Anyone done a spartan race or similar?

Iamero

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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

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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.
 
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winniethepooh

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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!!!!
 

missed

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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

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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

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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!
 

Spblademaker

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My massage therapist has done a few and she loves them. I plan to do one once my torn calf heals. 😩
 

JC98

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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.
 

BigDaddy0381

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I have done a few savage races. Run, run, and run... Then work out your forearm... There an addiction
 

spartan67

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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!!!
 

Iamero

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Sounds like a great time! Can’t wait to try it out for the first time
 

Timgunner

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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.
 

Bullfroggy

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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!
 

winniethepooh

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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

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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.
 
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waveslayer

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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
 

MosesTheTank

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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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shields shtr

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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

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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
 

65x55guy

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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

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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.
 
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Raffica762

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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

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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

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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.
 

Sharpshooter3

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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?
 

BookHound

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I ran three Spartan races last year - Asheville (Sprint), Atlanta (Super) and Spartanburg (Beast) to get my first Trifecta. Also ran a Rugged Maniac and few other brands. This year I'm already signed up for six Spartans to earn a 2X Trifecta medal and one of my "Beasts" in an "Ultra Beast" (30 miles). I'm also already signed up for a Terrain Race, Savage, Rugged Maniac, Toughest Mudder, etc. I'm an addict at this point. In fact, I'm clearing what would normally be my PRS calendar to run more races. Anyone want a deal on my 6CM? LOL.

I just shot the Mammoth Sniper Challenge last weekend and finished Second place in Tough Man Division. Over 30% of the field fell out on the first day. What I learned about nutrition and training for these OCR events helped tremendously at Mammoth. I'm in the best shape of my life at 50 years old because of Spartan and similar races.

Here is the AAR I just wrote up on Mammoth... Mammoth 2019 AAR

The things I really needed to work most on after my first OCR were grip strength and technique on obstacles like the monkey bars and Twister. For grip strength dead hangs helped the most.

Trail running and carrying buckets of rocks, sandbags, etc. up and down hills help a lot too.

If I can be of any assistance, please let me know.

Be blessed,

Mark
 
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Rerun7

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Anyone got advice on doing something like this in the cold? I’m doing a run n gun this weekend and the forecast looks tough.

High of 29
3-5 inches of snow forecasted
20 mph winds

I’m trying to figure out how to dress. It’s approximately 4 miles with some obstacles and 5 shooting stations. Have to carry all your gear with you throughout the course.
 

winniethepooh

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Anyone got advice on doing something like this in the cold? I’m doing a run n gun this weekend and the forecast looks tough.

High of 29
3-5 inches of snow forecasted
20 mph winds

I’m trying to figure out how to dress. It’s approximately 4 miles with some obstacles and 5 shooting stations. Have to carry all your gear with you throughout the course.
Advice? Stay your ass home lol. I’d wear some type of compression gear head to toe. I don’t think I’d be running maybe a slower jog so I wouldn’t blow out my knee with all my grarb
 

corey4

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Anyone got advice on doing something like this in the cold? I’m doing a run n gun this weekend and the forecast looks tough.

High of 29
3-5 inches of snow forecasted
20 mph winds

I’m trying to figure out how to dress. It’s approximately 4 miles with some obstacles and 5 shooting stations. Have to carry all your gear with you throughout the course.
Pawnee?
 

buffalowinter

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Anyone got advice on doing something like this in the cold? I’m doing a run n gun this weekend and the forecast looks tough.

High of 29
3-5 inches of snow forecasted
20 mph winds

I’m trying to figure out how to dress. It’s approximately 4 miles with some obstacles and 5 shooting stations. Have to carry all your gear with you throughout the course.
Done this many times. Lightweight undershirt made of a fabric that wicks sweat away from your body and then a lightweight gore-tex breathable running jacket. And a wicking watch cap. You will not get cold if you keep moving. The key is to wick sweat away from your body. The below jacket, and its different camo variants, has literally saved my life. Best piece of equipment ever made.
1547518982825.png


Tough Headwear Helmet Liner

1547519233987.png
 

Rerun7

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Yes - I have been trying to do some type of event every couple months throughout the year. I’ve done the last couple summer events, this will be my first winter event.


