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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.
running on mud

2. Choose Your Clothing Carefully

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.

A tough race through the mud and over obstacles

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.