May 23, 2018

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!

Adventure for Every Fitness Level by John Taylor

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Adventure for Every Fitness Level by John Taylor

Mud runs offer adventure activities for every fitness level
 

In April of 2011, I asked my students to participate in an activity they had never been exposed to before…a mud run. I believed that they could all complete a military-style obstacle course where they had to climb over 12-foot high walls, propel their bodies across rope swings, crawl underneath razor sharp barbed wire, and dive into mud pits that were 3-feet deep.

Many of my students were scared about signing up for the event, and were even more apprehensive about going to the starting line once we actually got to the race. However, due to the encouragement from teachers and peers, every one of my learners completed the 3.1 mile obstacle course.

Imagine that…my students came to me at the beginning of the school year with obese BMI scores, and they have now conquered an event that many Americans would be too timid to even sign-up for.

The reason my students and I love mud run events is because teams can go at their own pace to complete the race, each member of the team can help one another overcome every obstacle, and in cases when a person is unable to complete a certain task, they can simply go around the impediment and continue their journey.

Of course every mud runner would benefit from physically preparing for the event through an ideal training regimen, but finishing in the top 3 in your age group is not what a mud run is about. Events like the Warrior Dash, Spartan Race, Rugged Maniac, and Primal Run are meant to help friends and colleagues work together to complete a common goal and have fun.

If you are looking to physically prepare for one of these events, here are a few tips to help you train for a mud run competition:

Work on your upper body strength. In many mud runs, you’ll have to go across monkey bars and crawl through some pretty thick mud. Strengthening your shoulders, triceps, and lats will really help your efforts

Build up your cardiovascular endurance. Most people only think of the obstacles when mud runs come to mind, but there is a lot of running in-between these obstacles. Make your training more realistic to the actual event by doing trail and hill sprints and jogs.

Bring sympathy, understanding, and encouragement when you compete in a mud run. Remember, you may be able to get through every obstacle with ease, but your teammate who has just begun working out may struggle. If you are demanding that they “try harder,” do you think they’ll want to compete in one of these events again? The goal is to provide support and encouragement for fellow athletes!

By John Taylor, MS. Star of Emmy-nominated reality television series, “Too Fat for 15: Fighting Back” Follow John on Twitter: @tvfitcoach. Find John on  Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Coach-John-T/151964238255488?ref=tn_tnmn or reach him via email, jtaylor@wellbalance