Saturday, March 9, 2013

How to Train for Your Very First Mud Run

You took the plunge and signed up for your very first women-only mud run. After the initial excitement wore off, you started thinking, "What did I just do? Am I crazy? Why did I just pay money agree to run and crawl through mud? I must have lost my mind!"  Sound familiar?

Calm down. This is going to be really fun. With a little preparation you will do great and have the time of your life.


Mud Runs like the Pretty Muddy are 5K but if you have never run a 5K, no worries. The difference between a regular 5K and a mud run is that a mud run is not a continuous distance. The running is broken up between the obstacles. So even if you don't fancy yourself a runner, you only will have a to run for a few minutes at a time while traveling between the obstacles. Besides, there is no shame in walking. This is not a timed event, so can feel free to take your time and enjoy it! It is not a race to finish first.

If you want to be on top of your 5K game, I suggest working up to race distance with some run/walk intervals. If you really want to be prepared, try a couch to 5K program over a period of several weeks like this one I found on Pinterest. This is just an example. If you are interested in following a Couch to 5k program do your research or contact a local running club.


Strength Training:

You can expect obstacles that require climbing, crawling, and jumping. You can follow some body weight exercises that will help strengthen the muscles you will use in those moves. Try doing a full body strength workout 2 or 3 times a week like this one I found on Pinterest from
Helpful Hint: If you are not sure how to do any of the below exercises, try entering the exercise name in the search box on YouTube for a video demonstration of the exercise. If it proves too difficult, try searching for a modified version.  This is just one example of a possible strength work out.

Mental Training:

Keep in mind that these women-only mud runs are designed for all fitness levels. The obstacles are achievable and if you do come across one that proves too challenging, you can just walk around, no one will mind.  The main idea here is to have fun.  Don't put too much pressure on yourself, even if you can't do any of the formal training suggested above, if you show up with a great attitude, a willing spirit, and a group of friends, I can almost guarantee you will still have a great time.

Are you interested in running the Pretty Muddy? Check out the Event Listing at Pretty Muddy to see if an mud run event is coming to your town!

If you are in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, I invite you to join the Running for Dummies Blog Team at the 9:30am wave! Let me know if you decide to join our team.

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Disclaimer: I am not a Doctor or personal trainer, I am a blogger simply offering suggestions for possible exercises to prepare for a mud run.  Please consult your Doctor or a fitness professional before beginning any new fitness program.  Begin any new program at your own risk.

Keep Running,


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  1. It wasn't until I ran my first mud run that I realized it would have been helpful to train for the obstacles. Great tips.

  2. This is great! I love the focus on body weight training. You will need it to get past some of those obstacles.

  3. Great advice! I was wondering how to train since I don't have an obstacle course in my back yard. :)

  4. great tips! strength training is SO important for mud runs!!

  5. I am doing my first mud run in June and am so excited. Mine is men and women though, so I'm hoping the obstacles aren't too hard;)

    1. Yes - those men and women ones are much more challenging, I've only done the women-only ones, which is why I focused my tips on those. Good luck with your mudrud

  6. Just what I needed to read! I'm signed up for my first obstacle course race in may and its men and women and will have up to 80 obstacles! I'm slightly scared yet excited.

  7. This is such a great post! I'm signed up for the Atlanta Pretty Muddy in October with my sister-in-law and her cousin. I'll be sharing your tips with them for sure!

  8. I hope you have a great run. I tried to do this earlier last year but i couldn't get off work. All that training for nothing, but it's ok. I'm going to try again next year. I hope your having a great weekend.


  9. Fun post Lea!! My first mud run is a 12 mile run--the tough mudder!! I am so nervous about jumping in that tank of ice water--have you done that?! Have fun at your mud run!

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