Click on the obstacle and watch video!
Before you put on your Mud running shoes, we would like to help you with some training tips which will make a difference between loving and hating the experience.
As a Mud Run participant, you will quickly realize that things are harder as a team and you really begin to get a small taste (no bullets involved, ha!) of what it would be like to be out there with a squad of marines as they take on the enemy in a firefight. Remember that you all must start and finish together. This team building event is second to none in making you realize that as we say in the Marines “never leave a man behind”.
This race is not only an event of cardiovascular strength; it is a test of your determination to achieve success. The largest obstacle to overcome is the mere fact of the unknown. You will conquer barriers that you would have never thought possible. With proper training, and a little help from the Marines yelling at you, you will build a sense of confidence that many have never experienced before. With each obstacle you will get a little hidden Marine Corps history, as well as a surprise and fatigue factor.
Train for “THE EVENT” not for generic races
When training for this type of event, there are lots of things to consider other than just “being in shape”. There are a lot of people with gym memberships doing bench press and curls. You might even see them throw in a 30 minute cardio session occasionally. However, this race has a very surprising element of total body strength and conditioning combined. To train for this event, your training has to consist of long runs combined with short interval burst as well. You will need to be able to be “functional” with your training. Throw out the old school training and replace it with some ropes and kettle bells. Include some hill sprints and flip some tires. Oh yeah and do it with mud in your face- ha! Just kidding, but by putting some water into your routine, it will provide you with a huge benefit.
Mud Run training tip #2
Train harder than the actual event
If you are like most at the end of the race, you will have left something on the table. In other words, you will have a little energy left. As a first timer, it is only natural to save a little energy for the unexpected. With this in mind, our goal is to help you run the best time possible without thinking you could have done better. The way to achieve this is to actually train harder than the actual event itself. By incorporating High Intense Interval Training into your program, you will without a doubt be ready. For example: instead of just running for 30 minutes and then doing a workout, you should try to incorporate short burst of all out energy and then recover with a jog. Doing this for a total of 45-50 minutes 3x per week, will spike your anaerobic and aerobic energy as well. Remember, you can’t just be a good runner, or a strong lifter; you have to be both. Incorporate our H.I.I.T. methods and you without a doubt be ready. For more on this type of training, try one of our Saturday morning workouts, or check out our W.O.W. !!!
Tip #3-TRAINING WET
Do I need to train in the mud???
The goal of any training program is to get you as close to the actual event as possible, so when the event is actual, you will have no problem completing it. Although, it is not realistic to find or jump in the mud every time that you work out, it is very realistic to place similar demands and/or stresses on your body that causes it to respond appropriately. When training for the “MUD RUN,” you should remember that all of these crazy yet , functional exercises, are practiced so as not to put the body in an unknown position. Therefore, when competing in the event, these new stresses have now become natural. Remember, we are building muscle memory to enable the body to react properly and so you do not end up injured.
So the magic question is…HOW TOUGH IS THE MUD?
Running through the mud is very tiring and causes a lot of extra stress on the muscles as well as the joints. To be successful in mud, you have to get your knees pumping up and find the road least traveled. The middle of the pit is always harder and deeper. Most folks run down the middle of the obstacle and as you will find…it sucks (the shoes right off of your feet that is). Use your body as momentum and don’t try to muscle the entire event through. You will find that your body will last a lot longer if you don't! Each week at mud run training, we incorporate some pool time to show people the difference in water training versus dry land training.
High Intense Interval Training (H.I.I.T.) has become a very popular way of training these dayas and will get you started along the right road to prepare for the Mud Run. A HIIT workout session consists of a quick dynamic warm up period. Then move into short burst of all out intensity exercises. These are usually done at about a 2:1 recovery to work ratio. The number of repetitions you complete in the exercise depends on the event that you are training for. (i.e. the Mud Run where you have a hard high intensity obstacle, followed by a recovery style run).
A high intense interval workout raises the body core temperature and heart rate a little further than a typical circuit style training regimen. This in turn speeds up your metabolism and helps burn fat for fuel a little faster than normal. An example of a HIIT workout would be as follows:
Dynamic warm up- 25 jumping jacks, 25 butt kickers, 20 squats, 10 push ups
2 minute jog – 50 jumping squats
2 minute jog – 50 push ups
2 minute jog – 25 jumping lunges each leg
2 minute jog – 20 burpee push ups
2 minute jog – 25 gorilla squat jumps
2 minute jog – 15-20 jumping pul ups
2 minute jog – 30 full V-Ups
5 minute cool down jog – followed by a 3-5 minute stretch
This is a solid half hour workout that requires no equipment, but will for sure get you ready for the Mud Run obstacles and intensity! For more workouts like these, check out our W.O.W. (workout of the week) at www.mudruntraining.com.
