by Jess Murden

Some people say it’s a texture thing; other people say it’s the green coloring that deters them.  I say, get over it and start stocking up on avocado.  This weird-looking fruit actually provides some of the most essential nutrients that our body needs on a daily basis.

Avocados are native to Mexico, with the first evidence of avocado use dating back to 10,000 BC in a cave near Puebla, Mexico (reference to the Paleo Diet connection).  They tend to have a pear shape and are therefore sometimes referred to as an alligator pear.  The avocado is considered a fruit because it is a large berry that contains a large seed.  Avocados mature on trees but ripen off of the tree.

The average avocado tree produces roughly 500 avocados annually.  Thank the lucky caveman drawings for this because CrossFitters and Paleo Diet advocates alone eat enough avocados to keep the market on the up swing.  So let’s side track to the nutritional benefits.  Avocados are of the good fat family; meaning they are the kind of fat that a person should include in their diet.  Roughly 75% of an avocado’s calories come from fat (monosaturated fat, however; the kind of fat that has positive affects on health, such as lowering cholesterol).  They are also sodium and cholesterol free.

Avocados naturally contain the following vitamins:

Vitamin K – known as a clotting vitamin; it helps the body’s blood clot.

 

Vitamin E – acts as an antioxidant; it is also necessary for the formation of red blood cells.

 

Vitamin C – used in the growth and repair of tissues; it is also an antioxidant.

Vitamin B6 – helps the immune system produce antibodies; it also helps maintain normal nerve function.

Potassium – essential for the proper function of cells, tissues and organs; it is necessary for building muscle.

Avocado Fun Facts:

The word ‘avocado’ comes from the Nahuatl word ahuacatl, meaning testicle, a reference to the shape of the fruit.

Avocados were known by the Aztecs as the fertility fruit.

San Diego County is the avocado capital of the U.S.

Avocados contain more potassium than bananas

Avocados have the highest protein content of any fruit.

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image credit Stuart Gregory/Photodisc/Getty Immages

by Keith Grogg

Core strength training is a constant buzzword in the exercise industry. Basically turn your TV on at any time, day or night, and you’ll be able to find somewhere some device being advertised on one of the countless infomercials that promises to help you twist or wiggle, swing or stretch your way to a perfect six pack.

And yet try as one might with that little wheel rocking back and forth on the ground the results are indeed varied. Meanwhile many athletes seem to have a six pack without any of the infomercial gimmicks. This is because they understand that core strength is a whole body affair and not just about your abs. Yes you heard right.

CORE STRENGTH TRAINING ISN’T JUST ABOUT TRAINING YOUR ABS!

Your core region includes your back, your obliques, your pelvis, and all the muscles in between that work to stabilize your spine when you are in movement. All the potential physical energy your body produces is generated from your core. Yes young grasshopper, that means the key to your athletic power comes from your center.

If you want to build strong abs, try a workout that targets your core muscles together in harmony. Running is a great way to work your core, as long as you keep your back upright focusing on good posture.  You’ll use both your lower back and your abs to greater effect as your spine seeks greater stability.

If you are looking for a more direct approach to working your abs, try using a medicine ball. These little gems in the gym can help you work both your lower back and your abs through rotating motions, the way they would be used naturally in day-to-day life.

Working to build a strong core is important for the stability of your spine and can help you perform better at your next event. Try not to give into the hype of six pack abs being the end all measuring stick of physical fitness. If you work your core and have a low enough amount of body fat,  your six pack abs are there already.

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Editor’s Note:  When writing many of the WODs for the week I like to pick the brain of our Founder/CEO Joe Desena on the subject of training.  I am happy to introduce you to a weekly feature on our blog where then man behind Spartan Race gives it to you straight.  I hope you enjoy his insights as much as I do.  I began by asking Joe to write for me a WOD for a recovery day.  If, my Spartan friends, I could only convey to you the look I got at mere the suggestion of a day off… – Jason J 

People always say ‘stop and smell the roses’?  But smell the roses when you are planting, watering, or trimming them.

