If you want to participate in the Spartan Race, a lot of time and preparation needs to go into it. It’s a grueling obstacle race for those of you looking for a challenge. New York resident and 2008 Death Race Champion Chris Mitchell has some insights for competitors. Here are his suggestions for those braving the infamous race that is guaranteed to push you mind, body and soul.
Every Death Race to date has included ascending and descending trails while bearing substantial weight. Each year the actual weight and carrying method has varied from a bicycle, to a log built cross, to rolls of pennies, however the task itself produces a great deal of physical wear and tear on the body.
Suggested training- Load a backpack with 50% of your weight and walk around with it on for a minimum of 3 hours a day, at least 2 hours must be going up and down stairs or a hill or anything you can find to intensify the load without over burdening you knees. On both weekend days double the time you spend. If you can manage more time DO IT, this will pay off more than anything else you do to prepare physically. If you are feeling strong, carry weight in your hands also during this time to simulate carrying logs, rocks or other objects. Four days before the race, stop this activity giving your body full rest.
Upper Body and Core Body Strength
Each Death Race has required participants to maintain upper and core body strength with dexterity. Suggested Training – Push-ups, sit ups. At least 400 a day. It doesn’t matter if you do 10 at a time but do 400. It will strengthen muscles you will need in order to complete tasks without injury. No real need to do more as building mass here will just be more weight to carry and this is an endurance race. Another excellent activity I recommend is holding the yoga plank pose for 5 to 15 minutes at a time.
You will be required to complete tasks after you are physically exhausted and sleep deprived. Suggested Training – preferably a workday but if you operate heavy machinery for a living or are in a profession where a decision you make could injure another person then use your discretion and opt for your day off. Set an alarm clock for every 2 hours, wake up get out of bed, do 50 push ups, 50 sit ups, 50 squats. Pick 500 words of a book or anything else and copy it with a pen on paper. Write a quick journal entry of how you feel, what is working, what is hard and where there is resistance.
The following morning when you rise, noon time and before you go to sleep write how you feel in your journal. The next day read your journal and note anywhere there is mental, emotional or physical resistance to the activities. Figure out a way to reduce the resistance. Repeat this task again and see how it goes the second time.
Food and hydration
You will need to be able to eat and drink while you are working out. Make sure you understand your limits of caloric intake and hydration while exercising. The first point here is to have a plan on caloric intake for your crew to help you follow. You will reach a point during the race where your body needs energy but your stomach will not be in a condition to handle food and your appetite with be gone. If you haven’t experienced this before make sure you do before the race and figure out a plan on how to handle it. Second and equally important is hydration. Hydration is essential in two ways. Liquid for replenishment and vitamins/mineral replacements in order for your body to sustain functioning at a high level. If you have never taken electrolytes I suggest you become familiar with how and when you need them and I don’t mean drinking Gatorade. Water intoxication is also possible and leads to several endurance athletes dying every year.
Courtesy of spartanrace.com