by John McEvoy, Owner CrossFit Craic
How do you train for an event that could potentially involve anything like a Spartan Race? The answer is simple. You have to do everything.
The goal of a Spartan race is to truly test your fitness. You need to be able to run, jump, climb, lift and carry heavy objects, crawl and continue to move forward after each task has been completed.
If you are exclusively a runner then chances are you will struggle with the climbing and lifting aspects and if you are predominantly a weightlifter you will likely struggle with the running aspects of the race. Equally, if you are one of those people who love running around the track and doing sit-ups every lap you will no doubt struggle when the time comes for you to pick something heavy up of the ground and move it.
To truly perform in a Spartan Race your goal should be to become a hybrid version of all the above – part runner, part lifter, part climber.
In CrossFit this is our goal. To us ‘being fit’ is being able to perform responsibly well at any physical task. I cannot tell you how many people I have had come into my gym saying “I’m really fit! I’ve run 4 marathons” and they cannot do 1 pullup!. I also get big dudes who come in bragging about their 400lb Deadlift then they cannot run 400m without throwing up. The world of fitness is changing. It’s not good enough anymore to simply be a specialist, at least not in this game.
In CrossFit some days we run, some days we lift, some days we do just bodyweight movements and some days we do all 3 in the same workout. Every day is different and that is what keeps it exciting and what keeps the fire alive inside each of us.
When we arrive at the starting line for a Spartan Race it is no different. We stand at the starting line staring up the hill with no worries about what lies ahead of us because even though we have no idea what obstacles we will encounter, we know that we will be able to navigate them. We have lifted weight heavy for low reps, light weight for lots of reps and vice versa. We have run short, middle and long distances. We have jumped, crawled, carried and pulled ourselves over objects.
We are ready.
Training for a marathon is different. You know the distance, you might even know the course or you can find it, and you just follow a program you found on Google to prepare.
Spartan training is far different. Run, jump, climb, crawl, lift, sprint, throw. If you have weaknesses they will be exposed. The only way to ‘play it safe’ is to expose your weaknesses in your training and eventually they will become strengths.
When it’s your turn to step up to the starting line and it’s time to test yourself you should have confidence knowing that you are ready for whatever comes your way because you trained to be ready.
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John McEvoy is the owner of CrossFit Craic, a Cross Fit gym located at 355-359 Washington Street, Dedham, MA, right opposite the Kikuyama Japanese Steakhouse. John is also a Death Race participant in 2011 and an Amesbury Spartan Sprint finisher!
If you have any problems finding the location, call 617-817-7447!