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).