« Health & Fitness

Training for a Mud Run

by Dan Cash

Last year I decided that yes I would participate in the local mud run.  If you are unfamiliar with the mud runs that are sweeping this land it's essentially a 5k race that in some cases includes massive obstacles, giant pits of mud and of course crawling in those giant pits of mud.  (Not to mention the fact that you are expected to continue running throughout the entire race.)  

Mud Runs like the Xtreme Mud Run  or Warrior Dash  are slightly different than the charity based race I will be participating in this coming Saturday.  The Kalamazoo Mud Run features around 2000 competitors and raises money to dig wells for water in Uganda.   

It's not the designed to kill course that you see at the formerley mentioned races.  This one ends up being fun, allows to achieve just enough and after last year has left me wanting more.  Throughout my entire life I have hated running.  

I apologize that's not correct.  I DESPISED running.  I mean, I literally couldn't stand the thought of running and when I wrestled in high school I remember consistently telling the coaching staff that my knee was hurting which is why I would be unable to do anything but the elliptical.  I did however learn the hard way that cutting corners on running ended up losing me match after match in wrestling because of how terrible my endurance became.  

But even as close as 2 months ago I found myself still on the elliptical.  I had convinced myself that I would not be able to go further than a mile in an outdoor run.  That all changed about 2 months ago when I was sick and tired of the same old routine at the gym.  Every single day I was either lifting for chest, biceps, back or legs followed by abs and a trip to the elliptical machine.  

I simply couldn't do it anymore.

So one night I put on headphones and just started running down the main drag outside the gym.  I ran and ran and ended up going 4.5 miles.  In my life I don't believe I had ever run over 2 miles in-a-row.  Yet somehow that night it was in me to do 4.5 miles.  Ever since that day I have been running 4-6 times each week with a minimum of a 3.11 mile run.  

What once seemed exhausting and miserable...is still exhausting and miserable but once you get going and you are 2-3-4 miles in you begin to get this addiction.  All of a sudden you can think of nothing but running one more kilometer, one more mile until you have  hit your peak.  It's truly an amazing experience.  

I'm officially a runner.  Nike Air Pegasus shoes and all.  

So one year later after my first Kalamazoo Mud Run  I will return having spent the last 2 months actually running and training for it.  I'll either sink or swim but I know one thing and one thing alone...i'm going to love every second of the run and I will parlay my finish into a 10k followed by a 15k until I can make that first half-marathon.  

It all started with the Kalamazoo Mud Run for me.  For you it could start with anything.  It's cliche but if you can think it, you can do it...let's go make it happen together!