5 Tips for Your First Mud Run

I love all things fun and the types of races that sound the most fun to me have multiple components. I think that is why I am naturally drawn to triathlons. But, mud runs are definitely something I can see my self LOVING! I mean, what could be better than running, in the mud, and getting absolutely filthy. When it comes to mud runs, I’m a total beginner. But, in preparation for a mud run I thought you know, it would be good to figure out what to bring for my first mud run. Here are the top 5 tips I have compiled from around the web.

1. Plan Ahead

I know this one sounds obvious. I mean, of course, who wouldn’t plan ahead for any type of event, mud run included. The key here is to make all the extra precautions you think you will need and then a few extras, to account for mud, lots of it.

Dirt, mud, sand, it has a way of getting everywhere and into everything. Even after a shower, you’ll probably be finding mud in places you didn’t know existed for days. And I’m not just talking about your body.

You’ll want to take extra steps to protect your car, house, etc. Here are a few things you might want to have on hand:

  • Plastic Bags – Have a few sizes on hand. You know, a trash bag or two isn’t a bad idea either. You can never be too prepared. Plastic bags are a quick and easy place to dump muddy shoes, socks, and clothing. That trash bag, if need be it can serve as a seat cover for the car or protect the floor from muddy feet.
  • Have a Shower Plan – Your race should have somewhere to rinse off but your clothes are going to be absolutely covered in mud. Consider wearing a bathing suit underneath it all so, when the time comes, you can easily strip down and rinse off more thoroughly. Be sure and bring a couple of gallons of water just in case the event doesn’t have showers, they are too full or any other unforeseen issues come up.
  • Baby Wipes – These are great for wiping down smaller areas, getting into cracks and crevices, etc. As a mom, I’m almost never without them and my “baby” is 12!
  • Full Change of Clothing – Make sure to have a full change of clothes from head to toe. You may want to go out after the race, or just ride home in comfort, either way, a full change of clothing goes a long way.
  • Bring Towels – Note I didn’t say “towel”. I would say at least 2 – 3 per person running. Better to be over-prepared and not use them than under-prepared and wish you had them.

2. Choose Your Clothing Carefully

five tips for your first mud run

Mud runs are different from traditional races and you’ll want to put a little more consideration into what you wear. What you don’t need is a wardrobe mishap mid run. So what should you wear for a mud run?

Race day wear for mud runs should include clothes that are lightweight and water-resistant when possible. Mud and water can be heavy so the goal is to have clothing that will absorb as little water and mud as possible.

Some great fabrics for mud runs include anything with a higher nylon content. Cotton, as comfortable as it may be dry, will absorb water and mud like crazy. The last thing you want at your first mud run is to be weighed down by heavy clothes.

For shoes, most people will want to go with a pair that is pretty well worn. In fact, if you have a pair that you have been on the fence about tossing, that’s probably the right one for this event.

Alternatively, find some lightweight, very breathable shoes that will easily allow mud to pass in and out. You ARE going to get mud in your shoes, so the easier path it has to get out the more comfortable you are going to be!

3. Start Slow

You may have just run a 10k but, when it comes to entering your first mud run, it’s better to take it easy to learn the ropes. For your first race, consider entering a distance lower than what you would normally run, sans mud.

The goal at your first race should be to have a great time, get the lay of the land, and figure out whether mud runs are going to have a permanent place in your race schedule. So when it comes to distance, consider taking it easy on yourself.

That way you’ll be able to focus on enjoying the obstacles and watching other people hilariously navigate the mud, without being tired or strained.

4. Bring A Friend

Almost any event is better with friends. For some, your friends just physically aren’t on the same level as you. In my case, I can’t keep up with them. In your’s you may be the fit one of the bunch.

A mud run is a great equalizer. Everybody can show up and compete together to just have fun. At least in my opinion, the best part is navigating the obstacles. That’s going to be so much more rewarding if you have a friend there with you.

Together, you can help one another over difficult obstacles. Or, reassure one another that it’s OK to skip one or more. And that leads me into my final tip.

shoes running through the mud

5. Give Yourself Permission to “Skip It”

I’m all about trying your best, chasing your goals, never giving up, etc. That’s all well and good till you start mixing hundreds of people, dirt, water, and obstacles. The goal at your first mud run should be to have fun and to finish. That’s it.

Don’t worry about making time, and most importantly, just skip it. By that I mean that if an obstacle seems to overwhelming, or you have failed to complete it several times, or even just looks dangerous, skip it.

Go out, have fun, and give yourself permission to “Skip It!”

April Lee, Journey of a Dreamer

As a fat girl, I’ve learned to be more cautious about protecting my body to prevent injury, but the same holds true no matter your size. One single race is not worth risking an injury that could, at a minimum, set your training back.

Embrace Your Strength: 5 Steps Towards Improving Your Weaknesses

When starting out on any journey I think you have to look at yourself first. I think what holds back most people is the fact that they are too hard on themselves and focus on their weaknesses, or perceived weaknesses when they should instead be looking at their strengths.

What does it mean to “Embrace Your Strength”? For me, it means to find those things I know I am good at and celebrate them. It also means to look at my perceived weaknesses and evaluate how those might be strengths as well.

