Spartan Race 101
Time to drop the training wheels and graduate to the Spartan Race. Find out what you are physically and mentally capable of and have fun while doing it.
A Race for everyone
- Sprint (5+ KM, 20+ Obstacles)
- Super (12+ KM, 24+ Obstacles)
- Beast (20+ KM, 30+ Obstacles)
- Ultra Beast (42+ KM, 60+ Obstacles)
- Hurricane Heat (Small team based event, 4 hour or 12 hour)
- Agoge (Most challenging, destination race, 60 hour)
Three Categories for each Core event and Ultra Beast… Exact same course, you are just racing with different people
Our obstacles will have elements of mud, rope, barbed wire, wall and fire (no electricity). They will test your physical and mental toughness but it is nothing you can’t handle. If there is an obstacle you can’t complete, you are still in the race- just pay the penalty of 30 burpees.
I am interested! Now what?
1. Don’t be afraid and register.
Race by yourself, race with a team, race for a charity
2. Eat well. Visit the link below for health tips
3. Specific training for the Spartan Race
Find a certified Spartan SGX coach – https://www.spartan.com/en/training/spartan-sgx/coach-finder
Use free Spartan training videos – https://www.spartan.com/en/training/how-to-train/spartan-sprint-training-plan
Have you tried the Sprint? Time to take on the Super.
- Races in escalating difficulty allow you to keep challenging yourself
Try the same race again and beat your own time
- The beauty of a timed event is to see how you do among your gender and among your age group
- Not satisfied with your past performance? Train harder, eat better, race again and see your time improve
Take full advantage of the Spartan community
- Get more involved. Volunteer, join the street team, become a certified SGX training
- Encourage your friends and family to sign up and become a Spartan
So you heard about Spartan Race and have a boatload of questions you want answered before you Spartan Up and sign-up for your first race. We handed your questions over to some of our most knowledgeable Spartan Staff who live and breathe the Spartan lifestyle and here are the answers they came back with to help you make it to the starting line.
I have never heard of Spartan Race – what is it?
A Spartan is not your average race! While you are certainly familiar with everyday run-of-the-mill road races, the Spartan Race is like their adventurous, adrenaline-junkie friend who thrives on excitement. Not only will you be running, climbing, and crawling across some of the most gorgeous terrain the world has to offer, but you’ll also get to splash through mud, tackle many unique and challenging obstacles, test your overall strength, balance, mental tenacity and endurance, and finish with a fiery leap of victory! It’s probably one of the most exciting, invigorating and thrilling ways you can choose to spend your weekend.
I have seen tons of pictures of my friends running a Spartan Race and STILL have no idea what it is. Help me out?
Imagine a large area of rough terrain. It might be sandy or muddy. It could be a hilly meadow or a forest. It could be anything. Throw in a few hills here and there, and maybe a river or a lake sits in the middle of this. We’ll put a course that runs through and around the area. Then, we’ll put some obstacles in the way. Obstacles that will make you climb, crawl or carry yourself over, through and past them. If you fail one of these obstacles, you do 30 burpees and then you continue. That’s what your friends have been doing and you should try it, too!
I am old, fat and not particularly fond of moving. Can/should I do a Spartan Race?
Yes, you should do it and yes, you can do it. People of all shapes, sizes and walks of life have completed Spartan Races. If you don’t want to run, walk. Take your time! Just keep putting one foot in front of the other and before you know it, you’ve done the first mile. So, now you’re thinking, “but I can’t climb over a wall or anything like that”. Maybe not on your own, but there will be many, many people that will be more than willing to help you. The Spartan community are well-known for being helpful and they don’t like seeing people struggle. Watch how quickly a helping hand extends your way. Don’t be surprised if you feel someone pushing up on the soles of your feet to boost you up. That’s normal. They’re just helping you.
Is it addictive?
Most definitely, but that’s not always a bad thing. If you think you might be at risk for becoming addicted to making new friends, having the time of your life, pushing yourself further than you ever thought you could go, and getting in the best shape of your life, then yeah… Spartan Race might be addictive.
How do I prepare in terms of food, hydration and gear?
Each racer will have a different experience that’s entirely dependent on how hard you’ve trained for the event. It is recommended that you drink plenty of water the week leading up to the event, make sure you’re drinking at least eight glasses per day. Skip the alcohol the night before, save it for the post race celebration. You don’t want to be “that” guy or girl that has to be pulled from the course due to dehydration because you partied too hard the night before. For on-the-course hydration, essential for the longer distances, be sure to wear something that will help you carry water.
