by Carrie Adams

Malibu is ramping up to be an incredible event!  In fact, at last check it is on track to be the third largest Spartan event in our history.  We found out that Tony Besson, an actor you may have seen from Spiderman 3, Nip/Tuck, and Entourage is a big fan of Obstacle Course racing and didn’t want to miss the chance to come check out his first Spartan Race. He’ll also be heading to the Super Spartan in Temecula in January. What does he hope to find in Sparta?  We had to find out.

“The Spartan Race is one of the few “adventure” type races that I have not competed in, yet. I’ve heard nothing but awesome things about it, so I felt it was time for me to give it a shot.”

The actor was bitten by the racing bug when he and some friends checked out a few races and he’s been looking for more challenges.  He’s excited about the venue saying, “I live within 15 mins of where this Spartan race is taking place, so I’m stoked about it…a very cool location.”

He’s confident about how he’ll do in the race, “For this particular race I feel pretty confident going in. Now January’s event in which I hear I might be competing in is another story!”

He joked about how he is preparing for the race, “I plan on stopping drinking 2 days before the event. That should be good enough, right?!”

His goals for race day are simple.  He wants to have a good time and see what Spartan can serve up for a challenge.  “I’ll be there with a good friend who isn’t as experienced as I am in these types of events, should be interesting.”

“Catch Tony in his latest film, ’100 Ghost Street: The Return of Richard Speck’, now available on Blu-Ray and DVD!”

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by Aja Varney, Guest Blogger

It isn’t the size of the gift that matters, but the size of the heart that gives it. ~Eileen Elias Freeman

When Carrie Adams, and the other founding members of the Spartan Chicks, created a FaceBook group (sorry guys, it’s for ladies only!), it was for the purposes of connecting women across the country who were all interested in Obstacle Course Racing. It was intended to give them a safe space to discuss training issues, racing tactics, share concerns, while supporting and motivating each other. In a short period of time, this group has grown from a tiny group of 100 ladies, to an 8000+ crowd of Chicks. More importantly, the group has identified itself as a real community of united women, running with each other at races, keeping tabs on each other via email, connecting via phone for workouts – a community of Chicks, always ready to chat and lend a hand at a moment’s notice, and show Obstacle Racing that women are a force to be reckoned with.  The Chicked logo seen all over the race course on the tank tops and other “Spartan Chicked” gear.

In that vein, we’re launching our Second Annual Spartan Chicked Holiday Gift Swap! It is open to women across the globe (yes, no matter where you do your Chicking, you can participate!) to sign up. You will be provided with the name and address of one other Chick, with whom you’ll get to share some Holiday Season cheer. Gifts range from simple cards and baked goods, to fun and functional fitness gear, to handmade scarves, blankets or ornaments. The only limit is your creativity! We’re not looking for you to spend billions, but help continue to unite our community of awesome ladies, by connecting with one specific Chick around the holidays.  To date, we have women from all over the globe from London to Australia, Malibu to Manhattan!

To join in on the fun, fill out this form with your information. In a few days, you will be contacted with the name and address of your Giftee. From there, take matters into your own hands; friend your Giftee on FaceBook, check out what she’s been posting about in the Chicks group, get to know her and let your creative juices flow!

Submissions will be accepted until MIDNIGHT (EST), DECEMBER 7th.

Aja Varney

For your privacy, your name and address will only be shared with the one Chick who will be sending you a gift. If you do have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact me: aja.varney@gmail.com (Even just to say Hi!)

[Editor's Note: Aja Varney is a Spartan Chick many times over.  You can follow her adventures on her blog, What a Beautiful Wreck, where this post was originally published.

