Working out for a marathon is one thing, a cycling tour is another thing, so is a triathlon. But training and preparing for a Spartan Race demands a whole new level of physical and mental toughness.
There are two main groups that take part in Spartan Races: those who wish to be competitive and those who work as volunteers, race officials, or crew members. For the average participant, you will want to read the below article on the workout guidelines for beginners, intermediates, and advanced athletes.
What is a Spartan Race?
Spartan Races are not for the faint of heart. The races are known for their grueling courses, which range from 3-mile to 30+ mile sprints across mountain trails, over walls, and other challenges, through mud and fire (literally) often in nasty weather conditions. Each race is designed to push you past your limits with obstacles like barbed wire crawls, rope climbs, bucket brigade, spear tosses, etc.
The Spartan races are owned by the New England-based company named “Spartan Race Inc.” which is a subsidiary of Wanda Group (formerly known as Blue Gatorade). The races began in 2010 and involved over 5,000 people in races across the United States. In 2014 Spartan Races expanded to include a dozen European countries including Asia, England, France, and Germany. Today there are over 20 different race types that you can choose from if you wish to take part in a competitive or recreational obstacle course race.
There are different kinds of Spartan Races, including Spartan Sprint, which is a course that is 3-10 miles long and involves 25+ obstacles. This race type can be completed by children as young as age 7, however, the minimum age requirement to compete in Spartan races is 14 years old.
Another race is Super Spartan, which is a longer race with a length from 8-12 miles and includes 28+ obstacles. The Super Spartan races are open to all ages, but those younger than 14 years old must receive parental consent during registration.
There is also a Beast Mode Race that can be anywhere from 12-14 miles long with over 25+ obstacles, and the age requirement to participate is 16 years old. A Beast Mode race can be completed with additional training, but it would be difficult for most people to finish without proper training for this type of Spartan Race.
These races are divided into 15 different heats with the slowest heat starting at 8 am and the quickest heat starting at 9 am. The races are timed, but they are meant to be more of a challenge rather than who gets across the finish line first.
Each race is unique with its own set of obstacles, so no two races are alike in this regard. At the end of each race, those who complete it receive a medal and some Spartan Race swag.
Who takes part in Spartan Races
There are factors to consider when you are wondering if Spartan Races are for you. The good news is that there are a lot of people that take part in these races, so if you are worried about being the only one in your age group, don’t be. If you are not sure that Spartan Races is for you, here are some people who are qualified to join Spartan Races:
People who are active in CrossFit training are generally suitable for this type of race. This is because a lot of the obstacles in Spartan Races require a certain amount of stamina and endurance. If you are regularly doing CrossFit training, then it would be a good idea to participate in this type of physical challenge.
Triathlon athletes can also be good candidates for these races, especially the longer ones. If you are training to do a triathlon, then it is likely that you have some degree of stamina and endurance. The Spartan Races can help you increase your speed, power, and endurance if you put in the work at each race.
Even people who lead a more sedentary lifestyle may be able to complete a shorter Spartan Race. If you do not have any kind of physical fitness, then it is recommended that you train first. Without proper training, there is a good chance that the race will be too difficult for you to complete.
Spartan Races are also for people who enjoy conquering challenges and facing adversity. The races are filled with obstacles, but the good news is that you can complete them step-by-step if you take it slow and follow the rules.
You should also consider your health before participating in Spartan Races. If you have a physical or mental condition that could prevent you from completing the race, then it would be a good idea to talk with your doctor before signing up.
Spartan Race may not be a good choice if you are not physically fit enough to complete it. If you cannot make it past the first three obstacles, then you will be disqualified from the race and there is no refund for registration fees.
If endurance or speed sports are not your thing, then Spartan Races may not be for you. However, this does not mean that these races are too difficult; it is possible to complete them with proper training for your body type.
If you have heard of Spartan Races and are interested in joining one, then the best thing that you can do is visit their website at spartanrace.com for more information. You might also find it helpful to read some blog posts about this type of physical challenge.
