July 21, 2017

Fun in the Mud by Nicole Bryan

Racing your first Mud Run event? You won’t regret it! Regardless of your fitness or sport background, you will be challenged by this unique event style. Mud Runs have gained popularity in the past few years, because they are a fitness-filled total body workout of fun.

Here are a few tips to get you to the finish line happy and healthy:

Pace Yourself. The energy at the starting line of any event is super-charged! Mud Run race organizers usually plan to have a sustained run of a quarter or half-mile at the beginning for the purpose of spreading out participants upon arriving at the first obstacle. Remember to warm up, instead of sprinting to the first obstacle. Take your time, save your sprint for the end of the course. Your muscles will thank you.

Look for a Clear Path. There will be fellow athletes at each obstacle. In fact, some obstacles are really impacted and you may even have to wait. When approaching the obstacle survey others around you, see what approach they’re taking and then choose a different approach position. Usually the outside, corners or edges are least crowded as others simply follow the athlete in front of them to the middle of the obstacle. Look for other paths that volunteers are creating for athletes.

Focus on Efficiency. The more efficiently you can use your body, the better in obstacle course racing. For example, you see a wall as your next obstacle. If there aren’t other athletes in front of you, run and jump over in a single motion. This approach is more efficient than stopping completely and pulling your body over the obstacle and then having to regain running momentum again.

Think Outside of the Box. Sometimes rolling saves muscle energy over crawling. Explore how you can use your legs, instead of only your arms. Try how you can use your arms, instead of only your legs. Try using your total body to decrease cardio intensity.

Use Momentum. Keep moving forward. Running, walking, jogging, crawling, rolling, skipping, whatever it takes. Momentum from your run should carry you half way up the cargo net. Momentum from your downhill sprint should propel you over the wall. Momentum from your jogging can move you easier through the mud pit.

Have a sense of humor, have some common sense, have a smart approach to each obstacle, and most of all have fun in the mud!

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