The Chicked Movement began in 2011 at the Vermont Beast, the brain child of Spartan staffer Carrie Adams, with about a dozen women wanting to run together  (Adams included) for support, and has grown drastically since the humble beginnings.  With over 130,000 women passing across a Spartan finish line and a closed network numbering over 8,300 at press time, it shows no sign of slowing down.  The Chicked movement is even featured in the soon-to-be released book Ultimate Obstacle Race Training by Brett Stewart.  Are you a Spartan Chick who wants to join the movement?  Click HERE. ]

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I was introduced to Sparta and my quest to take on the Conyer’s Georgia Race on March 9, 2013.  Notably, I’ll be taking on the majority of the course on my hands and knees.  As a T-12 paraplegic, that is my best option for completing what I have been told is a grueling course.  It all started with seeing a picture of Todd Love and Team X-T.R.E.M.E.’s efforts in Lessburg that made me want to take on this epic challenge.  That means I have to get prepared.
How many times a day do you hear someone say, “ I CAN’T!” How many times do you want to say “I can!” One of the things I have had to deal with since I was paralyzed was hearing people tell me, “ YOU CAN’T” and I have always used that to fuel me and to prove to others that I can.  When I was paralyzed at the age of 16, my family was told I had a less than a 1% chance of survival if I made it through my heart surgery.  I beat those odds. I survived and I surpassed every Doctor’s expectations of my life. I did not take the word “Can’t” into consideration. I did not want to be beaten by this so called disability. I wanted to live.
This brings me back to where I started.  “I CAN’T” is used so much in our daily lives and I am not immune to this either. I have in my life said, “I CAN’T” many of times and used it more recently. We all are human and we all tend to think we can’t do something and we make excuses and just give up from time to time. When I started my journey to become a Spartan and achieve Spartan Glory, I was told by friends and co-workers that I couldn”t do it.  I was told that it would be too hard. It was almost as if I was back in the hospital again being told I would never walk again and that my life was over and that I had to sit in a corner, watch TV and just grow old and die.
HECK NO!!!!!!!!
I took that disbelief and used it to my advantage. I wanted to compete in the Spartan Race with a team or alone. I decided I was going to cross that line as a SPARTAN.  Just like a lot of us, I work a full-time job at 40 hours week, train full time, with a family , and balance the responsibilities of everyday life.  Sometimes you have to make it all work.  So it may be putting two kitchen table chairs together and doing dips while you are making dinner or if it is family time in the living room, put your kids on your back and do push-ups. Not only is it a great workout, your kids will love it too. There are so many ways you can get in your workouts by just using your time wisely and putting forth an effort. So, “I can’t” is not an option.
The other day, I got a phone call from one my team members of TEAM PUSHHARDER, Kevin Patterson. Kevin is from my home town of Amory, MS. Kevin and I grew up together and he has seen my struggles. So, Kevin and I have some history together. When I posted up on Facebook that I was going to do my first Spartan Race and I was going to do this all by myself or with a team, he jumped up and took the call. I think Kevin volunteered to quickly. I laughed when Kevin called and said to me, “what did I get myself into?” Kevin, being a man of his word went to work. Kevin has went from a couch potato to an athlete. Kevin has his life back. He has lost almost 50 lbs in just 3 months. He took the words “I CAN’T” and threw it in the trash. This is why I am proud to  have him on my team. Not only because we grew up together and he means a lot to me, but because ”I CAN’T” is not in his vocabulary.
The definition of a Spartan is a person of great courage and self-disciple, undaunted when face with pain, fear, danger or adversity. I don’t see the words “I CAN’T” in this definition of a Spartan, do you? I want to live the life that I am proud of, I want to live a life with full of “I DID!” I want to cross that line as a TRUE SPARTAN on March 9th, and say I did this with my teammates. I don’t want to say, We tried but we couldn’t. I will not accept that. I will not accept that defeat. I WILL BE A SPARTAN.
[Editor's Note: Spartan Race HQ would like to congratulate Michael and his wife Tiffany on the birth of their new son, Michael Elijah Mills. He weighed in at 8lbs and 19 1/2 long, born at 9:26 yesterday, November 28, 2012.
Michael Mills  is a T12 paraplegic, the victim of a head on collision with a drunk driver in 1993 and though he’s been tackling wheelchair racing since 1996, competing in over 160 road and track races in the twelve years since, even representing the United States three separate times, he saw the Spartan Race series and realized it was the next challenge he wanted.  He'll be doing the Georgia Spartan Sprint on 3/9/13.  Want to stay tuned in to Michael’s journey? He’ll be regularly posting his story and training on our blog in a series we’ll be calling “Chasing Michael Mills.” Follow his facebook page. Want to support his cause? Check out Spartan Sprint for Berts Big Adventure | Michael Mills’ Fundraiser on CrowdRise. ]

