Fitness motivation: training for a mud run

October 18, 2013

One of the best ways to stay motivated with fitness is to set an end goal. Having something to work toward can help put each treadmill workout in perspective and provide you with a sense of achievement in reaching and attaining your health needs.

For a runners, races are always a great option for goal setting. It’s something a runner of any fitness level can participate in, and it allows you to set up a training program you must stick to in order to be successful. To make things even more exciting, sign up for a mud run and/or obstacle course.

What is a mud run?
A mud run is a course set up for a 5k or 10k with military-style obstacles along the way. These races don’t just test your endurance as a runner but your strength and decision-making as well, making it a total body-and-mind challenge.

Obstacles range from simple to complicated and include such feats as crawling through tubes, traversing  a net or wooden wall, climbing ropes, stepping through tires, making your way over muddy water and more.

And they’re not called mud runs for nothing. You will definitely wind up covered in it by the end, but that’s part of the fun – you can wear the mud you’ve collected like a badge of honor for successfully completing your goal.

Training for a mud run
While this is certain to be an exciting experience, it will still be a lot of work. It’s important to train for a mud run just like any other race you would participate in. With your home gym equipment, create a schedule for working out on your fitness treadmill like a True PS300 Home Treadmill. If you’re new to running, you’ll want to work your way up to running between 3 and 5 miles without needing to stop. As you ramp up to this, you can work with intervals, alternating between walking and jogging, then jogging and running. Eventually you’ll want to just run. To keep your workout interesting, you can vary the speed or incline and incorporate sprints.

You’ll also need to incorporate strength training into your fitness regimen so you can complete different obstacles with ease. Training each of the major muscle groups – legs, arms, abs, back, chest and shoulders – will ensure that you get stronger by the day of the race. This will help you crawl, climb, lift and maneuver whatever obstacles are put in your path. Since these will require you moving your own body weight, push-ups, pull-ups, planks, squats, lunges and tricep dips are all great options that can be completed anywhere.

Many regions of the country have a variety of options for mud runs, so you can choose one based on your fitness level. Convince your friends to sign up as well and you can keep each other motivated to train. A lot of mud run obstacle courses also feature themes as well, so you can take your pick. Do you love planning your escape from a zombie apocalypse? showing off your woman power? Displaying your amazing physical abilities? Celebrating a holiday or enjoying other favorite themes? No matter what your mud fantasy run entails, there’s likely something close to it taking place somewhere across the country.

Finishing the race will be a great accomplishment in and of itself. Many races, though, also have a party or celebration at the end and may even have free giveaways for those who complete the course, giving you an opportunity to really enjoy your success.