Spartan Workout for Spartan Sprint Race
Spartan Sprint Race is the shortest of all the Spartan Races. This race lasts for about 3-5 miles with 20 obstacles along the way. The shortest distance for this race is 5 kilometers or a little over 3 miles. At this distance, it is possible to complete the race in one hour.
If you want to participate in Spartan Sprint Race, then it would be a good idea to train physically beforehand. While Spartan Races are not necessarily for professional athletes, you should still be in decent shape before trying one of their races.
Here is the best workout to prepare for a Spartan Sprint Race:
- Sprint Training: If you are very active then you can get away with no workout at all before the race. If you are not, then it would be a good idea for you to train your body by sprinting. Sprint training can improve speed and leg power, which will allow you to move faster through the racecourse. You will need a moderately-paced running track for this workout. Sprint from one end to the other as fast as you can, rest for 1 minute by walking back to the starting line, and repeat 8-10 times.
- Hill Training: The next workout that will help prepare you for a Spartan Sprint Race is hill training. You can find a steep hill that is about 5 city blocks long, or you can do this workout on a treadmill. Warm-up for 10 minutes by climbing the hill slowly with no resistance. Follow this with 30 seconds of full-body resistance (push against the side rails), rest for 1 minute and complete 6 to 8 reps for 3 sets. After completing the third set, walk for 5 minutes to cool down.
- Wall Climbs: To train your endurance you will need a wall that is about 8 feet high and slightly wider than your shoulders. Climb the wall slowly with proper footing on each hand placement. Rest for 1 minute after each climb, complete 3 sets (6 climbs per set), and take 2 minutes of rest between sets.
- Weightlifting: The last step in training for a Spartan Sprint Race is to weight train by doing deadlifts and squats with proper form and technique. Start with 10 reps per set, 3 sets, and take 2 minutes of rest between each workout. You will need access to free weights or a barbell along with a squat rack, bench, and pull-up bar.
- CrossFit drills: If you decide to do CrossFit training to prepare for the Spartan Sprint Race, then you will need access to a pull-up bar, 8-foot wall, and kettlebells. Warm-up by doing 5 pull-ups, 3 reps of squats with overhead press, 5 reps of deadlifts with the front squat, 10 push-ups for 3 sets with 1 minute of rest between each set.
Spartan Workout for Super Spartan Race
Super Spartan Race is similar to Spartan Sprint Race but is about 8-10 kilometers long with 20 obstacles. It also takes longer than the Spartan Sprint race, 1 hour and 30 minutes to be exact, due to the longer distance of the race and more difficult obstacles.
If you want to participate in Super Spartan Race then it would be a good idea for you to train physically beforehand. While Spartan Races are not necessarily for professional athletes, you should still be in decent shape before trying one of their races.
Here is the best workout to prepare for a Super Spartan Race:
- Hill Training: Just like in Spartan Sprint, hill training is an important part of Super Spartan Races. However, training for Super Spartan means training harder than those who are preparing for Spartan Sprint. So your hill training workout should be tougher. Warm-up for 10 minutes with no resistance, rest for 1 minute, and complete 6 to 8 reps for 3 sets. Do the third set only if you can do it without stopping.
- Sprint Training: If you are a very active runner, then you should have no problem completing a race that includes running for extended periods of time. If you are not, then it would be a good idea for you to train your body by sprinting. Sprint training can improve speed and leg power, which will allow you to move faster through the racecourse. You will need a moderately-paced running track for this workout. Sprint from one end to the other as fast as you can, rest for 1 minute by walking back to the starting line, and repeat 8-10 times.
- Weightlifting workouts: The workout for weight training should be more intense than the one you used to train for Spartan Sprint Race. Do 10 reps per set, 3 sets, and take 2 minutes of rest between each exercise. You will need access to free weights or a barbell along with a squat rack, bench, and pull-up bar. The best weightlifting drills for Spartan Races include deadlifts, squats, and front squats. Do some stretching after you are done with your weightlifting workout to cool down properly.