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by Chris Rutz

Money, money, money Part II.  We talked about expenses for Spartan travel in Part I.  Here is more information on how to get to your Spartan destination cost effectively.

There are a lot of different means to go about saving money on travel. Of course the best way to travel on the cheap is bum a ride off of someone, stay with someone you know nearby, or campout at the race. I have done all of these. Some people chose Expedia, Priceline, Orbitz etc… to make their travel plans. For me I have very good success with directly booking with my favorite travel partners. I like to be able to change my mind. You never know when you might get injured, sick, or just cannot make it. I am always looking for the best deals without having to fully commit and make a nonrefundable deposit.  So for those of you that have to buy a plane ticket, rent a car, and stay at a hotel, here are some tips that work for me. My number one tip is to join AAA. For about $55 you get great discounts on top of their other benefits. Second big tip is networking. When I dove into Spartan Racing for 2012 I knew no one at the races. Today, every race I go to I am able to share a hotel room and sometimes a car. I am trying to figure out how to share an airplane seat, lap child anyone?

I do not work for, nor am I sponsored by any of these companies. But we really do need a few official travel partners of Spartan Racing. Is anyone listening?

Airplane –

Southwest Airlines is my carrier of choice. Phoenix is one of their major airports so I can usually find great fares on Southwest. The best part is that there is never a change fee with them. If I rebook, cancel, or change a flight, there is no fee to do so. I book my flights early and typically over the course of time the airfare goes down. I check the flight periodically and if the price has dropped I rebook the flight the same flight, and get credit for the difference. I have had fares drop over 50%. I fly enough with them to be on their A-List so I can get in the express security lanes and board the place first. This makes the travel a little less tiring, which helps come race day.

Rental Car –

It seems I am always able to get great rates with Hertz by going directly to their website. Much of this year they have had a special for $14.99 ($13.49 for AAA) per weekend day for an economy car. I always reserve the least expensive option. Rental companies hardly ever have an ‘economy’ car and you will likely end up with something a little nicer. I typically get a Focus, Cruze, Jetta, or Mazda3. Small cars equal great gas mileage, so this saves money on gas too. I can cancel at any time, or even just not show up, and there is no charge. As a bonus I get points on Southwest.

Hotel –

No favorites here. I have an online resource through my employer that I typically use. I punch in the city I am traveling to and a radius and then it pulls up what is available by price. Similar tools are available via AAA and other travel websites. The key here is similar to what happens with Southwest. Rates change. Book early and check back frequently to see if the rates have dropped. If they have, rebook, no penalty. You will have to decide how much time and effort it is worth to you to keep checking. Always book a double bed room. This gives you the flexibility to share the room as the race date approaches as people look for a room on Facebook. I also know a bunch of people that are willing to sleep on the floor. So you should likely never have a problem filling your room up. Most of the Spartan Races have event pages. You can usually find someone to share a room with, depending on your sense of adventure.

Okay, now that you have framework to help you save some money on your trip, next up we will talk about how to make the most of your trip to the race.

Who is Christopher Rutz?

Christopher is a member of the juwi Solar Obstacle Racing, has 6 top three finishes in Spartan Races this year and is the current leader of 2012 Spartan Race Points Series. He manages a health and fitness blog, www.livethetoughlife.com and a Facebook page, Tough Training.  We’ll be featuring his blogs about how to travel Spartan style over the next few months.

