The Spartan Race series starts out with a 5k, you then work your way up through the Olympic distance (Super) then to the Ultra distance (our Spartan Beast). If you finish all 3 distances in the same year you have completed the Spartan Challenge. Step one is signing up. Step two is telling all your friends so you are on the hook, Step three is following our WOD’s and eating healthy!
Here is one Spartan’s way of getting prepared. Robert Decillis raced with us in Tuxedo, NY is racing in Boston as well as Staten Island in Septebmer. How are your getting ready for the Spartan Challenge?
by Robert Decillis
Unconventional physical challenges call for unconventional training methods. One does not approach an obstacle course race like the Spartan Race as they would a Sunday run in the park. If the challenge ahead is one of spontaneity, the unknown, dirt, uneven ground, fire, water and the sweat of the earth, then your training should be just as fierce.
Training for success in races that have earned the name Spartan takes both conventional as well as “off the beaten path” components. Carrying a bucket of rocks up a boulder filled mountain is not something that you can train for by hitting the stair-master or heavy weightlifting alone. The same machine may help you build stamina for part of that obstacle while the weight training will build useful strength and power. Now, adding some boulder carries on a sandy beach may add a third and priceless piece to your training.
The key is to be open minded, to listen and read, learn and heed the advice of those who have completed in these races victoriously as well as those who have professionally trained them. Pull as many training ideas as there are competitors from all fitness modalities who show up on race day with their A game.
When you are designing a training program there are a couple of things that you want to take into consideration. First, you want to design a program tailored to your specific needs, weaknesses and strengths. Second, you want to take into account how many days a week you have to train and add your recovery days into the program.
To insure this being done correctly when I design a training program I like to use a four-day template. A four-day template allows you to train for the varied aspects you will need during a race. A four-day week allows training for strength, power, endurance and what I like to call obstacle course training. Strength and power training is the base of your program. Using compound movements such as deadlifts, squats and cleans help you develop the amount of strength and power needed for efficiency in the more unconventional types of training needed for these races. Even adding your children into the mix of your training can make it more enjoyable avoiding conflicts in scheduling and teach your kids how to stay active.
Endurance training, both aerobic and anaerobic, should have a place in your program. Anaerobic sessions can be performed after strength an power training days. Aerobic sessions like long distance runs on trails should be a day of their own.
The last day of a program should be a day for unconventional training. More obstacle specific training like carrying rocks uphill or stadium stairs, training on the beach with logs or sprinting in the water, pulling and dragging sleds, running with five gallon buckets filled with water and creating your own obstacle course at the local playground can all serve as ways to enhance your training and take you to the next level in these events.
Training everyday can lead to overtraining. If you are over trained, you will not gain the benefits of your hard work and increase the likelihood of injury putting your training and racing on hold.
Remember, when you are competing in unconventional athletic feats, train unconventionally.