The most important thing is endurance. Run, run, and run some more. Mud runs vary in distance from 3 to 10 miles. I always recommend being able to comfortably run one mile over the distance of the race you are running. When doing your endurance training make sure you are running in a hilly area and ideally on a trail. I can think of zero mud runs that I have participated that were on a street and flat. I would then visit a place to climb and see how fast you can get up the walls and do it over and over again because not only is leg endurance important but upper body strength as well.
Next you need to prepare for the obstacles. Most runs will tell you what the obstacles are but if they don’t, you can guarantee you will climb over something, crawl under something, run through something tough and, of course, get muddy. Some courses out there make you swim, carry an object, and go through an area with electric shocks. You can get training for most of these obstacles at your local play ground and jungle gym. Go hit the monkey bars. Next, crawl up the tube slide, slide down and repeat. Jump over the little rocking animals. If you brought a tiny family member with you, throw them over your shoulder and do wind sprints while holding them. If any children that are playing tell you that you’re too old to play on the jungle gym, just tell them you are the playground inspector.
If you are concerned over the quality and safety of the mud run, make sure the sponsor has trained medical personnel available on site, has at least one water station, and has a solid track record.
Last thing you will need to work on is your beer drinking skills. Now I’m not saying go back to your college days and finish off a 30 pack in one sitting with your buddies, but you don’t want to drink your free beer and be sloshed. So start ordering a beer when you go out to dinner.
So when training remember endurance, obstacles, and beer and you will be the master of any mud run you compete in….or at least look good while you do it. If you have never done a mud run before than try the Terrapin and the Hare 5K Mud Run on May 4th, http://www.terrapinmudrun.com. It is a great starter mud run. If you find that you like this style of race then you can start to explore longer and more challenging runs.
Jason Ruby, Operations Manager, Creator of Terrapin & Hare 5K Mud Run, Terrapin Adventures