Winter is coming to an end. The snow is melting, the sun is shining, and it sure is muddy out there! If you are like us here at Näak, you are dying to spend all your time outdoors at the first sign of Spring. However, with the changing seasons, muddy trails are everywhere and injuries are prone to rise. That's why we've prepared for you 5 tips on running, cycling, or training in muddy terrain.
Keep Your Strides and Strokes Short
When you approach a muddy section of the running trail, instead of panicking, how about we shorten our stride? By decreasing your stride and increasing your steps per minute (cadence), you engage more tread by using most of your weight in your forefoot and hip area.
This can be a lifesaver when running on muddy trails yet still trying to hit that best time! The same rule goes for biking. Stay seated and lower your cadence (in this case, how many times your pedals circulate in a minute).
Doing this, you can apply power more evenly across the pedal stroke and increase the torque, giving your tires more grip when things get slippery!
Warm Toes are Happy Toes
This one may seem obvious, but training in mud season requires specific gear for the occasion. No matter what sport you choose to do in the muddy outdoors, neoprene socks will go a long way!
Neoprene socks will protect your feet against the wet and cold while keeping dirt on the outside of your foot. These versatile socks will keep your toes from freezing and come in thousands of different styles.
Get creative and match your socks to your personality to keep motivation high!
Learn How to Properly Clean Your Gear
Whether it's your favourite pair of running shoes, or your bicycle, cleaning your equipment can save you headaches and money in these wet seasons.
We can't stress this enough, clean your gear!
For running shoes, properly handwash them after removing the footbed and place some old newspapers inside while drying them to keep that beautiful shape. Avoid forcing them dry in any way, as this can lead to wrecking the body's shape, damaging the midsole/upper shoe.
When cleaning your bike, avoid using high-pressure hoses on areas of your bike that has bearings. This may seem time-saving at the moment, but using these types of sprays can wash out the grease from the bearings, causing rust and headaches as the season goes on.
Spend some one-on-one time with your cassettes and chain. They'll thank you later. When everything seems adequately dry, throw some lube on there and get dressed for your next ride!
Want to learn more? Take a look at the Global Triathlon Network’s youtube video on cleaning your running shoes to make them last longer!
Keep Your Energy Up with Water/Mudproof Snacks
Muddy weather means more energy output is needed to tackle those climbs and avoid falling on your butt in general. As your body pushes through the sea of mud, fatigue and protein synthesis happen more rapidly.
It's essential to keep your body fueled up to account for the extra work you put in during season changes. For athletes of all kinds, consuming the right ratio of carbohydrates to proteins is critical.
This ratio gives the body the right energy to perform and allows you to use your muscles without experiencing rapid muscle protein breakdown. Food like mixed nuts, hard-boiled eggs, jerky, and energy bars can provide all the nutrition your body needs to keep pushing and are easily packed up and ready to go when you are.
If you want to ditch the food scale and get outside, Näak Ultra Energy bars are made with a performance-based 4:1 carbs to protein ratio to keep you moving. This ratio ensures that your body can keep up with your fast pace. While our 7g of sustainable protein helps maintain, strengthen and repair those precious muscles.
Last But Not Least, Have Fun!
Stop looking at mud as an obstacle to avoid.
Start embracing your messy side.
Whether we want to accept it or not, mud is a part of our active outdoor lifestyle. Instead of worrying about the dirt wrecking your fancy new pair of running shoes, get out there and run!
Your equipment was made to be tested, and you are the perfect person for the job. Re-discover your inner child and go get dirty.
You can thank us when you see us on the trails, muddy faces and all.