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Mud Run Training and Race Day Tips From Olympic Medalist Deena Kastor


Is there anyone more bad-ass than Deena Kastor? This woman is basically a running legend — she owns the two fastest half-marathon performances by an American woman and the two fastest marathons by an American woman. Not to mention that she’s an Olympic medalist. Like, whoa.

Deena, always up for a new challenge, recently helped design some of the obstacles at the Mammoth Mountain Mud Run to help runners test their endurance and strength. The event, which featured some unique obstacles like snow-making machines and airbags, was held a few weeks ago, but these training tips and race day tips still apply to all those planning to participate in any mud runs! Which, um, ya’ll should do. They’re a blast!

Deena Kastor’s Mud Run Training Tips

1. Create your own obstacles while on a training run. Run over park benches, sprint up stairs, climb up and over rocks. If you don’t have obstacles in your way, create your own by stopping for 10 push-ups, jumping up to touch a street sign or throwing a cartwheel into your run through the park.  The key is to mix it up and find some inner strength.

2. Run with a buddy and take turns following the leader. It is good to practice fun moves while running, but it is also good to not always be the one in control. Jump, climb, swing, crawl or hop within your next run and see if your partner can keep up. Or, see how quickly you can react to your partner’s next move.

3. Make sure you can go the distance. It is typically good to practice the distance without obstacles before putting yourself under the fun stresses of a mud run, unless you don’t mind being totally sore the next day.

Deena Kastor’s Mud Run Race Day Tips

1. Wear tall socks so you don’t get rocks and mud in between your socks and feet. Blisters are avoidable it you use this little tip. I prefer ASICS compression socks for mud runs.

2. If you’ve been practicing, be aware of your strengths. Use them to crush your competitors. I know, this is supposed to be fun, but your competitive side will emerge. I love hills and stairs, so any climbing is to my advantage. What is your strength? Planks and push-ups will have you crushing it when you are crawling through the mud!

3. Use the music and adrenaline of those around you to get excited. If you are having fun, your body will release hormones to help you elevate your game. Get hyped!

Loving the mud run training and race day tips! A big thanks to Deena for sharing her insight. Tell us: What’s your favorite part of a mud run? —Jenn

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