As we were creating our 2013 fitness goals, we started throwing the idea of a mud run or an obstacle race into the mix. Not knowing much about them, we asked Emily Metzloff, the founder of Mud Running HQ and author of Obstacle Course Racing, to share her thoughts on what it takes to train for a mud run and which races are good for us as New Yorkers.
If you’re looking for a new running or fitness goal in 2013, why not give mud running a shot? Perhaps you are already familiar with this latest fitness craze or you’ve seen some of the ads where everyone is caked in mud as they crawl under barbed wire. Mud runs take a typical running course and then add a bunch of obstacles, costumes and yes, mud! If you are a New Yorker you’ll have almost 20 different events to choose from in New York alone in 2013.
Most of the major series that put events on all over the country will make an appearance in New York, including the Spartan, Tough Mudder and Warrior Dash.
There are also several themed races coming to New York. For example, in the Fugitive Mud Run, participants run through a normal obstacle course, but also have the added challenge of trying to avoid the “guards” who will try to steal flags from your freedom flag belt. Your job is to escape to freedom with all of your flags intact. In addition to some of the national series, New York will also host several local events such as the Finger Lakes Mud Run that will donate all of its proceeds to charity.
Though women mud runners excel in the most intense of races, some women would just prefer to get their feet muddy for the first time without the guys around. If that sounds like you, check out LoziLu or Dirty Girl, which are both 5k women-only events.
No matter what race you decide on, mud runs require strength and stamina. You need to prepare your body for short bursts of power to help you get over an obstacle as you also maintain a steady running pace. Circuit training, running intervals and longer moderate runs are all important parts of preparing for a mud run. Coaches at Hot Bird Running can help you devise a training plan that will get you ready to compete in any mud run you choose.
Whether you’re already a hardcore runner or you’re just starting out, mix up your routine this year with a mud run. Aim for a new goal in 2013 and enjoy one of the many mud running events in the Empire State!
Emily Metzloff is the author of Obstacle Course Racing available at Amazon. Please visit Mud Running HQ for a complete calendar of 2013 Mud Runs in New York.