[Editor’s Note: In December, Spartan Jason Jaksetic is off to compete in one of the world’s most elite races, the EpicMan Triple Ironman (http://www.active.com/triathlon/honolulu-hi/epicman-challenge-2011).  In this blog he writes about how Spartan Race is the ideal platform to take yourself from couch potato to bad-ass athlete.  Here is his story of going from utter newb to aspiring Triple Ironman.]

jjSpartan Race offers something to racers that no other obstacle race does:  a systemic approach to go from your couch to the world’s most extreme race.

Seven years ago, I started with a 5k St. Patty’s Day Run.  (Spartan Race wasn’t around.  If it was, I would have been there for sure.)  This 5k run was all about the free beer for me.  I didn’t even have athletic socks or shoes – I went out and covered the course in ratty Converse and plaid socks.

Tomorrow, I’m leaving for Hawaii to compete in the prestigious EpicMan Triple Ironman (http://www.active.com/triathlon/honolulu-hi/epicman-challenge-2011).  It’s invitation only.  7.2 mile swim, 336 mile bike, and 78.6 mile run – without stopping

Between the 5k and Triple Ironman I did my first marathon and then first Ironman.  Then I tacked on my first Ironman World Championship and Ironman 70.3 World Championship qualifications.

jj2Last month I took fifth overall in my first Double Ironman.

It’s all about progression.  You don’t just go from beer runs to triple Ironman without some bumps in the road.

Like DNF’ing my first 150 mile run (Peak Races) and dropping out of the Death Race.  Yes, I failed on the Death Race.  (I can attest to The Death Race being more difficult than a double Ironman, and will let you know about how it compares to EpicMan in January.)

You need to visualize realistic goals and put it on the line to get there.

Spartan Raceis probably the best race series in the planet because it has built into its structure a step by step goals to becoming a legitimate badass.

Working with Spartan Race and going to events I’m amazed at the people achieving things they never thought possible.  They get hooked by doing theirfirst Spartan Sprint.  It’s like a gateway drug.  From there they can build fitness and confidence as they tackle a Super Spartan and then Spartan Beast.  And, hell, maybe step up to the Death Race.  It’s all there for the taking.  Spartan Race is just asking for people to step up.

As an elite athlete I have the following to say:  there is nothing elite about me.  I’m just like you.  I’m the guy in Converse and plaid socks still.  I just took endurance racing for a ride.  I really wish I had Spartan Race to help me along the way – it would have helped!

I encourage everyone to push themselves by signing up for what might seem beyond their capabilities.  You will get there.  I invite you to join me in this.  Hell, I invite you to come on out and race the EpicMan with me.  If you think you are qualified to race there are still spots for eligible athletes.  Just contact them.  Sign up for a Spartan Sprint or sign up for the Death Race.  Either way, push yourself and rise up in the structure of bad-ass that Spartan Race embraces.

Jason Jaksetic is a professional endurance athlete, fitness coach, and consultant for Spartan Race.  He can be contacted at JasonJ@SpartanRace.com.  While in Hawaii he will be working with Hawaii Spartans to bring them a race.  Speak up if you want a race!  We are serious about bringing them to you.  Home grown efforts have already brought a race to Indiana!

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by Carrie Adams

168637_1888033484512_1351697261_32224619_4752253_nSpartan Race’s email/database guru and overall rad guy, Jason Jaksetic is heading off this weekend to compete in a Double Ironman in Virginia.  Yes, double Ironman triathlons exist.  As if a single were not enough!  There’s triples and Deca’s but that’s for another day.  One of Spartan’s Founders and Death Race Race Director Andy Weinberg will also be competing. 

Interesting, though, is that this double Ironman triathlon is Jason’s warm up for a triple ironman distance triathlon this December called EpicMan where he will attempt to swim 7.2 miles, bike 336 miles, and run 78.6 miles.  Non stop – before the 60 hour time limit expires on New Years.

Jason has just announced that he will be racing EpicMan in order to benefit the Pittsfield Hurricane Relief Fund for his beloved town of Pittsfield that was so devastated by Hurricane Irene.  You may remember our coverage of Pittsfield on this blog which is also home of Spartan Race and the Death Race.