Stay Strong, Woot
5-“PROPER” warm up
The purpose of any good warm-up should be to prepare the muscles for action. Unfortunately, we are so eager to take to the event that we play to prepare. This huge lack of proper preparation time can lead to decreased performance and increased risk of injury. The purpose of a “dynamic” warm-up is to raise the total body temperature, as well as the temperature of the muscles, to prepare for the strains that the body is about to take on in an activity. Keep in mind, however, that warming up and stretching are not the same thing, but both play integral roles in athletic performance or a lack thereof.
Warm-up and performance:
• Increasing the temperature of the muscles being recruited during the warm-up will allow for increased efficiency (ability of the muscles to contract more forcefully and recover more quickly), which in turn enhances both speed and strength.
• Increasing the speed at which nerve impulses travel (neural facilitation), simplifies body movements.
• Increasing the temperature of the blood as it travels through the muscle decreases the amount of oxygen the blood can carry and therefore makes more oxygen available to the working muscles.
• Increasing Range of Motion (ROM) in the muscles, tendons, and ligaments, caused by elevated core temperatures.
Regrettably, most pre-event warm-up programs consist primarily of static stretching, which can result in several shortcomings in an athlete’s preparation.
Since static stretching is a passive activity, little to no friction is involved in a muscular contraction. Therefore, little to no increase in the rate of fuels being metabolized by the body occurs, which in turn creates no increase in body core temperature. The warm-up is part of the foundation of a successful workout session and getting fully warmed up, mentally and physically, is a key aspect of achieving the training intensity required to achieve optimal results in a race or workout session.
The Dynamic Warm Up- Proceed each warm up with a slow 3-5 minute jog
Jumping jacks - Butt kickers- power skips – walking lunges- knee up to chest and pull- carioca – high knee run- push ups
These exercises are to be performed for 20 – 30 seconds each until proper warm up is complete. The following workouts are intense and by no means should be attempted without a proper warm up! For more tips on how to properly warm up, contact us atwww.mudruntraining.com
Training the “Right” muscles, the “Right” way
For the past 13 or 14 years, I have heard people say “well, I worked out to get ready for the Mud Run, but I was shocked that it was that hard on me”. After I chuckle a little, I respond with the same line; “this is not a bodybuilding competition, nor is it a marathon, so you shouldn’t train like it”.
Over the past few weeks, we have discussed interval training workouts and how they help prepare you for the stop and go portion of the race. However, what most folks fail to grasp, is the importance of core work, balance and agility training, that provide such a great benefit. If you truly want to start preparing your body for the Mud Run, you need to begin from the ground up.
Just as this race doesn’t provide you with a steady running surface, neither should your training. In other words, instead of doing floor squats, do them on a BOSU ball or balance disk. Instead of doing stationary push ups, do a walking or a Spiderman push up. Also, take your runs a little differently. By that I mean don’t just run in a straight line or on a treadmill. When you are running outside, go up and down on and off of the curb. Find a hill, or two during your run, to do interval sprints. Better than that, go out to a local park to get on a trail, and run on an unsteady surface. All of these will better prepare you for the challenges that your body is about to undergo. For more training tips check out “mud run 101” at www.mudruntraining.com
7-Conquering the obstacles
“I run all of the time and I am in great cardio shape, but I really don’t know if I can do the obstacles”. If I have heard it once, I have heard it a thousand times. People, from all walks of life, attempt the USMC mud run every year and it poses a different challenge for each of them. Some are great runners with no upper body strength. On the other hand some of them look like they could lift a house, but can’t run to the first obstacle without giving out of breath. This week we will take your faults and try to help you “get over it”.
My first tip is to not start out too fast. Hundreds of people will have a tendency to go wide open from the start, due to the adrenaline rush, and burn out very quickly. Start and keep you race pace.
Next, remember safety first. We all want to have a good race time; however, you need to be sure of your footing, as well as your grip, when on the elevated obstacles.
