Mud run tips: Obstacle course techniques

Good morning!!  We’re going into racing season, I thought I’d do a repost on techniques to overcome obstacles in mud runs the quickest, most effective way possible.  Turns out I was doing it all wrong, until my super cool husband taught me proper techniques. 

One of the most popular posts on SCB is mud run tips & what to wear.  It’s also a topic I frequently get emails & questions about.  I love your enthusiasm about participating in a mud run, so I thought I’d do a follow up post to focus more on the technique side with tips to get over obstacles the fastest, easiest way possible. 

Consider this your cheat sheet for owning those obstacles.


All tips are from Mike, former Navy EOD (explosive ordinance disposal) Dessert Storm combat Veteran, who has several years of training on obstacles.  Real life & course wise.

Lemme break it down:  He’s pretty much a badass!

Climbing a cargo net


Place hands on the vertical part of the rope.  With each step, push out to the side on corner of the rope.  It tightens the rope which allows more stability.  This is more challenging as others are climbing it with you and make it unstable.  Just think of it as an additional workout. The worst part for me is getting over the top, it can be a little scary. Just throw your leg over the top, and go over. You’re not gonna fall, just make sure you always have 3 points of contact on the net, just like any ladder.  Smile

Cargo net crawl


Same technique as climbing a cargo net above, it’s just horizontal.  

Wall climb


Keep the rope close to your chest the entire time, lean back and walk up using your legs.  Never allow your hands to go above your head.  It requires too much upper body strength to pull yourself up. 

Inclined wall


This one’s my favorite!  As I watched several people make several attempts only to come sliding back to square one, I doubted I’d make it over.  With Mike coaching me I made it over the first time without any issues.  Here’s how you can too.

Hold the rope close to your chest, lean back and let your legs do the work as you walk up the wall.  Once at the top, straddle the wall and climb down.  From my experience leaning back while climbing a wall can be a little scary but I promise it’s really not. 

The worst thing you can do is allow your hands above your head and try to pull yourself up.  In the picture above, the girl in the red socks is doing it right, leaning back and never letting her arms get extended. If you notice, she has her feet flat on the wall, not just her toes, while the girl with the bandana is trying to stand up straight and her arms are all the way out.


These are just a few techniques that I learned. Most of all, have fun! If you follow these tips, I’ll see you at the finish line. If not I’ll call the medics or leave you for dead….

If you’re interested here are my mud run race recaps:

NAS Lemoore Mud Run

Warrior Dash 2011

Warrior Dash 2012

Fore even more tips, check out these You Tube clips.  

Have you ever done a mud run?  If not, do you want to?

Any additional advise on overcoming obstacles?


9 Comments on “Mud run tips: Obstacle course techniques

  1. You’re awesome. I just don’t think I’m a mud obstacle race kinda chica. I’d rather be listening to my jams and hitting the pavement. But I heart seeing everyone being so crazy and into it. Ya gotta find a fit that you lurve. XOXO

  2. I’ve never had the desire to do a mud run because I was afraid that while I know I could run well in between the obstacles I wasn’t sure I would be able to make it through/over some of the obstacles! These tips make it seem a lot more manageable and fun! Maybe I can convince my hubby to do one with me this summer!

  3. I did a spartan run last year but not sure I would do it again. My upper body strength is lacking so a lot of the obstacles were tough! Good tips though! I definitely accomplished things during the race that I never thought I would 🙂

  4. Mud runs always look like SO much fun but I have never tried one! Thanks for the tips 🙂 Maybe one of these days I will get my nerves up to try it!

  5. I honestly love how you somehow managed to not get ANY mud on your face. Even in the photo from one of your previous post of your hubby running behind you, you didn’t have any mud on your face! Every other photo of my friends doing mud runs, they’re covered from head to toe. good job 😉 haha

  6. My first race was a Mud Run! It was a Warrior Dash in VA , and I was hooked, doing marathons less than two years later!

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