Planning on tackling a Tough Mudder, Warrior Dash or Mudathlon or the next biggest, baddest adventure race? Apart from getting out there and having a great time, there are a few pointers you might find helpful to prepare for the race.
Sign Up Early!
Signing up six months early not only saves you cash via early bird registration rates but also gives you a jump on choosing preferred running times. The more popular, well-known mud race events like Warrior Dash, Spartan Race and Tough Mudder also tend to sell out months in advance.
Vary Your Fitness Routine
Obstacle mud races are not endurance running events. The course will have short bursts of running, likely uphill, between obstacles that will test your ability to climb, crawl, jump, swim and mentally crush crazy challenges. Prepare by incorporating intense cardio intervals in a circuit training routine. Go rock climbing. Run on the beach. Get creative with your training program.
Weather-Appropriate Attire Please
Some adventure races are held in extreme conditions and require athletes to jump into freezing water or run in the sun in hot, humid conditions. Dress appropriately. Be comfortable. Study the course conditions prior to race time. Hypothermia or heat stroke on the course could be a real danger.
Mud Travels - Protect Your Car Interior
While many events offer contestants a limited shower facility or fire-hose after the race, you will likely return to your vehicle dripping wet or caked with mud. Before the race line your car seats and floor with trash bags.
Swamp-Foot Is No Fun
Do not wear your favorite sneakers to a mud race. By the time you hit the finish line, mud will have found its way into places you least expect, including between your toes. Purchase a pair of cheap running shoes for the race and pack a pair of cheap shoes or flip-flops for your checked gear bag. Many races will have donation stations available to drop off your insanely muddy race shoes.
Protect Your Valuables
In the absence of having a friend hold onto your gear bag, place your license, car keys and cash in plastic baggies. Make sure you have a secure place on your person to store it. Leave everything else, including your phone, at home or at the hotel. While most events have a gear check, some have rules against storing keys or electronic devices and others have very loose security around checked gear.