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Spartan WOD for Wednesday 11.28.12 brought to you by Gaspari Nutrition

~By James Villepique CSCS & Hobie Call

For this week’s WOD, it’s time to really turn it up a notch, and push the body through any mental comfort zones. To win and to overcome, one must be able to demonstrate they’re more than they seem to be, while seeming to be more than they really are.

The workout below is about two things; challenging the central nervous system with complex movements, and weight distributions it isn’t used to. We’re going to be pushing maximum oxygen uptake and cardiovascular endurance. Obstacle Course cravers are about progressive fitness, and this set of exercises delivers just that. Intense variation isn’t only about going from one traditional exercise to the next, it’s also about compounding exercises to incorporate the use of the entire musculature at once.

You’ll be performing a vast array of exercises, but they can be broken down into four. There’s nothing wrong with mixing four traditional exercises together and molding one that’s unique and extra challenging. When off the course and training, we get to make the rules, and define our grit.

Ideally, for a hardcore session, 5 circuit sets should be done with the exercises back-to -back and minimal rest. For those that love structure, a breakdown on a good use of rest is supplied at the end of the workout. Each set should be at least 12 reps of continuous motion. Rest in between exercises rather than between reps.

I could list the muscles this workout puts under strength building strain, or I could just sum it up in three words: all of them.

Let’s Get Into This…

Before tackling this circuit, make sure you have a bench press and some room close by with dumbbells ready so there are no interruptions. On average three to five revolutions should take no more than forty minutes, but internally strive for the best time possible. This workout is an obstacle course for the body itself.

Here’s Your Movements List…

1-  Front Barbell Squats-First things first; form. Make sure that the weight is directed straight down the kinetic chain into the heels.

Leaning forward, even slightly, with a weighted barbell in front of the body is disastrous for the lower back. The weight should be moderate; for men 95-115lbs and women 30-60lbs. It’s wise to use Olympic size barbells, typically found on the bench press. Additionally, doing them while standing over the bench itself isn’t a bad idea. This way you can go down to a sitting position, and then stand back up. It reduces risk and typically allows for more reps, but don’t lock the knees. Make sure to keep the back straight and head up, and let the barbell rest comfortably on the shoulders across the neck line.

While most people think this is primarily a leg workout, it’s not. Actually, because the weight is where it is, the core is heavily engaged to steady the body in space, especially when coming back up. Remember to breathe with each rep and keep your eyes pointed straight ahead.

2-  One-Legged Dumbbell Step-up – These weights should be moderate, because after you’ve stepped onto the elevated surface, you’re going to perform a hammer bicep curl and shoulder press.

To drastically increase the difficulty, and force the central nervous system to become truly occupied, do them with only one weight at a time. Furthermore, make sure that the leg you choose to step up with is the opposite one from the arm holding the dumbbell. This way, it causes the internal balance and stabilization mechanisms to join the party, especially while the curl and press motions are occurring.

Sometimes during training, people forget that there are far more muscles in the body than the major muscle groups, and the ones that can be seen. An exercise like this instigates neural signals to muscles of all sizes throughout the body, from the joint capsules and tendons, to ligaments and supportive muscles.

3-  Dumbbell Burpees w/ Lunge – Directly after the step-ups, you’re going to keep the tension on the legs and abdomen going. The more of the overall exercise that can be fit into one continuous and fluid movement, the better the results will be. This means good form and determined motions are a must.

If the weights are on the lighter side, then you can add some pushups, and dumbbell back rows to the burpees. Afterwards, before going into the lunges, they could also be used for any number of upper body exercises like curls or presses as well.

Additionally, to make the alternating lunges more difficult, only bring one dumbbell up from the burpee. Doing lunges with weight on only one side of the body is going to increase the metabolic demand. Our thinking muscle is arguably the most important tool at our disposal on the obstacle course; train it.

With this exercise heavy weight can be safely used. You’ll have to cut out some of the extra exercises though. However, with the heavier weights a half-squat can be executed when coming up from the burpee, and it makes the lunges far more intense on the glutes. Remember, form is always, and in all ways, more important and beneficial than weight alone.  