Done this many times. Lightweight undershirt made of a fabric that wicks sweat away from your body and then a lightweight gore-tex breathable running jacket. And a wicking watch cap. You will not get cold if you keep moving. The key is to wick sweat away from your body. The below jacket, and its different camo variants, has literally saved my life. Best piece of equipment ever made.
View attachment 7004214


Tough Headwear Helmet Liner

View attachment 7004217
I went for a jog tonight in a very similar setup and it seemed to work pretty well. I didn’t get cold at all so feeling pretty good about it.
 
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SuperChop

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I ran three Spartan races last year - Asheville (Sprint), Atlanta (Super) and Spartanburg (Beast) to get my first Trifecta. Also ran a Rugged Maniac and few other brands. This year I'm already signed up for six Spartans to earn a 2X Trifecta medal and one of my "Beasts" in an "Ultra Beast" (30 miles). I'm also already signed up for a Terrain Race, Savage, Rugged Maniac, Toughest Mudder, etc. I'm an addict at this point. In fact, I'm clearing what would normally be my PRS calendar to run more races. Anyone want a deal on my 6CM? LOL.

I just shot the Mammoth Sniper Challenge last weekend and finished Second place in Tough Man Division. Over 30% of the field fell out on the first day. What I learned about nutrition and training for these OCR events helped tremendously at Mammoth. I'm in the best shape of my life at 50 years old because of Spartan and similar races.

Here is the AAR I just wrote up on Mammoth... Mammoth 2019 AAR

The things I really needed to work most on after my first OCR were grip strength and technique on obstacles like the monkey bars and Twister. For grip strength dead hangs helped the most.

Trail running and carrying buckets of rocks, sandbags, etc. up and down hills help a lot too.

If I can be of any assistance, please let me know.

Be blessed,

Mark
Great AAR Mark. Much appreciated. Any chance you’d be willing to share some more info about your loadout? (i.e. what pack, what gear, what you would leave behind next time, what you wish you’d brought)
I’m preparing to shoot my 1st match of this kind this coming May, the Bushnell Elite Tactical Sniper Challenge, here in Western CO. Hoping that the my high altitude hunting/shooting experiences in this same area help out some. Right now I’m definitely most focused on the fitness level that will be required to even hope to be competitive. Any other suggestions for physical prep beyond the OCR’s? Thanks.
 

flatlander

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I'm similar to BookHound. I'm 49 and have ran 7 Spartans, in 2018 Charlotte Sprint, Fayetteville Super(hotter than 7 Hells) and Spartanburg Beast to Trifecta. I run these with my wife and Daughter and while it sucks during the event we always seem to sign up for the next Spartan in our area.
Outside of Spartans we've run others, Warrior Dash etc, but Spartans are just so well organized it makes the decision easier.
And yes I have a OCR course in the woods behind my house, complete with rope climb and Vertical wall:)

I have a torn shoulder so monkey bars are substituted w the required 30 Burpee penalty. My pre-event training is even days 5-6 mile jog/walk, all out running for 90-120 seconds x 6, 150# tire flip with feet elevated push up per flip for 100 yards, Odd days 85# sandbag carry for 1 mile, 2 sets x 10 Sand Bag Burpee's, with 50# sand bag, 60# bucket carry for 1/4 mile( the worst event at Spartans by far).

If anyone wants to run with our team hit me up the first race is coming soon.

Todd
 

dj_taboo

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I did the AZ Spartan Sprint a few years ago.
For me the hardest parts were the rope climb and the 8ft wall. The rope climb was early but with soggy clothes it was much more difficult than I thought.
Use all the water stations throughout the race. Hydration is key especially by the end of the race, it's best to keep ahead of it.

Enjoy the beer at the end!
 

MarineWinger

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I’ve been running the spartan trifecta the past few years in Colorado, along with a few mudders and a Go Ruck. Really great way to get in shape and have fun. Also great way to get ready for hunting season in the mountains!
Tip...I do a 10 minute workout in the morning, and another 10-15 minutes at lunch. Includes a set of pull ups, push ups, and a few sets for that muscle group of the day. That with two runs a week, and I generally finish in the top 10 or 20 people for my ago class.