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One explanation of a mud run might be a 5 K obstacle course. In the mud. With obstacles you’ve probably never seen before. Now does it sound like fun? For many people the answer is yes! If you’re getting bored with the same old road races, a mud run may be just what you need. If you stick to your regular running routine you would most probably be able to complete a mud run. But if you’re going to put the effort into one you might as well train for it. Let’s go through some examples of what you might run into and a few ways you can train.
The interesting thing about most mud races is that you won’t know the obstacles you’re up against until you get to them. You will run into climbing walls, ropes to swing on, low crawls under barbed wire, cargo nets, and rivers to cross. Believe it or not these are the mundane ones. Add to that hills, 30 foot mud bogs to cross, the occasional fire pit, and underwater tunnels or even a polar bear plunge and you’ve got yourself a mud. You can expect them to be somewhere around 3 to 15 miles long. Sometimes you don’t even know the length.
Besides the endurance part of the challenge you have the mental part. Not knowing what is coming next or even how long you have left for the finish line makes it a real mental challenge. Many competitors say the hardest part is not knowing what is coming up and how much energy they should expend on a particular obstacle. But with a little planning and extra training you can be ready for the challenges of a mud race.
While it’s not necessary to actually train in the mud, expect to be covered in it by the time you’re done. We won’t go into specific training routines but here are suggestions on what you should work on.
You have no idea until the race is done how much or what kind of jumping you will have to do, rest assured you will need to be agile and your flexibility will be tested.
Get used to hanging and swinging using your arms. Again, you won’t know exactly how but you will be swinging from something.
Hills, rocks, water, or mud, it’s best to be prepared.
Mud runs are a unique way to challenge yourself and step outside the box. With a little fore thought and conditioning, you will be able to enjoy your first mud run. Good luck, you may need it.
Derek is currently blogging for a bariatric surgeon clifton.
Image Credit: Sky Noir
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