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Getting Ready for your First Mud Run? This is what you need to know
The starting line is set, racers and competitors wearing their finest battle gear gather in anticipation, the tension is thick, and everyone can see the muddy obstacles in the distance, taunting them and daring to be conquered – then, the race begins and the crowd leaps into action.
That might be how you picture it, but if you’ve never actually been to a mud race before, you’ll be surprised to find that the beginning is far less climatic, but the victory is far sweeter.
Most mud runs begin a bit slowly, with the competitors tiptoeing forward in a huge crowd before engaging in a gradually increasing run – the obstacles are usually after about a quarter-mile or so.
What you have guessed correctly is that this will involve mud – a lot of it, and probably more than you ever thought could exist on the surface of the earth. And by the end of the race, that mud will be hanging onto you in almost every place imaginable.
Taking the First Step
Registering for a mud run – and actually following through with it – can turn out to be one of the most rewarding decisions you’ll make in your lifetime. These events are physically challenging and tough, to say the least, and we’d like to get you prepared for your first encounter to ensure that you get the most out of it – in terms of fun and personal achievement – and reduce the likelihood of injury or unhappiness before or after the race.
What You Need to Know:
It’s about fun. There’s little point signing up for a mud run if you don’t plan to have a good time, challenge yourself, accomplish personal goals, meet new friends, capture great photos, or a host of other benefits that drive competitors to participate each year.
Your reasons for going on the mud run have to make sense to you, and if you’re not it amazing physical shape, you need to set your expectations for your performance in a realistic way.
At some events, you might see people dressed in elaborate and exotic costumes or athletic outfits – this is all part of the fun, and adds to the atmosphere, post-race, we’re everyone might be gathering to partake in free beers and laughter.
So here what need to pay attention at your First Mud Run
- Check out the course in advance on Google Maps or similar, allowing you to get a good feel for the terrain, determine your comfort level, and decide how best to dress. On your first run, there’s nothing wrong with skipping certain obstacles that you don’t feel confident with, and knowing the layout of the course or its location can help you best prepare.
- Practice physical activities similar to the requirements of the course ahead of time. This can include going to a local gym that offers indoor rock climbing, miniature obstacles, or even training with weights attached to your body. The mud is unimaginably heavy, and will certainly weigh your clothes down, as well as make the easiest tasks seem impossible during the remainder of the race.
- Your clothes will get destroyed, and it’s a reality you need to accept and come to grips with before the event. Consider the clothes and other items you take with you as being part of the expense of the experience – you’ll need to ditch them afterwards, unless you plan to spend days trying to remove stubborn earth matter from every crevice. The types of clothes you wear should prevent the collection of mud – this means avoiding garments with pockets, cotton, loose-fitting materials and the like.
- Watch and learn when you’re on the course, as there will typically be a lot of very experienced competitors that know the obstacles well, or just a group of inexperienced runners that have figured out a good method for tackling obstacles. Either way, learning from their strategies, or mistakes, can save you a lot of time over trying to reinvent the wheel yourself. If you approach an obstacle you’re not familiar with, observe other racers until you’re confident enough to make a move – or bypass the obstacle altogether.
- Why stand in line for showers when you can bring your own bathing water? Taking an extra couple gallons of tap water with you can be a lifesaver when you’re tired and covered in mud – believe us. While some coordinators will have ample shower amenities setup to accommodate all the runners quickly, it’s not guaranteed at every event. It’s also not a bad idea to bring along some of your own favorite beer as well. Some mud run events are notorious for having mediocre beer (although that sort of adds to the irony and makes it all a little more fun).
So you want to do the Mud Run! Whether you are a beginning runner or have some experience running conditioning or training will be the same. The goal is to prepare your body to perform at an optimal level and prevent injury.
There are several things to know as you start. Progression is important. You don’t want to have drastic increases in your workload. Usually the rule of thumb is to increase your intensity by 10% at a time. Have a plan which includes running and strength training.
For runners in general, it is recommended to have 1-2 days of general strength training per week targeting upper body, lower body, and core.
Avoid over training
You can do too much. It is important to take a day off and to have easier days where your intensity is not as great to allow your body to recover and get stronger. Keep an eye on your heart rate. The average resting heart rate (HR) is 60-80 BPM (beats per minute).
You calculate your maximum HR by subtracting your age from 220. Your target heart zone, or appropriate exercising HR, should be somewhere between 50-85% of your max.