4-  Barbell Bicep Curl to Squat – This exercise is a combination of barbell bicep curls and front squats. Try as hard as possible to make it one fluid movement as well, from the moment the bicep curl begins to the moment you come back up from the squat. In a way, when done correctly, it feels like a type of inverted snatch.

Beware of swaying. Use the lower back as little as possible during the curl. Rather than simply going along with gravity, do everything on purpose. Imagine how effective it would be if you could do it in slow motion. For most people one rep of this compound exercise takes about 2-4 seconds. What if you could stretch it to 10-15 without ceasing movement? This cannot be stressed enough: heaving weight pales in comparison to the deliberate manipulation of stress and proper form.

Active Recovery is Better Than Rest

Going from these intense and taxing exercises to standing or sitting still isn’t a good idea, and it’s counterproductive. Instead, keep an eye on the clock and follow the prescribed active recovery times below. In between rounds, do these exercises that keep the heart pumping, but give the muscles some time to refill their glycogen stores.

Active Recovery Exercises

1st Round - Go up to a wall and do some bouncing pushups. This isn’t going to require much effort from your recovering body, but the activity will keep your muscles warm and prepared for the next bout of exercise.

2nd Round - Because of the type of muscle tissue in the abdomen, it can be used and abused more than almost any other muscle group. Perform a plank during this recovery phase to really engage the abdominal muscles and core.

3rd Round - Take a minute to stretch any muscles that are tightening up or knotting. Some good preventative stretching ideas for these exercises would be the thighs, hips, and chest.

4th Round - Rehydrate, but don’t drink too much and then do some torso twists to loosen up the abs. Some jumping is a great idea to keep those muscles warm while maintaining your elevated endorphin levels for the last set.

If you make it through the 5th round, congratulations! Remember not to sit down or rest just yet. Your heart will benefit with a short cool down. Go for a short walk and cool it off.

Active Recovery Times at the End of Each Round

1st Round – 2.5 Minutes
2nd Round – 1.5 Minutes
3rd Round – 1 Minute
4th Round – 45 Seconds

Pre and Post Workout Recommendations

This workout is geared towards strength endurance over brute force. Therefore, a meal consisting of clean complex carbs (fruits, vegetables, berries, etc.) protein, and fat should be eaten about an hour before hand. The portions should be roughly 60% carbs – 20% fat – 20% protein.

After the workout a blended shake with close to the same portions of carbs, protein, and fat should be consumed within 30 minutes for best results. Also, keep in mind that the metabolism is going to go into overdrive for hours after this routine, so adequate amounts of calories are needed, especially protein saving fats; mono and polyunsaturated are best.

As always, if at any point during the circuit, you feel dizzy, nauseous or you cannot catch your breath, please be smart and stop! Take the time to assess your condition.

If you haven’t already, get yourself a timer. Here is a great GymBoss App that I found:

http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/gymboss-2-interval-timer/id500887448?mt=8

Check out the brand new BodyBuilding.com obstacle race training section that I just put together with the support of my awesome team at Gaspari Nutrition. Spartan Race is now being recognized as the most competitive and rugged obstacle race in the world. Please check out the new BB.com section, “Like” and share it with your friends and loved ones!

Keep Going!

James Villepigue & Hobie Call

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by Carrie Adams

The day after Thanksgiving is lovingly referred to as “Black Friday.”  A day when people flood the malls and stores seeking the best holiday deals and unofficially kicking off the Christmas shopping season.  It’s not a new concept,though the hours keep expanding and what was once a 5 or 6a.m. start time, some stores are opening as early as midnight or even starting on Thanksgiving day, before the turkey has even been digested!

A less frenzied approach is the more recent Cyber Monday.  This day was added to the line-up so that people could shop painlessly from home and still cash in on some great deals.  Spartan has one just for YOU and your loved ones!  Nothing says “Happy Holidays” like a Spartan Race!

