Rosie & I have signed up for this year’s Spartan Race in Windsor. On the 30th September, we’ll be undertaking 20 obstacles over 5k, whilst wearing our obligatory Spartan headbands and occasionally shouting AROO.
We’ve done the Spartan Beast before, as well as the 5k Sprint but that was 2 years ago. Since then, I’ve had a baby and got married. I absolutely LOVE obstacle course races, and I’m pretty sure Rosie does too, even if she does grumble a little throughout the course…
I’ve done several obstacle courses in the past 4 years but The Spartan Race is a firm favourite. I like it because it’s simple – it’s very strength-based and really pushes your fitness levels. There are rope climbs, sandbag carries, crawling (for what seems like MILES) under cargo nets, mud, more mud, climbing over walls, carrying buckets… and if you don’t complete an obstacle then that’s 30 penalty burpees please. Yes. You heard me. THIRTY*.
I also like it because at the beginning of the race, everyone lines up together and you’ve got a fantastic atmosphere – everyone is nervous, excited and raring to go. There’s a lot of grinning and joking about too, and even if people are a bit more serious once the race starts, the friendly atmosphere continues throughout the race. I’ll never forget when during a particularly tough leg of the Spartan Beast some years ago, you could hear the rallying AROO’s of Spartans echoing around the hills. That definitely kept us going.
This year, however, we’re doing the 5k Sprint. Some have asked why we’d take a step back and do the 5k as opposed to go for the Beast. Those asked such questions obviously haven’t done a Spartan Race before. ALL the Spartan Races are challenging and there are ways to challenge yourself further on every race. It’s a timed-race so there’s always the aim to be faster than you last were. And to complete all the obstacles without burpees. And especially to get that damned spear into the target (this is an obstacle which particularly irks me – mainly because I can’t do it). Most of all though, it’s for the fun.
In preparation for this year’s Spartan Race, we’ll be working on a lot of upper body strength as well as cardio. According to Joe de Sena, founder of the Spartan Race who I was lucky enough to interview a few years ago, burpees are pretty much the only exercise you need to do. He does them all the time, even whilst waiting in line at airport check-ins… Functional exercises and natural movement are also great to work on so you can keep your speed up as you vault over objects. We’ll be doing most of our training in the park – getting in our army crawls, press-ups, running and burpees (of course). Bootcamps such as The Warrior Method will also be one of the most useful fitness sessions we can do as this incorporates such a wide range of disciplines from calisthenics, to pilates, HIIT and more.
Keep an eye out for more blogposts on our training, including the gear we’ll be wearing.
Anyone else taking part in the Spartan Race? Come and join our training! We’d love to all train together.