Anyone done a spartan race or similar?

Iamero

Full Member
Feb 14, 2017
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#1
A trainer at my gym was talking to me a bit about this race and got me pretty intrigued. I’ve been at the gym about 9 months now and as much as I like slinging weights, I wouldn’t mind having another goal to work towards.

Thinking about training for one with my brother in law and I was curious if anyone else has done one of these and what areas I should be focusing on.

The next one in Michigan is in 5 months so I’ll need to get training pretty hard if I plan on doing one this year yet.
 

jd138

Sergeant
Jan 19, 2011
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Tulsa, OK
#2
I did one outside of Dallas a couple years back. It was a lot of fun and I met a bunch of interesting people. They time it so the "pros" have their heats early so the beer leaguers like myself don't feel like they are getting in the way. You will find yourself bumping into and trying to get around the super slow folks, just try to use track etiquette.

Couple tips:
Upper body strength is a different animal after being tired and wading through water and running in mud filled shoes. So maybe train with weights/body weight while incorporating sprint intervals.

In case you are not used to it, do some climbing and balance training.

Again if it's new to you, work out a good rope climb technique and be ready to start while waist deep in water.

Remember, it's supposed to be fun.
 
Feb 13, 2017
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Wenatchee, WA
#3
It’s a blast. I just finished the sprint yesterday. The course was 99% mud which I didn’t train for.

Tips
Start running outside (hills, hikes)
Doing a lot of back workouts (pull ups, rows, bar hangs)
Burpees lol (30 at a time)
Have fun!!!!
 
Feb 21, 2013
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TEXAS
#4
I did the 5 mile a couple years ago, and did the mile with the kids. It was fun,
JD, did you go to the one at Rough Creek? I was not properly trained up for the 5 mile, not enough mud training, and lacking the running training. We are going to try to make the one this October again. The kids had a blast on the 1 mile.
 

jd138

Sergeant
Jan 19, 2011
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Tulsa, OK
#5
Yes, it was at Rough Creek. It was the far side of Dallas for me which made the drive back to Tulsa after the race ... uncomfortable.

Iamero - I forgot to mention, they have stations to rinse off after the race. I recommend a full set of clothes to change into. The race organizers also collect muddy shoes for donations; pretty cool touch.
 

Iamero

Full Member
Feb 14, 2017
5,224
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#6
Good to know. Yea, running is going to be one of the main focuses of my training this summer. I can usually pull off a 3 mile without much training, but 5 miles plus obstacles is a BIG difference. All my time in the gym has been lifting with a little focus on cardio lately to drop the body fat percentage.

I can't wait to give this a go. I have no expectation to be anywhere near the top, but would be quite happy just to finish one to start!
 

JC98

Private
May 29, 2014
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#8
Ive run a few tough mudders and some local 5 mile obstacle/mud runs. Get yourself a good pair of trail shoes like the salmon speed crosses or something similar. They drain well and have great tread that will help with keeping your footing. If your running a later heat you usually have some down time waiting at the obstacles so if you can bang out 3 miles you should be fine on a 5 miler.
 
Dec 24, 2009
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#10
I try to get a few in every year. We have a couple 5 mile ones that have 15-20 obstacles, mud, open fields, and wooded terrain. I get in shape for them by putting 4o lbs. in a backpack and running off road on trails, woodlands, ect. I just turned the big Five O! and still bring it!!!
 
Mar 3, 2013
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#12
I did a tough Mudder back in 2012 and it was a bunch of fun though I was not in shape to run a 12 mile obstacle course!
Last year I did the spartan Beast 14+ Miles in Brekenridge, CO it sucked! But at the same time it was awesome. The entire course was on the ski slopes and i think all of it was above 10,000 ft. The worst part was carrying a sand bag and a bucket of gravel straight up hill. I was in way better shape for this one but I live at 3,000 and was training at 4-5k ft I still wasn’t ready. Also I got shin splints for the first time ever and that really sucked!
Would i do it again? Yes, but for now I’m looking into “Go Ruck” for my next endurance event.
 
