5 Training Tips for the San Diego Mud Run
The San Diego Mud Run is an awesome, fun event that takes place during the fall each year, and in this year’s case will be held on Sunday, October 30th. If you’ve never participated in a mud run before, you are seriously missing out! Between the dressing up in costumes to getting completely plastered in dirt, water and mud, these types of events are a great way to let loose and do something active that you might not otherwise even imagine doing.
Now, just because the events are for fun doesn’t mean that they can’t and shouldn’t be taken seriously. The typical mud run is between 5km and 10km, or approximately 3-6 miles—which is a significant distance in and of itself, not even taking into account the fact that there are obstacles, pits full of mud, tunnels and a ton of other things along the way that will tax your body much more than a simple road run would.
I wanted to share my top 5 training tips that I put into practice in my own training as well as that of my clients to prepare them for events such as the San Diego Mud Run. You should definitely incorporate these principles into your own training—you will see a significant difference in your energy, performance and completion times if you do! After all, just because you’ll be dressed up silly and are doing it for fun doesn’t mean you can’t dominate the event, right?
Mud Run Training Tip #1: Develop a Training Plan
First and foremost, (and to be completely cliche), “Those who fail to plan, plan to fail.” If you don’t have a strategy leading up to the event date, then you’re going to be spinning your wheels and wasting your time. Mud runs require physical skills in multiple areas, so it’s important to ensure that you’re covering all your bases. If you don’t have a plan to work off of, you run the risk of either under-training, and thus seeing a sub-par improvement in your ability, or even worse, over-training, which will not only limit your results but also put you at risk for injury.
Mud Run Training Tip #2: Focus on Endurance AND Strength Training
Unlike a cross-country style run, mud runs require crawling, swimming, jumping and even leaping over obstacles/slow people in your way! Thus, strength plays a much bigger part in this cross-training event than in a typical run. Because of this, it’s important that your training regimen not only includes a lot of running (which it absolutely must!) but also includes functional strength training. Body weight exercises (calisthenics), plyometrics and core training exercises are some of the most important to include. Exercises that target multiple muscle groups are the best choices as well, since this will better mimic how you will be moving during race day.
Mud Run Training Tip #3: Fuel Your Body
Nutrition is critical in EVERY aspect of life, but in an athletic event like this, it can make or break it for you. A participant who doesn’t fuel their body appropriately is going to come into the race with much less energy and leave the race much more worn down than the participant who plans ahead and makes excellent food choices leading up to the event. The most important factors are to eat a balanced, natural-state diet including lots of fruit, vegetables and complex carbohydrates and a moderate amount of lean protein and healthy fats. One important concept is that of carbohydrate loading during the days leading up to the race. By consuming progressively higher amounts of carbohydrates as race day approaches, you can cause your muscles to temporarily adapt to hold more glycogen (immediate energy storage in the muscles) which can greatly enhance your endurance abilities during the race. A simple method of carb loading is to eat double the normal intake of carbohydrates during each of the last 3 days before the race.
Mud Run Training Tip #4: Always Warm Up and Cool Down
Safety should be your primary concern at all times. Most people don’t like to warm up or cool down, and simply want to get the workout in and get out. The bottom line is, if you do this, you run the risk of injuring yourself. If you injure yourself, I can guarantee that you will not do well in the race, if you are even able to compete at all, because you will have to spend a ton of time away from training to recover. Warming up before your workout and cooling down afterwards will help minimize the risk of injury, improve/prevent muscle imbalances, keep knots at bay and even help your performance in and of itself.
Mud Run Training Tip #5: Simulate the Race
This simply concept is one of the most-forgotten! Let’s say you come up with the most awesome (and/or idiotic), unique costume idea EVER. You and your friends pat yourselves on the back as you go online to purchase the items or work diligently to hand-make accessories. Race day comes and you arrive to the event looking HILARIOUS, in all your glory in a crisp, clean and brand-new costume. You line up and prepare to begin the race… the gun goes off… and you’re off! So far, so good. Then, ten minutes into the race, your costume leggings have rubbed most of the skin off of your inner thighs and you end up limping through the remainder of the race for a pathetic 2 hour finish time. The moral to this short story is, always perform a trial run-through with your EXACT costume, including the underwear AND shoes before the race, so that you can make necessary adjustments if needed! This includes running the race wet (soaked in water), by the way, as this can drastically change the feel of your clothing!
BONUS Mud Run Training Tip: Download my 12 Week Ultimate 5k Mud Run Training Guide!
If you’re serious about maximizing your performance in mud run style events, you will absolutely want to check out my 47 page, 12 week done-for-you training program and accompanying 19 page exercise glossary. This beast covers different concepts each week, focusing on each of the areas that is critical to your success in the event. This is the exact program I use to train my clients for these types of events, and now you can have it at your disposal absolutely free. Simply click on the link below and enter in your information and I will send you both PDFs via email!
Download Link: Mud Run Training Manual
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