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Phase 2 of My Spartan Training Plan

Phase 1 Complete

A couple of months ago I posted my Month 1 Spartan Training Plan. For the first month and a half I focused on a foundation of strength and endurance. I think I accomplished that so I made a change to my training about 2 weeks ago. The first phase was focused on my foundation but the second phase is more focused on endurance and stamina. I'm still lifting weights, running, and riding my Peloton but I'm shifting gears in my approach. I'm breaking down my changes into three categories- Weightlifting, Cardio, and "Race Specific Training".

Month 2 Weight Lifting

Night time in my Shed Gym!
Night time in my Shed Gym!

To run a spartan sprint race your strength is going to play a role in the course. The Multi-Rig Swing and the Log Carry all take strength! I'm not going to lay out my Month 1 plan again but it was a full-body regiment targeting every body part multiple times a week. In Phase 1 I was performing each exercise for 8-12 reps. The last rep was to failure or close to it. This month to increase my endurance I'm going for a rep range of 12-15 reps. I won't go to failure but really close (say 1 rep more). To get those additional reps, I'm going to lower the amount of weight I'll handle for each exercise.

How will this help my race effort? In an obstacle course race, I'll be picking myself up and pulling myself over 20 obstacles. We are not concerned with powerlifting here but instead focusing on muscular endurance. This higher rep count will help me get there.

Phase 2 Cardio

In my Phase 1 of training for cardio, I completed the Run 5K App. It was an 8-week training program to build you up to 30 minutes of running. A couple of weeks ago I finished the program and am now looking to improve my stamina and speed. I downloaded the Nike Run Club App to start my second phase of Spartan training. I'm going to use that app to run further and faster. By the time I get to race day (October 22nd), I want to be able to run over 40 mins and at least 3 miles. I'm also adding another day (4) of running to my week.

30 Minute Peloton Ride with Hannah Frankson
30 Minute Peloton Ride with Hannah Frankson

Still riding the Peloton. I'm running 4 days a week to improve my endurance but I'm not stopping there. I want to do 2 more days of cardio but something that is lower impact. That is where the Peloton shines. In Phase 1 I was doing shorter rides (20-30 mins) but this month I'll be doing longer rides (30-40 mins). 4 days of running with 2 days of Peloton rides are going to improve my stamina while taking it easy on my joints and knees.

How will this help my race effort? The Spartan Sprint Race is an obstacle course but it's also a 5k. After every obstacle, I'll be running to the next. I have to be able to run further than a 5k to compensate for all the extra energy I'll spend on the obstacles. Being able to go further and faster is going to make it so much easier.

Race Specific Training

There is weight lifting, cardio, and then there is something that I call the "X" factor. For now, I'm going to categorize these exercises as Race Specific Training. These are exercises that will condition my body and help me simulate some of the things I might be doing on race day. Bear Crawls and Farmer's Walks are already in my routine and they fall under this category. I'm going to be adding a few more into my weekly routine.

Hill Training
Hill Training

  1. Dumbbell Thrusters- An entire body movement that combines the squat with the shoulder press. It's going to improve my strength and endurance. A video of how to do Dumbbell Thrusters can be found here.

  2. Hill Training- I have a backyard with a steep incline. I'm going to be doing some sprints up the hill and also some Farmer's Walks. I'm jogging 30 mins/4 times a week now but the terrain here is mostly flat. My backyard hill will provide another layer of stress that my lower body can grow from. Farmers walks on an incline will be a dangerous combo!

  3. Deadhangs- Like the Farmers Walk deadhangs are simple but effective. Not a lot of technique here. Grab a pull-up bar or monkey bars and hang there as long as you can. Deadhangs are going to improve my grip strength, flexibility, and stability in my upper body. Just the exercise I need to help me get across those monkey bars!

Race Day is Getting Closer

I'm writing this with 46 days left until race day. With just over 6 weeks left, there will not be a Phase 3. I might add an exercise but this phase will be it. When I signed up for the Spartan Sprint I had 109 days and it didn't seem real. Today it feels very real and my workout intensity has reflected that. With the endurance increases I am making I can feel my body start to tighten up a little. In 6 weeks I think I can make a huge leap in my performance!

Macrostax and Spartan Training

Macrostax App
Macrostax App

A few weeks ago I wrote about the Macro counting app called Macrostax. It's been a nice companion for my Spartan training because I have lost 4 pounds since using it. I have been eating more carbohydrates than I am used to so I wasn't expecting the weight loss. Couple that with the extra energy I have with those extra carbs and I'd say it's a winner!

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