Hello NorCalers! NorCalSpartan here (aka Mateo Café, aka Get Your Fitness On, aka Massive Glutes, the list goes on…. you get the picture). This article is about getting ready to do your first ever Spartan Race. Don’t know what a Spartan Race is? Watch this badass video Spartan Race made to learn all about it before continuing on:
Your fired up now! F@$& ya! Aroo! Aroo! Now that you know what Joe De Sena, Founder and CEO of Spartan Race has in store for you, it’s time to sign up for your first race…Wait a minute there Spartan! First, you need to know the different varieties of races that they offer. Here is the list of the 4 most popular:
Spartan Sprint- 3-5 miles + 20-23 Obstacles
Spartan Super- 8-10 miles + 24-29 Obstacles
Spartan Beast- 12-14 miles + 30-35 Obstacles
Spartan Ultra Beast- 26+ miles + 50+ Obstacles
Now we know the distances, let’s talk Terrain and Obstacles. Each course and race offers different variety of challenges that each Spartan racer must overcome.
Terrain is always different depending on the location and climate of the region. Spartan Race typically goes to locations that offer multiple areas of challenges when it comes to terrain. Long hilly courses are a must when it comes to the selection of their races. You will run lots of them! Some courses will be hot, cold, wet, and anything else that can add to the suck factor. They are always looking for ways to take you out of your comfort zone when it comes to location.
Obstacles in each of the races are different as well. They have some staples that you will always see: mud pits, barb wire crawls, wall climbs, heavy carries (Bucket, Sandbag, Atlas Stone), a variety of rope obstacles (Rope Climb, Tyrolean Traverse, Herculean Hoist), the infamous Spear Throw, and monkey bars/rigs. Depending on the length of the race will be how many you will be exposed to. Many of the obstacles in Spartan Race have a burpee penalty if you cannot overcome them (many of which you only get 1 attempt to complete). And that penalty is steep, 30 to be exact for each one not completed that must be done on the spot in a penalty area near the obstacle!
Don’t let those burpees or distances scare you! True Spartan warriors Prepare for Glory! If you train the obstacles and build a running base you can limit or eliminate the possibility of death by burpee or a leg cramp from various distances…
What’s the best way to train to be a Spartan God or for your first race? Glad you asked! Well it depends. I find there are 3 levels of Spartan Warriors.
- Spartan Elite Warrior–
- This Spartan God is extremely dedicated to their training and hits the gym and trail on a regular basis 3-5 times a week for each activity!
- Spartan Weekend Warrior–
- This Spartan Warrior has a busy schedule, but can make it into the gym 3-4 times a week and might hit a run once a week.
- Spartan Wannabe Warrior–
- This Wannabe Warrior thinks it would be cool to be a Spartan God, but isn’t serious when it comes to the work it takes to win a battle…
Depending on your level of commitment (Spartan Warrior Level) and distance of race most Warriors of any level can complete the course…but that doesn’t necessarily say how well they will do in the race. If you want to be competitive and win your age group, or stand on that podium with the other Spartan Gods, you have to take your training seriously. There is legitimate money in this sport now, and those guys and gals work their tails off!
If you just want to complete your first race you still need training to minimize the amount of pain you will go through. I am going to be honest here; these races are brutal and demanding. They will test your body and your mind. You will be pushed, but if you are ready, it will be totally worth it when you realize your potential and what you are capable of!!!! Often times most Spartan Warriors will be hooked and want to get others to do the next race with them.
Let’s get back to talking training for that first race. If you haven’t figured it out yet, you need to get into the Gym and on the Trail to get prepared for the trials that lay ahead. Spartan Race has many obstacles that require grip, carry, pulling, and leg strength. Those are the primary things you need to focus on in the Gym. This will include: carries, rope work, squats, pull ups, burpees etc.
It will also require some time on the Trail. Depending on the length of race you choose, you need to get your ass of that gosh dang couch and run! There’s no way around it, Spartan Race is that, a trail running race (minus the Stadium Races they do, but guess what? They still make you run!).
Now that you have a general idea of what you need to do to work towards your destiny to become 1 of the 3 levels of Spartan Warrior, you need to pick a Spartan Race (Sprint, Super, Beast, or the deadly Ultra Beast) location and date! You can head to www.spartan.com and sign up for your first race! If you put code “FINISH10” at checkout you can get 10% off. I highly recommend you sign up for the “Open” division if this is your first race, even if you are fit as S%&@ and think you fall in the Spartan Elite Warrior level…
Don’t want to train alone in the gym? Don’t know how to program for your training based on your savageness? Don’t worry! NorCal Strength and Conditioning has you covered! Our Spartan Training Classes are the best way to get ready for the Spartan Race season and your first race to glory! Don’t believe me? Check out these testimonials from our NorCal Spartans: Team NorCal, Tyler Boyle, Whitney Thomas, Alex Waite, Kristen Meyer.
They start next week on Feb. 21st and are on Tuesday/Thursday at 9 AM (Marysville/Chico) and 5:30 PM (Marysville)/ 6:30 PM (Chico). Don’t live in Marysville or Chico? We still got your covered! You can join us Online and do the exact same programming we are!
What are you waiting for? Now that I have you amped get your ass to the gym or trail and build up your Spartan Warrior levels!!!