Training for a Mud Run!

If the thought of jogging a 5K bores you, there is a new race in town with Military flavor, if you like the taste of mud!

The Merrell National Mud Run Series sponsored by Subaru has recruited fans across the country who don’t mind mixing a little dirt with their sweat.

These 5-​​10K off-​​road courses hit you with “Military-​​style obstacles, commanding cargo climbs, wild water crossings, mud, mud and more mud!”

A personal training client of mine, Lauren (pictured here), decided to do one of these races after we worked together for over a year. She perfected cardio and core training with 4 mile runs, sprinting intervals and hills, crunches, planks, stability ball abdominal work, and roman chair lifts. She build upper-​​body muscles with 100+ push-​​ups a session, pull-​​ups, dead lifts, biceps curls, triceps presses, and combined them with multitasking toning moves like lunges, and squats.

Probably just as important were the Booty Camp plyometric cardio intervals we did. Jumping from high to low in creative, multi-​​plane moves like burpees, mountain climbers, jumping lunges, high-​​knee jump rope, moguls, and floor to ceiling kickboxing drills set her up for taking on the “mountains of hay bales, the mud puddles, ladder walls, slippery mountain, cargo net climb, low crawls, tunnels, and Marine hurdles.”

We even worked on my new favorite move called “Down and Dirty,” which she named, and I will debut in my next blog post (you’ll love it, hits all major muscle groups in on combo plyometric cardio drill without equipment).

“By the time I was half-​​way done, my soaked leggings were dragging me down,” Lauren explained, “but when my new upper body strength pulled me over the slippery mountain when other women were struggling, I knew I could make it, even when I had to dunk my head under mud!”

You’d expect this New York City, high-​​heeled, suit-​​wearing TV executive would only get muddy in a spa treatment. Instead, she opted for a little thrill and fitness, and maybe some dirt in her teeth. She finished 29th out of 195 competitors in her age group of 35–40!

The next two Mud Runs are in Atlanta and Sacramento if you want to get a taste. For more information on Merrell Mud Runs, click here.

Note: Want to be in the “Military Wives of San Diego” Docuseries? If so, email me at Nikki@​nikkifitness.​com to be put in touch with the casting director.



  1. Jared says:

    I just finished my first run ever…Tough Mudder Central Texas 11miles & 29 obstacles! Our team of 5 finished in 4.5hrs and the entire event raised over $1million for the Wounded Warrior Foundation!

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Crunch Manhattan Group Fitness Instructor/Personal Trainer

NikkiFitness is a personal trainer, group exercise instructor, writer and publicist living in New York City. She started as a cheerleader at Syracuse University, but became certified in fitness before her beach wedding so that she could get back in shape. Laura, a graduate student, working mom, and military wife, inspired Nikki's Military Wife Workout (MWW) for all military wives. Find more articles by Nikki at her Military Fitness Center archive. Learn more at

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