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Preparing for a Mud Run

By Mud Runs (553 words)
Posted in Staying Fit on May 28, 2013

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Mud runs are all the rage, but this hybrid race and obstacle course is about more than just good, clean fun. In fact, you should expect to be covered in mud and a great deal of sweat by the time you’re finished. Properly training for a mud run can give you piece of mind and ensure you feel comfortable while participating.

Preparing for a Mud Run

Dietary Discipline

A good diet keeps your body fueled and rids it of any junk, and it's important for building strength and endurance. Make sure to keep hydrated before, during and after your mud run. Water is recommended beforehand when you don't need electrolytes, but you should replenish those nutrients with a sports drink. Consider a mixture of a sports drink and water if you're not a fan of excess calories or sugar.

You may supplement your diet with protein shakes to help build muscle. However, be wary of drinks or snack bars which contain more sugar than nutrients. If you're looking for a natural and healthy snack, peanut butter, bananas and whole-wheat bread provide the energy you need before participating in a mud run.

Practice Realistically

Mud runs are messy and ambitious endeavors, so you shouldn't limit your practice runs to sunny days without a cloud in the sky. Don't be afraid to get down and dirty when you practice. Simulating actual conditions as best as you can helps you do well on the actual day of the race and eliminates surprises, so get down on your belly and crawl or practice lifting rocks from the bottom of a pool.

Forget About Running

Yes, a mud run certainly involves a great deal of running, but it is not the only aspect. The obstacles take what would otherwise be a boring race to new levels. Suddenly, three miles becomes a 40-minute trek. Your goal is to complete those obstacles without being so winded that you can't continue with the race, so you shouldn't focus solely on running when you practice. Pushups and pull-ups help build the necessary upper-body strength prior to your run, while the spider lunge opens up your hips to enable you to become better at crawling under barbed wire.

Work Your Way Up

Simulating a mud run is more difficult than it seems, which is why so many people do focus on running. However, running three miles takes far less time than a three-mile mud run. Thus, you want to extend your circuits to match the amount of time you think you'll need during the actual run to build up endurance. You'll need it when you're hiking, crawling, climbing and clawing yourself to the front of the pack on the day of the mud run.

As you design your circuits with running, pushups and pull-ups, see how many you can repeat in a fifteen-minute time period. Just remember that quality counts as much as quantity when you're practicing for the run.

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