It’s that time again to think about your resolutions for the year ahead. But don’t make the same cliché resolutions that everyone else makes and then forgets about by the end of January (ie: get fitter or be more healthy). You are a thousand times more likely to keep a goal if it is inspiring, specific and sexy. So here’s one for you: why not resolve to compete in a Mud Run? You know, events like the Warrior Dash where you run through a course full of obstacles that test your strength, endurance, agility, balance, and of course your willingness to get muddy. And if you have already done that, then resolve to do a harder one!
Why do a mud run?
So why does a mud run make for such an awesome fitness resolution? Well aside from the tough guy/girl image, you will get to brag about as you train, obstacle course training offers a very comprehensive approach to fitness. Effective mud run training will develop endurance and functional strength. Too often fitness buffs focus primarily on endurance or primarily on strength, and if they were to pursue a more balanced approach, then they would find their body fat going down and their overall fitness levels going through the roof. Endurance training and strength training are a powerful combination.
Which mud run should you go for?
Assuming I’ve convinced you to give mud running a shot, then let’s talk about choosing the best event for you. There are already almost 400 mud running events that have already been announced for 2013, and plenty more will follow in the upcoming months. There are also mud runs planned in countries all over the world if you live outside the US or if you want to plan a vacation around your fitness goals. So no matter where you live, you will have plenty of events to choose from.
If you are just beginning your fitness quest, you probably want to start out with a beginner-friendly event. Lucky for you, the majority of the mud runs are suitable for beginners. They are about 5k long with obstacles that most people can do, at least after a little bit of training. The list of 5k events to choose from is quite long and includes national series like the Warrior Dash as well as locally organized events. You might also be drawn towards one of the quirky themed races such as the Hero Rush where all of the obstacles resemble something a firefighter may have to do (ie: dodges fires and go down poles). And women, if you prefer to try your hand at mud running without the guys around, then there are at least 4 national series for you to choose from. In fact, Dirty Girl will put on events at more locales than any other series this year.
And for those of you who have already conquered a beginner level race, aim higher! Several race series put on intermediate or advanced races that are longer and have more challenging obstacles. Check out the Tough Mudder, Super Spartan, Spartan Beast or Thunder Challenge. And if you are truly hardcore, set your sights on a pinnacle race like the Toughest Mudder or the Spartan Death Race that last for over 24 hours.
Now it’s time to get to the dirty work of making a fitness resolution that you’ll want to keep. Find your race in the state-by-state list of 2013 Mud Running Events and start your training today.
About the Author: Emily Metzloff is an avid mud runner, mountain biker and writer. She is the author of Obstacle Course Racing: How to Rock the Warrior Dash, Spartan, Tough Mudder or Any Mud Run available on Amazon.