I’m the first to admit that my training for Grandma’s Marathon was pretty intense. I ran a lot of miles and didn’t have a lot of extra time for other activities. So I’m excited for after Grandma’s, when I can get back to doing all those other things. I miss [solidcore]! I miss yoga! I miss paddle boarding! I miss kettlebells!
My friend Ericka (the kettlebell instructor from this post) is actually starting a “Bells and Beers” event at 612 Brewery in NE Minneapolis Saturdays at 11 am. I think it’s just $15 for the class and one beverage. You can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org for more info! I will definitely be checking out this class after Grandma’s.
I’m also excited to do some non-marathon running/races! I have several shorter distance races on my schedule (like the Torchlight 5k! The Midsummer Mile!), but am looking to see what else is out there.
I was recently informed that the Spartan Race is coming to Minnesota on June 27th. This is the first race they will be hosting in Minnesota which will be a “Spartan Sprint” taking place at Welch Village. This Spartan Sprint is 3+ mile run that will have you running up, down, across, and around this 1,060 foot mountain as you traverse 20+ obstacles. Yikes!
Personally, I have only done one obstacle type race, which was the Muddy Buddy in 2010 and 2011. It was a blast, but unfortunately it no longer exists. Such a good time!
Though the Muddy Buddy is no more, it does seem like you have a lot more options for an obstable or “muddy” race these days and this Spartan one sounds pretty fun (and intense!)
Of course, at the Right Fits, where fitness and fashion meet, I have to ask, what is the right fit for an obstacle race?
According to my contacts at Spartan, the right fit is definitely performance gear (not cotton), water packs, and compression. The Spartan race actually has a partnership with Reebok for all kinds of fitness apparel to gear up for your race- you can check it all out here. A few of my favorites are the Mud Shorts and the Reversible Performance Sports Bra:
Other than the Right Fit, I was also wondering how do you train for one of these? Here are 8 tips that I was given for training for the Spartan Race by the race coordinators:
1. (Re)learn how to move!
Get in touch with your inner animal and child and start moving naturally again! Coordinated bodyweight movements are vital for navigating yourself through our course – think crawling patterns, single leg squats, leaps, and bounds. You need to be nimble and strong, flexible and coordinated.
2. It’s not all about pumping up!
Be versatile in all types of movement. Eccentrics – i.e. “negatives”, think jump to negative pull-ups and dips. Examples: Lower yourself extra slow from the top of your pull-up vs. dropping to the bottom position. Downhill Running. Our race isn’t the traditional gym, an artificial environment made to make your muscles inflate. You need to push and pull. Climb and descend. Lift and lower.
3. Learn to be still – it takes strength!
Do Accumulations – i.e. typically no movement, think forward leaning rest in high plank (push-up) position, back extension holds, and isolated lunges. Accumulate 3-5 minute holds.
4. Get a grip – a lot of it. You’ll need it.
Without work you’ll be falling from obstacles as you tire during your race. And don’t be so specific when practicing. But it’s not all monkey bars. Try constantly varied styles, and gripping for a long time. Some obstacles require several minutes under tension.
5. Be explosive!
Sometimes you need to power over an obstacle at full strength. Especially if you need to carry your body PLUS a sandbag or atlas stone. Practice power – max effort sub 5 second efforts, long active-recovery periods, repeat. Learn to harness all your power for an explosive moment of moving yourself where you need to go so you can keep moving forward on the course.
6. Learn to go hard (and soft).
There is nothing steady or regular about a Spartan event. Your heart rate will be all over the place. Practice Intervals – Hard 1:1′s (work:rest ratio) work up from 30 seconds to 3 minutes. Practice putting your body through the whole spectrum of intensities.
7. Spend more time on your feet.
The only way to learn how to travel far is practice. It’s just as mental as it is physical. Gain confidence by spending time on your feet.
8. Do More Burpees!
Newbies, start by resting 10 seconds every 5 reps, then, increase the number of reps over time. Work at it until you’re doing 30 without a problem. Besides, if you master the burpee, you don’t have to fear failing an obstacle. You can just accept your penalty with dignity and grace – executing it with integrity and proper form!
Unfortunately, the Spartan race doesn’t fit into my schedule, but maybe it fits into yours! If so, hopefully these tips will be somewhat helpful.
Or are you planning a different obstacle race this summer? How will you train? Are you switching things up at all? Looking forward to some fresh new fits this summer? Let me know!