Filthy Fitness

With Mud Man Mike Ryan

Mike Ryan, our Sports Medicine expert, is a full-time certified athletic trainer and registered physical therapist in the National Football League. But even more impressive, he has run the past two Jacksonville Mud Runs where he grabbed 2nd place in the individual division both years. Mike has outstanding first-hand sports medicine experience in the fields of injury prevention, injury rehabilitation and performance enhancement of elite athletes so who better to bring you Filthy Fitness tips?

Here are a few of his dirty tricks to keep you safe and healthy throughout your Mud Run experience.


Pre-Race “To Do’s”

Train Smart — Be prepared for every obstacle. Strengthening exercises and cardio conditioning should include both your upper and lower extremities. 
Be Nice to Your Dogs – Find the right kind of supportive high-top racing shoes and break them in well before the race. Wear thin calf-high socks to help avoid calf and arch strains.
Plank Time – I learned this the hard way. You’ll be doing lots of crawling so practice performing both front and side planks. Planks properly strengthen your core to minimize low back and shoulder injuries.



Race Day “To Do’s”

Rollin’ Time – Use a therapy roller before all workouts and races to help prevent injuries.

Push the Carbs – Bagels, whole-grain cereals and pasta are all smart options.

Drink Early & Often – In any weather, you need fluids early & often.  A smart plan I use with my professional football players is: “Drink 50% water/50% sports drink before, during & after game day.”

Grease Up – Blisters can quickly ruin a great race.  Coating Vaseline on toes, inner thighs and anywhere necessary will enhance your comfort on race day.

Don’t Be a Sponge – Wear thin socks, water-friendly boots, non-cotton pants and a thin shirt to avoid carrying an extra 4-5 lbs during the race.

Stay Healthy & Happy! For more tips, visit