How to Use Long Trail Runs to Train for a Mud Run | STACK Fitness

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

Training for Mud Runs, Part 4: Long Trail Runs

March 20, 2013 | Rob DeCillis

Must See Running Videos

All challenging mud runs have segments that require you to run for long distance, often on a muddy trail. These parts of the race can fatigue you physically and mentally. It's important to improve your endurance so you can complete the long runs and still be ready for the next obstacle. (Learn 5 Tips to Survive an Obstacle Course Race.)

The single most important thing you should do is to run on a trail beforehand to accustom your body to the unpredictable terrain. Always keep your eyes focused about five feet in front of you so you can plan ahead to avoid natural obstacles.

When training to improve your endurance for the long-run segments, it's critical that you do more than jog. Your long-run days should also have an anaerobic component, because there will be times when an obstacle pops up without warning. When it does, you will have to call on your anaerobic system to get you through the obstacle.

Long run training for a mud run must be different than training for a half marathon. You should stop every quarter to half of a mile and perform a full-body bodyweight circuit that will elevate your heart rate even further.

At first, you may have to rest for a minute or two before starting the circuit. As your endurance improves, you will be able to seamlessly transfer between events.

As you plan your long runs on the trails, make sure to use natural obstacles. Crawl, jump, roll, push, pull and carry anything you encounter as you run. This will make your training more like what you will experience on race day and add some fun to your run.

Long Trail Run Workout

  • Run 1/2 mile
  • Perform the following exercises in circuit fashion: Jumping Jacks x 30, Push-Ups x 30, Mountain Climbers x 30, Burpees 30
  • Run 1/2 mile
  • Perform the following exercises in circuit fashion: Bear Crawl x 20 yards, Frog Hops x 20 yards, Crab Walk x 20 yards, Tiger Crawl x 20 yards
  • Run 1/2 mile
  • Perform the following exercises in circuit fashion: Squats x 30, Push-Ups x 30, Walking Lunges x 30, Burpees x 30

Continue running and alternate among these three circuits until you have completed your long run. The addition of the circuits to your run will allow you to develop the strength and conditioning you will need to finish your mud run.

For a complete mud run training program, read previous articles in this series:

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...
Must See
Perfect Dwyane Wade's Signature Euro Step
Views: 1,306,902
Brandon Jennings: "Always Improve"
Views: 2,667,693
Margus Hunt Benches 385 Pounds for Five Reps
Views: 19,188,213

Featured Videos

Olympic Marathoner Ryan Hall: A Day in the Life Views: 327,109
Path to the Pros 2015: Danny Shelton Views: 161,266
Learn to Hit Open Three-Pointers With Damian Lillard's Baseline Drift Drill Views: 228,843
Load More


STACK Fitness

Everything you need to be fitter than ever

STACK Conditioning

Sport-specific conditioning programs

Coaches and Trainers

Tips and advice for coaches and trainers


Latest issues of STACK Magazine


Women's sports workout, nutrition and lifestyle advice


Gaming, entertainment and tech news

Basic Training

Military-style training for athletes


Find the latest news relevant to athletes

Most Popular Videos

How Greg Nixon Converts Strength to Speed
Views: 959,620
Corey White's Off-Season Guide to Making Plays
Views: 1,396,869
Abby Wambach Will Do Whatever It Takes
Views: 2,814,024
Dwight Howard Stays in the Gym All Night
Views: 3,930,693
Two-Ball Dribbling Drill With John Wall
Views: 3,360,036

Load More
More Cool Stuff You'll Like

7-Year Old Triathlete Sets 5K Record

Weight Training for Runners: 3 Full-Body Moves

Runners: Don't Overlook These 2 Types of Training

8-Week Spartan Beast Training Program

The Most Effective Form of Endurance Training

Are You Ready for a Tough Mudder?

Maximize Your Trail Running

STACK Challenge: Army Two-Mile Run

How to Start Your Barefoot Leg Workout

5 Keys and A Workout Plan for An Awesome 5K

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

Pick The Right Running Partner (The First Time)

Tired of Tiring During Runs? Try These Jogging Pace Drills

The Nature and Nurture of Running for Fitness

Ultramarathon Runner Stephanie Howe's 7 Training Secrets

Hunter McIntyre Rises Above the Competition

Foolproof 20-Week Marathon Training Schedule

How to Design a Running Schedule That Fits Your Life

Learn the Secrets of Tapering

Running Away From GI Distress: Symptoms, Causes And Tips

You're Doing It Wrong: Running

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

How to Prepare for the Spartan Race and Other Mud Runs

7 Tips to Help First-Time Marathoners Avoid Common Mistakes

7 Endurance Tips From Ultramarathon Runner Ian Sharman

The Only 2 Running Diet Rules You Need to Know

6 5K Tips for a Great Running Experience

Running Tips for True Beginners

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

Training for Mud Runs, Part 4: Long Trail Runs

Off-Season Triathlon Training Tips and Workout Program

Get Geared Up for the Wall Jump Obstacle

4 Biggest 5K Training Mistakes

An Introduction to Strength Training for Runners

4 Running Form Fixes for Beginners

Are You Ready for the Arctic Enema?

3 Things You Must Do Before Trying Minimalist Running Shoes

The Obstacle Course Racer's Guide to Fixing Muscle Cramps

Guide to Common Running Terminology

Why Jogging Is Counterproductive

The Exercise Every Runner Must Do

How to Control Your Breathing During an Obstacle Race