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I Registered for a Spartan Race

Updated: Sep 6, 2023


Spartan Race Registration
Spartan Race Registration

Goal Setting

So lately I've been feeling like I'm a horse without a carrot in front of me. I'm working out and eating semi-good but I feel like I'm on autopilot. Right now, I am currently not working toward any specific goal other than showing up. I need that carrot in front of me so I can find that extra gear that I haven't been using. I was scrolling on Facebook and I stopped at an ad for Spartan races. That's where it began.


My 6-year-old son looked at one of the participant photos. The guy had that classic 6-pack and chiseled chest spartan look to him. My son who was hovering around me says "You can't do that race". I said "Why not?" He said, "Because you're too old". I'm 46, not 80. Challenge accepted. On October 22nd, 2023 in Walker Michigan, we are going to find out. And for another layer of fun, my son is entered for the Spartan Kids Race!



What is a Spartan Race

Spartan races have a few varieties but I chose to register for The Sprint Series. The Sprint is essentially a 5k trail run with 20 obstacles peppered into the course. It's the shortest most accessible course they have making it perfect for someone's first crack at a spartan race. Per the website mud and water will be throughout the run and the obstacles will include climbing walls, ropes, barbed wire, monkey bars, and spears (spears??). Registering for a Spartan Race is easy. It took me a whopping 3 minutes and I was done. Training for a Spartan race will be tougher and I'll need the entire 4 months to get ready. To do that I'm going to first address my weaknesses.


Weakness

I lift weights and do cardio about 5 days a week but I need to work on things to help me tackle an obstacle course. I've got 3 different areas of my fitness I'm going to put extra focus on to get me ready.

  1. Endurance- There are 20 obstacles but it's still a 5k race (3.1 miles). I've been doing a lot of run/walks but nothing in that range. Currently, I'm doing 2 miles and I do it interval style with walks in between runs. I need to be able to do more than the 3.1 miles because those 20 obstacles are going to wear me down.

  2. Upper body strength- specifically my back muscles. Some of the obstacles like the monkey bars and climbs are going to require my back muscles to be able to carry the load. I'll need a two-prong approach. First, build as much muscle as I can in my back. Second, drop some weight so my back doesn't have to lift so much. Easier said than done!

  3. Grip Strength- If you want to climb monkey bars, and pull yourself over obstacles you're going to need grip strength. If your grip strength weakens on the course your going to fail. Currently, I can't cross a set of monkey bars and it's because of my grip. I just can't hold on. Much like the upper body strength, my grip strength can also improve if I drop some of the weight I'm carrying as well.


Training


80 Pound Rock Weights In My Shed Gym
80 Pound Rock Weights In My Shed Gym

Some of my training won't change at all from my current routine but tweaks will be made. Currently, I'm working out in my shed gym 5 days a week using dumbbells, a trx suspension trainer, and the trx bandit kit. I couple that with a few days of run/walk cardio and a couple of days on my Peloton bike. For this month I'm going to focus on a few additional exercises to combat the 3 major weaknesses.

  1. Endurance Fix- Commit to 3 morning Run/Walk sessions gradually building up my endurance until I can run for 30 mins straight. I'm using an app called Run 5k by Felt Tip. It will gradually build up my endurance by running 3 times a week for 8 weeks. This will really help me stay on track to run that course in 4 months. Another tool I'll be using is my Peloton. In between those runs, I'll add bike rides to keep improving.

  2. Upper Body Fix- I'm currently lifting weights 5 days a week. My split will be Monday- upper body push, Tuesday- upper body pull and abs, Wednesday- lower body, Thursday -upper body push, and Friday- upper body pull and abs. Hitting all muscles in my upper body twice a week should help fix any weakness.

  3. Grip Strength Fix- At the end of every workout I will be including an exercise to help with grip strength. For example, on lower body day I will do 3 sets of Farmer's Walks. I'm hoping by August 1st I'll start to see a little improvement. After the first month, I fully expect to add some more exercises like a dead hang to level up.


Diet

My diet is going to get a little overhaul and a few tweaks but the foundation will stay the same. Like I said in the beginning I've been a man without a goal so I've been going through the motions including my diet. I've been hitting my protein numbers (about 1 gram per 1 pound of body weight) but I've been eating way too many carbs both processed and unprocessed. To get my weight down so I can make it through these obstacles I gotta clean it up and eat better. There are two things I'm going to focus on this month to get started.


A Bag of Huel
Huel Is Going To Keep Me On Track!

  1. Huel- This meal replacement is going to keep me on track every day. I wrote a review of it a few weeks back if you want to learn more about it. Essentially it is a stripped-down no-frills meal replacement that is nutrient dense. I'll eat 3 whole food meals a day but in between those meals, I'll drink 2 Huel shakes. This will keep me from overeating at home or buying some crappy snacks at a gas station when I'm out. Need a $15 discount on your first order? Use my referral link and save!

  2. Vegetables- This is the most obvious and easiest tweak to my diet I'm going to make. If I start every meal by filling half my plate with vegetables I cannot lose. I think the biggest challenge of doing this is just making sure they are in the fridge at all times. Buy too many at one time and they'll spoil by the time you get to them. Don't buy enough and you're going to fail. The bottom line, I'm going to have to go to the grocery store a little more frequently.



Looking Ahead

This is my first-month plan. In August I'll have to reevaluate and make more tweaks when needed. I'm going to ask myself did I improve in a few key areas (cardio, grip strength, overall strength, and body weight). My training and diet for August will depend on what worked and didn't work for this month. At the time of writing this, I have 109 days until the race. It sounds like a long time but I can't treat this like a paper I wrote in college the night before. Every day has to count!


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