We wish Jason and Andy luck on their journey this weekend! 

The follow was posted in his blog that can be found at www.JasonJaksetic.com

I am wrapping up my season, and 2011 too, for that matter, with what might be the greatest Triathlon spectacle I’ve heard of since I was first captivated by the Ironman World Championships at the fable location simply termed “Kona”.  The privilege of participating in EpicMan on December 29th, still keeps me up in night in anticipation.

7.2 mile swim, 336 mile bike, and a 78.6 mile run.  Non Stop.  On the island of Oahu.  The cut off time…New Years – 60 hours after the start.  24 competitors to throw down and see who can get it done first.

Getting to the starting line of this event will be in no small part owed to the town of Pittsfield, Vermont where I have lived and trained all of this 2011 season.  And as I exit 2011 and head to 2012 I want to give something back to the town that stood vigil over my runs through the mountains.  The community here is something deeper than I’ve known elsewhere.  And this showed most prominently when Pittsfield was recently struck by Hurricane Irene.

I still pass the collapsed houses and properties on my rides and runs.  I still can’t ride without considerable detours and construction plaguing the trip.  I’ve seen resolve and strength in the people of Vermont that far outshines anything that I’ve encountered.  I am in admiration.

This is why I will be competing in EpicMan to raise money for The Pittsfield Hurricane Relief Fund, www.pittsfieldhurricanerelief.org, in an effort to help this town to which I owe so much.

So as I head into the Double Ironman this weekend in VA and as I ready for Epicman in December I am going to continue to point everyone to: www.pittsfieldhurricanerelief.org.  There was an outpouring of support immediately after the hurricane, but this needs to continue.  Just like an extreme endurance event, focus and persistence are required.  We still have a long way to go to get back to where we were.

This is why I’m dedicating my racing of Epicman to raising money for www.pittsfieldhurricanerelief.org. Please contribute directly on that site or contact me as JasonJ@SpartanRace.com if you can help in any other way.


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by Brian Ansley

epicman challengeRecently, I was provided the unique opportunity to speak with one of the most inspiring athletes of our time.  His name is Jason Lester.  Aside from being one of the greatest athletes alive, Jason is also an author, coach, public speaker and founder of the Never Stop Foundation.  Jason spoke with me from his training grounds in Hawaii, which is also where he currently lives.  Originally from Phoenix, Arizona, he moved to Manhattan Beach, California at the age of sixteen after getting into racing.

The first thing I noticed about Jason was how humble he was about all of hisjason lest achievements.  He said, “The reason I do it is to inspire others.”  Jason also helps to spread his inspiration through his coaching programs.  “I don’t [coach] to make money”, he said, and continued, “I do it to share the experience with others.”

As a public speaker, Jason has presented to Microsoft, universities, elementary schools, charity organizations, triathlon clubs in addition to many other instititutions.  Last August, Jason also published his first book entitled “Running on Faith.”  This book demonstrates to his readers how he overcame his hardships and pushed forward to achieve his aspirations in life.

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by Jason Jaksetic and Carrie Adams

Spartan Race is known, in part, for our challening WOD series (Workout of the Day).  We combine, speed, strength, endurance, and agility that is a well-rounded training approach.  In an effort to show you how we eat our own cooking, we embarked on a journey about 30 days ago to see how two very different athletes manage the Spartan WOD’s for 30 full days in a serie we called “He says, She Says.”. Carrie Adams aka Shawty Spartan and Jason Jaksetic aka the Barn Beast got to work for 30 days bringing you the play by pay.  Here’s the wrap up and list including an epic soundtrack!   Get some, Spartans!  To sign up to receive them directly in your inbox go to www.spartanrace.com/wod.

This 30 days is a great program to get you either in fighting shape, get you ready for a race (Carrie and Jason both had races during their 30 days) or off the couch and feeling better.  We each have individual goals, different terrain, equipment, etc.  Do what you can to make it work and push yoursevles!  Send us your videos and pictures of you going through the challenge and getting Spartified and get signed up for a race!

She says: There comes a time in your life when you have what you want or you have excuses and reasons why you don’t.  If you haven’t started, start today.  If you have been training, go further, faster, and push harder.  Whatever it takes.

