Top 5 Tips to Prepare for the Spartan Race

Spartan Race medals

Overcoming obstacles in life is one thing. Overcoming obstacles in the Spartan Race morphs you into a beast. And I mean that quite literally. There will be times where you channel your inner wild side and take on nature’s environment in the most brutal of ways.

What should you expect?

For starters, a body covered in bruises, scrapes, scratches, gashes, lacerations or any other way you can describe a cut. You are going to battle tree branches, sharp rocks, rough terrain and filthy water. That’s not even the half of it. The feats of strength will be equally as challenging as keeping pace over several miles of uneven landscape.

Take a good look at yourself in the mirror and be honest with your capabilities. This race will quickly take you to the threshold of mental and physical breakdown. The good thing is that the Spartan Race offers three different stages to best suit your skill level.

Beginners are advised to start with the Spartan Sprint which features 15+ obstacles over a 3+ mile span. Do you have some experience in adventure racing? Put yourself to the test with the Spartan Super which boasts a 8+ mile run with over 20 obstacles. If you are looking to face your demons, as their site says, sign up for the grueling 12+ mile, 25+ obstacle Spartan Beast.

Let us know how that one goes.

5 Must do’s to prepare for the Spartan Race

1. Train Differently

Some lifting in the weight room and cardio on the treadmill isn’t going to cut it. You got to think a lot bigger. Expect heavy tire throws, barbed-wire mud crawls, rope climbs, sandbag carries and a whole lot of monkey bars. Don’t get discouraged if that skinny dude is blowing you out of the water with his running stamina. He is going to struggle at some point with the physically demanding upper body obstacles. Make sure your solid up top for this race without a doubt.

Footwork and agility will be key here too. There are going to be lots of net climbs, log hops and the Spartan Race signature fire jump. If you can, train in muddy conditions and hit the pull bar or some push-ups in between. You will thank yourself come race day.

Spartan Race girl jumping over fire

2. Get Comfy

This should be taken in two different ways. The first is the obvious. Wear gear that can withstand the conditions in the most comfortable way possible. The most important rule to remember is to NOT wear shoes you care about. Seriously, don’t. There is a good possibility you may throw them out after you cross the black and white checkered line. Compression shorts are a solid choice for the lower half. Dri-fit shirts will perform well but in all honesty, no-shirt will truly make you feel barbaric. Which might give you that edge you need to finish the damn thing.

The second portion… get comfortable being uncomfortable. It is definitely a smart idea to tape up ankles and wrists, wear some gloves, knee braces etc. Mud is going to find its way to every crack and crevice on your body. It might not be the hardest race in the world, but a shower will never feel so good when it’s all said and done.

3. Burpees, Burpees, Burpees

Can’t stress this enough. Do hundreds and hundreds of burpees. It is a guarantee that you will fail at least one of the many obstacles. When you do, 30 burpees. And it sucks.. badly. For the athletes trying to place on the podium, failing an obstacle not only means 30 P.O.S. burpees, it means losing valuable time. For the newbies, it tears at your self-worth when your friends are scampering away while you are on the ground hating your life because you couldn’t get across the monkey bars. Lesson here is: PERFECT BURPEES.

4. Sign Up With Friends

Maybe you like to run solo and that is totally fine. But this is the type of race where you are going to need some help in one way or another. Maybe its that lending hand from your roommate as you’re struggling to get over the inverted wall. Or maybe you are on that last mile and half and feel like giving up. Racing with friends will push you to finish and makes bragging rights that much better if you’re the winner in your group.

5. Prepare For Hills

Downhill, uphill, speed hikes. You name it. You are most likely going to have to face it. That super steep hill in your neighborhood? Yeah I suggest training on that bad boy. You also really want to learn how to effectively run downhill. Gravity plays a huge part in the technique but practicing this type of running is the only way to become efficient.

Getting exposure to wet terrains before the race will also help you immensely. Nothing is worse than being unprepared for a slippery hill and end up sliding down the decline on your ass instead of actually conquering it standing up.

Spartan Race men jumping over obstacle

Photo taken by Ty Wheels

Spartan Extras

It’s going to be a punishing, brutal, grueling and downright exhausting affair. If you are a little unsure on what in the actual hell you are about to get into, check out what obstacle runs are right for you. But if you’re up for the harrowing challenge, respect from all of us at Rad. Grab a group of friends, train hard and finish a beast. Now get out there and race like one.

Ready to race? Check out the Spartan Race website for locations, tickets, and competitor info.

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Harry R Bennett III

Harry R. Bennett III is a Los Angeles native who grew up addicted to playing sports. His love for the game of baseball eventually landed him several scholarships to play college ball across the United States. After receiving his B.A. in journalism, he pushed himself out of his comfort zone and moved to New York City in an effort to pursue his passion in the sports industry. Bennett has worked with major companies such as Fox Sports and Major League Baseball and has written for several online publications covering a variety of sports content. Although his playing days are over, he enjoys the endless pursuit of competition from athletics and action sports.

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