There comes a time when every weekend warrior thinks maybe I’m ready for an adventure race. Here’s your chance. At the end of this post, you can enter to win a free entry to a 2014 Spartan Race! Read on for some insight into what to expect in the obstacles, how to train, and all those useful and necessary details that help you make your decision about whether it’s for you.
“That is such an awesome race!!! I am already signed up – it’s probably one of my favorite races!” That was the unsolicited excitement that ensued when I asked my good friend Erin if I should do this Spartan Race giveaway. And she has been running a half marathon almost every month for years. As a vegan.
Vegans everywhere are dispelling the myth of the weak, sickly vegan. Heck, I belong to an active Facebook group called Vegan Ladies Who Lift which is – at the moment I posted this – 1,216 members strong and growing fast.
When I asked about the Spartan Race in there, I got some great advice from another vegan who has done several spartan races at three levels – sprint, super, and beast. (In my book, any race that calls itself beast is worth doing if just for bragging rights!)
What is the Spartan Race?
Basically, it’s an obstacle race which pairs distance running with strength based obstacles like monkey bars, jumping over mud pits, and flipping over tires.
Even though they are uber-challenging, the obstacles are not as crazy as those in Tough Mudder. That definitely appealed to me since I have no interest in getting shocked or jumping in a pool of ice water.
You can do it with a friend for “fun” or get serious and compete.
The Spartan Race has four levels: Sprint, Super, Beast, and Ultra Beast. If you’re in or near Vegas, we have a Super Spartan coming up on April 5th.
How hardcore is it?
Erin says, “It’s definitely a tough race. It was the hardest race I’ve done besides my marathon.”
See for yourself in this video straight from the Spartan’s mouth, so to speak:
Upcoming Spartan Races
Vegas Super Spartan – April 5th, 2014
Be able to run 10 miles comfortably. It says 8+ but… that’s the minimum and the race can turn out to be 12 miles. A great way to test yourself and a badge of honor!
Arizona Spartan Sprint – February 8th and 9th, 2014
3+ miles and 15+ obstacles, the lowest level of the races and a great one to get you started.
And Many More!
There are plenty of races scheduled this year (and month!) all over the U.S., Canada, and worldwide – go to the Spartan Race website for a full list.
Training for an Obstacle Race
I downloaded the free ebook on the Spartan Race website. It seems like a pretty comprehensive guide if you want to really delve in. It has a section on how to prepare for each race level, including full training plans. For the Super Spartan race, they say you can go from fit but non-runner to finishing the race in 12 weeks training time.
If you are a runner who doesn’t strength train, now is the time to start. Also add some HIIT to your workouts.
And intervals are key, according to my vegan contact who has several Spartan Races under her belt. Vary the length of your intervals and total distance from run to run. That’ll help you get in shape for the typical adventure race stop-and-go running peppered with obstacles.
It also doesn’t hurt to run some hills and trails when training. She said getting trail running shoes made a huge difference for her. She wears the Adidas Kanadia.
If you’re fit but not a runner:
Apparently, the running is broken up enough by obstacles that it’s not too rough. Erin said that when she ran it last year a lot of people were walking between obstacles. So you won’t be alone if you choose to compete for fun.
The most important thing to train for is overall endurance and strength for sure.
When Erin did her fist Spartan Race last year, one of the final obstacles was a rope climb and she couldn’t finish it. So she had to do burpees as a penalty. Since then, she has practiced on a rope in her gym so that this year she WILL climb the rope!
For another obstacle they had to get over a 8-10′ wall. They had a small booster ladder on the side, but there was a line. So Erin and her running partner worked together and he boosted her over.
She said all the obstacles were pretty challenging. They included going under walls, monkey bars, carrying sand buckets and bags, and things to jump over, pull, and climb. Do a quick YouTube search and you’ll find plenty of examples.
Remember, there’s always a way out if you can’t do an obstacle – 30 burpees as penalty. Which is a great incentive to put your back into it!
Win a Free Entry!!!
When I told Erin about this giveaway, she said “It’s expensive! A free entry is awesome!”
No joke. The entry fee for the Super is over $100 which makes it a serious commitment.
Enter to Win a FREE ENTRY* to your Spartan Race
*This free entry works one time for any open heat in any 2014 Spartan Race in the continental US. The winner is chosen randomly.
Or get a 15% discount
If you don’t feel like entering the raffle for the free entry or you didn’t win, pick up this free discount code for %15 off the race.
Now your turn. Have you ever done an obstacle race? What’s your best advice for the rest of us? If it’s your first, how will you train for it?