Entry 176 – Spartan OCRs

Later in the year I am doing the Spartan Beast obstacle run and I am doing it with a friend who has not done a Spartan event before.

I completed by trifecta last year and so know the races well and am looking forward to going back again this year.

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Spartan races offer open heats for all fitness levels, as well as competitive and elite heats for those with something more to prove. The main events are the sprint, super and beast.  The sprint is 5km+ and 20+ obstacles, the super 13km+ and 25+ obstacles and the beast 20km+ and 30+ obstacles.  When you complete all three distances in the same year you have earned your trifecta.

There is loads of information on the Spartan website including details on the races and a free workout that will help as part of your training.  There are also training videos and tips for the various obstacles.

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You can also register to download a free couch to sprint plan and the website says:

You can run a Spartan Sprint. All you need to do is get off the couch and start to move. No more excuses. Download this Couch to Sprint training plan, and we’ll see you at the race.

And it is true!

I love obstacle running and I’ve said before I am not the best and cannot do some obstacles without the help of team mates and some I cannot complete at all but I am trying and I give it my all.  When I ask people who are in the elites of obstacle racing what they believe has helped them in their training there are three things always mentioned.  They are running, strength training and climbing.

Unless you are completing an urban OCR (my Spartan sprint last year was an urban run) you can pretty much assume it will be trail running of some sort with a mix of terrain (grass, mud, wooded areas, water etc).  My first OCR I did in normal trainers and I would definitely recommend trail shoes – will save you sliding around like bambi!  I wear Salomon Speedcross but there are many out there to choose from.

Strength training can come in various forms though for Spartan I would include burpees.  I know very few people like burpees but at Spartan if you are unable to complete an obstacle you are given a 30 burpee penalty so why not practice during your training with them.  Also push ups, planks, squats, carries of some sort and if you have a pull up bar – they are all good ways to train for these types of races.

Climbing I will admit is not one I have used in my training but from athletes I follow on social media, who also take part in these sort of events, I notice a lot regularly take part in climbing/bouldering and this will be a massive help for strength, agility and also grip strength too.

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I’ve attached a Spartan Obstacle Training Guide (link below) that is really useful.  It includes a breakdown of the various obstacles that are a signature to Spartan races and how you can train for each of them.  This also includes a number of bodyweight exercises that you will benefit from doing in your training too.

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I will be sharing some more plans that can be used on a week by week basis in the run up to the various Spartan events also.

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