- CrossFit Drills: If you want to do CrossFit training, then the workout should be similar to what is done in the Spartan Sprint race, just on a higher level. Warm-up by doing 5 pull-ups, 3 reps of squats with overhead press, 5 reps of deadlifts with the front squat, 10 push-ups for 3 sets. Do this for 6 days in a row to prepare your body for the race.
Spartan Workout for Beast Mode Spartan Race
Beast Mode Spartan is the race type for people who want to test their limits and see what they are capable of. While Spartan Sprint and Super Spartan Races take 1 hour 30 minutes and 2 hours respectively, Beast Mode Spartan Race takes 3 hours.
Because the Beast Mode Spartan Races are longer in terms of duration, it is important for you to prepare your body physically beforehand if you want to complete the race. Weeks before the race, get used to doing high-intensity workouts that incorporate running and sprinting. Then get rid of all your excess fat because during the races you will need energy from fat rather than carbs for fuel.
Here is a workout that will prepare your body for Beast Mode Spartan Race:
- Tempo Runs: Go out for a run but do it gradually. Warm up for 5 minutes and then increase your speed to 80% of your max speed for 2 minutes, slow down to 70% for 1 minute, and go back up to 80% again. Do this 6 times with 3-minute breaks in between. This will help you to prepare your body for the endurance race.
- Hill Training: This is important to make sure you do not get tired easily during the Beast Mode Spartan Race. The same workout as mentioned above should be done on a hill instead of a flat road. Gradually increase the incline, warm up for 5 minutes, and then go up to 80% max speed for 2 minutes. Do this 6 times with 3-minute breaks in between.
- Sprint Training: Sprint training will help you gain muscle strength and increase your speed during races where running is mandatory like in Beast Mode Spartan Race. Warm-Up for 10 minutes with no resistance, rest for 1 minute, and complete 6 to 8 reps for 3 sets. Do the third set only if you can do it without stopping.
- Long Runs: For this workout, warm up with 5 minutes of jogging and then increase your speed to 70% of your max speed for 4 minutes, slow down to 60% for 2 minutes, increase it to 70% again for 1 minute, and then go back to 80%. Do this 5 times with 3-minute breaks in between. This will help you maintain the right pace during the race.
- Weightlifting Drills: You should also prepare your body for the intense weightlifting drills that you will be doing during Spartan Race. Warm-up with 5 reps of deadlifts followed by squats for 3 sets. Rest 2 minutes in between each exercise and do this for 6 days continuously to get your body ready for Beast Mode Spartan Race.
- CrossFit Drills: Do 5 reps of pull-ups, squat jumps, push-ups for 3 sets. Rest 2 minutes in between each exercise and do this 6 days continuously to get used to CrossFit drills that you will need to perform during the Beast Mode Spartan Race. Other drills can also help such as mountain-climbers, burpees, rounds for time, etc.
Supplements that can help during Spartan Workouts
There are some supplements that can aid you in improving your performance during Spartan Races. These supplements include Omega 3 Fish Oil, BCAA (Branched Chain Amino Acids), or protein shakes.
Omega 3 Fatty Acids are good because they will increase the endurance of muscles to prevent fatigue. This can help you maintain a faster pace during longer races like Beast Mode Spartan Race.
BCAAs are good for boosting your energy levels because they contain amino acids that will give you that extra push during races.
Whey protein is a great supplement as well that can help you maintain the strength and endurance needed to finish the Beast Mode Spartan Race successfully.
Conclusion and summary
Spartan Races are challenging, but the benefits of completing one are unmatched. These races will not only make you mentally tougher and stronger as a person, but they will also make your body leaner and healthier with time. Beast Mode Spartan Races are longer in terms of duration, it is important for you to prepare your body physically beforehand if you want to complete the race. Weeks and weeks of intense workout and training sessions will be required to complete the race, but this is a small price to pay in exchange for your health and overall well-being.