How is this for a great deal?  Spartan is offering $25 of ANY race.  Today only… get signed up!  Use the code: CYBER25.  Find your event HERE. 

 

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by Carrie Adams

Spartan Race is no stranger to Guiness Book World Records.  Some of our founders, including Noel Hanna have a few on their walls.  On Veteran’s Day in 2012 a very special record was broken by another familiar Spartan face, well, gas mask.  Introduced to Sparta in Leesburg, VA female Team X-T.R.E.M.E. athlete, call sign “Justice” was the record breaker!  A member of Team X since January 2012, she’s participated in two of our Spartan events and recently became a world record holder when she was the first female to complete a marathon’s full 26.2 miles in a gas mask.  Completed as a Team X event, it was done in honor of all Wounded Veterans and was an accomplishment not lost on the Marine, who when masked is referred to simply as “Justice.”

Justice, whose real name will be withheld out of respect for the anonymity of the team and the commitment to their focus on their wounded comrades, has been a member of Team X since January when she went through the INDOC process.  She was asked to join after 48 grueling hours of physical and psychological testing.  The INDOC testing phase was the third and final stage of Team X-T.R.E.M.E.’s intense indoctrination process.  The first step Justice underwent was the submission of a two minute video.  Upon acceptance of the initial video submission there is an invitation to join the athlete community to show a candidate’s dedication to the organization by raising money and awareness.  If proven in the community, the candidates are invited to participate in the Richmond, VA 48 hour test.  The most recent INDOC with seven candidates actually resulted in no new team member invitations, a nod to the difficulty and exclusivity of the process.

Justice not only succeeded, she excelled, and has been a remarkable addition to the team.  For her first Team X event and weighing in at just over 120 pounds she carried 45% of her body weight for 26.2 miles through the New Mexico high desert while wearing a gas mask at the 2012 Bataan Death March.  At the Spartan Race in Leesburg she carried almost 90% of her body weight with wounded warrior athlete USMC Cpl. Todd Love on her back throughout the course rotating with the rest of the male-based team every half mile.  Not once did she miss her turn to carry the weight, not once did she falter or complain.

She repeated that again the Carolina’s and will be in attendance of many more Spartan events in the 2013 season.  We look forward to her return and congratulate her on her incredible record-breaking accomplishment!

Want to join her?  Sign up for one of our many events in 2013, it looks like we’re going to have nearly 60 worldwide by the time the year is over.  Join us!

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“It All Comes Down To Texas”

The Spartan Race 2012 Points System inspired more passion than the Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street combined.  It created more polarized debate than the Supreme Court decision in Citizens United.  It provoked more conspiracy theories than the crash landing outside Roswell, New Mexico.   Its origin cloaked in more mystery than Mitt Romney’s tax returns, the Points System was designed such that to be the best overall racer year-long, there was little margin for error.

For 2012, the points system is based on an athlete’s 4 best races, the top 2 scored at 100% of their point award, and the remaining two at 10%.  Points for different Spartan Race distances were weighted based on length and difficulty, which put a premium on a complete athleticism, a combined profile of speed, endurance and strength, all measures of true Spartan excellence.  Accordingly, the Spartan Beast races were more heavily scored than Supers or Sprints, and with 5 Beast races on the calendar, the highest points total possible would come from completing four Beast races, including the Vermont Beast or UltraBeast (finishing the Vermont Beast or UltraBeast was mandatory to be eligible for the season awards as well as to rank high on the table).  Spartan obstacle racers have been jockeying for position at the top of the Points Series Table all year. But with less than one month left in the 2012 season and only the Malibu Sprint and Texas Beast left to race, it all comes down to Texas.

