By: Michelle Magnan
The closest I’ve come to a mud run was when I slogged my way through an epic hike in Maui – a hike that involved getting lost on the mountainside, falling down a muddy hill and ultimately losing one shoe to the sludge. There’s something about willingly throwing myself into the chaos (okay, the mess) of a mud run that has never appealed to me. Until lately. In the last two years, many of my friends have tackled Tough Mudder, Mud Hero and other races. After hearing their stories – tales of exhaustion, teamwork and sense of accomplishment – I will admit I’m intrigued. In an effort to learn more, I reached out on Twitter (you can follow me at @Michelle_Magnan) to see what the active Tweeps out there would recommend for training and tackling a mud run. Here’s what they came back with.
On How To Train
@lmmcclus Crystal did Tough Mudder and she says biggest thing is run outside as soon as you can and keep your cardio stamina up
@cfrangou If you want to race in the rain, you have to train in the rain. I hate both.
@mostely Crossfit WODs and a few hard trail runs 3 to 5 km
@thehotboxyoga Watch An Officer and a Gentleman before the race and buy some Tide.
Notes on these suggestions: CrossFit-ters suggesting CrossFit is not surprising. But they’re right – it would make for great strength training. I’m not sure who Crystal is but I’ve heard from many people that cardio stamina is critical – and a lack of it is the downfall of many. It’s safe to say that @cfrangou, who happens to be a good friend of mine, will not be tackling mud runs soon. I’ve never seen An Officer and a Gentleman, but I will check it out, @thehotboxyoga. Watching a movie to train for a race may be my favorite strategy ever. I own Tide, so, check.
On How To Tackle a Mud Run
@gavingmiller Off the top of my head: have fun, pace yourself, shoes will get dirty! And sunscreen if it’s a hot day.
The following advice came from one person, @jdasilva4, who sent it in multiple Tweets:
Try to get to the front. People will be slipping, tripping and sliding and you don’t want to be behind them. Once near the front, pick a pace slower than normal because the course is likely not a road race. Uneven, soft terrain will tire you out quickly and could force you to walk if you don’t pace well. For me, the obstacles weren’t a problem. The running was the challenge.
When I relayed @jdasilva4’s thoughts to my mud running friends, they agreed that the running components are draining. They also suggested that, should I sign up for one of these beasts, I wear a long-sleeve, breathable shirt, gloves to protect my hands and duct tape around the tops of my shoes – to keep mud from getting in and to keep them on my feet. Considering my one experience in the mud, this sounds like excellent advice. Perhaps I’ll get out there yet.