love pushing myself to see how far I can truly go.
I was friends with Yancy Culp before he started training full-time. He is a motivator! It's hard not to get excited after talking to him. Yancy has been my personal trainer for two and half years. My wife and I also motivate each other to stay at it.
I recently attended BattleFrog Kansas City and much to my surprise I saw a familiar face on the starting line. Team Cellucor Athlete Eric Jenkins the 100x+ Tough Mudder Century veteran was there standing next to me getting ready for his first BattleFrog. “Are you lost?” I said, “Shouldn’t you have a Tough Mudder this weekend?” He responded with a “No, I actually only have one Tough Mudder on my schedule this year....but I have seven BFX events.”
We live in a world that focuses on being “the best of the best.” We regularly applaud the person who gets first, while looking at the second place finisher with disgrace. We think that they must have done something wrong that kept them from being on top. In fact, they did something amazing to be second! I think that the mindset of “second is the first loser” and the associated culture is destructive and counter-productive, even for people who regularly appear on the top of the podium. Here’s the start of why I think so.
Tough Mudder changes the rules in their signature championship event, World’s Toughest Mudder (WTM), every year. With each change, there is great controversy and great potential. Sometimes the rule changes are in response to feedback or problems they encountered in previous years, or sometimes they just like to change it up. Before I describe the first announced rule changes, I’ll preface the controversy with this. In sports, and especially OCRs, we rely on the organizers to define the rules of engagement, and we challenge ourselves to do our best within those confines.
Rest days and easy workouts build up your mental and physical toughness. It can be difficult to find the proper balance between work and recovery. A start is establishing that there should always be more recovery than work.
Both in training and in racing, I think of three categories of pain that are important to learn how to distinguish. I call them 1) expected pain, 2) manageable pain and 3) injury. These types of pain are your friends because they tell you what’s going on with your body, so you can know what to do. I say “learn” because initially it can be hard to distinguish between them.
WTM is the Vatican City of The Community, the gathering place where people shed their regular existences to express their extraordinary resolve. 1200 runners toe the line in Las Vegas, where our head deacon, Sean Corvelle, provides us with a little more insight into ourselves we haven’t thought of.