The pictures plastered across Facebook feeds look like such a blast.  Covered in dirt your friends never looked more challenged and exhilarated post-mud run.  Should you do it yourself the next go round?  What do you need to know in advance before signing up and climbing over your first wall?  Get the lowdown on this latest fitness trend and find out if a mud run is really in your future.

No matter how laid back and fun these races look they can actually be a little more dangerous than other races. Being prepared is the key to survival at these events.

What to Wear

Like any good warrior, tough mudders must wear the right armor.  Loose will get you lost and injured in this crowd.  Tight fitting clothes are best on a mud run.  Baggy shirts or shorts can get caught on obstacles or weigh you down when wet and full of mud.  Compression shirts (long or short-sleeved), shorts or pants will not only wick away sweat but keep you warm and dry faster.  They will help you run faster, climb walls without fear of getting caught up and keep your body cool as you run through the obstacle course.  Unless the race states otherwise (some require boots or headlamps) wear clothes you don’t mind getting dirty.  Forget anything new. You may never wear them again and that’s kind of the point.  Don’t forget a laminated or engraved-steel ID for your shoe or wrist. You need something to stand up to the mud that staff can read if you need help or get hurt.

Find a Friend

If not for inspiration and extra encouragement a friend can also help you through some of the more challenging aspects of the race.  Remember that wall, we talked about before?  You are probably going to need a boost or helping hand, your race buddy can help you with that.  You can carpool together before the event, have someone there in case you become injured and don’t forget the after-party.  Your buddy will be there to celebrate too.

Race Day

Events like Dirty Girl or the Warrior Dash, have websites that give tips on preparing for the event.  Running is most important to prepping pre-race.  Some light conditioning or running on uneven terrain can help train you too.  Don’t feel bad about skipping an obstacle either. Have at least two gallon plastic bags ready for race day.  Bring two towels, one for showering and the other for drying off.  Just toss the muddy clothes into one gallon bag and have your soap, towel and clean post-race clothes in another.  Remember a second pair of shoes for after the run too.   They will feel fantastic when you are all cleaned off.  After that post-race shower the revelry begins!