Joe De Sena is the CEO and founder of Spartan. He is also a NY Times best-selling author of Spartan Up, Spartan Fit, and The Spartan Way.
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I did a Spartan race for the first time three years back. On paper, it said that it was around 8 miles. Which I thought was incredibly obtainable, the only problem was that it wasn’t 8 miles at all. It was more like 12 miles.
The things I learned about myself during this process stick with me to this very day. His books are inspiring and his teachings are exactly what you need in your life, regardless of the obstacle that lies in front of you.
And, for those who aspire to join the race, I’m gonna give you some pointers that you’ll definitely need. Let’s get it!
What to Do Before a Spartan Race
Make no mistake. Participating in a Spartan race and eventually completing a Trifecta will undoubtedly test your endurance. It’ll take a lot of effort, but it’s entirely possible. You’ll be well on your way from the sofa to the course and into the ranks of the Spartans if you have the right mindset and training plan in place and devote the time to put it into action.
Begin with attainable objectives
For instance, consider joining the couch to Spartan Sprint path. Begin by evaluating your existing physical limitations and developing a plan. You can also begin with small walks and gradually increase the length of your walks. Start jogging once a week. Then go from there. Once you’ve completed three miles of jogging and 15 burpees, calculate how long it will take you to complete four to five miles of running and 30 burpees.
Mark off achievements and celebrate them
You should be proud of yourself once you’ve completed three miles. Those who want to run a half marathon and then a Spartan Beast is among those who will do it. Once you’ve accomplished the 13-mile distance, mentally cross it off your list of achievements. This will assist you in being more motivated. Take some time to think about where you started and how far you’ve come. This is also a great way to boost motivation.
Choose a race to participate in and continue on your way
Register for the race and keep training. Once you’ve completed your first race or challenge, you’ll be ready to go on to the next.
When you sign up for a Spartan Race, you’ve already agreed to put in the effort to stay inspired and continue to build motivation throughout the journey. There is, however, something to be said about dedication. Dedication necessitates exertion. You must schedule training time. You must persevere in the face of difficulties. Keep going in the right direction and continue to improve. All of this takes hard work, not luck.
Spartan is known for holding events in the most difficult settings. Hills, hills, hills, hills If you aren’t prepared, this will always be difficult and catch you off guard. Approach the hills with ease, pushing forward slightly and remaining on your toes. This will engage the calves rather than the quadriceps, and you will not be entirely exhausted at the summit.
Find a hill that takes 40-60 seconds to run up, then go easy down the hill while doing 10 push-ups, 15 squats, and 20 jumping lunges. Take a one-minute rest to recover before continuing. Repeat this process 8-10 times. This will imitate barriers and slopes in one, so your body will be better prepared.
Burpees are important
Burpees should be incorporated into your runs. If you fail an obstacle, you must stop and perform a certain number of burpees, which varies depending on the race distance. Stop every half mile and do 30 burpees on easy runs.
Yep. You might as well get some burpee practice in. With a penalty of 30 burpees for failing to complete a Spartan Race obstacle, the quantity of energy you’ll waste especially over multiple obstacles soon adds up. It’s useful to know how many sets you can complete providing a buffer although we all know you’ll overcome that obstacle, right? Burpees are wonderful for all-around movement on your core, arms, calves, thighs, and glutes to thrust oneself into the air, even if you don’t have them.
The upper body and/or core are heavily utilized in Spartan race obstacles. However, I’ve discovered that strengthening your grasp is one of the most effective strategies to get you across the finish line. It’ll come in useful on the monkey bars, monkey rings, rope climb, rope traversal wall, and twister, among other things.
The carries add to the difficulty of the terrain; Spartan will select the most difficult slope and force you to climb up it with a sandbag or bucket. If you are not prepared, this will be difficult for you. Some carriers have lasted up to 20 minutes, while others have lasted only 3-5 minutes. The sandbag should be placed across the shoulders behind the neck for this one. Make sure it’s on your shoulders and not your neck, and keep the edges down so the bag stays tight. If you have the opportunity to sprint, the bag will not move, making life a lot easier.
Males are usually given a 55 kg Deadball, while girls are given a 35 kg Deadball to carry up a hill or around a specified point. When lifting up these hefty balls, make sure to use the appropriate form. It will be easier to carry if you can get it to your shoulder; it will also be easier on your back.
Look for solutions to make the challenges less difficult
There are a few techniques to making hurdles simpler to overcome. Look for divots in the ground at the tire flip obstacle so you can get your hands beneath the tire. Position the bucket on one of your shoulders or turn it upside down to make it easier to handle when you’re in the bucket brigade (carrying 70 to 100 pounds of rocks).
Hand warmers should be brought along when racing in colder conditions to avoid your hands from becoming numb and interfering with your grip.
Now that you’ve seen all of your hard work in Spartan race training and are participating, push yourself even harder. “Spartan Up!” they like to exclaim. When you’re preparing, dedicating, committing, and building your motivation, remember to push yourself. The fact that you’re racing is a significant step forward, so capitalize on it and keep going. On race day, go all out. Experiment with new ideas.