A Recovery WOD by Joe D

Rest is for when you’re dead.

Active recovery is the only recovery.  This means walk, get in a pool, do crunches in front of the TV…do something.

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Why Race?

by Jason Jaksetic

Timing mattered to me when I was an overweight, back-of-the-pack road runner at charity 5k’s.  If I was 63rd in my age group (AG) at the Turkey Trot, I damn well had better be 62nd at the St Patty’s Day Race.

Timing matter to me when I crossed the finish line at the 2006 Ironman World Championships.  I was competing for the amateur 18-24 AG win.  I wasn’t fast enough to get it.

I raced to be as fast as I could be.  And that was, and still is, good enough for me.  Because I’m still breathing.  I’m still racing.

Competition drives you.  Racing rewards you.

This is why when I transitioned out of triathlon into adventure, obstacle, and ultra-distance racing, I immediately gravitated to Spartan Race.  I couldn’t see focusing on events that wouldn’t push me by holding me accountable.  Just not my thing.

Spartan Race provides the clock, you can choose to use it or not.  Show up either way.

Racing gives you important data for improving.  Racing teaches you (if you can get over your ego) to examine why you came in last place.  That’s the only way to get better.  Isn’t it the same with losing weight.?  With changing your career?

This is why timing matters.  This is why you race and why the Spartan Points System is so beneficial for an athlete such as myself. Whether I’m competing for overall contention or my age group, or trying to win overall, I know the competition.  I always paid attention to my national rankings on USAT and USATF when raced there.

I really don’t believe in having to be the best.  I do believe in getting better.  That’s why as I’m gearing up for the Ultra Beast in September I’ll be watching the Spartan Rankings.

See you all out there.  Looking forward to racing you.

 

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Spoils of Victory

by Museum Replicas

Editors Note:  As we get ready for Conyers, GA tomorrow we’d like to give you this message from  Museum Replicas, who produces finisher awards for us!  Because of them our awards are the most incredible out of any race.  See you at the finish line!

 

Congratulations champion! You’re about to embark on the March 10th Georgia Spartan Sprint! And once you’ve finished the race and earned your victory medal, make the most of it with Museum Replicas.

For a limited time, any Spartan race participant who brings in their victory medal will get a special 10% discount on their choice of purchases. From helmets, to swords, knives, tomahawks and anything in between, the choice is yours! You just finished the incredibly challenging Spartan Sprint, treat yourself like a true warrior and save money doing it! Medal discount is valid until March 31st.

To victory!

like Museum Replicas on Facebook

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Bob Spartan

by Alec Blenis

(Editors note:  Alec Blennis was 4th in our Miami Super Spartan and this weekend he will being doing our Georgia Spartan Sprint with his entire family.  Thank you for submitting this, Alec!)

Start From Now

Crossing the finish line of the Georgia Spartan Sprint, exhausted, Bob Blenis glances at his medal, downs a cup of water, and hugs his family. “That reminded me of Quantico”, he exclaims, recalling his military training, “…just tougher”.  After driving 400 miles directly to the race, finishing was the easy part. Bob drives over 100 mile to work every day, typically working 60 hour weeks. He would get home at 5:00 or 6:00pm, but night time workouts often keep him out much later. Impressive?

 

Bob is 67 years old.

Since the Georgia event in March 2011, Bob has finished three Super Spartans and the Vermont Spartan Beast. He has even signed up for at least eight races this year.  So, what made Bob sign up for his very first obstacle race? “Family,” he says, and that’s what keeps him coming back. Bob believes Spartan Race is a great opportunity for families to have fun together. “I would never travel across the country just to run,” he says, “ but Spartan Races are different. You get to see new places, spend time with family, and meet some really great people.” Bob is pretty great too, and at 67 years old, he has been the oldest finisher at every race. He doesn’t take his age to seriously though. “I have lived nearly 68 years so far, and feel like I’ll live 68 more… [Spartan Race] is saving my life.”

