Training for a Spartan Race can feel like a large undertaking but I’m here to put your minds at ease. Your going to have a great time no matter what shape you are in. The Spartan Race community is one of the most friendly and inclusive groups of people I have ever met. This is why so many people get addicted to obstacle course racing (OCR). That said, it’s a great idea to start training. This will only make your first Spartan Race more enjoyable. So, how to train for a Spartan Race? Follow these 5 things and you will be off and running for your first race!
Also make sure to check out our Spartan Race Tips and Obstacle Weights.
1. Start Running / Jogging
Spartan Races are really just trail runs with some obstacles thrown in for fun. Start by working up to where you can run/jog the distance of your race plus one mile. If your first race is a Spartan Sprint (3.5ish miles), build up to 4.5 miles. These runs don’t have to be fast just focus on staying moving the entire time.
One of the most versatile tools in a Spartan racers training arsenal is the push-up. Not only can you do them anywhere, they will help with burpees (more on that later), low crawls, and help build your triceps strength to push yourself over walls. Start with sets that are comfortable and add more as you get stronger. Another great way to mix it up is with 30 second push-ups. Each rep takes 30 seconds, 15 down and 15 up. Trust me, this will build core strength as well as chest, shoulders, and arms.
3. Dead Hangs for Grip Strength
This is one of those exercises that will benefit everyone from beginners to pros. Start by hanging from anything you can. One of my favorite grip hanging programs comes from the legendary movement coach Ido Potal. The great thing about his program is that it takes you beyond passive hanging, increasing shoulder mobility and grip strength. Below is an example.
Spartan Race has one penalty for failing obstacles, 30 burpees. The two best ways to get better at burpees are running and doing burpees. Start with by building up to sets of 30, then start adding in a 200-400 meter run in between sets. This will go a long way to help simulate race conditions and prep your whole body for your first Sp.artan Race.
Not every one can do pull-ups and the great thing is you won’t have to any on the course. That said working you grip strength and improving your pull-ups will only benefit you. If you can’t do a pull-up, start with negatives. If you can start doing more, buy a pull-up bar for your doorway and get to work. This is the one I have. I’ve added a bunch of grips to mine to make it even more challenging.
Putting it all Together – How to Train for a Spartan Race
Working all of these pieces individually will go a long way to making you a better Spartan athlete. The next step is putting them all together for a complete workout. Here a couple of my favorite go-to. Just add more rounds to increase the difficulty.
– 400 meter run
– 2 rounds of Cindy (5 pullups, 10 push ups, 20 air squats)
– 800 meter run
– 30 burpees
– 5 strict pullups (or 30 second dead hang)
– 1 Mile Run
– 100 Pull-Ups
– 200 Push-Ups
– 300 Air Squats
– 1 Mile Run
(partition pull-ups, push-ups, air squats to your liking)
Hero WOD: Coffland
6 Minutes Dead Hang (cumulative)
Each time you drop from the bar perform:
– 800 meter run
– 30 push-ups
* This workout is performed in honor of U.S. Army Spc. Christopher J. Coffland, 43, of Baltimore, Maryland, died Nov. 13, 2009, in Wardak province, Afghanistan.