Ah, running in the mud. What could be more fun than that, right?
If you’re tired of your current routine or just want something to break the monotony of running, mud races can be a great way to give your regular running routine a change of pace. But racing in the muck while dodging obstacles and jumping over barriers takes a bit more preparation than your average 5K race.
Don’t worry, though. By following these basic tips, you’ll be ready to tackle the course and live to tell your friends about it come Monday morning:
1. Check the Weather: Obviously, running in the heat of the summer is different than running during the dead of winter. But this difference gets amplified during a mud run. Frozen mud on the skin can be rather unpleasant during February, for example. Knowing what the weather will be like before you race will help you determine the clothes you wear.
2. Wear the Right Clothing: And speaking of clothing, avoid cotton. It is inevitable that you will get wet during the race, and if you’re wearing cotton, you’ll soon start to feel it as it rubs your skin raw. Skin that gets chafed is one thing, but chafed skin that then gets rubbed with mud is a whole new level of discomfort. Avoid that by wearing shorts and a shirt made from dry-wicking material.
3. Think about Your Shoes: It’s a mud run, so your shoes will get muddy. Really muddy. I mean, so muddy that you will never be able to get them as clean as they were before the race. I’ve seen loads of racers even go so far as to toss their shoes in the trash after the race because they were so dirty. Also, remember that the mud will get caked all over your shoes. Avoid wearing shoes or boots that are already heavy because that weight will increase with the mud. Wear a light shoe that you don’t mind getting dirty and you’ll be fine in the footwear department.
4. Don’t Forget the Ride Home: Remember that after the race, it won’t be just your shoes that are layered in dirt and mud. You’ll most likely be covered from head to toe. If you’d rather not transfer all that muck to your car for the ride home, bring a few old towels that you can sit on for the drive. In addition, a few plastic trash bags come in handy for your muddy clothes and shoes, especially if you’re going to salvage them for your next mud run.