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Spartan Beast

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Spartan Beast

Postby scumdogg » Tue Jul 03, 2012 3:25 am

I just finished running a Spartan Beast race this past weekend and wanted to pass on some of the things I learned in case anyone else was interested in participating. First, don't train for the obstacles, train for cardiovascular fitness, so that means run, run, run. I always thought my cardio was pretty good until I ran this race; the course included 4 trips up and down a 400-500m (1280 ft) mountain. It also didn't help that the race was extended by 5km to 25km.

Second, wear a hydration pack, like a Camelbak. There were water stations but they were few and far between and you go dry pretty fast running mountain trails in 30C temperatures. I saw more than a few racers on the side of the trail hit with muscle cramps due to dehydration.

Third, bring energy gel and salt tablets to take during the race. Talking to the experienced racers there, every single one of them brought energy bars or energy gel with them on the trail. I didn't think it was necessary until I hit the 2/3 mark and was faced with the last ascent and realized that the tank was empty. Salt tablets also would have helped with the cramping I was feeling at that point.

Finally, don't start with a Spartan Beast race if you've never run an obstacle race before, go for a Spartan sprint or the 10km race.

This was the hardest thing I've ever done and made me realize I'm not in as good a shape as I thought I was. I was miserable and hurting during the last 5km and my finish time was pretty sad. Having said that, I'm doing this again next year! I met some great people out there and I really want to get my finish time down.
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Re: Spartan Beast

Postby Bri3626 » Tue Jul 03, 2012 8:06 am

That sounds pretty challenging. Isn't it amazing how quickly stuff like that humbles you? I haven't done a race like that yet but I went out and attempted a hilly 5k in a 20lbs vest and ended up walking the last hill. It kicked my ass pretty bad and I was extremely confident of a clean finish. Ah well thats the good stuff heh.
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Re: Spartan Beast

Postby scumdogg » Tue Jul 03, 2012 3:21 pm

Oh, I was definitely a humble man as I staggered across the finish line :) I realize that I was getting a little complacent in my training and this forced me to push far past my comfort zone. It's given me a new perspective on what "fit" is and has given me focus again. Once my legs and feet have stopped hurting I'm looking forward to hitting it hard.
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Re: Spartan Beast

Postby mr_fro2000 » Mon Jul 09, 2012 12:56 pm

As a long/medium term goal, this type of race is something I look forward to participating in! Looks brutal and fun :twisted:
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Re: Spartan Beast

Postby scumdogg » Mon Jul 09, 2012 3:51 pm

@mr_fro2000 Go for it! Start with the 5K Spartan Sprint. In that one you do an obstacle every 500m. You'll get muddy, you'll get sore, and you'll have a blast. As I said before, doing the simple fit program regularly should prepare you pretty well for most obstacles in the Sprint; I'd just throw in some distance running, hill sprints and some obstacle specific stuff like rope climb training or bear crawls. Oh, and practice burpees because if you can't do an obstacle you'll have to do 30 burpees to move on ;) Good luck and report back if you enter one.
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Re: Spartan Beast

Postby scumdogg » Mon Jul 09, 2012 3:56 pm

And for everyone looking for some inspiration to join a Spartan race, have a look at the Chris Davis Project. He started at almost 700 lbs and is trying to get in shape to finally compete in a Spartan Ultra Beast http://blog.spartanrace.com/the-chris-davis-project-week-11/. I don't agree with all the weight loss methods he uses, but you have to admire his determination and how he's staying focused on his goal.
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