So you may have caught the Spartan race fever which has taken the fitness community by storm, and you too want to become a part of it. So how do you proceed? What exactly is a Spartan Race and what is it about? What are the Exercises and Workouts which an aspiring athlete must do? What about the Nutrition? To help you figure all these things out and also on How to Train for a Spartan Race we have prepared a comprehensive guide to help you start your Spartan journey.
What is a Spartan Race?
The Spartan race is a multiple series of obstacle races which vary in location, the difficulty levels and the distances covered. It is an obstacle race which has been designed and developed to push the physical and mental limits of the human body and the human mind. The Race first emerged in the United States in 2007, and it has gradually gained popularity, and now it has been franchised to more than 30 countries including Australia, Canada, South-Korea and many other European Countries.
What is it about?
The Spartan race involves running through a series of obstacle races with obstacles which may differ in their terrain, their difficulty and the distance to covered. An average day of running an obstacle race generally involves jumping over fire, climbing over walls, swinging on ropes, crawling under barbed wire, crawling on mud, and also carrying heavy objects up against a hill or a slope. However, the obstacles in a race are never revealed to the competitors beforehand. Another forte of the Spartan race is its accessibility, whether you are a fresh beginner, or in the intermediate level or if you are an experienced and professional athlete, the Spartan race has something for all. The Distances of the Obstacle ranges from a 3+ miles race filled with 20+ obstacles called the Spartan Sprint, an 8+ miles race with 25+ obstacles known as the Spartan Super, a 13+ miles race coupled with 30+ obstacles known as the Spartan Beat and finally a 26+ miles race with a substantial 60+ obstacles aptly named the Ultra Beast. So keeping in mind your fitness levels and your abilities competitors can choose the desired obstacle race for themselves.
Exercises and Workouts
Obstacle races are never easy, and that’s a fact. Almost all obstacle races require some movement or physical activity in one way or the other, and the Spartan race is no different. To put it straightforward the Spartan Race is regarded as one of the toughest obstacle race in the world and rightfully so. The Spartan race is filled with high-intensity activities, and these activities demand high endurance levels, speed, upper and lower body strengths and stamina. The Race also requires mental fitness as the race tests the sheer willpower, perseverance, patience and attitude of its competitors. Therefore it is necessary that you train your body and mind properly when you are to face the Spartan race. Your Training regime must include all the appropriate Exercises and Workouts in it, and the ones which you should add in your training are as follows:
1. Endurance Training
Irrespective of the difficulty of the obstacle race you choose, one thing which is common across the board is running. The running distances vary from 3 miles and can go as high as 26 miles. Therefore any competitor must possess a right amount of endurance. A good endurance workout involves combining long distance running, climbing up slopes and performing training based on obstacles. To help you to begin your endurance training exercise, this is a workout routine which you can adapt to help you improve your endurance:
- Light jogging-1 mile
- Monkey Bars x 4 reps
- Lunges x 15 reps each leg
- Running-1 mile
- 15 Bear Crawls Up and Down Inclines
- 15 Pull-ups
- 10 Leg Raise
- Running-1 mile
- Farmer’s Carry-150 yards
- 15 Burpees
- Running-1 mile
- Cool down with light walking followed by stretches.
One thing to keep in your mind while training is to stress on Burpees. 30 Burpees is the penalty you are charged with for a failed or skipped obstacle, so the more Burpees in practice, the better.
2. Sprinting and Incline Training
One thing you can expect from the Spartan race is the unexpected. The Race will put you in very uncomfortable situations and challenge you in many ways. Getting accustomed to being uncomfortable is what you will need to inculcate into your mind and body as you keep on training. Sprinting forms the core of the Spartan race and the very first obstacle is rightly called Spartan sprint. Including a Sprint or interval workout to your training routine will help you to increase your anaerobic threshold and also help you to recover faster in between obstacles, While Sprint training mix up your intensity as well as your duration. For short intervals increase your speeds and vice-versa. Next comes the dreaded inclines. The Spartan race always has some nasty hills prepared for you, and while they might not be everyone’s favourite when race day comes, there is no running away from them. Incline training might be hard but make sure to include one hill climbing workout every week is more than enough to prepare your body and mind to face those steep slopes which you will no doubt face while navigating between obstacles.
3. Full Body Workouts
The Spartan race involves going through a myriad of obstacles that test the strengths of your entire body. Therefore full body workouts are a must to include in your training regimen. Exercises to help you excel in climbing over walls, climbing across monkey bars, carry sandbags uphill, crawl under wires and mud must be done. Some workouts to increase the strength of both your upper and lower body includes Push-ups, Pull-ups, Chin-ups, Weighted squats, deadlifts, bench press and shoulder press. In Addition to this one can also add Plyometrics as well.
When it comes to nutrition, you don’t have to follow a strict diet program but stick to the simple formula of eating healthy. Eating healthy also means cutting out unhealthy foods. It is essential to see to it that you avoid Sugary foods, Processed Foods, Foods containing high amounts of fats and additives and also minimise the intake of junk food. The Focus should be more on natural and organic foods comprising of Vegetables, Fruits, Lean meat, Healthy fats in moderation, Marine products, Legumes, nuts and whole grains. Taking supplements is also advisable such as drinking a healthy protein shake before and after workouts will also help the body to recover faster. The Core philosophy is to have a healthy, balanced and sustainable diet that allows you to train, compete and progress at a healthy pace while also keeping you active, healthy and happy.
Some additional things to keep in mind are allowing your body to rest and recover properly. Make it a point to give 1 to 2 full days rest in a week while training so that your body can adapt to the changes, repair itself and recover properly and prevent any injuries from happening. Last but not the least, don’t forget to have fun and soak in and share all the happiness that every participant is filled with when they cross the finish line. This very sense of accomplishment and joy and the camaraderie that is shared is often considered the best thing about participating in a Spartan Race and many people come back for this feeling of oneness.