6 Tips to Kill It in Your Next Spartan Race

It should come as no surprise to any of us that in order to participate in a Spartan race you’ll need proper nutrition, hydration and to be in good shape. But, what else is needed to face the challenge and survive? Read on to learn some useful tips and tricks that will help you overcome this challenge- with all its obstacles. Most importantly, these are meant to ensure you have the best time of your life while crawling under barbed wire, jumping over fire- and even being fined with a 30 burpee penalty.

  1. Train Unconventionally: Finishing a Spartan race is, undoubtedly, an ambitious goal. Some even say signing up was the first step towards becoming the fittest version of themselves. But, this didn’t just come from training hard and hitting the gym everyday. To tackle a Spartan Race, you must train accordingly– that is, keeping in mind this race is no normal race. You will have to hike, jump, crawl and carry heavy weights; so, running on a treadmill and going to the gym on a daily basis won’t suffice. Instead, train unconventionally: go hiking carrying a backpack with rocks, run on different surfaces, flip truck tires and live for the burpees.
  2. Get Comfortable with the Uncomfortable: Get out of your comfort zone–not only with the training styles and venues, but with everything. Simply put, get comfortable with being uncomfortable. Chances are high when it comes to  getting sweaty, muddy, and bloody, your clothes will get wet and sticky, you’ll be caked in dirt, your muscles will be pushed to their limits and proper hydration and nutrition along the race are never a sure thing. Your best bet, then, is to feel pretty comfortable with what you used to find rather uncomfortable.
  3. Be Mentally Prepared: Breaking out of one’s comfort zone is nothing else but a matter of attitude. And this is exactly what a Spartan race challenges most: your mental strength. Being physically fit will come in handy when entering a Spartan event (obvious, right?), but only being mentally fit will guarantee crossing the finish line. Mental strength is a “must have” quality for any Spartan. Keep in mind that mental strength is subjective, but it involves having a positive mindset where nothing is impossible.
  4. Dress for Success: Spartan races are meant to you challenge you at every possible level. And, while you are expected to give your 100 percent throughout the race, there are simple details that can make the challenge more endurable. For one, use appropriate gear- fitted for a Spartan event (mindbodygreen provides the best advice as to what to wear). It all comes down to having a functional outfit that allows you full body movement, dries easily, won’t get caught on anything (like barbed wire) and that you feel comfortable in.
  5. Burpees are Your Bestie: Just like you will want to feel comfortable in your racing clothes, you will need to learn to feel comfortable with the burpee. Experienced Spartans can’t stress enough the importance of including burpees in your training plans. In fact, training might even have to focus, at some point, on improving your burpee form. The burpee is a signature move of the Spartan race, as you’ll get a 30 burpee penalty every time you fail to accomplish a task. So, for your sake,  you’d better learn to love the burpee.
  6. HAVE FUN: Although all these tips seem to be rather fear inducing, any Spartan race is meant to be a good time. In order to better perform at any task, you need to enjoy it. Jonathan Albon, the world’s best obstacle course racer, explains that, while doing something enjoyable, there are increased changes of persevering at wanting to do better, and actually improving. “So making sure you’re enjoying what you are doing is key,” explains Albon. Out of all tips listed, this is by far the easiest to follow. Just. Have. Fun.

These pieces of advice might help you better prepare for a Spartan race by helping you with planning, training and getting mentally ready. However, do not expect that, by only following these tips, you will be covered. Remember, each race is unique and unpredictable- and this is where your mental strength proves its worth. But don’t take the uncertainty too seriously: after all, Spartan races are meant to be fun. So, train hard, gear up, stay positive, learn to love the burpee, and- no matter what- have fun.