He says: Always go too far, because that’s where you’ll find the truth

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[Editor’s note: We are furiously compiling the WOD 30 day challenge into one post so you can have all of our workouts in one place!  We’ll be gearing up another 30 day challenge soon!]

by Jason Jaksetic and Carrie Adams


WOD w/u jog
10 pull ups
50 squats (body weight, sand bags, or weights)
50 burpees
Repeat 3 to 5 times


I have to say, my upper body has changed physically quite a bit since we started.  I still have to work on the pull ups but I am really noticing my strength has improved and my upper body shape has changed.  My arms are getting pretty ripped.  I LOVE IT.

Soundtrack: “I Got ID” by Pearl Jam

He says: “Death Race. Death Race. Death Race.  That’s all I can thin about.”

I cracked this one out pretty quick.  I’m staying focused on June 24th.  I have some other big races coming up soon (you’ll hear more about that soon) but for now it’s all Death Race all day.

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by Jason Jaksetic and Carrie Adams

100 push-ups
100 burpees
25 pull ups
5 minute plank
(for time)
Stretch everything out
Do 2 or 3 sets if desired

She says: “My T-Rex arms are gaining some ground!”

I did two sets!  Pull-ups are still kicking my butt so I did most of them assisted.  I also did 20 minutes on the stair climber.  I hate that sucker, but it’s giving me some great results.  Love it!

Soundtrack: “Good Day to Die” by Godsmack

He said:  ”Finally feeling half way normal.  Finally got last weekend’s race out of the legs.”

Nothing amazing here on my part.  Once through.  Really just wanted to get to the stretching!  Looking to go really big this weekend in prep for Death Race so I need to stay tame for now.

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by Jason Jaksetic and Carrie Adams

WOD: “Everyone thinks his own burden heavy.” -French proverb
1) Weight up (Jason fills back packs with rocks, Carrie prefers sand bags)
2) Find gnarly terrain. (Stair climber works too)
3) Go have fun for 1 hr. Don’t worry about distance. Repeat tough sections till you cry, or breath deep and enjoy a nice mountain walk. Just weight up, is all!

She says: “The stair climber is my bitch.  Well, not quite, but it will be when I’m done!”

This WOD turned into a crazy training day for me!  I’m training for a race in the Rockies in August and so I am hitting the stair climber every day!  The people at my gym think I’m nuts  I load up my backpack with about 40 pounds and did 40 minutes alternating between 70 and 80 steps a minute.  Then (while still wearing the backack) I carried 20 lbs. in each hand for a half mile and did 10 steps ups every 100m.  Then I ran a mile with no weight on my back.  Then I climbed BACK on the stair climber for another 20 minutes.  When I was done, I did a half mile in the pool SLOWLY to recover.  It felt amazing.  Tomorrow I assume I’ll hate my life tomorrow.  Love it.

Soundtrack: “Crazy Bitch” by Buckcherry

He says: “Gnarly trail running?  You kidding me?  Barn Beast owns this mountain.”

I found some pretty technical sections of my mountain to run on.  Rocks are becoming a regular fixture in my running program.  After a 53 mile race, this run felt relaxing and fun.  I’m looking ahead to the Death Race at the end of the month.

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by Jason Jaksetic and Carrie Adams


8 rounds
1 mile run
10 pull ups
10 push ups
20 crunches

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by Jason Jaksetic and Carrie Adams

The Katya (Includes Soundtrack)

Johnny Cash “God’s Gonna Cut You Down

Placebo “Running Up That Hill

Awolnation “Sail

Warm Up 10 minutes of 80 lb. sand bag Turkish Get-ups
Three rounds for time:
RUN a 50lb. sand bag out 250 meters sprint back
21 – wall burpees
15 – pull ups
9 – sand bag squat cleans
Rotate the order of burpees, pull ups, and squat cleans each round.
c/d run 2 miles

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by Jason Jaksetic and Carrie Adams


The USMC Physical Fitness Test
w/u run a mile
Pull ups until you drop (Spartan women too no flexed arm hang)
Crunches in two minutes
Three mile run – for time.
c/d run another mile
Not enough? Do it again.

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