How To Run In Muddy Conditions
Mud glorious mud. Some love the way it oozes between toes and some do not. But when you are facing the challenge of a race through the muddiest of muddy conditions you have to prepare yourself either way.
Running through the mud is a challenging task. It involves numerous obstacles but you can get through them with some prior preparations and by adopting the right strategy. Here are some tips that will be helpful while running in muddy conditions.
Change Your Running Style
When running through the mud you need to change your running style and be careful about your gait or else you will end up sustaining serious injuries – even the right pair of trail running shoes won’t work here. It is advised to take short steady steps rather than long fluid strides as they are easier to manage in muddy conditions.
Balancing your body and keeping yourself focused on your center of gravity is a challenging task in muddy conditions. For better balance, you need to understand the importance of keeping your body more upright with elbows tucked into your sides unlike the normal running position. Moving a bit slower but controlled and balanced is better than having frequent wipeouts.
Repetition And Rehearsal
Practice is the key to success so if you want to run through the mud like a pro you must practice and rehearse running in muddy places. Running in mud is different from running in normal conditions so don’t ignore the importance of rehearsing and practicing on the challenging surfaces. Start with a slower walk and slowly increase your pace. Keep repeating and stick to the same terrain until you know you have mastered running in those tricky situations. It has its importance mainly because it goes a long way in helping you develop muscle memory. For running like a pro on your actual race day practice racing through different kinds of muds including, sticky, dry, thick, and slippery to get acquainted with their texture and learn the changes you need to adopt.
Select The Appropriate Pair Of Shoes
Appropriate shoes are a must-have for any running task and the need for making the right choice becomes crucial if you are planning to run in challenging conditions. In fact, you cannot master the art of running in muddy conditions if you pay full attention to your technique and does nothing to upgrade your footwear according to the terrain.
Whether you are running through mud or expected to encounter puddles, you must be very careful while choosing your shoes. You can either opt for waterproof shoes or the shoes that drain super-fast. Investing in a good pair of shoes and socks will be beneficial for you and will not only assist you while running but also keep your feet and ankles protected while giving you perfect grip.
Besides buying good quality shoes it is also essential they fit well and are comfortable to wear over long hours. An added layer of the custom made insole will increase the comfort and foot protection.
Accept The Challenges Whole-Heartedly
Mud and puddles are certainly not a desirable place you want to step in to. It is hard to convince yourself to put your high-end shoes into stinky dirty puddles and then run through mud to cover your shoes with an added layer of a sticky mess. It is disgusting and difficult to embrace. The best thing you can do is to accept the challenge wholeheartedly and practice jumping into stinky smelly puddles and running in mud before the race day to get acquainted with how it all feels. This way you won’t be distracted by feeling uncomfortable and will be able to focus more on the actual task.
Invest In Good Quality Socks
Technology has changed a lot of things and bring comfort to lives. There are high tech running socks available in the market that are insulated and made with a special material that keep your feet from getting cold or too hot. These socks also keep your feet dry and resist the accumulation of moisture and sweat. Buying high quality running socks is a great investment that will not only help you keep running but also keep your feet well protected.
Tame Your Expectations
Some runners have high expectations and often underestimate the challenges of running in muddy conditions. It is not an easy task and requires a great deal of effort. While running in mud, all your core muscles have to exert extra effort to keep running and maintain balance. So tame your expectations and be realistic about the challenges ahead.
- Don’t let the toughness of running through mud take over your mind. Stay relaxed and enjoy the run without getting irritated or anxious. Don’t expect too much from the challenges ahead and instead, live in the moment.
- Make sure your socks are properly pulled up and shoes appropriately tied to avoid sticking them in the mud and losing them.
- Warm up by running on slopes, slips, puddles, and sticky mud to prepare your body and mind before you jump into the actual race.
If you want to run through it and not wear it after a glorious face plant in front of a crowd, you need to prepare your body and your mind for what mud feels like in all kinds of conditions. So tuck your elbows in and get in some practice trotting around it, through it and in it. If you’ve got your balance right and your footwear correct, you may find you actually enjoy it.