Training For A Spartan Beast & Managing Glycogen Levels


First of all, Happy Memorial Day to my dear American readers and fellow bloggers! I hope you’re enjoying the long weekend. I must admit, I’m slightly jealous just because long weekends rock. I know, I know, I had mine a week ago, but MORE long weekends never hurts, right?!

That being said, I had a wonderful weekend! I feel so refreshed and full of energy, and it’s a wonderful feeling.

happy Monday


A little bit about my weekend…

Bella was probably the happiest doggy out there. She was super happy to be united with her mommy and daddy *a.k.a. us* and get all attention at her. Here is her playing at a doggy park.

at a doggy park


To make things better, I had a nice and easy Spartan workout in the park yesterday morning. Here is what it looked like.

Warm up: 2 km easy

25 push-ups
25 squats
20 mountain climbers

Run 1 km slightly faster

10 squat jumps
25-meter lunge walk
10 lunge jumps
20 flutter kicks
10 side-to-side hops

*had to run here some more but didn’t so as I can ease back into training*

25 push-ups
25 squats
20 mountain climbers

*another run that didn’t happen*

10 squat jumps
25-meter lunge walk
10 lunge jumps
20 flutter kicks
10 side-to-side hops

Cool down: Stretches

In the evening: 500 Ab workout

Cute little remark… Look who was snooping on me! He was clearly disturbed by all huffing and puffing that was going on under the scorching sun.

This little gopher looked so grumpy, I couldn’t help but laugh!

The workout felt great and I am motivated more than ever! The timing couldn’t be any better either because my big race is in July, and I really have to push myself harder than ever. *I decided to focus on training for the Spartan Beast> It should be enough to complete the Spartan Sprint in June.*

training for a Spartan Beast

Training requirements:

  • Running/hiking a minimum of 3 days/week,
  • Cross training and/or strength training 3 days/week,
  • Effective and well-established nutrition plan + refueling that works best for me,
  • Build up the stamina to tolerate at least 3-5 hours of intense physical activity

The Spartan training guide brings up the importance of understanding and managing glycogen.


Folks who are training for marathons and ultramarathons are very familiar with this concept. If it’s the first time you hear about it, nothing to be worried about. It is fairly simple, as Runner’s World put it, When you run, your body burns a mixture of carbohydrate and fat. Your body stores carbohydrate as glycogen in your muscles and liver (the fitter you are the more you store), which is broken down to glucose as needed. The harder you run, the more carbohydrate you use. As your glycogen stores become progressively more depleted during a run, your body conserves what’s left by relying more on fat. Because fat is about 15 percent less efficient than carbohydrate as an energy source, when you run low on glycogen you slow down.


According to the guide, there are 2 strategies that can be used to fight glycogen depletion:

  1. Train Low, Compete High: involves training in a glycogen-depleted state (training on an empty stomach, performing HIT prior to a LSD workout, training on a chronically low carbohydrate diet). Advantage: improvement in fat metabolism during exercise. Disadvantage: the effectiveness of training may decrease. Suggestion: “If you decide to try this strategy, it is advisable to train in a glycogen-depleted state for less than 50% of your total training time.”
  2. Very low carbohydrate diet in 2 weeks leading up to a competition: “During the last three days of the two-week period, you would switch back to a high-carbohydrate diet which then will cause glycogen levels to rise 50% over normal levels.” Disadvantages: irritability, weakness ans immune system suppression.

to run or not to run


What is your favorite strategy when you train for a long race?



Filed under Fitness, Health, Motivation

15 responses to “Training For A Spartan Beast & Managing Glycogen Levels

  1. I’ve only trained for long running races so the key is just lots of miles, lots of time on your feet. The long, easy run is crucial. I’m actually trying to incorporate 1 day of running on an empty stomach (on short runs!) each week and then move up to 2. I’ve never done it before but I’ve heard good things about it helping in longer races.

  2. absgoldberg

    Carb cycling can be a little confusing if you try to cut a couple weeks before the race and then carb load right before because there’s always the risk of timing it wrong. In general I just like to eat a little carb heavier for a day or two before a race. Your training should do a pretty good job teaching you to store more glycogen.

  3. Oh my gosh, I want to see a grumpy gopher!! How adorable!! I love all grumpy animals!! They’re just so cute!! Hehe!! Nice workout,too!!! You work very hard!!! Have a fantastic day!!!

  4. I love the pics of your dogs,they always put a smile on my face!! When training for long races, my biggest strategy is to make sure I am well hydrated and lots of foam rolling!

  5. Pingback: 30-Day Spartan Team Workout Challenge + 5 Fun Partner Running Workouts | candies & crunches

  6. I’m also training for a Beast race in October. Was looking for carb loading advice when I came across your blog. Thanks for the info!

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