Ante Up: Spartan, Sprint, Done.
“How can the sky be the limit when there are footprints on the moon?”
Did you know the goal of the Spartan brand is to change 100 million lives by motivation people to get out of their comfort zone and experience the Spartan lifestyle? There are two key words in this mission statement that really resonate with me about my first Spartan experience: comfort zone and experience.
I am still processing the fact that I completed a Spartan race. But, the mission definitely rings true. This was one of the most exhilarating and empowering experiences I’ve had and it definitely pushed me out of my comfort zone. If you follow me on Instagram, I tried to share a bit of the journey along the way. Now that I’ve completed my first race, I am here to share more of my thoughts.
Sometimes You Have to Just Go For It!
Completing a Spartan race was a goal that I had sent for late-2019. Definitely not something I thought I would do so soon! I’ve been wanting to push my body in a new way and stepping up my goals. A friend posted she was planning to do a Spartan race and asked if anyone wanted to join her. I quickly responded, not knowing she meant like…now!! We decided to sign up for the Spartan Sprint – a 3+ mile race with 15-20 obstacles to be conquered throughout the course.
I feel the location of our race is seriously worth mentioning. Our race took place about an hour outside of Nashville, in a city named Pulaski, Tennessee at Milky Way Farm. The farm was purchased in the 1930s after Frank Mars found success with his Milky Way candy bar. It was absolutely gorgeous, and a pretty cool fun fact!
Preparation is Key
I trained about four weeks for the race (because that was all I had from the time we decided to do it). My personal trainer and I focused on endurance circuits and I went through some technique sessions with a Spartan trainer in Memphis. Many of the sessions focused on full-body exercises and included equipment like sandbags, battle ropes and medicine balls. I also focused on lower-rep, heavy-weight exercises like deadlifts, kettlebell rows and goblet squats. I really enjoyed pushing myself in this way and was in awe of how our bodies truly are amazing tools. Oh! And I cannot forget about the burpees! There were a lot of burpees along the way.
I did better than I expected! I “failed” at four of the obstacles, all of which were upper-body. I knew the monkey bars and rope climb would be my weakness going in, so the obstacles that utilized that technique definitely meant I was taking on those 30 burpees at each station. I was very proud of my performance with the sandbag pull, atlas and bucket carry. My biggest pitfall was my nutrition plan leading up to the race. Between the classes I teach, my training session, the Spartan workshops and attending a few pop up workouts/visiting local studios for special sessions, I allowed myself a lot of cheats. If I had been more regimented with my eating plan, I would have been in tip-top shape. What I hated most was the dunk wall, which called for wading through mud. I slipped…it was not pretty! I also would love to reduce the amount of time it took me to complete the course.
To Do or Not To Do (Again)?
Heck yeah!! I am surprising myself here. I found my first Spartan race to be empowering and thrilling. I pushed myself harder and accomplished more than I thought I would. I also have some clear goals for the next race, including mastering those upper-body stations and working on becoming more fluid so I can be successful at the rope climb and rigs along the obstacle course.
Right now, I’m just happy to proudly say, “Aroo! Aroo! Aroo!”
5 Tips For Your First Spartan
1. Take advantage of any Spartan training, workshops, or festivals that are in your area.
2. Have an accountability partner! I could not have done this without my friend Kendyl and her support.
3. Train hard. Eat clean. Rest up. I struggled with the last two which led to a slower pace throughout the race.
4. Read! I read every blog I could, and asked a ton of questions any time I met someone who told me they had done a race before. I went prepared with my weight lifting gloves, shin guards, athletic socks & moisture-wicking fabrics.
5. Have fun! It’s tough, but remember the mission! It’s designed to empower, so get out of your head and go for it!