Feb 1, 2013
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#13
I've run a couple Tough Mudders and one Spartan, but I'm no expert. Each event covered 9-12 miles. Someone mentioned above combining resistance/weight work with sprint intervals. I'd second that. You don't need to be able to run a fast half marathon to be able to do this. If you can run 3-5 miles at a time, you should be ok. You will probably be running, at most, a half mile or slightly more, at a time before coming to an obstacle. Be sure to work on upper body strength (pull ups, rope climb - find a technique that works for you, rows, grip strength!). Some people wore gloves, but I didn't because I didn't want to sacrifice dexterity or grip. Get comfortable with climbing/heights, and moving through mud/water. You'll probably be carrying some odd-shaped objects too at some point. I'd suggest doing some work with weighted carries/farmer carries, sandbag work, etc. Also, be comfortable moving while filthy. Muddy/sandy/wet clothes will make things more challenging, so pick appropriate clothing and footwear that will minimize saturation with said filth (probably not cotton). I found a pair of polyester compression shorts under my athletic shorts to be helpful. Various low crawls resulted in skinned up knees and elbows. They weren't painful during the event because they were fresh and the adrenaline was flowing. If abrasions on elbows/knees is going to be a problem for you, cover them somehow. Make sure you hydrate and fuel properly (especially during the race at the aid stations). My calves cramped pretty good at several points along the way. Overall, have fun and enjoy it!
 
Feb 13, 2017
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Wenatchee, WA
#14
I did a tough Mudder back in 2012 and it was a bunch of fun though I was not in shape to run a 12 mile obstacle course!
Last year I did the spartan Beast 14+ Miles in Brekenridge, CO it sucked! But at the same time it was awesome. The entire course was on the ski slopes and i think all of it was above 10,000 ft. The worst part was carrying a sand bag and a bucket of gravel straight up hill. I was in way better shape for this one but I live at 3,000 and was training at 4-5k ft I still wasn’t ready. Also I got shin splints for the first time ever and that really sucked!
Would i do it again? Yes, but for now I’m looking into “Go Ruck” for my next endurance event.
I just looked at the go ruck and it looks bad ass. It seems more like a slow jog if anything...
 

LunaCustomGuns

Sergeant of the Hide
Feb 16, 2018
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Utah
#15
I did a tough mudder and loved it. What I didn’t love were all the unprepared people, but thankfully they dropped out halfway through and freed up wait times at obstacles.
 
Likes: jd138

waveslayer

Full Member
Mar 6, 2012
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#16
Yes, train, be prepared and over training will always serve you well. I do it with a buddy and we push each other. It makes it so fun. But it's a lot of work with young kids
 
Jan 28, 2011
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#17
Yes. Everyone should do one of these, Tough Mudder, Spartan, Rugged Manic... Keeping one or two on the calendar is usually a good motivator to stay in shape. Doing one is often a gateway drug.

I love this type of race because the upper body mass that penalizes you in a tri is suddenly an advantage. The team work is a huge plus.

My mountain biking/adventure racing team has been decimated as a few months ago one of them ripped an acl and on Thursday one of them shattered a shoulder while road biking (front tire got caught in a hole while going through a construction zone). I've been eyeing up GoRuck for a while. Yesterday morning I dropped some dive weights into a ruck and did one of their workouts over a 15 mile hike. When I got home I didn't even take the pack off before I signed up for a tough challenge in September. Turns out there is a local club that regularly does training for these. This should be a lot of fun.

With all of these events there are plenty of videos showing what to expect so you should be able to prepare with few surprises come game day. More prep = more fun.
 
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Likes: 65x55guy
Mar 4, 2017
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#18
I've done 4 spartan races. 3 in Montana, and 1 in Arizona. My last one was the Spartan Beast in MT and I trained really hard for it. I got down to about 195lbs (which is light for me) and would run in 5-10 mile blocks about 2 days a week as a supplement to the CrossFit stuff I do anyways. I would venture to guess it is the best shape I have been in, although at the end I was struggling with some knee and ankle issues from all the running. I started off the race like a bat out of hell and felt great, I was pretty much at the front of the pack (maybe top 20) until then. Then I started getting some hellacious cramps down my entire posterior chain and I just couldn't shake them off. It was mentally and physically devastating. I felt like I could go, but every time I tried my body would lock up and the pain was pretty intense. I still can't figure out to this day what the hell happened. My nutrition was right on point, I had warmed up a bunch, and I hadn't had an issue like that one time in the entire training period, nor have I had one since. I sort of limped/walked/crawled/ another 5 miles to the finish and people were passing me left and right. I was proud that I finished, but really disappointed because I just didn't see that coming. Still, I am glad I did it.

Another thing to note was the first Spartan race I did and the last one I did were two totally different races. The first one was more like a bunch of folks getting together in the woods and running their asses off. It was organized, but just enough. The last one I did was more like a full blown corporate event complete with sponsors, TV cameras, etc. I am the type of person who gravitates more toward the former atmosphere rather than the latter. None the less, they are still tough races and I don't think you could go wrong from a fitness perspective training for one and doing it.
 