In terms of gear you’ll find that less is best, skip the cotton and get shoes for trail running.
Who builds these courses? Are they all the same?
There are multiple build teams made up of trained professionals who have extensive experience engineering safe and functional obstacles and courses. The courses are very different from one another. At Spartan Race, we always look for ways to make each event unique. Each race is always different from the last. What fun would it be if they are all the same? The clever use of obstacles as well as maximizing what the terrain has to offer is what keeps people coming back for more.
What should I bring to the race with me?
First and foremost, bring an awesome attitude! You’re about to embark on the adventure of a lifetime — one that will challenge you. Additionally, the race will also leave you with incredible memories, a huge boost in confidence, and likely a burning fire to come back for more!
As for gear, tennis shoes with decent grip will help prevent slipping on steep hills and obstacles. And be sure to tie them nice and tight so they don’t get sucked off in thick mud! You’ll also want to skip the cotton t-shirt and opt for sweat-wicking material that won’t get waterlogged. Be sure to slap on some sunscreen, and bring a snack or two to ensure you don’t bonk during your race. Finally, a change of shoes and shorts for post-race will help you celebrate in comfort as you enjoy your accomplishment!
Oh, and be sure to bring your ID, or your race day will end at check-in. Avoid the unnecessary and automatic 30-burpee penalty.
I know nothing about exercising — how do I prepare for the race?
First thing to do is get moving. How about you walk the dog for an hour? Mow the lawn. Rake some leaves in your back yard. Just do something to make you sweat a little. Then do it a little more. How about riding a bike, but taking a longer or hillier route than usual? Work the legs a little. On our website, we have what we call the daily “WOD”. This is the Workout Of The Day. It’s a simple set of instructions that you follow once a day and before you know it, you’ve started your Spartan training. It’s really as simple as that!
I’m driving 3+ hours and my heat is in the afternoon — should I get a hotel the night previous or should roll up an hour before my heat?
The choice is ultimately yours to make. According to many of our seasoned racers, having a good nights rest and not having to worry about unexpected traffic, or any indeterminable situations helps lead to a better experience come race day. Oftentimes, you can find a hotel close by and with the Spartan Annual Pass as there are many special discounts on hotels that you will qualify for.
What’s a burpee?
The burpee is a full body exercise used that is considered in Spartan to be one of the most effective full-body weight exercises around. It’s used as a fundamental element of Spartan SGX training, it was the launchpad for the #Spartan30 which originated when Joe De Sena challenged his Tedx Talks audience to do 30 burpees a day for 30 days. In Spartan Races the burpee is used as a penalty. If you fail an obstacle it’s 30 burpees before you move on. Remember, Spartans earn their medals — only take one if you’re willing to complete all your burpees.
To perform a burpee, begin in a standing position.
Drop into a squat position with your hands on the ground.
Kick your feet back, while keeping your arms extended.
Perform a full push-up.
Immediately return your feet to the squat position.
Jump up from the squat position.
If I can only do three exercises to prepare for the race, what should they be?
First, if you haven’t already started, you’ll want to begin running to work on building your endurance. Logically, the next workout would be.. what else? Burpees! This exercise is both despised and adored, and is a staple at each and every Spartan Race and workout. It provides a full-body workout, spiking your heart rate while forcing you to engage your muscles from head to toe. Finally, you’ll want to get some weighted exercises in. Grab a rock, fill a backpack with books, get creative! Acclimating your body to carrying and moving heavy loads benefits your endurance, strength and grip strength, among other things. Incorporating running, burpees, and weighted carries into your routine will ensure you arrive on race day prepared. Combine the three, and you’re sure to conquer the course.
Spartan Races are timed events – does that mean I shouldn’t come with friends?
Nope, we encourage it. You’ll see many teams at events. Some teams even make a point of wearing the same color shirt so that they stand out. They’ll help each other over and through obstacles, keep each other entertained with chat and laughter and often, they’ll pick up some racers that are going alone but have perhaps decided that they’d like to stay in a pack themselves. These are the Spartans that don’t really mind about the time and prefer to bond as a unit, enjoy the day and stick together.
What shoes should I wear?
All-terrain shoes, of course, or any trail shoe that you feel the most comfortable in. If you’re running a Stadium Race you can stick to your standard running shoes.
I’m nervous. Does that mean I shouldn’t do it?
Being nervous is the best reason that you SHOULD do it. This course is all about proving to yourself that you can accomplish what you once thought impossible. There will be plenty of great people along the way to make sure that you reach that finish line in full Spartan fashion.