Monday, 12 January 2015
Sunday, 12 October 2014
It took me nearly 5 hours of cursing, grimacing, hopping and being offered help by many amazing racers to make it around the course.
A big thanks to everyone that helped drag me out of bogs, ditches and offered me support (as they ran past).
It was all worth it as I crossed the finish line a member of the Trifecta family, having completed the Spartan Race Sprint, Super and Beast in one race season.
Saturday, 4 October 2014
Obstacle course medal hanger has arrived.
Now I just have to complete the Spartan Beast and claim my Trifecta.
'just, have to...'
It seemed like a good idea, 10 months ago when the training began. Now with a week to go and reality dawning, it's more than a little scary.
"Legs don't fail me now".
Wednesday, 6 August 2014
Thursday, 12 June 2014
There are lots of reasons why you decide to do something that will challenge you mentally and physically.
- Reducing body fat
- Testing your fitness
- To focus your traininng
- Overcome adversity
- Challenge yourself to something extraordinary....
The prospect of entering your first obstacle course race is a great motivational tool that will get you off your couch, focused on your training and make positive life changes.
Will I be able to finish the race?The Spartan Sprint is a 5k muddy ostacle course with 10 or more obstacles. This is an excellent starting point in obstacle course racing. Participants range from marathon runners, elite racers, tough guys and gals to first timers with little or no previous fitness experience. Elite runners tend to finish the course in about 45 minutes whilst absolute beginners with a low level of fitness can expect to take 2.5 hours.
What training do I need to do?
For the Spartan Sprint, race participants should aim for at least 3 training sessions a week.
For the Spartan Super or Spartan Beast you will need 5 training sessions a week covering total body strength, functional movement, flexibility and endurance.
- A long run of approximately 8k or 5 miles
- Hill runs and sprint circuits
- Total body training with an emphasis on the upper body and core strength.
Women especially need to focus on upper body strength training as they are generally weaker in this area.
Performing exercise circuits that work the arms, shoulders, chest, back and core muscles will prepare you for the demands of the obstacles.
Devise a circuit that includes exercises such as: explosive press ups, tricep dips, inverted pull ups, jump or assisted pull ups, medicine ball slams, shoulder press, wood chops and hanging knee raises.
Doing total body functional exercises such as burpees, bear crawls, crab and gorilla walks helps to greatly strenghen the body, increase your fitness and flexibility.
Don't like running? - then crawl
People are put off from entering races because they hate running. I fully understand this hatred of pounding the pavement or even worse clocking up the miles on a treadmill. I tend to put the headphones on and run through the leafiest green space I can find.If this doesn't appeal you can still get your leg training done so you are ready for race day. There are numerous exercises you can do that will help you develop the kind of leg strength necessary to overcome the muddy hill runs. Try and add some of these into your routines:
- squats and jump squats
- lunges, pulsing lunges and split lunges
- mountain climbers and squat thrusts
- Step ups
- To increase the difficulty of these exercises hold a medicine ball/, dumbbells or wrist/ankle weights whilst performing them.
What obstacles will there be?
Spartan Race are very secretive about the obstacles in upcoming races and course maps are not made available to participants before race day. The main stay obstacles are the hills, rope climb, monkey bars, hills, barbed wire crawl, wall climbs, hills, cargo net climb, spear throw, did I mention the hills?
It is beneficial to practice floor movements such as the bear crawl, rolling and crab walk and to train for pulling, pushing, lifting, throwing, crawling, climbing and hanging.
If you fail to complete an obstacle you will have to undergo the Spartan Race penalty.
Scared of getting hurt
The risk of injury can be greatly reduced by effective training. Increasing your balance/ stability, muscular strength and aerobic fitness. Spartan Race hold training camps across the country that will instruct you into how to safely prepare for and overcome the obstacles in any Spartan Race.
What clothes do I need to wear?If your wearing shorts go for light water-wicking shorts that have a drawstring waist tie. It is hard enough trying to drag yourself out of muddy bogs without your shorts halfway down your hips or thighs.
Compression tops and leggings keep you cool in hot weather and warm in the cold. The compressive nature of the materials also help to reduce muscular injury, limit swelling and reduces the time needed for muscles to recover following exercise. They will also protect you from the scratches and scrapes that can happen during crawling and climbing etc.
Gloves will protect your hands from chaffing on rope climbs, pushing and pulling obstacles as well as when you have to crawl across rough ground.