Hobie Call proved at the Sacramento Beast that he is back to racing form and will be keen to avenge his defeat by Cody Moat in Vermont.  After his shocking defeat in Vermont, Hobie was unable to race in South Carolina due to a hamstring injury where Cody was able to win easily, but a dominating 5 minute victory in Sacramento shows that the top Spartan Racer from 2011 is not ready to give up the points crown. Similarly, on the women’s side, Rose Marie Jarry cemented her top points ranking lead with a win in Sacramento but will be challenged by Jenny Tobin, Ella Kocuiba, Andi Hardy, Sue Luck, and Corinne Kohlen.

So what are they racing for? 

The Points System rules announced early in 2012 that

Cash and prizes* will be awarded to the top points finishers and we will maintain a listing of our Top 20 male and 20 female competitors. The current cash purse for the top 300 males and females will start by distributing $5,000.00 amongst them and grow throughout the season. As of the completion of Arizona the purse is at a total value of $10,000.00.  Prize Money Qualifications:  a. Top 20 male and female point leaders globally.  B. Performance at The Killington Beast, Spartan Race’s World Series Championship. (this race will earn double points)

*Full details at: http://www.spartanrace.com/spartan-point-ranking-system.html

That Points Competition purse has grown to $40,000, on top of the $50,000 in cash and $50,000 in prizes given away at the Vermont Championships.  So as the athletes race to the season finish, at year end,  Spartan Race can now confirm that the Top 20 men and Top 20 women in the final Points Series ranking will earn the following cash awards:

1       $4250 6       $1200 11      $750 16      $300
2       $2600 7       $1100 12      $700 17      $250
3       $1500 8       $1000 13      $600 18      $200
4       $1400 9       $900 14      $500 19      $150
5       $1300 10      $800 15      $400 20      $100

Further, the top 20 M&W and all Points finishers ranked 21-50 will earn an exclusive Spartan300 sweatshirt and T-shirt, and 2013 Season Pass valued at $400.   Points finishers in M&W ranked 51-150 will be presented with a special Spartan300 t-shirt and a Free Race Entry for 2013.   Age Group winners will receive a special award trophy.

What’s Ahead for Spartan Race 2013?

Be assured that the incredible growth in participation and passion that Spartans have shown in 2012 will be rewarded in the 2013 – expect more competition, more races, more prize money, more life changing events.  We are working on maintaining Spartan Race as the world leader in the sport of Obstacle Racing, and plan to launch team racing, relay formats, and Regional and National Points Competitions, along with multiple Spartan Race distance championships.  Launching soon also will be a Pro division to further establish OR as the sport of the true all-around athlete.    Earlier this year, we announced that the 2013 season would culminate in the 2013 Spartan Championship at the Vermont Beast, so 2012 races starting in South Carolina will be eligible for scoring in the 2013 season.    Stay tuned closely for more news to be announced in the very near future by Spartan Race on the 2013 Points Series rules and structure, the 2013 Championship Race prize purse and other exciting developments from Spartan Race HQ.

 

 

by Michael Mills

Last week, I was introduced to Sparta and my quest to take on the Conyer’s Georgia Race on March 9, 2013.  Notably, I’ll be taking on the majority of the course on my hands and knees.  As a T-12 paraplegic, that is my best option for completing what I have been told is a grueling course.  It all started with seeing a picture of Todd Love and Team X-T.R.E.M.E.’s efforts in Lessburg that made me want to take on this epic challenge.  That means I have to get prepared.  So, for my first blog post, I thought I would just give you a little bit of info on how I am training.

Being a disabled athlete, I get the question a lot, “how do you train for a Spartan Race?” As an established wheelchair racer, I knew I needed a plan, I knew I needed coaching and I knew I needed advice with this sport I knew nothing about except from what I could find on YouTube. I needed help, so I started branching out to other Athletes like Ella Anne Kociuba, an already accomplished Spartan Racer and the only athlete by www.flagnorfail.com , Hobie Call whom needs no introduction, Andi Hardy, Stacey Shuler and Steve Power, All gave me quick little tips and advice on how to train. I started training but with racing, I knew I needed a plan of attack. I needed some more coaching. So, after searching and getting information from these great athletes, I contacted Travlete and that is how I came in contact with Adrian Bijanada and intern he helped me find an amazing coach named Adam Lake. Adam is a NYC Firefighter, Ironman Coach, Strength Trainer and a coach at www.trilife.org in New York and he was eager to try something new with me. We talked a little and he soon built me a baseline training program to get me started with my Spartan training. Adam took the time to put himself in my shoes to design my workout. After receiving my workout, I went straight to work.

