Obstacle course racing does not have to be this scary. A mud run doesn’t have to be a daunting task. We’ve compiled some basic tips to help prepare you for a Mud Hero race, and to put any of your concerns to rest.
How to Train for Obstacle Course Racing...
The first thing to note is that anyone can finish a Mud Hero course. The race is designed so that it both challenges experienced runners and CrossFit athletes while also being fun enough for any beginner to have a great time.
The point of all this is to really get yourself outside, meet new people in a fun environment, while challenging your physical strength. If that means you end up walking half the course and failing to complete half the obstacles, then so be it – no one is here to judge you. We’re all here to have some fun in the mud with you though.
But if you really want to compete, then we suggest beginning your training 6-8 weeks in advance of your race. If you’re new to training, then take it slow at the start: give yourself some easily achievable goals to boost your confidence while making some progress on your physical strength and endurance.
Running is the most important thing to work on for obstacle course racing. Running on the street or a treadmill is one thing, but to properly get yourself ready for a Mud Hero obstacle race, you need to hit the trails for most of your run. Aim for about 70% of your run to be on trails.
The second item to work on for obstacle course racing is your grip strength. Many obstacles will have you climbing or pulling, so exercising in a way that focuses on these strengths is important: hanging on a bar, pull-ups, or holding yourself up on a bar with your arms in an L position will prepare you best. It’s about your shoulders and arm strength, but especially your grip.
The Gear You’ll Need for Obstacle Course Racing...
The most important piece of equipment you’ll need is, of course, good shoes. You want shoes that are light and with excellent traction. You’ll also want them to be durable and have great water drainage, as you’ll definitely be getting your feet wet, but you don’t want to be running with a puddle in your shoes. Altra CrossFit, Inov-8 Grip, and Salomon Shoes are some of the best obstacle course racing shoe brands available.
In terms of clothes, it is best to avoid cotton, as this gets heavy when wet or muddy. Look for compression gear: it’s light, keeps your muscles tight and does not soak with water. It is also advisable to wear compression pants, as these can protect your skin when climbing over or under obstacles.
It is also advisable to bring a water bottle or bag, along with a few nutrition bars to keep you hydrated and energized. While there will be water stations throughout the course, it is never a good idea to leave yourself to having to make it to the next one to refuel.
Also, be sure to bring a change of clothes (and shoes!) for the after party.
Pushing Your Limits for Obstacle Course Racing...
Finally, our last tip is to push yourself. The idea of obstacle course racing is to provide a much different experience to the usual marathon – it’s here to test your comfort levels, and reinvigorate your love of running. We’re all at Mud Hero for a new experience, for a new challenge, and for meeting a new group of friends – we’re all here to push ourselves to our limits, and then enjoy our success after crossing the finish line.
If you’re still having doubts, then take a look at the Top 10 Reasons to do Mud Hero in 2019 for some extra motivation. Additionally, if you’re on a mission to improve your health, then take a look at our Transformation Tuesdays contest, and share your story with us – we’d love to hear it!
Now that you’ll all primed and ready to rock Mud Hero 2019, we’ll be looking forward to seeing you on the course!