Mud runs are clearly not for everyone. Getting down and dirty while pushing your physical limits usually only attracts people who are into hard-core, extreme fitness. Nevertheless, participating in these military-style obstacle courses, like the infamous Tough Mudder or Spartan Run, offers a variety of benefits.
1) Motivation: Training for a competition can give you the needed motivation to break out of your exercise rut. Preparing for a mud run requires at least 12 weeks of intense endurance training which can be found in boot camps.
2) Camaraderie: Unlike traditional races, the mud runs build camaraderie since every person participates on a team. Without team work no one succeeds which usually results in team mates training together for the big day, as well as supporting each other in numerous ways.
3) Stress Relief: Although all types of fitness bring stress relief endurance training also improves mental strength, which in turn helps deal with stressful situations better.
4) Fun Factor: Granted, not everyone enjoys getting dirty, but for most people who participate in mud runs crawling around in mud and jumping into lakes with friends creates a sense of primal fun that cannot be found in clean gym environments.
5) Weight Loss: Not surprisingly, the intense training required for mud runs whips people into excellent shape in a very short amount of time while resulting in fail-safe weight loss.
6) Endurance & Athletic Performance: Improved endurance is a given when training for a mud run, which is essentially an obstacle course under extreme conditions. You end up being able to run faster and longer while performing any other athletic task better as well.
If you have never participated in extreme fitness before you should consult your doctor before starting any new vigorous exercise program to rule out any pre-existing conditions. Once you are cleared for action you can find a mud run in your area by visiting the Tough Mudder events calendar or the official Spartan Race website.
After signing up for a race you will need to recruit team mates and start an appropriate exercise program like Insanity or Insanity: The Asylum which can be used as group workouts at any location of your choice.