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10 Things I Wish I Had Known Before My First Mud Run


10 Things I Wish I Had Known Before My First Mud Run

My first mud run was an absolute blast, even though it was really long, cold, and much more physically challenging than I had imagined. Considering that we opted for one of the longest and most difficult runs for our first time out, preparing just a bit more would have saved a bit of pain and made the event even better.

First Mud Run

While the experience was awesome enough to have me coming back for more, if I had the chance to do it over again there are some things I would have done differently. So, to save you the trouble for your first mud run, I have compiled the following list of 10 Things I Wish I Had Known Before My First Mud Run.

  • Plan to arrive well before your start time. These events get CROWDED and are often challenging to find. Parking may be a ways away from the starting line and once you are there you will have to wait in line to check in.
    Arriving early ensures you have time to find the race, park, take pictures, and warm up a bit before your wave begins. Stressing about missing your start time because you didn't allow time for getting lost or forgetting something and having to run back to your car is not a great way to start off what should be a really awesome day.

  • Have an understanding of the obstacles you will face and how to tackle them prior to attempting. Many races will outline exactly what obstacles you will see at your event and you can train specifically for them. Others are left a surprise.
    In this case, spend a few minutes observing how other runners are successfully completing obstacles and follow suit. Don't be afraid to challenge yourself and try obstacles that are new for you, but if an obstacle appears overly dangerous, or you simply don't feel comfortable attempting it, skip it.
    These events while meant to be a challenge are also intended to be fun and leaving early due to an injury is a sure way to ruin your first mud run experience.

    Need a training plan for your first mud run?
    Get a free week of our Total Mud Run Training Guide.
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  • Incorporate hill training and running on uneven terrain into your training program.
    Running 3 miles up the side of a mountain or across rocky terrain is much more difficult than running a 5K on nice even pavement.
    Even if you don't intend to run the entire mud run, you should be well trained to cover more than the total distance of the event you are taking part in.
    Otherwise you may find yourself gassed out and unable to complete your obstacle race, or worse, find yourself injured from trying to push yourself to do something your body is unprepared for.

  • Wet monkey bars are much more difficult to get across than the dry ones at your neighborhood park.
    1-ellismudrun8You will also face bars that are muddy or even buttered and many of these obstacles will have you climbing up and down angled bars as opposed to straight across.
    Using a reverse grip (with palms facing you) to grab the next bar can help reduce the chance of your fingers slipping off the slick surface. "Pedaling" your legs as opposed to swinging them can also reduce the slip factor.
    Polishing up on your grip strength and pull-up strength in general will increase the likelihood of making it all the way across without falling into the muddy pit below.

  • Gloves are great for protecting your hands from sharp rocks, splintering walls, and blisters.
    But the wrong gloves will get caked with mud and are extra slippery when wet. If you bring gloves for your race, you will likely want to remove and store them for most of the race until you need them.
    Fingerless workout gloves may seem like a good idea, but tend to get slippery once wet and aren’t really best for mud runs.
    This goes for pretty much any leather glove. You will want gloves that have grip even when wet.
    There are some gloves made specifically for mud run and obstacle course races available from popular athletic gear companies, but an inexpensive pair of textured gardening gloves work just as well and cost a lot less. Make sure to test out the gloves you plan to wear ahead of time for proper fit, ease of wearing and removal, and grip on wet, slippery objects.

  • Running in new shoes, or any new clothing items for that matter is a bad idea. Make sure that your race attire has been tested out and broken in during your training. You don't want to end up with unnecessary chafing or blisters that could otherwise have been avoided.

  • Cotton is the worst thing EVER for mud runs. Super absorbent, loses its shape when wet, and will get heavy and drag down during your run.
    Avoid cotton for any clothing items you plan to wear on race day and plan to wear tight-fitted wicking materials instead, similar to what triathletes wear.

  • Doing a mud run with friends is a lot of fun. 1-IMG_5378 (1)
    But a Big Team = Longer Time per Obstacle = Longer Overall Course Time.
    Be prepared if you plan to run with a large group and either aim for an earlier start time or choose a shorter distance if you don't want to be on the course all day long.

  • Bring along a friend or family member who just wants to watch and have them take pictures for you.
    While most races have photographers, you are not guaranteed to find any pictures of yourself following your race.
    Spectators can set up along the course and get great action shots. They may also be willing to hold a bag with your stuff so you don't have to worry about wearing a pack or losing your keys in the mud.

