Over the last 5 years one of the biggest fitness trends has been the ‘mud run.’ Testing your ability to not only run a course of 12 miles (some longer, some shorter), but to overcome military-like obstacles. What posses people to run through fire, carry tires, swim in freezing water, or sludge through muddy trenches?
Our own Professor Stern comments on his completion of 3 Tough Mudders and how he is prepping for his 4th this coming October.
“My first Tough Mudder was BRUTAL. I was in good shape, but I never ran 12-miles before, nor could I prepare for the bizarre obstacles I was about to face. The hardest part about Mudder 1 was the water. To say I didn’t think about quitting would be a lie. I was miserable the first 5-6 miles. I conquered every obstacle, except for the monkey bars. I got to the top of the vertical bars and fell to the freezing water. That was the moment I KNEW I was coming back for Mudder 2. I needed to conquer the bars! It is still a hard course each year, but I learned to prep for it. I learned how to make the 12 miles of mud, rocks, and water into a fun personal obstacle course.”
1) Cardio! Don’t think of the 12 miles as a race. Many people walk to the next obstacle, and with the course being filled with these obstacles, there are usually small lines to wait on- giving yourself a much needed breather.
2) Team Up! The addition of your friends alongside of you will push you to new limits and past obstacles. It is not only encouraged, but it is IMPOSSIBLE to do tasks such as the Wounded Warrior Carry or even get over the Berlin Walls without a helping hand. Find a friend or two and help eachother out. This will also help you prepare for the event because you now have a training partner.
3) Sneakers. Do not invest in a crazy expensive pair of running sneakers, but remember 12 miles on a track is A LOT different than mud and water. You will certainly need a decent pair that won’t rip during the first mile. A bad set of sneakers could give you blisters or make it feel like you are running barefoot. Invest in a decent pair and be prepared to donate the muddy pair at the end.
4) Music. Clearly you can’t run with headphones in. If you are like me, cardio is not an option without my ipod. Unfortunately that was one thing I had to train myself for. Running simply with the music in my head.
5) Plyometrics. The best workout I did to prepare for my mud runs was a plyometric based workout. It exploded my legs to not just build endurance, but strength and speed. It helped me jump over the logs in the woods and push myself over the muddy mountains.
Mud Runs are an excellent want to motivate and take your training to the next level. Again, do not be scared of the distance. Make this a personal goal to FINISH the event. Don’t compare yourself to the guy next to you. If you are ready to challenge your body and don’t mind getting a little muddy, then find a mud race near you and start to prep! If you have any other questions on preparing for the courses, e-mail us at info@COREiculum.com !