If you are interested in running a family mud run or family mudder, you should be aware that the approach to training will be different then if you were just preparing for a regular, distance race. The reason being, unlike normal races, family mud runs have multiple obstacles littered throughout their courses. These obstacles can range in the extreme. For instance, some family mud runs have obstacles that require you to pull yourself up 20 feet of cargo net, climb 30 feet of hay bales, or run through live wires containing 10k volts of electricity (OK you really can’t train yourself for that one). Also realize that you are doing this with your kids and significant other, so you have to stay supportive and still have fun.
The point is that if you are planning on doing a family mud run in NJ, NY, MA or even PA you should make sure that you are at least doing the bare minimum in strength exercises. I recommend these 5 to get you started and once you build up the initial strength you should look at incorporating additional exercises along with your endurance training.
Bring the Family Together For A Mud Run
Most of the time doing a family style mud run can be challenging, but in the end the whole experience will be a memory that you and your entire family will cherish for years to come. Remember there will be different levels of fitness throughout your family and to be patient. Always consult a trained physician before starting any exercise regime. The bottom-line is to keep mud run training fun for you and your whole family.
Training Exercises for A Family Mud Run
Family Mud Run Exercise #1
- Push-ups: One of the easiest and fastest ways to build up your core and upper body strength. You should at least try to incorporate 50 into every workout and then build up from there. A great way to assess where you are with your upper body strength is to see how many push-ups you can do in one set. If you cannot do more than 20, then you need to start getting to work!
Family Mud Run Exercise #2
- Squats: Everyone and their mother hate squats but they are one of the most effective exercises for building core and quad strength. Start small and work your way up to heavier weight as the weeks go on. When you are out on the course and realize that you need to climb up the as fore mentioned 30 feet of hay bales, you will be happy that you incorporated these into your workout.
Family Mud Run Exercise #3
- Pull-ups: Just like push-ups, great for strengthening your core, upper body, and back. If you can’t do a pull-up, don’t worry, just work at building up your upper body through push-ups. Once you get some initial strength, try running pull-ups. This is when you run towards the bar, jump, grab the bar and pull, allowing your momentum to do some of the initial work. Then go from there.
Family Mud Run Exercise #4
- Dumbbell Curl: There will be a lot of pulling, lifting, climbing, and grabbing during the mud run so you will want to make sure your arms are in tip, top shape. Arm curls are the easiest way to build up your bicep before the race. You can use light weights to begin and for the kids, then go for number of reps not max weight.
Family Mud Run Exercise #5
- Mountain Climbers: If you are like me, you probably have not done these since high school. I started incorporating these back into my workout, regularly, the last year and my legs have never felt stronger when running. Mountain climbers will also strengthen you core, which will come in handy during the mud run.
So there you have it. Start with these 5 easy to do family mud run exercises. Once you feel yourself getting stronger or feel that your family is ready for more intense mud run training, start adding on more strength exercises. When you get to the mud run race day you will be happy you did!