  • Bring towels and plastic bags for after the race. Plan to be covered head-to-toe in mud. Put your muddy shoes and clothes in the plastic bags to keep your car from getting completely covered in mud.
    There are sometimes showers at the end of the race, but they are always crowded and usually cold. If you leave a jug of water and some towels in your car, you can quickly clean up and change. Then head back to the post-race party and enjoy the festivities.


Mud Runs and Obstacle Course Races are a great way to get active, get outdoors with friends, and have a great time challenging yourself. But being well prepared, planning ahead for what you will encounter, and being aware of your surroundings on race day will go a long way in keeping you safe and healthy for your first mud run.
For more tips and training check out our Total Mud Run Training Guide: Everything You Need to Prepare for Your First 5K or 10K Mud Run, accessible to all TWR Members. Or you can try out a free week of training from the book by signing up to receive our fitness newsletter.


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Introducing Our Newest Program, the 10K Mud Run Training Program!

Our newest program has been added and is up in full...

Introducing the 10K Mud Run Training Program!

10K Mud Run

Our 5K Mud Run Training has been a very popular workout routine, but one of the requests we have frequently had was to add a new training program for the longer distance mud runs. We have finally got it finished and it is now available for you to try out and let us know how you like it.

We wanted to bring you a challenging workout that would adequately prepare you for the intensity of a mud run as our first program did.

We also wanted to create this new one in such a way to allow you to improve not only your overall strength and endurance for tackling a mud run, but also to be able to run the full 10K distance while plowing through the obstacles.

Here was what one member had to say about our 5K Mud Run Training Program:

My wife, son, her best friend, and I all did the 6 wk training and easily finished our first mud run in Conyers, GA on Aug 17th. The training plan was very challenging, but doable for most people. We were totally prepared for the race and quite honestly were ready to make a second lap since it was only a 5K due to the AWESOME training program on this site. We are already increasing our mileage past the program and preparing for our 2nd mud run in Lagrange, GA in Oct and this one will be a 10K. The only changes we will make with the upcoming mud run is buy shoes made for these races (better traction than old sneakers) and have protection like athletic sleeves for our elbows and knees (crawling through the mud can still cut and take skin off). Thank for a great training program!!!

Monte Monte


Go Check out our 10K Mud Run Training Program and let us know how it stacks up against our other programs!

Also, a new exciting feature that was just added to the site, is the ability to convert your weekly workout plans into PDF and printer-friendly versions! Once you are logged into your account, you simply go to the week you are on, scroll to the bottom of the page and click on the Print button. You will then be able to click to delete parts of the page you don't want to print, omit pictures, and  even create a PDF you can download and save!

Lastly, we want to give a great big Thank You! to our first round of Pre-Launch participants. You guys and gals have been a great help and we were so happy to be able to offer you access to our programs in exchange for your feedback on how we can improve our services.

If you completed your surveys you will receive an email later this week with further instructions on how to obtain your free gift. If you are still working on those please get them in to us as soon as you can to ensure you don't miss out. In the meantime you will retain full access to the site so keep hitting the pavement, keep moving your bodies and until next time continue to Eat. Sleep. Live. Fit!

Just a Quick Update

1-IMG_8665This week marked the first week of our Pre-Launch Test Group. If you are still interested in joining in it is not too late to do so. Click here to fill out the interest form and official Terms and Conditions.

(If you have already submitted your interest but have not received your username, please check your inbox for an email titled "Pre-Launch Test Group Confirmation." This email provides the Terms and Conditions and allows you to set up your username. If you have not received this email, please contact us via the form below right away so we can get you set up.)

By now, most of our programs have been converted to the new layout as you will see by exploring throughout the site. We also announced the release of our very own podcast coming soon where we look forward to discussing the ins and outs of fitness and nutrition and answering all your most pressing questions and concerns. We are hoping to release our first episode in the next couple of weeks. Please send any questions or topics you would like us to discuss in future episodes in the form below and be sure to sign up for our newsletter so you don't miss the podcast once it is aired!

We are also working hard to release some new programs for inclusion with our Premium Services; two of which are the long anticipated Mud Run Training Extreme, for getting in shape for the grueling Mud Runs that boast lengths of 10K and greater, as well as our Circuit Training 2.0 which will be a step up from our first, and most favored Circuit Training program.

In addition to these and other programs we are also planning to bring you articles, reviews, Trainer Q&As and much, much more. We would love to hear from you and know what types of programs you want to see added to the site, as well as any other features you would like to see brought to Total Workout Routines in the coming months. Please feel free to send us your comments, questions, and requests so that we can tailor the site to best help you on your fitness journey.

Until next time, Eat. Sleep. Live. Fit!

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