10xk9

Private
Jan 9, 2009
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West Virginia
#20
I host a K-9 mud run every year. It’s not as extreme as a spartan race because it has to be doable for dogs too. But we have 35 obstacle spread over 3.5 miles. The pro class pays $1000 in cash prizes. The really cool part is the following day we do a .22NRL type fun match . 6 stages of fire, 10 rounds per stage, the last stage starts at 100 yards and goes out to 300 yards. $75 covers camping for the weekend (hot water outdoor showers), the race on Saturday, locally brewed beer and a hole hog bbq Saturday evening, the .22 rifle match on Sunday , event t shirt and race completion medal. October 6-7 this year.
Sign up on my website at www.loganhauskennels.com
 
Feb 14, 2017
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#21
I’ve run 4 mudders and 3-4 spartan races. Always a Great time. Prepare for running by going out and jogging and getting longer runs with slow jogs. Speed won’t matter as much as just being able to break into a jog between obstacles. Coming into the last two weeks before a race, I would recommend long jogs with pull-ups or climbing exercises at a local park. Circle back every mile or two and get used to stopping then starting again. Do this for 8-10 miles total, or at least 2 total hours. Getting your muscles used to working hard for extended time is the real training.

Grip and upper body pulling exercises are heavily used. Pull-ups are good for a daily challenge, but practice throwing a leg over the bar or wall. That’s an entirely different motion for some of us, and is more challenging. Also, practice a running start on a wall climb. Use your vertical jump and combine with pull-up strength to leverage momentum instead of just muscleing up.

Tough mudder allows you to pay $15 extra to run at 0800 instead of a randomly assigned time later in the day. PAY THE MONEY! the obstacles get backed up and as we recently finished in st Louis around 11 AM, we could see the 1030 heat people just standing around waiting for their turn as the day got hotter and hotter. Spartan races should have something similar.

I have gone through 3 pairs of brooks cascadia over 6 years. They will take An absolute beating. Wear them for 10 mile mud run, wash with a hose to get out the rocks and heavy mud, then throw them in your washing machine at home.

Gloves are optional for me.
 
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Rerun7

Furious George
Feb 18, 2017
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Fayetteville, Arkansas
#22
Just did Conquer the Gauntlet yesterday. It was my first obstacle race so I wasn’t sure what to expect. It was fun but I was not prepared enough for the cardio. I have been running around 3 miles 3x a week in addition to lifting 2x a week and I was dying by the end.

The course was 4.5 miles with 25 obstacles. Everyone told me that if I could run a 5k I would be fine. NOT TRUE! Yes, you only run for a short time before you get to an obstacle but you complete it quickly and start running again. Plus, there was a lot of hill running. I felt good on the obstacles and passed most of them very easily but I sucked at the running. I’ll be better prepared for the next one.
 
Likes: 65x55guy

Raffica762

New Hide Member
May 31, 2018
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Spartanburg, SC
#23
Sounds fun I so want to do one ..I dated a girl would run the Spartan race around Charlotte NC ..I was getting over an injery at the time..but I was her biggest fan cheered her on
 

FatBoy

Chris Hayes, Nashville TN
Jul 29, 2001
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#24
Just did Conquer the Gauntlet yesterday. It was my first obstacle race so I wasn’t sure what to expect. It was fun but I was not prepared enough for the cardio. I have been running around 3 miles 3x a week in addition to lifting 2x a week and I was dying by the end.

The course was 4.5 miles with 25 obstacles. Everyone told me that if I could run a 5k I would be fine. NOT TRUE! Yes, you only run for a short time before you get to an obstacle but you complete it quickly and start running again. Plus, there was a lot of hill running. I felt good on the obstacles and passed most of them very easily but I sucked at the running. I’ll be better prepared for the next one.
what class did you run in and how long was the wait at each obstacle? I was going to do a Spartan spring but running outside a competitive class, you have a 200-400 others running with you so I am curious how they manage congestion?
 

Rerun7

Furious George
Feb 18, 2017
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Fayetteville, Arkansas
#25
what class did you run in and how long was the wait at each obstacle? I was going to do a Spartan spring but running outside a competitive class, you have a 200-400 others running with you so I am curious how they manage congestion?
I ran in the non-competitive class. We were in Tulsa which is home to the CTG so there were a lot of runners. Every wave was full and they did their best to stagger groups at the start. Most wait times weren’t bad but a few of the obstacles got to 10+ minutes. One in particular I’ll bet we waited 15-20 minutes. Most were under 2 min wait though.
 
Feb 10, 2018
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#26
From what I see on advertisements and read about these races, they look like alot of fun. Think I am going to see if I can talk one of my buddy's in to entering in one with me next summer. That way we will have time to train up for it. Has anybody tried any of the course's in the midwest?
 
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