What Is The Best Way To Recover From A Tough Mudder?

Mud runs have become increasingly popular in recent years, and for good reason! The 10-12 mile race is a tough test of mental and physical strength. After the mud run it’s important to rest up before you start training again. Here are some suggestions on how to recover from a Tough Mudder: 


Mudder, your approach may be “tough” (and TMHQ admires you for it), but when your muscles start to hurt, you need to ease up on the intensity. Light stretching comes to the rescue.

Dr. John Gallucci, Jr., PT, DPT, CEO of JAG-ONE Physical Therapy in Woodbridge, New Jersey, explains that mild stretching can help relieve muscle tension and restore range of motion. Try dynamic stretches like lunges, air squats, side lunges, or inch worms instead of getting into a pose and leaning into it until your muscles feel it. He notes that while this won’t speed up muscle repair, it will make you feel better as your body repairs.


You’ve probably started including additional upper-body workouts into your training to prepare for the Gauntlet and Funky Monkey. So, if your shoulders, traps, and triceps—not to mention all those small bleeping muscles you had never thought existed—are S-O-R-E, we understand.

To relieve achy, sore muscles, Dr. Gallucci recommends using a foam roller. Foam rolling can help break up tissue adhesions that occur during the muscle’s heal-and-repair phase, according to him. “It will also boost blood flow to the area, bringing nutrients and oxygen to the muscle fibers and hastening the healing process.” If you’ve never used a foam roller before, have a look at our instructions.

  • MOVE

It may appear counterintuitive. However, exercising when your muscles are sore has been demonstrated to help relieve those sore muscles, for the same reasons that foam rolling does. Exercise raises your body temperature and blood flow, bringing nourishment to your damaged muscles.

Just be careful not to overdo it. “You want to perform something light that will raise your heart rate without stressing your already sore muscle fibers,” he explains. Consider a park walk, a jog, a mild yoga class, or a recovery swim. Save the full-fledged HIIT workouts for when the pain isn’t as bad.


You shouldn’t sleep any more than we don’t skimp on mud. You are aware of this. Of course, this isn’t always doable, but when your muscles require extra rest, those 8+ hours are critical. “Muscle healing is aided by good sleep,” says Dr. Gallucci.


When it comes to muscle aches and pains, you’ve certainly heard a lot of conflicting advice regarding whether to use heat or ice. Well, according to Dr. Gallucci, both have advantages. The case for heat: “Using heat, such as a heating pad or a warm bath, raises the temperature of your muscles and blood flow to the muscle, bringing oxygenated blood with healing characteristics to the sore area,” he explains.


Woo woo obstacle racers, it’s time to take out the essential oils. “Lavender and peppermint essential oils have great anti-inflammatory properties,” says Padgett. Add a few drops of each mixed with coconut oil for a soothing DIY aromatherapy massage that rejuvenates your muscles after an intense race!


No, we’re not referring to the ginger-colored beverage that awaits you at the conclusion of the course. H2O is what we’re talking about. According to Dr. Gallucci, “the body requires water to wash away the toxins and waste that the body releases during the muscle mending process.” “And studies have shown that dehydrated muscles are more prone to be painful after exercise.” He emphasizes that being hydrated before, during, and after exercise can help to reduce the severity of pain.