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Is a Mud Run for you?

When deciding to get into shape or try out a new fitness routine, it can help to have a goal in mind. For many, focusing on an upcoming race or event can help to focus your training and give you something to look forward to, instead of becoming trapped in a fitness regime that seems to never end. If you enjoy running (or virtually any aerobic exercise), but are looking for a bit more of a challenge than the same old 5K run, consider a mud run.

What is a Mud Run?

A mud run is a combination of running, obstacle course, and – you guessed it – mud. Races can usually be entered singly or in teams, and the object can be to finish first, complete the most laps in a set period, or to simply to have fun. Mud runs can vary greatly in difficulty as well, so you want to investigate each run prior to signing up and start easy.

Common Obstacles

So what type of obstacles should you prepare for? Here are just a few types that may appear in a typical mud run:

  • Rope swings
  • Monkey bars
  • Mud pits (sometimes chest deep)
  • Hanging tires
  • Walls (wood or hay bales)
  • Tunnel crawls
  • Net ladders
  • Steep, muddy hills
  • Mud crawl

As you can see, there is quite a variety – which means if you are serious about participating you are going to need some training in order to perform your best!

How to Train

If this is your first mud run, consider signing up for a shorter run and train so you can complete a 5K. For more challenging runs, being able to run a fair distance (most races average 9-12 miles of distance) at a reasonable pace is important.   Running a good pace is not the only thing that will help you complete a mud run successfully. You are going to need to work on your upper body and core as well to get through the obstacles. Here are a few training ideas:

  • Pushups and Pullups: Get your arms in ripped condition by adding these to your workout routine.
  • Burpees: If you haven’t met the burpee yet, check here. Burpees work your whole body as well as getting you ready for some gruelling obstacle work.
  • Spider lunge: Almost every mud race will have a crawling section, where you have to pull yourself along Marine-style under a net, through mud. Get in shape by starting now – it will come in very handy.

Since there are mud races for virtually every skill level, don’t worry about whether you’re in perfect shape – just get started and the rest will follow. In no time flat you’ll be moving up the ranks to more challenging races, and loving it.

Ready to Sign Up?

There are a ton of mud run events occurring around North America at any given time, you just have to find them. Mud Run Guide has a fairly comprehensive list of upcoming events; you can also simply search for “mud run” plus your area to find local events. Good luck! Photo: Mr. Muddy Suitman