If ya’ll know me by now, you know that so far, no one has convinced me to purposely dive into the mud for a run, so this post is by a great guest blogger, Brad Williams, Certified Personal Trainer and Specialist in Performance Nutrition at www.EvolveGymOC.com
If you are looking for a new fitness challenge, look no further than a mud run. The craze has grown and now several different varieties of the muddy races are popping up nationwide. From Tough Mudders to Muderellas, the courses range in distance and types of obstacles to appeal to every type of runner. Whether you are new to running or looking to PR, here are some tips so you don’t end up buried in a mud pit.
1. First timers, choose a smaller distance.
Check out the race website and get to know the course and the types of obstacles you will be facing. When race day comes you will have an idea about what you are up against, like if there’s a shark tank at mile 2. Ok that might be a bit extreme. Typically you will be doing things like climbing walls, crossing monkey bars over water, crawling through mud pits and occasionally running through wires that send electrical shocks. Although there is always the option to bypass the obstacles, part of the fun is challenging yourself to complete each one – even if it doesn’t look pretty.
2. Plan a training program. And do it.
Once you know the course you should incorporate exercises into your routine that will build strength and stamina for your mud run. The course website might offer examples or you might enlist the help of a personal trainer. Mud runs differ from the usual road races because running on an uneven surface is a challenge in itself. Add in extra physical obstacles along the way and you may run out of gas before the finish line. A good fitness program will incorporate strength training, a variety of cardio exercises, and stretching to prevent injuries.
3. Show up in the right gear.
Bought the latest edition running shoes? Leave them in the closet for this race. The word “mud” in mud run is no joke. You will get dirty from head to toe. Same goes for your athletic apparel. Most of the dirt will wash out of your clothes, but better not chance your favorite muscle tank just in case. It is also important to wear clothing that is form fitting. Loose material will get weighed down with extra mud and will make you work that much harder. Protect your car with towels on the seats for the ride home. To get a better idea on dressing for the event, check out photos from previous mud runs to see what participants are wearing.
4. Recruit a group.
Convince your buddies to sign up with you. Not only is it a step in the right direction for a healthy lifestyle, but you will also have a support team during your training and at the actual race. A good group will stick together and help each other during the obstacles. The best part is the shared glory of crossing the finish line. And of course a group hose down to wash off all the mud, sweat, and tears. You may even earn a T-shirt and cold brew for your hard work and dedication.