Opt for a pair of trail shoes will give you good traction, are light in weight and allow the water to quickly drain out of the shoe. This will help to stop you slipping down muddy banks, losing your footing on hill climbs and getting blisters.
Avoid cotton and pockets at all costs; cotton will act as a sponge and will become very heavy and pockets unless zipped shut will quickly be filled with water and mud.
What do I do now?The first races this year are not until August so there is still plenty of time to enter and get training.
- Register for your Spartan Race event and enter code 2toughenup during checkout to claim your 10% discount
- Book your place at a Spartan Race training camp. You will learn the three Spartan Training core elements, Spartan Race Fit…Spartan Race Safe…Spartan Race Ready.
- Subscribe to Spartan Race Workout of the Day and receive daily workout routines direct to your inbox.
- Get training
- Run your race, facebook your pictures, tell your friends and motivate others to get off the couch and change their lives for the better.
You’ll Know at the Finish Line. Sign up for a Reebok Spartan Race Today!
The Obstacles:I may end up missing some of the obstacles, but here are the ones that stood out:
- The race started with a jump into the Moats. Basically mud pits filled with water…
- We then had to jump a couple 6 foot walls, crawl under walls, and go through holes in walls…
- Then came the monkey bars…
- Possibly one of the most difficult obstacles was the 100 feet we had to crawl up an extremely muddy hill, under barbed wire the whole way! It was so muddy that you could not get good traction and the mud really held you back…
- There were numerous areas where we were trekking through the creek, falling into deep areas of water, climbing muddy mounds and then dropping into more water…
- There was an area where we had to jump two 6 foot walls, followed by a 7 foot wall, and then try to spiderman our way across a plywood wall with 2×4′s screwed to it…
- Then came the cargo net cross, climbing 30 feet up a cargo net, across a suspended cargo net, and back down the other side.
- Then came the slippery, muddy, rope climb.
- Followed by Spearman… Where we had to throw a spear into a bail of hay and make it stick.
- Then came the most difficult of trails, with extremely steep hills.
- There was a point where we had to drag a 35 pound block on a chain through a little loop course.
- We then had to use a rope and pulley to pull a weight 20 feet in the air and back down.
- Then came a grueling sand bag carry about 100 yards down a hill and then back up again…
- Tried our balance at the stump walk… No dice…
- More f**king hills… Followed by a dip back into some cold, muddy water… Which then led to a “victory run” around a lake.
- At this point I and two other guys on my team started getting cramps in our calves. It was almost the same exact time… The only thing I could think was the cold water, followed by the run started to make my calves cramp up…
- We then got around the lake and had to jump into 5 foot deep water, cross, and climb up a barbed slip wall.
- That then led to the famous “fire jump” and finished with a clash of the Gladiators who smack you with one of those giant q-tips from the American Gladiator show
Now, take that free beer ticket that they gave you upon registration AND GO DRINK A BEER! You have earned it…
They do have “showers” which is just a row of garden hoses and some VO5 shampoo…
Thursday, 6 March 2014
Sugar its all around us. An almost unoticed part of many of our daily meals
but there are increasing concerns that sugar is harming us.
It comes in different forms; such as sucrose naturally found in sugar cane and fructose naturally found in fruit.
Over the last century it has been deliberatley added to many foods. Lots of which you wouldnt expect,
from low fat spreads, salad dresssings, fizzy drinks and even some fruit juices. Experts have been concerned for some time that this gives us extra calories that we do not need.
Sugary food often contains lots of fat and other calorie rich ingredients too. The more excess calories we eat the more likely we are to become obese, and obesity is linked to heart disease, type 2 diabetes, cancers and other serious illnesses.
Increasingly it isn't just the calorie content in sugar that worries scientist, some say our bodies do not deal with all calories in the same way. The calories found in sugar may be more harmful than those found in some other foods.
A number of experts are concerned that the sugar we take in in liquid form may be dealt with in a different way to the sugar we get from whole fruit. The chemistry behind the quick spikes in blood sugar we get from things such as fizzy drinks, chocolates, sweets and cakes might in itself be linked to diseases such as type 2 diabetes.
People will be advised to halve the amount of sugar in their diet, under new World Health Organization guidance.
The World Health organization's recommended sugar intake will stay below 10% of total daily calorie intake, with a recommended target of 5%
The Director of Nutrition and Diet, Alison Tedstone, said "our surveys show that the UK population should reduce their sugar intake as average intake for adults is 11.6% and for children is 15.2%, which is above the 2002 recommendation of 10%