Along with a desire to live a long and healthy life, Spartan Race has motivated Bob to train harder. He takes fitness classes at his local gym, goes to “boot camp” every Saturday morning, and runs after work, weather permitting. He takes no medication, just a multi-vitamin. “I exercise so I can eat what I want. I do eat mostly vegetables, but I exercise so I don’t have to watch what I eat.”  Whatever Bob is doing, it’s working. Not only has he been the oldest finisher at each of his Spartan Races, he’s finished respectably, outperforming more than half of his competition. In fact, he placed in the top 40% of all finishers in last weekend’s Super Spartan in Miami, Florida. He’s not trying to beat anyone though. Well, except for his daughter-in-law.

“A lot of people my age just sit around,” Bob says, “but I’m running Spartan Races and don’t plan on stopping any time soon.” Bob thinks too many people don’t participate because of age and that they’re really missing out on the fun. “Being able to associate with guys like Hobie Call is awesome… and spending time with my family is just great.”

With three generations of the Blenis family competing in Spartan Races, we’ll be seeing a lot of Bob and his family this year.

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Finisher medals are getting even better. Yes, it’s possible.

Nothing is more personal than the sweat and pain that go into earning a Spartan finisher medal.  So we decided that we wanted to give you the ability to personalize yours.

 

This is why at the Georgia Spartan Sprint this weekend we will be unveiling the new iTab system for Spartan Race finisher medals.

Your finisher medal tells a story that began when you decided to get fit and change your life till when you crossed the finish line a changed person.  iTab will help you document this journey with your ability to emblazon your medal with your finishing time and other info unique to your race.

As racers we understand the importance of a finisher medal in a way that our friends might not get.  We know you get it.

See you at the finish line.

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by Carrie Adams

Why build a Spartan Race Team in 2012? 

When it comes to Spartan Races… size matters.

clip_image002The bigger the better… teams that is. And YOURS can win big in 2012!

You can run a Spartan Race alone, but how else will your tales of scaling walls, leaping fire and dispatching Spartan gladiators wielding giant pugil sticks be told unless your friends are by your side? (Those same friends will know you started crying under the barbed wire, but that’s another story.) clip_image004

Running as a team makes it an incredible experience for everyone involved and there are obstacles you will want friends by your side.  You’ve seen our walls, right?  You will also enjoy having someone to hug and/or carry you off at the finish line.

DSC_7425Spartan is rewarding the biggest teams with some sweet prizes.

Here’s how it’s going down:

The Biggest Team at Each 2012 Event is eligible to win our Grand Prize and race for free in 2013. No special codes or complications required. Just sign up as a team when you register.

Grand Prize

The Team Captain of the biggest Team in 2012 gets travel expenses (airfare/ hotel) and race entry to EVERY Spartan Event in 2013.* That’s right. EVERY EVENT.

Don’t worry we’re spreading the love at each race. The biggest team at EACH race is winning big too.

  • · One FREE race entry per person for 2013 race
  • · VIP Treatment on Race Day
  • · Free entry into the Hurricane Heat

clip_image006* Captain does not have to attend every race, but can send one athlete in his/her place.  

** To be eligible you MUST be registered as a Team.  You don’t need to be in the same heat, just need to be on the same team roster when we close registration.  

The winning teams will be determined once registration closes and announced on race day. 2012 Grand Prize winner will be announced when registration closes for our final event in 2012.

So hit the gym, your office, your school, or the bar down the street… rip your friends and family off their couches and get signed up!

Discounts still apply, so you get to save some cold hard cash too!

Register as a Team Captain and add Team members, or Join an Existing Team! The more people you can get to join your team, the more money you will get in your pocket! Team rebates are as follows:

  • Teams of 4-15 members each receive a $5 rebate.
  • Teams of 16-29 members each receive a $10 rebate.
  • Teams of 30+ members each receive a $15 rebate.

Note: Rebate will occur at registration’s end and will be applied to the method of payment for that specific registration (i.e. whatever credit card you used).

Visit www.spartanrace.com for registration details.

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