Thursday, 18 April 2013

Spartan Race Preparation Tips

When the going gets tough, the tough Toughen Up!
1. 3+ Miles - 5km Assault course
2. Multi terrain course: Fields, Concrete, Tarmac, Woodland, Rivers, and Bogs, not including 15 + obstacles.
3. Rope Swings, Cargo Nets, Fire, Ice Baths, River Crossings, Monkey Bars, 12ft Walls… you name it, this course will most probably have it.

If you are training to complete a Spartan Race and think you are going to complete it with relative ease because you can ace a half marathon with a degree of ease, then think again! Cardiovascular conditioning is a significant element, but not your only concern. This course will challenge your body to climb or crawl over, under, around or through various obstacles whilst at the same time coping with some tricky terrain and the mental doubt of “can I complete this” ringing in your ears.

Forget L.S.D (Long slow duration) cardio, it’s all about the use of sprints and hill sprints for complete conditioning. It is important to also focus on increasing functional strength and agility using push-ups, pull-ups, dips and squats – essentially compound exercises utilising multiple muscle groups at once.
Ideally you want to picture the event in your mind, the obstacles involved and they types of terrain you’re going to encounter. Use the videos on the Spartan website as part of your plan for how you are going to train and hopefully conquer this event.

You want to picture the event in your mind, the obstacles involved and the types of terrain your going to encounter.
Fundamentally, endurance, grip strength, power to bodyweight and flexibility/agility is what’s required. The way the courses are set up, they are designed with a stop start pattern. High intensity exercises, followed by well spaced runs through varying terrain .
When formulating your plan of action don’t forget to try and stick to a hybrid type workout whereby you tag explosive weight training such as kettle bell swings/presses with short and sharp sprints, possibly even with a weighted back pack for extra authenticity!
The stop start nature of this event demands that you are well versed in using high-energy demands followed by short rest periods. Adapting to this scenario will stand you in good stead for Spartan Race Day.

Remember having a decent level of fitness to start with is great. As a minimum I would suggest being able to do a straight 3 mile run non-stop in a fairly decent time. However it will be those event specific skills that you will need to hone that will enable you to hang, climb, lift and balance your way across those tricky obstacles that will make you a contender to finish and not just another statistic or casualty that didn’t complete it!

And remember to Toughen Up!