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My Spartan Sprint Race Is This Week!

Spartan Race Michigan
Spartan Race Michigan

109 Days Ago I Signed Up

109 days seems like forever ago when I signed up for my Spartan Sprint Race. I thought it was all the time in the world but it really does zoom by. I think what happened is my training intensity and focus on nutrition amped up the closer I got to race day. That's not to say I was slacking but you find an extra gear when you're 30 days out instead of 90 days out. Now that I'm only a few days away from my Spartan Sprint race I can look back and see I've hit some highs and lows in my training and nutrition.


Weight Training

Shed Gym Workout
Shed Gym Workout!

My training has been steady and I can feel the improvement but it hasn't been without struggles and failures. First the positive. I consistently hit the weights for 109 days. I posted my Month One Training Plan and that was the foundation for my entire training period. I lifted weights 5 days a week consistently for 15 weeks and that I am proud of. I think I made the most improvement in my chest and back because I hit those twice a week. My muscles and strength overall improved but not everything was perfect.


I think I struggled about halfway in and had to make a course correction. I posted My Phase 2 Spartan Training Plan and then I also posted My Spartan Race 30 Days to Go. The bottom line is the increased workload I added caused some injuries to pile up on me. Specifically, my shoulder and calf muscles were really beat up. What I did was delete some exercises but kept my rep ranges higher on the ones I did do. What happened was my injuries healed up and today I'm about as injury-free as a 46-year-old can be heading into race day.


Another thing I want to include into the struggle/failure was my lack of stretching and dynamic movements. I really wanted to include more stretching to improve my range of motion. Honestly, I always pushed stretching to the back burner. I always got my weight training in and my cardio but often times I'd say I'll do stretching tomorrow. I never did. I stretched for 5 minutes or so after a run or while I was lifting but never a more in-depth session my body would have benefited from.


Cardio

Early Morning Run
Early Morning Run

Weight Training I had some ups and downs but Cardio was all good. When I first signed up for my Spartan Race I was on week 4 of my Run 5k app with the goal of running 30 mins straight. I completed the app on schedule and then each week I'd add a minute or two to my long run. Today I did a long run for 45 minutes before I ease up heading into the weekend. I'm only running 3.5 miles in that 45 minutes but I'm just focused on getting my time in for now. The spartan sprint is 3.1 miles so I'm comfortable hitting that distance. I consider my cardio training a complete success!


Nutrition

Kodiak Cakes with Turkey Sausage
Kodiak Cakes with Turkey Sausage

My nutrition was another bright spot during my training. I posted my Spartan Nutrition Plan and I really never looked back. I changed some things around based on what I felt like eating but it was always healthy nutrient-dense foods. The biggest change was eating Kodiak Cakes for breakfast for months without really getting tired of it. I went on vacation for one week in August where I did eat some burgers and bacon but I also brought protein bars for snacks and exercised every day. This time really reinforced to me that eating nutritious food equals feeling good like clean fuel in a car.


Weight Loss

Macrostax Weight Loss Graph
Macrostax Weight Loss Graph

So my nutrition went well but that doesn't always equal weight loss. I was eating all the right foods but when I jumped on the scale every week the weight wasn't budging. I was eventually able to lose weight and I'm going to attribute it to giving Macrostax a chance. What I was able to accomplish after adjusting my macros was exciting. Since starting the app I have lost 17 pounds in about 2 months! I realized I was unknowingly overestimating the amount of fat and calories I was consuming daily. It wasn't a lot but if you overestimate fat grams by 20 a day that adds up over time and can neutralize weight loss efforts. Once I scanned everything in I saw how I was overeating but I also saw how little I had to change to make the scale go in a different direction. My goal when I started training was to come in lighter and I think I've accomplished that.


The last thing I'll say is I lost weight and I ate a bunch of carbs!


It's go time!

Heading into the weekend I've done everything I can to prepare myself for the race. The last couple of days I've been easing up on my weightlifting sessions by lightening the load and intensity. I don't want any aches or pains on race day so I can do my very best. I'm not going to run some amazing time and obstacles like the monkey bars I'll probably fail. It will still be worth it, especially the hours I spent every week getting here. The nights in my shed gym and running in the dark early in the morning were worth it and in some ways more important than the race itself. Sunday's Spartan Race is going to be the cherry on top!

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