Training for an Obstacle Course Race or Mud Run | STACK Fitness

Become a Better Athlete. Sign Up for our FREE Newsletter.

Training for Mud Runs, Part 1: Schedule Overview

February 27, 2013 | Rob DeCillis

Must See Running Videos

You just signed up for your first obstacle course race (a.k.a. "mud run"), but do you know how to prepare for it? Many folks just go out and pick a random workout that they think is hard core and will improve their race results. I applaud their efforts, but random workouts, no matter how tough, will yield random results.

Although obstacle course races are a lot of fun, they're very challenging for most people. They require a variety of athletic skills and capabilities—like sprinting, lifting, jumping, climbing and crawling—all of which must be accounted for during your training. Neglecting any one of these skills can leave you struggling on a specific obstacle and can hurt your ability to complete a race.

Setting up a training program is the one of the keys to success in obstacle course racing. A training program encourages you to set goals and train specifically to accomplish them. Keep it simple. The more complicated your program, the harder it will be to follow. I recommend the following four-day training schedule, which is specifically designed to prepare you for the various components of an obstacle course race. Depending on your personal schedule, you may need to adjust the days that you train. The idea is to organize your training to maximize your results.

Obstacle Course Training Schedule

Monday: Total-Body Strength
Tuesday: Anaerobic Conditioning
Wednesday: Recovery Day, Mobility/Recovery Methods
Thursday: Long Trail Running
Friday: Total-Body Strength

Start your training with Part 2 in the series on strength training.

Rob DeCillis
- Rob DeCillis got his start in the strength and conditioning world in 2006, when he had the opportunity to train an IFL heavyweight fighter. After...
Rob DeCillis
- Rob DeCillis got his start in the strength and conditioning world in 2006, when he had the opportunity to train an IFL heavyweight fighter. After...
More Cool Stuff You'll Like

Be Ready to Run a 5K in 6-8 Weeks

Tired of Tiring During Runs? Try These Jogging Pace Drills

6 5K Tips for a Great Running Experience

How to Design a Running Schedule That Fits Your Life

Foolproof 20-Week Marathon Training Schedule

Pick The Right Running Partner (The First Time)

7 Endurance Tips From Ultramarathon Runner Ian Sharman

Off-Season Triathlon Training Tips and Workout Program

Are You Ready for a Tough Mudder?

You're Doing It Wrong: Running

The Exercise Every Runner Must Do

Are You Ready for the Arctic Enema?

7 Tips to Help First-Time Marathoners Avoid Common Mistakes

The Obstacle Course Racer's Guide to Fixing Muscle Cramps

Running Away From GI Distress: Symptoms, Causes And Tips

Hunter McIntyre Rises Above the Competition

8 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Ran My First Marathon

Runners: Don't Overlook These 2 Types of Training

Weight Training for Runners: 3 Full-Body Moves

5 Keys and A Workout Plan for An Awesome 5K

7-Year Old Triathlete Sets 5K Record

8-Week Spartan Beast Training Program

3 Things You Must Do Before Trying Minimalist Running Shoes

The Nature and Nurture of Running for Fitness

How to Control Your Breathing During an Obstacle Race

The Only 2 Running Diet Rules You Need to Know

Why Jogging Is Counterproductive

How to Prepare for the Spartan Race and Other Mud Runs

Learn the Secrets of Tapering

The Most Effective Form of Endurance Training

4 Running Form Fixes for Beginners

Running Tips for True Beginners

Get Geared Up for the Wall Jump Obstacle

An Introduction to Strength Training for Runners

Guide to Common Running Terminology

Training for Mud Runs, Part 4: Long Trail Runs

Don't Choke on Race Day: Tips to Run a Better Race

Maximize Your Trail Running

How to Start Your Barefoot Leg Workout

STACK Challenge: Army Two-Mile Run

Ultramarathon Runner Stephanie Howe's 7 Training Secrets

4 Biggest 5K Training Mistakes