I went into my first mud run completely unprepared. I didn’t know what I should wear or how to prepare for the obstacles. So I’ve decided to write down tips that I think will help me and hopefully you for your mud race. Mine will be August 27th and I’m already thinking about all the ways to make it be better.
First of all let’s talk about what to wear. On the race websites they say basically two things either wear a fun costume or just throw your stuff away. I have to say I worried about this for my mud run almost as much as I did about the running portion. I’m a girl, I don’t believe in working out in trashy whatever clothes. I firmly believe that if you wear clothes you feel good in you will feel better about yourself and therefore have a better workout. That’s just my theory anyway. Why am I blathering on about my styling wardrobe (in my mind anyway)? Because I didn’t want to go buy trash to race in just so I didn’t ruin any of my good stuff. So I decided to go all black. I wore the silky self-wicking type black workout shorts and a plain black workout shirt. I wore a black silky feeling sports bra. I did wear white socks and white undies and I had to through them away afterwards. So don’t wear anything light colored or they will be ruined.
Here’s how we saved the clothing. Upon returning home we put our race clothes on the driveway and the hubs hosed them off until the water ran clear. Then I washed them twice in washing machine. They came out clean. The one downside to wearing all black is that you won’t stand out at all and might not get that many pictures taken of you by the professional photographer at the race. That may or may not matter to you but just thought I would throw that out. It might also be alot harder for you to find yourself in the pictures. The hubs also mentioned that when he came back to cheer me on he almost didn’t recognize me.
On to shoes. I like most other people out there was wearing sneakers for the race. I rotate my sneakers. I workout in them for 6 months then switch them out and make them my everyday walking around shoes. I then take the old walking shoes and make them into mowing/yucky sneakers. So I was in a quandary. Do I wear the old mower shoes that I won’t care about throwing away or wear my walking shoes that still have some support? I decided to go for support. However, I shouldn’t have been worried about which sneaker to wear but whether to wear sneakers at all. The race was all of road. We started on a grassy hill that was really slick because it had rained the night before. So right out of the gate everyone was slipping and sliding all over the place. Then you add mud into the mix and it was absolutely crazy. I almost wiped out so many times just because my shoes were so slick. So I’ve decided to try my mountain biking shoes. They’re technically trail shoes and have little knobs on the bottoms. I think they’re going to enable me to grip the trail better; or atleast that is the hope. My husband is thinking about wearing soccer cleats. It will definitely help him grip the ground better but I’m worried about how it will feel to actually run in them for over 3 miles. I guess time will only tell on that one. I’ll have to do a follow-up post in August and let you know if either of our strategies worked. By the way, we hosed the sneakers off and washed them in the washer and they came clean also. No problems there.
On to the actual running. I have to say I mostly run on the treadmill. I like running outside better but it is harder on my knees. I find for constant comfortable running I do better when I run on the treadmill and then save my outside running for the races. Going from the treadmill to a road 5k isn’t a big stretch. Going from a treadmill to a mud run is different. It’s something else to have to watch for slippery roots, pointy rocks, streams and mud pits. So to prepare for an off road race I would suggest trying to find a dirt path or trail. I know in both Texas and North Carolina where I’ve lived they have great State Park trails. You could also atleast try running at a track. I would like to put in a Mommy note here. If you run off road make sure you run with a buddy; especially if it is a little deserted. There are unfortunately a lot of crazies out there Ladies and we have to be careful.
Things to bring to a mud run: towels, water, and a change of clothes. I would bring towels that you don’t care that much about or atleast dark colored ones. I would also bring big jugs of water. I think I’m going to save gallon milk jugs that we’ve used, wash them out and fill them with water. At the mud run I did they had a “shower” but the moment you entered they were screaming for you to exit so it didn’t clean much. I’ve heard at other races they have fire truck’s with hoses to spray you off. One of the other runners at my mud run said it hurt when they used the hose so you couldn’t really get all that clean then either. So my solution will be to take atleast 2 jugs per person and see if that works.
So I hope that helps. If I think of anything else I’ll add it to the list. If you have any questions please feel free to ask and I’ll do my best to answer them.