Recent warm temperatures and rainy days, has melted snow and creating sloppy conditions. While the warmth is a treat, the muddy conditions can lead to slipping and sliding and potential injuries. Whether the route you run is full of mud, soft and damp dirt, or wet asphalt, if you take a few precautions you can reduce your injury risk and enjoy running in the slop.
- Be alert. If you come to a muddy patch of a trail, slow down and pay attention to where your feet land. Mud can be deceiving: What appears to be a shallow puddle could actually be a deep hole filled with thick mud.
- Tailor your steps to the consistency of the mud or dirt. If your route is soft or very wet mud, you should alter your steps and tread lightly. However, if your route is simply soft dirt or solid mud you can run more or less as you normally would, being aware that wetter, slicker patches could pop up along your route.
- Use your whole body to maintain your balance. Mud is notoriously slippery. Engage your core and use your arms to maintain your balance.
- Run on your toes through the wet patches. Running on your toes forces you to take smaller steps and puts less of your foot in the water or mud. Rely on this step in very wet areas, using your regular steps for the rest of your run.
- Consider running in trail shoes. Trail shoes are often heavier and have deeper, more stabilizing treads, making them a good option for running in sloppy conditions.
- Slow down. Running in mud, soft dirt or wet asphalt requires more energy than running in dry conditions. Give yourself a break and don't push the pace too much when your route is less than ideal.
You may get dirty, you may use muscles that you haven't used in a while, but getting out for a run in the wet, messy conditions of early spring can be tons of fun. Enjoy your run!Ready to go? Search for a mud run.
Albany Running Examiner Felice Devine loves to run. She's been running for over 15 years, hitting her stride when she hit her 30s.