Most participants mentally (and physically) struggle with the 10 ft wall, and the Weaver. (the feared weaver!) Although, the biggest surprise, for most new comers is how shocking it is at the first “under all logs” mud pit. This is where you have to put your head completely under the muddy water, and get to the other end, while going under EVERY log. The key here is not to panic and breath adequately between logs. However, you are not allowed to stand up or even stand on your knees, as the Marines will enforce a penalty after the first warning.
The next tip would be to make sure that you have actually trained properly for the event. I don’t have enough time or space to go into every obstacle, yet each week, Bodyshop Athletics offers a Mud Run Training class in Lexington SC, at 8:15. The great workout, combined with our new training course, provides us with the resources to help settle some of your insecurities. For tips on how to conquer the obstacles, check out our “Complete Mud Run Training Manual”, or go to www.mudruntraining.com
We are less than 6 weeks away from the Ultimate Challenge of strength, and endurance. I am sure that some of you are training extra hard to compete and to complete the Mud Run. However, you may be stuck in a plateau or may be trying to find that missing element to maximize your training and results.
Remember, this IS NOT diet time. You are eating at this point to fuel the body for training and the event. Therefore, you have to learn how to eat for energy.
The first step in this process is to teach your body to utilize what you eat and not store it for fat. The following tips will get you started on the right path. As we get a little closer to the race, I will discuss what to eat the day before and morning of the event. We have also added a nutritional page to www.mudruntraining.com for your use. However, to personalize your race plan or daily nutritional habits, contact our on staff nutritionist, Laura Wooten M.P.H., at email@example.com.
Before you get started, one of the most important tips I can give you is to NOT skip meals or restrict too many calories!
Also, get plenty of sleep! Your days will be less stressful and you will have plenty of energy to get those hard workouts in!
Tip #1-Go organic/antibiotic and preservative free WHEN YOU CAN! Your body won’t have to spend so much time filtering the bad stuff and will spend more time burning off the good stuff!
Tip #2-KEEP YOUR WATER COLD! Your body will have to work to get the chill off and warm the liquid in the bloodstream.
Tip #3-Eat fiber every chance you get: Fiber NEVER breaks down although your stomach will work very hard to try! I. E....that extra work increases the metabolism! Think beans, nuts, seeds, fruit, vegetables, oatmeal, quinoa, brown rice.
Tip# 4-Eat low fat dairy, the calcium helps the body use more fat for energy
Tip #5-Good fats are used for energy (the metabolism LIKES to use them)....NUTS, SEEDS AVOCADOS, SAFFLOWER OIL, OLIVE OIL, WALNUT OIL AND ALMOND OIL in small amounts at a time!!!!
Tip #6-Bad fats ARE STORED...vegetable oil, FAT ON MEATS/PORK, hydrogenated oil, butter, margarine, mayonnaise, whole or full fat dairy....LIKE CHEESE!
Tip #7-BE CONSISTENT! Those little “cheats” every day will add up, whether it’s a handful of chocolate or that glass of wine!!
***I have also included a list of SUPER FOODS to help you get some HIGH OCTANE fuel in your machine!
OMEGA 3 FATTY ACIDS (also kidney beans, navy beans, tofu, winter and summer squash, certain berries such as raspberries and strawberries, broccoli, cauliflower, green beans, romaine lettuce, and collard greens, WILD salmon, tuna, fish oil. Wheat germ and free-range beef and poultry are also good sources of omega-3s.)
FLAXSEED (and other seeds like sunflower and pumpkin)
WALNUTS AND ALMONDS
SWEET POTATOES (and others like pumpkin, carrots, butternut squash, and orange bell peppers)
BERRIES (all of them!)
QUINOA (and other whole grains like rye, barley, oats, buckwheat, whole wheat, wild rice, and millet)
ACAI, POMENGRANTE, CHERRIES AND GRAPES
APPLES (preferably organic)
MUSHROOMS-(especially the maitake, shiitake, and reishi varieties)
9-What to Wear
In the words of Nacho Libre’, “these are my stretchy pants”!
You will literally see runners in every type of attire imaginable in the Mud Run. Some come for fun and wear costumes, while some of the more serious runners will wear as little as possible. Our thoughts on this are for you to be comfortable. Don’t wear any loose fitting attire or anything extra. If you are a female and are comfortable in spandex and a sports bra, go for it! However, if you want to wear a t-shirt and shorts, just make sure that you don’t have a lot of extra material that may get snagged on an obstacle. Keep in mind that if the clothes are heavy when they are dry (100% cotton etc.), they will hold water and be VERY heavy by the end of the race. You will be totally submerged in the muddy water at times, so try and wear something that will "wick away" or not hold water. Compression or spandex shorts are great (no room for any extra crud! ha!)!!
