Mud Run Tips & Tricks
Mud runs are a new form of racing that have been growing in popularity, within the United States and abroad, over the last 3 to 5 years. Almost all of these races include a variety of obstacles (while some don’t) to test one’s fitness and endurance. These runs also tend to be less competitive than a normal distance race due to the team dynamic that is created as a result of the obstacles. Generally speaking, these courses will range in distance from 3 to 13 miles long, incorporate obstacles designed to test your strength and mental toughness, and promote teamwork among you and your fellow competitors. Mud runs are a clear alternative to regular distance races and if you are an avid runner, worth checking out. Types of Runs Mud runs come in all shapes and sizes. For instance, some mud runs may take place regionally and only feature 6 to 8 obstacles, while national touring events, such as Tough Mudder, may include up to 24 obstacles. Before committing to any type of mud run you should research the distance, number of obstacles, and read runner’s reviews, from previous mud runners, to determine if the race is a match for you. Another thing that is important to know about mud runs is that most people run these races with a team. A lot of the obstacles are created with this in mind so do not be surprised if a complete stranger extends a hand to help you along the course. You should consider running these races with friends or family members. Not only will it be a great bonding experience but the extra set of hands will come in handy on the course. Training Since mud runs include obstacles that may require you to climb a wall, run up a hill, pull yourself up a cargo net, or jump off a 15 foot platform, you need to focus on strength training as well as endurance training. The best form of workout to implement into your exercise routine would be total body exercises, such as the burpees, mountain climbers, push-ups, and sit-ups. These exercises work the entire body and engage the lower body, core, and upper body all in one fluid movement. Gear You’ll Need If this is your first mud run, you don’t need to run out and buy a bunch of expensive gear. Run in your first race and if you like it, then you can decide what type of investment you may want to make. The only thing that I would recommend buying, before your first race, would be a good pair of utility gloves. You can get these from any sporting goods store. The gloves will help you grip the obstacles a lot better, especially since most of them will be wet and muddy. Finally, the last thing I recommend would be not to wear any type of cotton clothing while on the course. Cotton absorbs water and will add extra weight. Also, try to find a pair of running shorts or pants that do not have pockets. Pockets tend to collect mud, rocks, and other things from nature.