How a Spartan Champion Uses the Spartan WOD:  Part 1 of a WOD Series by Andi Hardy

We recently got to catch up with Andi Hardy, an elite obstacle racer whose has won three Spartan Events (Indiana & New York Sprint Saturday and Sunday), and has been a podium regular.  Chatting with her, it turned out that the Spartan WOD was at the root a personal transformation in her life that engendered a transition from a sedentary, uninspired existence into becoming a Spartan Champion.

So, of course, we asked her to write up her favorite WOD for you.  We also asked her to explain how to utilize the WOD to meet your needs as a specific athlete with your unique goals and aims.  When Andi started training she had to adjust the workouts OFTEN.  It’s a privilege to introduce her and her favorite WOD in which she will also help explain how this WOD can best be utilized by all, regardless of your fitness or goals. 

All Spartans are different, but the WOD can act as one grounding point to structure consistent fitness gains.  Do what you can, or do more.  Just get up and go, that’s what counts.

Hill Repeats!

by Andy Hardy

My favorite Spartan WOD has been hill repeats.  Get after them!

Warm-up: 15 minute jog

Main Set:  6-8 hill repeats on steepest gradient you can find.  Run 30-90 seconds HARD.  You can do a set time for interval or set distance.  Recover 2 – 3 minutes between sets.  If you are doing this right you should be exhausted after 2-3.  Stay strong to the end.

Cool down:  Walk then stretch

This workout was from April 28. Yes, I save all of them. You never know when you might need to repeat a workout, or need an extra, or even a replacement. I had just returned from a Spartan Sprint in Indiana and felt my hill running was weak. I knew the upcoming Sprint in New York, Tuxedo Park, would be quite hilly, so I was anxious to train on hills. Granted the hills of Georgia are not New York’s, but this workout would help my endurance throughout a race’s inclines.

 How I made it mine

I grabbed my cheap watch, an old towel, and a bottle of water and headed for a hilly running trail. I set down my towel and stretched, or was it procrastination? I dreaded the hill running, but looked forward to the burn I’d feel and the sense of accomplishment I’d have when I finished.  Getting started was more than half the battle.

I picked a goal; 3 sets of 8 hill repeats. I set the timer on my watch to zero, drew a starting line in the soil, stretched one last time, and gave myself the gun to go. “Push, push, push,” I’d tell myself, “dig in, go after it.” I listened to my own commands and reached the top in 58 seconds. I ran back down just as quickly, took a deep breath and turned up the hill for more punishment.

Finally, set one complete. I took a two minute rest, gulped some water and went back for more. I timed each hill interval keeping them consistent, around 60 seconds. What a great feeling after hill repeat number 24! My body was spent, my legs and gluts burned, my water gone, but I reached my goal, kept my intervals consistent, and felt a huge sense of accomplishment.

Did I really enjoy the actual running? Well, my legs hurt, but as athletes know, this hurt was a good hurt. A hurt that comes with knowing you are pushing your body in a healthy, seeking-improvements kind of way.

How this WOD benefited me

This WOD (and the ones similar with hill repeats) really help me when it comes to races with steep hills. I have found that Spartan Race is able to find steep inclines on even the flattest of terrain. When my body is prepared for hills, I feel I have an advantage over other racers who have not had the practice or experience; I know my body can push through. My mind is at ease as I approach even the steepest of hills during a race, I have the confidence to conquer.

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2 Responses

  1. avatar

    I am inspired by candi. I live in a small town, Putnam station NY. Nestled on the north east side of lake George, we got hills.I want to be in the death race in Vermont next year. I will be training relentlessly. I love to mix Russian kettlebells in my routine. My back, legs,shoulders actually everything are very strong due to my kettlebell presses snatching and swinging. I am very close to snatching a 55 lb kettlebell 200 times in ten minutes. I believe andi’s words on hills may help achieve that goal.
    Sincerely JAKE

  2. avatar

    Wow- It IS you Andi! It’s Julie from Rome and many years ago. I did my first Spartan at the Conyers Horse Park last March and it changed my life too! I wanted to do the super this weekend in Virginia but had to back out to get Abbey off to college in New York. We need to catch up over some hill repeats. I think we are on the same trail— and girl, you are so blazing it with that blonde hair! Congrats on your wins and even more on your new life! I’ll bet Skyler is proud of you! — julie

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