Three, Two, One, Go! The Spartan Race Training Begins! Also, How Crazy Can Valentine’s Day Get?

So my first ever Super Spartan race is officially 17 weeks away… I can’t tell you enough how excited and nervous I am! As some of you may already know, I started running only in summer 2013. No wonder, I am worried about successfully completing *meaning, finishing with the mid of the pack* an 8+ mile mud race with up to 20 obstacles! I mean, who wouldn’t? Haha!

And I can’t believe it’s already the end of January! Wasn’t New Years just yesterday?! THE TIME IS FLYING! And this means that I have to really refocus and start training seriously and smart. Seriously because I want to enjoy the race and perform well, and smart because I want to avoid injuries and concentrate on the game plan that will prepare me for the race in the best way possible!

Train Smart

Source

According to You’ll Know at the Finish Line: A Spartan Guide to the Sport of Obstacle Training by Joe Besena and Andy Weinberg, ‘Anyone training to finish a Super should be able to run up to ten miles comfortably and should mix in strength training a few days per week.’

There are a few things that I should be focusing on:

  • Endurance: LSD (Long Slow Distance) training;
  • Running Downhill: Since running downhill requires ‘braking’, it causes the muscles to contract which in turn leads to muscle damage. Running downhill on a regular basis makes muscles ‘accustomed’ to eccentric contractions and, therefore, more resistant to injury;
  • Building Strength: Body-weight circuits & lifting;
  • Learning to Stay Hydrated: It may seem like a natural thing; however, BELIEVE YOU ME, I am really not good at it and will need to experiment with different hydrating and fueling strategies.

Staying hydrated funny

I decided to use a 12-week Super Spartan training guide to get ready. I will try to follow it as closely as possible; however, because I have extra 5 weeks, I will be adjusting it to my fitness level as I see fit.

Today the program asks for the following:

45-minute trail run; every 10 minutes find a rock or a log and lift it for 10 reps, performing arm curls, shoulder presses, and squats. Add 5 reps each time so that you finish your last set with 25 reps for each exercise. 

if it excites you

In my case, I will have to use a treadmill *I am not quite ready to run in freezing temperatures yet, DUH!* and will most likely use some sort of weights *You weren’t seriously thinking I would bring a log or a big rock to the gym, right?! Oh, c’mon guys! Gimme a break! Haha!*

Anywhoooo! This is the plan!

On a lighter note though, I’ve got a cool Infographic for you. Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and I wanted to get the conversation going!

Valentine's Day Infographics

Source (unknown): Pinterest

I mean, REALLY?!?! Sending yourself flowers?! I don’t know, maybe a friends’ mutual ‘flower sending exchange’ would work & feel better?!

Now it’s your turn! Have you ever trained for an obstacle race? Do you have any tips that you think would help me in my journey? Also what are your biggest and best ‘WHAT THE HELL?!?!?!’ Valentine’s day moments? Let’s start this week off with a nice giggle!

xoxo
Olena

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19 Comments

Filed under Fitness, Holidays

19 responses to “Three, Two, One, Go! The Spartan Race Training Begins! Also, How Crazy Can Valentine’s Day Get?

  1. You’re going to rock your training – I think you’re approaching it all the right ways by making sure you can handle the distance, stay hydrated, and mix in strength! And the thought of bringing a rock or log to the treadmill made me laugh!

  2. I think this sounds like a great training plan – realistic and it’ll get you where you need to be. Do you do any rock climbing? That might be a good thing to incorporate every few weeks?

  3. The whole Valentine’s Day thing … I think is sad. For so many years we did many traditional things, but after the kids came along we started including them in plans, then to avoid the over-charge and stress we stopped so many flowers and dinners out and instead turned it much more personal. The level of expectations and pressure around Valentine’s Day makes it one of the least romantic days – because their are few things less sexy IMO than doing something because of obligation or a mark on the calendar!

    • Hi Michael! I totally agree. People tend to forget to cherish little things, and remember those only when they are lost. We have to reminded of this every day: to love, appreciate and value those who are close to outr hearts! xoxox

  4. My friend and I once signed up for a mudder/obstacle race and we would practice the monkey bars on my kids’ playset outside—-I’m sure the neighbors were getting a good laugh! P.S. we weren’t very successful on those monkey bars 😉

    • Haha! I can only imagine! I was used to be soooooo good at climbing monkey bars, even those ones that go uphill and then downhill, even older guys kept on staring at me, but that was like 15-20 years ago.. Oh God, I feel old now :)))) But thanks for reminding, there are indeed monkey bars as one of the obstacles. I should find them somewhere in the neighborhood too, let some passerbies lengthen their lives by laughing at me 😀 xoxo

  5. Looks like a fun way to do a run, but pretty difficult too. Good luck, I’m sure you’ll do great with your training 🙂

  6. Those races look fun! I’ve never done so no advice but I think the running portion isn’t the difficult part from what my friends have said so just keep training all that other stuff the best you can! My husband and I ignore Valentines which isn’t super romantic but it’s so arbitrary, and falls just a bit after the holidays and before my birthday and our anniversary so it wold be celebration overkill for us haha.

  7. Good luck with the Spartan Race! I’m not sure what the length is of the one you are participating in, but speaking from experience in completing Tough Mudder last summer, do not skimp on running practice! The Tough Mudder course was nearly 20km, which left a few km of running in between obstacles. We spent so much time focusing on strength training, general cardio and tabata style workouts, that where we really got our butts handed to us was during the runs between obstacles. Not to say we didn’t practice running, but running along on the pavement or nice trails is not nearly the same as running on crazy mountain paths with a lot of rocks and uneven ground, and our bodies sure felt the difference! You have lots of time to prep though, I’m sure you will rock it 🙂

    – Veronica

    • Thanks for the feedback Veronica! I’m planning on doing the Trifecta. So I need to complete 3 races: 5+, 13+ and 20+ km this year. The 20+ race is in July, so I should have plenty of time. I’m also looking forward to spring to start running on trails which should be better given the nature of the race 🙂 xoxo

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  9. I would LOVE to try an obstacle run one day! Sounds fun, good luck lady!

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