Make sure you have the right equipment
Footwear is important as well. Insure that your shoes fit properly. Shoes that do not fit properly, too tight or too lose, may create friction and result in blisters which can interfere with your conditioning. Blisters are not only painful, but if not treated properly can become infected and really cramp your style.
Friction can occur in other places as well. Strategically placed skin lube can help avoid chaffing and allow you to condition more effectively.
Proper running form is a great way to prevent injury and increase performance. The ideal running form is head straight and looking ahead, arms swinging at the shoulders with the elbow bent at 90 degrees. Avoid crossing your arms in front of you. The knee should be bent slightly upon impact, which allows for absorption of energy on impact. Feet should be pointed straight ahead with the upper body slightly leaning forward at the waist.
Warm up properly before you exercise. A good dynamic warm up prior to exercise includes exercises such as high knees, walking lunges, butt kicks, and arm circles. Static stretching is best done after the session when the muscles are nice and warm.
Eat Well and Hydrate
Diet is vital to performance. Carbohydrates are a great source of energy.
They are broken down into simple sugars to be used as fuel. The unused portion is stored as glycogen and will be used for anaerobic activities such as sprinting and weightlifting. When glycogen stores are full carbs are stored as fat. Fat has the highest concentration of energy; 1 gram of fat = 9 calories of energy. Understanding how to access these resources is important.
Fat is broken down and released slowly during endurance activities such as distance running, biking, or triathlons. Proteins are found in meats, fish, nuts, and eggs. They are broken down into amino acids which are the building blocks of muscle. Protein aids in the building and repair of fatigued or injured muscles. Ideally, the athlete should eat 3 balanced meals per day with 1-2 healthy snacks.
Hydration is also crucial in conditioning in all seasons, but especially during warmer weather. The athlete is encouraged to hydrate prior to, during and after exercise. If you are exercising for less than 60 minutes water is the ideal beverage. For activities longer than an hour a combination of water and an electrolyte beverage such as PowerAde is recommended.
Many athletes are concerned about recovery post workout. Following exercise the athlete is encouraged to consume fluids for rehydration, approximately 20-24 oz. of fluid per pound of weight lost. Food is also important. Both protein and carbs are vital. They should be in a 4:1 ratio of carbs to protein. There are many products available, but studies have shown the best recovery drink is chocolate milk.
Now, get out there and get going.
Hopefully by understanding how your body works and by following the guidelines you can maximize your training and have a great race.
The given list below will tackle some of the dependable safety tips which you have to follow when you are playing different sports.
- Warm Up and Cool Down
One standard rule that everybody has to follow when they are playing any sports is to warm up and then cool down. Before you start playing any sports, you have to warm up your body first so that the circulation of blood in your body will increase. Furthermore, it will condition all of the muscles of your body, and it will improve its flexibility as well. As a result, your chances of obtaining several injuries and accidents will become low. Do a few basic exercises and stretches as a way of warming up your body. You can also do jogging and brisk walking for at least five minutes or a maximum of 15 minutes. Once you are done playing the sport, you have to cool down yourself as well so that the heart rate of your body will go back to the normal level. It will prevent all the muscles of your body from becoming hard and stiff as well. You can do the same exercises and stretches that you do to warm up in your cooling down.
- Wear Protective Gears or Equipment
Another thing that you have to follow is always to use and wear protective gears or equipment that are suitable for the sport you play. Some of these protective gears or equipment are helmets to protect the head especially when the sports you play are skateboarding, hockey, cycling, and football; knee and elbow pads for the sports like volleyball and biking; special kind of shoes like cleats when the sports are soccer and baseball; mouthpiece to protect the teeth from playing the sport of boxing; protective eye gear when you play the sports such as snowboarding, skiing, and swimming; and other protective gears or equipment. It is advisable that you inspect and examine these protective gears or equipment first if they have defects and damages before you put them on your body. You have to know that accidents and injuries are possible to happen when you play sports without safety precaution.
- Drink Lots Of Water and Eat Nutritious Foods
When you play different sports, your body requires more energy and nutrients as the body uses it to function. With this said, it is very important that you have to eat several nutritious foods such as meats, vegetables, fish, and fruits to meet the physical demands of the sports you play. Furthermore, you have to drink lots of water as well to rehydrate your body since that you lose a lot of fluids in your body through sweating. You can also drink energy or sports drinks to replace the lost electrolytes in your body. Doing this can also prevent you from health problems such as paleness, heatstroke, weakness, dizziness, and fatigue.
In conclusion, these are only some of the dependable tips that you have to follow so that you will be safe when playing different sports. You can talk with a professional sports coach to know more information about these safety tips.
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