Essentials For Extreme Mud Running

Ready to run in the mud? Here’s some tips to prep you for your first extreme mud run.

Mud runs with obstacle courses are quickly becoming a popular outdoor sport, because they’re open to everyone and are simply lots of fun. If you’re contemplating on entering one for the first time, check out these tips on what to bring and how to prepare to get  down and dirty.

What To Bring To Your First Mud Run

Shoes: Most experienced mud racers claim that lightweight trail-running shoes are best.  Be forewarned that they will get filthy, wet and probably unusable for anything else, but also make sure you can tie them on tight or they’ll pull right off in deep mud.

Shorts: Lightweight, quick-drying shorts are best for mud running. The idea is not to let lots of mud cake on and weight you down.

Shirt: Lightweight, fast-drying and/or compression style shirt. The less material that gets wet and hangs the better.

Goggles: The debate is out if goggles are a good idea but some swear by wearing them it can help to see in more watery events. Others think the mud and water that gets on the goggles can be a hindrance. The best bet? Bring some with you and see if everyone else is wearing them or not.

Gloves: Durable leather gloves are a must for climbing over obstacles and getting a good grip on ropes. They also prevent rope burns or any splinters you may get if you’re going to be climbing over wood walls.

Watch: Use one with a stopwatch function so you can track your time. Many are inexpensive, water resistant and can wash clean.

A Change Of Clothes: Surprisingly, many people forget to bring a change of clothes. While there’s usually an area that you can get hosed down you’ll still be wet and cold. A change of clothes will keep you warm and comfortable after the race and when you walk up to receive your ribbon.

Identification: Sounds simple, but many forget their identification. Mud run officials will need to see your ID to verify your entry. Put it in a plastic sandwich bag to keep it clean or hand it off to a relative after you sign in.

How To Train For Your First Mud Run

Most Mud Runs are 5K or 10K so you don’t need to be a marathon or triathlon runner to do them. But there are obstacles in these races that will require some upper body strength to pull yourself up walls, as well as some agility to crawl under and through obstacles.  Here’s some basic training tips that most mud run organizers recommend.

1) Run regularly 3-4 times a week and work up to 3-5 miles.

2) Lots of push-ups to increase upper body strength. You should be able to do 15-20 push ups in a row.

3) Squats are also great to improve leg strength and will help your climbing abilities over large walls and jumping over obstacles.

In all, you should be in relatively good shape and consult your doctor first if you haven’t attempted something this serious before. There are lots of mud runs all over the country. One good way to locate one in your area is to simply go online and search mud runs in your state and/or county. There are also websites such as that list a variety of mud run organizations.  Make sure to check each one out as rules are different with each organization. But the main idea on your first mud run is to have fun and gain some experience. Once you’ve got a few under your belt, you can start to be competitive, train and go for the win.

4 thoughts on “Essentials For Extreme Mud Running

  1. Check out the new mud run company called ThundR Productions! They are located out of Denver, CO. The company is owned by two military guys one is retired Special Forces and the other is a Blackhawk pilot. They both love these events so they started their own company. They have 9 events planned for 2012. Check them out on facebook at ThundR Productions or go to

  2. I think pull-ups and chin-ups are also really important for getting over walls, climbing ropes and other obstacles. A lot harder to do than push ups but necessary for a lot of events.

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