I’ve had some time to reflect after the weekend of races and I can say my heart is so full. My client and great friend, Shelly, and I flew out to Oahu this past Friday to compete in a Spartan Race. I competed in the Beast (14 miles) on Saturday in the women’s elite division and finished in 10th place. Shelly and I competed in the Super (10 miles) together on Sunday and I couldn’t be more proud of her. It was only her second Spartan race and she pushed past obstacles, overcame fatigue, and powered through an injury. She did what her mind and body at times, didn’t think she could do. I know I have made a previous post before on Spartan races but I felt after such an incredible weekend I was due to make another one.
Spartan races are obstacle course races that are held around the globe. They are comprised of tough terrain, mud, water (sometimes snow), walls, spear throws, monkey bars, and LOTS of burpees…just to name a few. Spartan races are designed to challenge you both mentally and physically and they are for all different fitness levels, ranging from elite athletes competing for prize money to groups of friends just wanting to try something different and challenge themselves. You can run, walk, hike, crawl and climb. Spartan races trigger your inner child to come out and relive the playground days.
Today so many of us work 8+ hour days sitting at a desk with our heads hunched forward. As I’m sure we all know, obesity is a growing epidemic across the United States and our sedentary lifestyles don’t help the case. The world of obstacle course racing is BOOMING right now and if you haven’t tried your hand at a Spartan race now is your chance! Spartan races give you something to train for and allows you to set a tangible goal for yourself. Having a tangible goal is key to success and increases your chances of sticking to a new fitness regimen. Some of you may be thinking, woah this is way too intense for me…I just want to lose 10 pounds. Spartan racing is an opportunity for you to change your lifestyle, long term. It isn’t a quick fix to your health and it requires a lot of work and dedication. Remember how sedentary our daily lives are though? This is a way for anyone over the age of 16 (children younger can race with their parents) to get involved with a new sport and the greatest thing is you can start at any age. It’s not like basketball where you better have started at age 4 to really be able to compete. Competitors are in their 60s and they’re dominating the course!
Ok so aside from a killer workout and a challenge, why else would you want to do a Spartan race …or why should you?
I truly believe competing in an event such as a Spartan race, pushes your mind and body past what you think is possible. These races show you how resilient you can be. When it’s hot and you’re tired and you feel like you can’t go anymore, a fellow Spartan is there to cheer you on and encourage you and you find that you are able to keep going and that you CAN do it. The lessons these races teach us are so valuable in aspects outside of just racing. This can translate into our personal lives, relationships, work, children, etc. When you jump over that fire after completing 10+ grueling miles of obstacles and hills, you get this feeling that there is nothing you can’t do, and it is absolutely true.
This is something I instill in my clients because I truly believe in all of them and their capabilities. I would never ask them to do an exercise or run a certain distance if I didn’t believe that they were capable, even when they don’t believe in themselves. It’s not about being cocky or self-absorbed, it’s about being confident in yourself and trusting your abilities. It’s about going outside of your comfort zone in order to grow and trusting that your mind and body can get you there.
On a personal level, this race helped me grow as well. I ripped my hands on a few obstacles, causing my palms to bleed. I was so mad because I still had so much more to go in the race and I had no bandaids or tape AND I was racing the next day too with Shelly. I had no time to be injured. I ended up getting some tape, added over 10min to my time because of the injury and stopping, and my hands still killed me. BUT I finished the race strong and received so much support from spectators and fellow racers. I finished the race so proud.
If you want to challenge yourself and you’re looking for that next step, go for it! I train at Fitness on Fire in Irvine, California, which is an obstacle course racing gym. I would LOVE to train you for your first Spartan race and get you across that finish line! Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to get started!
Not in Southern California? Visit https://www.spartan.com/en/training/get-started/spartan-sprint-training-plan to find a Spartan training gym in your area.