running in mud instead of walking gingerly

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Nov 2018
9:45am, 30 Nov 2018
13,444 posts
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mulbs
Help Fetchies, I was looking at an event in Amersham in March next year (XNRG Amersham Ultra) but the reviews of the last couple of years talk a lot about how muddy much of the course is. I'm a wimp. I don't do well on slippy stuff. Is there a secret to it? I went out for a small bimble this morning somewhere I knew would be muddy, took about three steps and then my brain took over and told me it was a really bad idea. I've got Hoka Claytons, which I know are not trail shoes, recommendations and advice please. Also do any of you run with poles or take them with you on longer events for any walk segments? I'm interested to hear all about that too.

I don't get to play on Fetch in work hours much as my work PC doesn't allow access, so please don't think I'm ignoring any advice or comments if it's a while before I show up again.

Enjoy your Friday :-)
um
Nov 2018
9:50am, 30 Nov 2018
622 posts
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um
Inov-8 mudclaws? Made for mud & (not) slipping.
I find them great for mud - but beware - not so good for hard wet stuff (eg rock or smooth algae covered chalk).
Nov 2018
9:53am, 30 Nov 2018
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larkim
I hate mud, always did as a child and still do. So when I signed up for XC last season I was fearful of it.

What I discovered for myself was that being a wimp about it made it harder, not easier. Every time I tried to pussy foot around the side of a muddy patch I would slip and slide.

And I spotted that most other people did the same. However my son just said he charges on through it. So I tried it. And realised that that made things a whole heap easier.

It depends on the mud and trail etc of course, but I think part of the reason why it is easier if you head straight on through the middle, even if it looks like the deeper bits, is that generally the centre line has far less camber left / right, so far less tendency to slip sideways. And if you're moving forward with purpose your momentum carries you on through with less risk of toppling over.

Obviously that won't always work, and on an ultra you'll be less speedy than in an XC race, but since then I've used the same technique when I was ultra training and it broadly seems to work. Having decent shoes that have good lugs on them too help of course. Mine aren't the best, but the Inov-8's that I've got do seem to grip well in most circumstances.

Just be prepared to get filthy and enjoy the shower afterwards!
Nov 2018
10:01am, 30 Nov 2018
3,825 posts
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Curly45
If its proper muddy on an xc course I use what I call the penguin. Really small steps as penguins walk on ice. This gives less chance of falling and enables you keep up the pace, but requires a change of cadence. I use similar on steep descents that require side to side steps because of rocks.

Otherwise plow on through as advised above.

And get some trail shoes.
Nov 2018
10:04am, 30 Nov 2018
2,782 posts
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K5 Gus
Looking at the event website it describes the course as "run mainly on footpaths and bridleways, with a little road section"

Sounds like you want trail shoes ( ie grippy but still with some cushioniong ) rather than out and out fell shoes.

Something like the Salomon Speedcross, or Inov8 Roclite 315 might fit the bill.
Nov 2018
10:06am, 30 Nov 2018
13,446 posts
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mulbs
Curly45! Haven't seen you on here for ages - do we just lurk on different threads? Thanks all, really useful stuff to hear, will invest in some trail shoes and not write myself off as a failure just yet.
Nov 2018
10:08am, 30 Nov 2018
3,826 posts
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Curly45
Hi Mulbs. I don't post much anymore, but still loving the mud 😊😂

Not a failure. You just need more practice 😉
Nov 2018
10:11am, 30 Nov 2018
13,447 posts
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mulbs
Am making a list of possible shoes, I'd assumed from the course description it would be similar to the packed aggregate trails I run here, but then the race reviews I read all stressed the mud (with accompanying photos), if it's just a field or two then I'd just walk them and curse heavily, but I don't want to head into a long event with big muddy sections and hate it. Anyone got a magic wand?

So far, two flavours of Innov-8 are on the list and one flavour of Salomon.
Nov 2018
10:25am, 30 Nov 2018
29,619 posts
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HappyG(rrr)
Just embrace the mud (hopefully not literally, by face planting, arms akimbo!)

Some nice grippy shoes - I'm an Inov-8 fanboi too: Mudclaws, X-talons etc. all have great grips. Walshes are the original fell shoe etc. But then I don't mind running on tarmac with any/all shoes, so I'm a bit unusual. So your choice may need to be a bit more careful if you find trail shoes long sections of road or packed trail causes you problems.

Like larkim says, going for the straight line, minimum direction change or camber/height change, reduces risk of falling.

Generally, running on muddy ground (or anything soft) is *better* than running on tarmac or even packed trail, imho. Less impact forces, more lateral and varied movements (so you have to use your core more) and generally you go slower, with a shorter gait (and higher cadence) all of which reduce impact forces, I believe.

So love heart the mud basically! :-) G
Nov 2018
10:29am, 30 Nov 2018
37,055 posts
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alpenrose
I have to wear Brooks for wide fitting for my deformed feet so my main trail shoes at the moment are Calderas which are okay for a bit of road, mud etc. They saw me alright at Hellrunner last week. And, definitely charge through the middle of puddles and have fun splashing the wimps tippy-toeing round the edge. :)

About This Thread

Maintained by mulbs
Help Fetchies, I was looking at an event in Amersham in March next year (XNRG Amersham Ultra) but th...

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