How to Survive a Mud Run

BEAT THE MUD. Test your strength, your mental fortitude and build your team spirit, all while running through muddy obstacle courses


Most of us are already familiar with running—one of the simplest ways to improve our physical health. Some might say running is extraordinarily basic and everyone can do it. Nowadays, it has become a favorite physical activity that is not only good for you physically, but also serves as a fun way to meet other like-minded people and possible life-long friends.
Does this sound too tame for you, though? Well, there’s another kind of running that might present a real challenge—one that involves mud, obstacles and your friends, while also testing your strength, your mental fortitude and leave you literally dirty. Mud running—sometimes called mud race, mud mud mud, etc.—is a relatively new form of running that has been growing in popularity.
In Indonesia, hype for this run-through-the-mud-with-your-friends activity began last year. If joining this highly dedicated group of sporty individuals might interest you, here are some of the basics you might want to look into first.

Behind the Scene

What is a mud run, anyway? Basically, it’s a race where contestants have to complete a course riddled with obstacles. As the name of suggests, at least one of the many obstacles out there will have mud in it. Another important aspect of mud running is that people run as teams. That’s why it can be a great bonding experience.

Variety of runs

There are actually many variations of mud running. Case in point: Tough Mudder. Designed by British special forces, Tough Mudder is a team-oriented obstacle course spanning 16 to 20 km designed to test physical strength and mental grit. Tough Mudder puts togetherness over rankings and is not a timed race but a team challenge that allows participants to experience exhilarating, yet safe, world-class obstacles you won’t find anywhere else.


This is especially important for people who are out of shape. From a training standpoint, since this kind of run includes obstacles, you need to focus on strength training as well as endurance training. One thing that most people don’t consider is the pace. There will be traffic jams at the tougher obstacles, which means that it is better to be able to run quickly and catch your breath while you are queueing. Don’t try to run 10km on your first day of training. Run for a minute, walk for thirty seconds. Catch your breath, and then push yourself again. Keep repeating this.

Apparel Wise

First and foremost, always make sure your shoes are comfortable enough. Keep this in mind and make sure your shoes are tight fitting, since deep mud has a tendency to pull shoes right off your feet. Then, get a good pair of utility gloves. After all, most of the race will be muddy and wet, sothe gloves will help you grip the obstacles better. Also, don’t wear anything made of cotton. Why? Because cotton absorbs water and will add extra weight—you obviously don’t want that.
On a related note, don’t carry anything with you, even personal items like a wallet, car keys or your lucky bracelet. Try to find a pair of running shorts or pants that do not have pockets, since anything you carry with you will only slow you down. The chances of losing them are extremely high, and the chances of not getting them back are even higher. Be as light as possible.

As you can see, this particular running scene is designed to be difficult while at the same time offering a lot of individual as well as team-oriented benefits. If you are looking for a way to shake things up with your physical routine, then you should definitely consider signing-up for a mud race. Besides, getting down and dirty once in a while can be quite fun.