Embrace your strengths by finding those things you know are good at and celebrating them. By also being able to look at perceived weaknesses and evaluate how those might be strengths as well.

April Lee, Journey of a Dreamer

5 Steps Towards Improving Your Weaknesses

Weakness is one of those feelings nobody likes. It is often one of the first feelings of negativity that can spiral out of control if not checked. It is something all of us have, every person on the planet. Each person has their own way of dealing with weakness.

I feel one of the best things about a weakness is knowing it’s there. Pretty much with anything in life, once you KNOW what you are looking at, all that is left is figuring out the next steps to take. Weakness is no different. Here are the five steps I take towards improving my weaknesses.

1. Make it a daily goal to celebrate your strengths.

Each one of us has so many different things going for ourselves that we often don’t take the time to see. It’s not that they aren’t there, it’s more that we get so caught up in the day to day that we over look them.

One thing you can do to embrace your strengths is to celebrate them, routinely. This can be as simple as a notepad with the date and one sentence about what you excelled at.

What did you do today that made you feel amazing? What did you do today that reminded you of a unique talent, personality trait, or habit that you have that so many others struggle with?

This exercise isn’t to try and make yourself feel “better” than someone else or superior in any way. It’s designed to help you remember that your strengths don’t need to look like someone else’s to still be amazing.

woman writing down strengths and weaknesses

2. Acknowledge Your Weaknesses

The ability to acknowledge your weaknesses is, in and of itself, a strength! None of us are perfect. Every human on the planet has weakness, it’s how they tackle that weakness that sets some apart from the rest.

Identifying areas in your life where you feel you are “weak” can be eye-opening. I challenge you to grab a pen and write down five of your weaknesses. Coming up with the first will be easy but, things may get harder as you go down the list.

You may be the type of person that struggles to find 5 items to write down, or you may be the type that thinks 5 doesn’t even break the iceberg. The truth is it doesn’t matter how many are on the sheet of paper, acknowledging weakness, even if it is perceived and not real, is a strength.

This step starts the journey of self-discovery. It allows you to explore something very important, who you think you are, which leads us to the next step.

3. Who Do You Want to Be?

how would an mc describe me

Who do you want to be? In your personal life? In your professional life? Physically? Mentally? For me, this is still something I struggle with but, I don’t think anyone needs a 100% solid answer to this, we just kind of need a general direction.

If you had to think about how you would want someone to introduce you, what would you want them to say? What would make you proud to take the stage in front of thousands? Who would you have to be? What would you have had to accomplish?

Challenge yourself to write that speech. 2-3 sentences. The one you’ll hand off to the MC before you take the stage. If you could make your life so that whatever he said was 100% true, what would that introduction speech be?

4. Rely on Your Strengths to Move Forward

By this step, we know our strengths and our weaknesses. We know who we want to be and now we need to start on our journey. The journey towards anything is usually the thing that has the most value, more so than the goal itself and we’ll need our strengths to get us there.

During the course of the journey, we’ll need to tackle some of our weaknesses head-on. That’s OK though, we know what the big ones are and if we can identify new ones as they crop up, we can tackle those too.

Here is one exercise I try to do a few times a year to get in the right mindset.

  • Grab a plain piece of paper and fold it in half lengthwise so you have two long columns. At the top, write the speech. The one the MC is going to read.
  • Then, write down 5 strengths from your list that you think are the best suited to get you to your goal. Which 5 of your strengths are going to help you hit that target.
  • In the next column write down the 5 weaknesses that would cause roadblocks. It’s important to note that I’m not talking about anything external here. This is all YOU. Not your boss, your spouse, your kids, your car, your disability, your past. This list is only for things you feel are weaknesses that could cause you to fail.
  • The final step is to list out the action steps you need to take to overcome your weaknesses. Which of your strengths can help? Which weaknesses seem insurmountable? For those, where can you seek help to overcome them?

5. Take Action

My final word of advice is to take action, every day, towards your goal. Whether it is in your planner, a plain notebook or on your calendar, block out a space so that every day you can write down at least one thing you did to move closer to your goal.

Take action, every day, towards your goal.

April Lee, Journey of a Dreamer

Completing small, individual tasks, may not seem worthwhile but this does two very important things.

  1. It helps you to establish a habit of moving towards your goal by forcing you to not only think about WHAT your goal is but also HOW you are going to achieve it.
  2. Taking one action each day get’s you one action step closer to realizing your dreams. Remember, the journey is the most important part!
embrace your strength

How I’ve Implemented These Items in My Life

One of my strengths is goal setting, but one of my weaknesses is follow-through. I get distracted easily and wander off the path, even if there were no obstacles in front of me. In fact, for me, if things are too easy, I often move on to something harder even if I’m right at the finish line.

Now I realize my weakness isn’t a distraction, my strength is multi-tasking. Where one person might thrive creating one blog, for example, I feel most at home when I have four or five. When I was training wild horses, many trainers took on less than four at a time, but I did best and learned the most when I had ten in training.

The solution, or at least the path for me has been to work on lots of projects at once with a clear plan of where I want each to end. These projects are in various different areas of my life. Fitness, as I document here, is a big one but also family, business and personal goals as well. Each day I take baby steps towards my biggest goal, towards being the woman who can proudly walk onto a huge stage when the MC reads my speech.

How will that MC introduce you?