With the number of mud and obstacle course events popping up all over the country, muds runs are becoming a niche running event anyone can do. Everything from Color Runs to Tough Mudder-like hard-core events are available, and how you prepare (or not) can determine whether you will ever come back for a second go. These 10 tips for surviving a mud run will assure you have the best race possible!
A couple weekends ago, my 17-year-old daughter and myself participated in a local mud run. This was my 2nd and her 1st attempt at such an event and we’d like to share a little bit of our wisdom on the subject. You know, because we’re experts now.
10 Tips for Surviving a Mud Run
- HAVE FUN! Unless you are Superman or a member of Special Forces, don’t go into a mud run hoping for some crazy personal best time. The whole idea for the vast majority of the population is to go out there and see what your body can do. If you have the right attitude, you will have a much better time. For perspective, my girl and I can both run a 5k in around 30 minutes. Our mud run took over an hour.
- Be prepared for mud to enter EVERY orifice on your body. Yep. EVERY. Just roll with it. Trust me. You can hose off when you get done. Even after you hose off you may find mud in places you didn’t know existed. If you are a germaphobe, this may not be the event for you. Or you can be like my girl and let it go. You may find yourself having a really good time.
- Practical clothing is best. Think about the last time you got caught in a rainstorm and how heavy your street clothes became. These are NOT the clothes you want to wear to your mud run. Just like other runs, you want something lightweight that won’t hold all the water and mud, but also something you aren’t afraid of trashing. This probably isn’t the time to wear your new $90 running capris but that $10 pair you got on sale at Target? Perfect! I wore booty shorts and a sparkle skirt at my first mud run and my legs got very torn up. This time around, I went with capris. I still had quiet a few bruises but not as many scrapes. The other option is to wear a costume. The people in costume seem to have the most fun, too!
- Wear old shoes. You won’t want to ever wear them again. I’d also say to skip the duct tape. Many people tape their shoes to their feet; however, if you get a rock or something in your shoe, you won’t be able to fix it and the tape may become really slippery on the bottom of your shoe. I’ve just double-knotted my shoes for my mud runs and had no problems. If you decide your shoes are done for, most mud runs have a recycle pile near the showers if you would like to toss them (and have a change of shoes for the drive home). If you are a runner, I can pretty much guarantee you have at least 4 pair of shoes at home that could go into the mud.
- Keep your mouth shut. I know this will be really hard because you’ll be laughing so hard, but trust me, mud doesn’t taste good.
- Bring towels and/or garbage bags. You will want to put something on your car seats for the ride home unless your mud run has a place for you to actually change clothes.
- Stay off your knees when crawling. This might or might not be possible, but I’ve found combat crawling through tubes and mud is a bit easier on the knees.
- Wear lifting gloves. You will have a better grip on ropes and boards and your hands won’t get torn up.
- Whatever you do, DON’T jump into the mud. You’ll most likely sink, and might lose a shoe. Also, NEVER, never dive headfirst into an obstacle.
- Before and after photos and during photos. You will definitely want pictures of this event. If you can recruit a friend to spectate and take pictures, this is fantastic. Other options are a disposable camera or wearing a GoPro.
I can’t tell you enough how fun it was to complete a mud run with my girl. We had a solid hour of bonding time and she really kicked butt on the obstacles. I loved how she encouraged me and even helped me over a couple things. If you have the opportunity to do something like this with your kids, I highly recommend you go for it. Hopefully these 10 tips will make your adventure a little more enjoyable.