For more tips like these, check out Mud Run 101 at http://mudruntraining.com/blog/
10- The wall
The most feared and talked about obstacle on the course is probably the 10 ft. wall. Conquering this obstacle brings a great sense of satisfaction to the entire team. This is truly one of the few obstacles on the course that requires 100% teamwork. You will see various tactics to get over this wall, but I will share the one that has been most successful for us over the last 14 years.
We believe you should send the largest team member first. (all three other members assist in pushing the first member up) The next two are not quite as important in the order, but send the most athletic and lightest member up the wall last. After three members are on top of the wall, reaching down to the fourth member, the fourth member jumps to grab the hands of the other three members. The 3 team mates pull the fourth member up over the wall. Although it is quite a jump up, and there are some other options, this is by far the fastest if you can make it happen. There are a few suggested exercises to prepare you for the wall such as; Pull ups, plyometic leaps, jumping squats and lunges. For more tips like these, check out www.mudruntraining.com
11- Monkey Bars
One of the most deceiving obstacles on the mud run could possibly be the Monkey Bars. Although they look very innocent, there is a lot more to them than meets the eye. On the Monkey Bars, Each team member grabs each bar in their hands and swings from bar to bar without falling to the ground. Sound simple? Well, here’s the kicker; the bars are at an incline for the first 5 or 6 and then at a decline down the other side for the last ½ dozen. You must use your momentum and swing your body to navigate the upward monkey bars. You can use both hands on the bar at a time, or swing like a traditional monkey bar, left hand then right. However, keep in mind that on the way up, the incline poses an extra hard task. The decline is also deceiving, as your momentum carries you faster than normal and will cause you to slip. Check out our mudruntraining video here for a few more tips. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SEDvSDa35OI&feature=related
Great exercises to prepare you for this obstacle are: Pull ups, Hanging legs raises; Jumping pull ups. For more tips like these, check out www.mudruntraining.com
Stay Strong, Chris
11- “The Pit” (it sucks…off your shoes that is)
This is not your average mud pit. Most of the trenches or pits on the mud run course are man made. This one however is the real deal. It is deep, it is black and it will literally suck the shoes right off of your feet. The best way to cross this one is actually to get to the middle or deepest part and swim / low crawl it. If you try to stand or run it, you will sink like quick sand. If you don’t believe anything else I say in these tips…believe this!
There is no possible way to run through this pit. It is toward the end of the race and get ready to get “nasty”. There is too much muck to actually swim and its too thin to stand in, so just get flat and make your way across it. This pit is only 20 – 30 yds. Long, but feels like an eternity. Next week, we will discuss having the safest race possible.
Suggested exercises for this obstacle are: Low crawl, dog paddle swim, low crawl
For more tips on conquering certain obstacles, checkouthttp://mudruntraining.com/blog/
The time has come and we are all ready to go for Saturday! As much as the weekend warrior wants to come out in all of us, please remember that safety is the key here. If you are like most of us “working folks”, you will need to return to work Monday in one piece. So here’s a few tips to keep you together:
1- Land softly-
One of the major injuries in the Mud Run comes from not landing properly. When landing, make sure that you do so with bent knees and let your quads, glutes, and hamstrings, instead of the joints, absorb the shock .
2-Be sure of your grip-
When climbing the cargo netting or stairway to heaven ladders, make sure your feet are firmly set and then reach and grip the next rung securely. There again, land softly!
3-Take the penalty-
If you are scared, or know you can’t do it, take the penalty! Don’t attempt it if you think you will get hurt. We all want to achieve this but common sense should prevail.
4- Make sure of your footing-
...especially on the creek and the mud obstacles that
you run through. It is very easy to break or strain an
ankle or knee if you are on an unsteady surface. Stay
light on your feet, but know where you are stepping and
don’t get in too big of a hurry and misstep.
The goal for this is for you to FINISH the race, not go all
out until you get hurt! Stay within your training zone.
Get out of your comfort zone a little, but remember…try
to be a hero, wind up a zero!!!
Have an awesome race and start getting ready for the Spring race NOW...each Saturday at 8:15 at Bodyshop Athletics.