A few months ago, I wrote an article about my first Spartan Race – where I went absolutely unprepared and without a team. But since then, I have improved a lot on this subject.
In the meantime, of course, I have reviewed my training program, I have learned from my mistakes, and I receive a lot of emails from you asking me for advice: you seem to sign up for a lot. your first Spartan … and then regret: p So I’m going to give you my 5 tips to prepare well for your first Spartan , so that it is a super fun and motivating experience, which makes you want to give your all to next !
1. Be Realistic about the goal to be achieved
If this is your first Spartan Race, and you are a regular athlete but not fierce, you have to accept that your first time will not be incredible . Most of you will just be aiming to finish the race – which is quite rational for a first – but some will want to set a time, go straight into the competition. My advice is to make it a ” to see “. It’s a very special effort, a very special atmosphere, and some will love and others hate, but you have to experience it to understand.
So we relax on the competitive side, and instead we think about what will follow.
2. Find out what to expect
Here we are on a “do what I say, not what I do” – I went first without wanting to look at the obstacles or build a team, because I was afraid… Except knowing what waiting for me would have helped me a lot to prepare! The official site is full of advice and videos of all kinds to know the obstacles and the best exos to prepare for them, so don’t skip it!
Also, on the equipment side, listen to the official recommendations: we plan to wear a long outfit (which covers a maximum of the legs at least), in synthetic fabric (no cotton to avoid friction), as tight as possible, with a top with long sleeves if you are running in a country where there is a lot of sun and / or it is a little cold (on a small size it is not a problem, on a Beast, we talk about a minimum of 3 hours to peel them, so ..: p), and especially GLOVES. Some obstacles have ropes (which burn the skin very badly), or palisades with splinters. Also, gloves with grips allow you to better grip bars and rings .. so don’t skip it.
Personally, on Super or Beast formats, I also take one or two cereal bars, just to grab a little extra energy, because I don’t get 2 or 3 hours of intense sport without refueling .. everyone does as they want, but know all the same that the chances are great that you will spend in the water with your survival rations . Some also run with camelpacks on the longest elmats
Ah, yes. Of course, don’t bring anything that is not waterproof, and don’t put on new shoes on race day: it’s maximum comfort operation !
3. Identify your muscular weaknesses .. and prepare an appropriate program
While some find pull-ups obvious, this isn’t the case for everyone. Likewise, some will find it difficult to get a good boost on the jumps, while others can climb all the hurdles in the world without batting an eyelid. Be honest with yourself, and find out what you need to improve before the race.
Also agree to do burpees. 10 per practice, then 20, then 30. On your first run, you probably won’t be able to pass all the obstacles (also because some are a bit absurd, like the javelin throw, which is not really dependent on your physical strength) – and since the penalty for one scale
Personally, I have always had weaker shoulders and backs than the rest (mainly because I did a lot of sports, so skating, which strengthened my thighs without affecting my upper body). So I clearly emphasized the work on these areas (especially with the exercises I tell you about in the article on arm work in the gym!)
4. Work on your Cardio .. and apply yourself!
Ok, when you think of Spartans or other obstacle courses, and that’s okay .. you see obstacles first. However, it is also a race, of a more or less long distance, and that you have to prepare for cardio, just to stand out in the standings (or, at least, not to lose too many time.)
Everyone has their own method, but I personally prefer interval training (1min fast running, 1min slow running) rather than long outings, to train myself. I know I can do better on this side (I’m really not a running fan at the base – but if you want to get started I recommend this article co-written by my most running friend!)
5. Have fun!
Sounds stupid, eh. But this is THE tip that will allow you to play down, take it all with a smile (even burpees) and enjoy every second of the race.
I’m going to tell you a secret: the day before each race, I am extremely stressed. I’m scared, I know it’s going to be hard and that it will hurt (for several days after the race, for real). But I have a friend, Charles, who maybe without realizing it every time has told me to have fun, during the race the next day, and enjoy. And that’s THE advice I always keep in mind. It’s an ok race, but it’s fun, it’s challenging, it makes you want to be stronger, faster, better . We make friends on the course, because we’re all in the same boat (it’s much less lonely than a “normal” race where everyone is in their own mind or with their music). It makes crazy memories, it feels good to surpass yourself, and in the end, when it stops, you just want to start over.