So, this leads me to the question of “how do you train for a Spartan Race?” I train like any other true Spartan would. I see something and I go after it. I adapt to any obstacle I see and I overcome it. For example, I am going to be crawling for a better part of three miles in the Spartan Sprint, so I spend time on the treadmill at Anytime Fitness in Covington, GA and I crawl on my hands and knees for 3 minutes and off of the treadmill for 1 minute. While I am off of the treadmill for 1 minute, I am actually doing a push or pull exercise like pushups, pull-ups, or dips and then I am back on the treadmill for another 3 minutes. I repeat this exercise for 30 to 60 minutes, depending on my training schedule. Other days, I am outside flipping a tractor tire, dragging cinder blocks, climbing ropes and rolling around in my hilly neighborhood with 40lbs strapped to my back and my Elevation training mask on from www.trainingmask.com to simulate high altitude training. I am currently training twice a day, three days on and one day off. All of the Spartan training along with the racing chair training is building the strength and endurance I will need for my Spartan Sprint.

[Editor's Note: Michael Mills  is a T12 paraplegic, the victim of a head on collision with a drunk driver in 1993 and though he’s been tackling wheelchair racing since 1996, competing in over 160 road and track races in the twelve years since, even representing the United States three separate times, he saw the Spartan Race series and realized it was the next challenge he wanted.  He'll be doing the Georgia Spartan Sprint on 3/9/13.  Want to stay tuned in to Michael’s journey? He’ll be regularly posting his story and training on our blog in a series we’ll be calling “Chasing Michael Mills.” Follow his facebook page. Want to support his cause? Check out Spartan Sprint for Berts Big Adventure | Michael Mills’ Fundraiser on CrowdRise. ]

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by Chris Rutz

Last weekend I was off to yet another Spartan Race, my 20th of 2012. I have gotten pretty good at knowing what I need to have with me along the way. I check a few things night before my departure, such as my airline, rental car and hotel reservations. Most have sent me a confirmation e-mail in the past few days, so I just save them on my smartphone. I also map out the airport, Whole Foods/Trader Joes, hotel and race site so I get my bearings for the trip. Once I have completed that I move onto my nutrition packing list.

You can take food and water with you on the airplane. I use one of the Gaspari Nutrition/Spartan Race cinch sacks to carry my food. For my flight today I have packed the following:

  • 2 grilled chicken breasts
  • bell pepper
  • banana
  • apple,
  • fresh raspberries,
  • carrots,
  • cauliflower,
  • a bag of frozen broccoli (keep the chicken next to the frozen broccoli)

Why so much food you might ask? Well, pre-race nutrition is very important and you can never predict what food will be available at the airport or if your flight will be delayed. I would rather have too much rather than too little. Once you get to your destination, you can eat the “leftovers” on your way to the hotel.

I also carry an empty water bottle through security and fill it up at the gate. You need to hydrate before a race especially if you are flying.

Once I land I generally head to the grocery store to pick up what I will need for my weekend. This eliminates the need to figure out restaurants and allows you more time to relax and rest before the race. If you want to eat out, do that after the race. I try to get a hotel with both a microwave and refrigerator so I can stick to my nutrition plan.

This should help you get to the race primed and ready to deliver you best possible performance.

Who is Christopher Rutz?

Christopher is a member of the juwi Solar Obstacle Racing, has 6 top three finishes in Spartan Races this year and is the current leader of 2012 Spartan Race Points Series. He manages a health and fitness blog, www.livethetoughlife.com and a Facebook page, Tough Training.  We’ll be featuring his blogs about how to travel Spartan style over the next few months.

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