5 Tips to Crush Your Next Mud Run

Dress for Success

No matter how great your clothes and shiny new running shoes look at the beginning of the race, they're going to be covered in mud and sweat by the time you reach the finish line.

Your best bet is to wear durable, snug-fitting sportswear that won't get weighed down by the mud and other elements you may encounter on the course. Spandex or dry fit compression clothes are lightweight, fit well, and will keep you relatively comfortable while running through water and mud on race day.

More: Active Gear Scout: Best Bottoms for Runners

Make sure your shoes have good traction and fit you well. Tie your shoes tightly so that they won't slip off your feet, but not so tight that you're uncomfortable.

If you want to wear a costume, by all means do so; they're usually encouraged at these types of races. But remember, you will be wearing this for the whole race so make sure it's something that fits well, won't get stuck in the mud, and isn't too hot or heavy. A lot of mud runs have costume contests so if you get creative you could win a prize or bragging rights.

More: Bring Fun Into Your Run—Wear a Costume

Although there are generally showers for you to rinse off after you cross the finish line, you may want to bring a change of clothes and an extra pair of shoes. You will be much more comfortable in clean, dry clothing when you're hanging out with your friends at the post-race party.

Warm Up and Stay Hydrated

Just because most of these events are centered around fun doesn't mean you should forgo pre-race stretching and proper hydration.

Get to the location early so that you can stretch and warm up.

More: Before You Run: The Dynamic Warm-Up

"Participants of any fitness level should allow enough time to warm up and stretch," Nelson says. "If you watch the elite athletes, they get to the race 30 minutes early, run a short distance, and stretch. You still need to get ready before the race. People who don't prepare or hydrate properly can end up getting hurt or suffer from exhaustion."

If you have to be at the race hours before your start time, bring a snack to eat or a sports drink to sip on.

There will most likely be water stations along the course, but you should start hydrating the night before, and bring water to drink after the race.

If you think you will get thirsty along the way, consider using a hydration pack or another means of carrying water with you during the race.

More: 4 Key Hydration Tips for Runners

Have Fun and Get After it

This may seem obvious but remember why you decided to do this race in the first place. Maybe you've trained for months on end and want to conquer all the obstacles, or maybe you just want to have some fun with friends, escape your daily routine, and try something new.

No matter your motives, get out there, get a little dirty, and enjoy the experience.

More: 5 Tips for Tackling a Truly Fun Run

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