As with any race event, proper training for mud runs is essential. Training helps to ensure you cross the finish line — and do so without serious injury. Whether done outside or at your local In-Shape health club, follow these simple mud run tips to get the most out of your training.

 

Start early and plan ahead

It’s important to start your mud run training well before the actual race. If you’re a veteran runner, you can probably get away with starting four weeks before the event. However, if you’ve never trained to run a race, give yourself at least 12 weeks to prepare.

 

Build stamina before the big run

When training for any race, building stamina before the event is important. Start your mud run training by slowly increasing your running mileage over the weeks leading up to the event. This slow build allows your body time to adjust to the endurance and mileage required to finish. How quickly you do this depends on your own personal fitness level, so talk with a personal trainer or another running professional if you need help developing a plan.

Sprint interval training should also play a role in your training schedule. Keep in mind, however, that while running and sprinting play a strategic role in the overall course, mud runs also typically include obstacles. Don’t make the common mistake of focusing your training 100 percent on running. Instead, include strength training to gain the upper hand needed to dominate the obstacles between you and the finish line.

 

Prepare your upper body for obstacles

Building upper body strength is essential for obstacles like climbing cargo nets or scaling walls. If you’re new to strength training, include exercises like pull-ups, push-ups and burpees in your routine. Free weight exercises, such as dumbbell flys and bench presses, are also helpful.

 

Strengthen lower body

Lower body strength and flexibility will be needed when faced with mud run obstacles, such as ducking and crawling under ropes or wire. Body weight exercises, like squats and lunges, as well as free weight exercises, like side lunges, help build the strength and base you need for success. Try to also include spider lunges to help open up the hips for mud run crawling sections.

 

If you’re a fitness newbie, you should meet with your doctor first to ensure you’re healthy enough both for the actual mud run and your mud run training routine. With the right training steps and a healthy diet, you’ll be ready to sport that signature mud-caked look of success at the finish line in no time.

 

Here’s a few upcoming mud run California events you may want to sign up for:

 

Acton California Hot an Dirty Mud Fest 2014 – September 6
Southern California Survivor Mud Run 2014 – September 20
Acton California Hot an Dirty Zombie Apocalypse Mud Run 2014 – October 18