General Discussion Triathlon Talk » Spartan Races Rss Feed  
Moderators: jmk-brooklyn, Ron Reply
2013-04-30 11:18 AM

User image

Champion
6054
500010002525
Menomonee Falls, WI
Silver member
Subject: Spartan Races
Talk to me about Spartan Races. Anybody done one and would you recommend one to others? Any training advice?

Also, my local Spartan Race is scheduled for three weeks before a Half-Marathon that I would like to PR. I have bad ankles, a sometimes balky back (yes, I'm falling apart at 44) and really worry about the injury risk doing an obstacle race would add to the mix. Based on your experience, do you feel adding the Spartan Race would add a significant injury risk to the mix?


2013-04-30 11:24 AM
in reply to: #4720728

User image

Champion
10246
5000500010010025
Puyallup, WA
Subject: RE: Spartan Races

Lisa and I did the Warrior Dash in 2011. While it was kinda fun, it wasn't a race. Waves of 1000 or so people were released onto the course, some running, many walking. Big back-ups at the "barricades" of various forms, none of which were particularly challenging. Lots of people WAY out of shape having difficulties making for huge back-ups. Lots of mud (purposefully manufactured) making much of the course un-runnable.

It was an excuse to say "I did it" and have a beer afterwards. Personally, I've checked that off my list, and have no desire to go back.

2013-04-30 11:33 AM
in reply to: #4720728


97
252525
Subject: RE: Spartan Races

Can't speak for Spartan races specifically, but I have done two Tough Mudders. They are blast. Very much more a challenge and for the bonding experience with fellow athletes of all varieties.

Which distance are you looking at? Typically they are much more physical strength challenges. If you're in decent shape (which I imagine you are if you're into triathlons) you won't have any problem at all. Generally these types of races are an excuse to climb and crawl through the mud and over walls, towers of hay bales, cargo nets, etc.

With bad ankles it might be a bit risky if you're trying to run flat out through the courses, but generally as mentioned already most people do not run, or just can't due to the deep and very thick mud.

All in all they are a blast. In regards to training, spend more time in the gym lifting than out running. If you're doing a 5k length you will do little if any running because the obstacles are generally very close together one after another. Lots of push ups, pull ups, squats, etc. will serve you much better.

Take your time through the course and you'll have fun. You'll be laughing the whole way through at all the people slip sliding around you. And the sense of accomplishment at the end is worth every penny. I love these kinds of events, and would love to do a lot more if I could afford more of them and more were closer to where I live in Ohio.

Cheers.

Alex

2013-04-30 11:42 AM
in reply to: #4720764

User image

Champion
6054
500010002525
Menomonee Falls, WI
Silver member
Subject: RE: Spartan Races
e_powered - 2013-04-30 11:33 AM

Can't speak for Spartan races specifically, but I have done two Tough Mudders. They are blast. Very much more a challenge and for the bonding experience with fellow athletes of all varieties.

Which distance are you looking at? Typically they are much more physical strength challenges. If you're in decent shape (which I imagine you are if you're into triathlons) you won't have any problem at all. Generally these types of races are an excuse to climb and crawl through the mud and over walls, towers of hay bales, cargo nets, etc.

With bad ankles it might be a bit risky if you're trying to run flat out through the courses, but generally as mentioned already most people do not run, or just can't due to the deep and very thick mud.

All in all they are a blast. In regards to training, spend more time in the gym lifting than out running. If you're doing a 5k length you will do little if any running because the obstacles are generally very close together one after another. Lots of push ups, pull ups, squats, etc. will serve you much better.

Take your time through the course and you'll have fun. You'll be laughing the whole way through at all the people slip sliding around you. And the sense of accomplishment at the end is worth every penny. I love these kinds of events, and would love to do a lot more if I could afford more of them and more were closer to where I live in Ohio.

Cheers.

Alex



Interesting. I've wanted to do obstacle races because I think I'm more built for them than triathlons (I'm a former weightlifter and built far more like a linebacker than a runner, at 5'10" and 190.) Having now done a gazillion triathlons, I'm also just looking for new challenges and I like the idea of getting back into the gym more. Yeah, I think I would just do a 5k length to get my feet wet and see if I like it.



2013-04-30 11:48 AM
in reply to: #4720728


97
252525
Subject: RE: Spartan Races

Your philosophy sounds precisely why I started doing them myself. Looking for new challenges. You sound like you have the perfect background for them.

I myself found them as a reason to also bulk up as I am not built like a linebacker. lol. I'm 6'0, 155 lbs and very lean. But I did put on some muscle while training and it was a huge help. I naturally have no upper body strength, but have really found a love for weight training. Its a slow uphill battle, but TM was a great excuse to be in the gym.

The 5k should be a good time. The two TM's I did were both 12 miles. I would like to do a couple 5k's for fun sometime in the near future.

Hope you go for it. They are a lot of fun.

2013-04-30 12:57 PM
in reply to: #4720728


11

Subject: RE: Spartan Races
I've done several Warrior Dashes, Spartan Beast and Tough Mudder.  I love the Warrior Dashes, 5k plus obstacles.  The obstacles are generally in the 2nd half of the race to allow people to spread out before hitting them.  If you plan on actually racing them I recommend going in the 1st wave so you don't hit the slow people in the wave before you.  The Spartan Beast was 13 miles and situated in a cow pasture so the trails were very uneven with lots of cow tracks.  The first (elite) wave was the only race portion (timed and placed) of the Spartan Beast.  The other waves were for fun like a Tough Mudder.  You do not need a lot of weight training. I recommend body weight exercises such as push ups, pull ups, monkey bars, and rope climbs. For the Spartan Beast we did have to pull a sled of rocks up and down a hill, carry some sandbags and flip a tractor tire plus several rope climbs.  Also work on your balance, you'll be walking across some wood balance beams.  If you can't complete an obstacle then you have to do 30 burpees before you continue.

Edited by risslerp 2013-04-30 12:58 PM


2013-04-30 1:07 PM
in reply to: #4720728

User image

Member
163
1002525
Subject: RE: Spartan Races
I have done a 5 mile mud run with 32 obstacles. It was fun.  I have done it and crossed it off the list.  I can't say I have much desire to do another one. Too many scrapes, bruises etc. 3 weeks from your HM should be enough time to recover, especially if you are doing it for fun. Unlike you though I have never done a tri so I'm still motivated by this sport.
2013-04-30 2:19 PM
in reply to: #4720728

User image

Regular
154
1002525
Kansas
Subject: RE: Spartan Races

I haven't done a Spartan race, but I've done two mud run/ obstacle course races. I'm 50% - the first one I did was a blast - so I came back for the second one. Last August I was 300 yards into the race - literally "hopped" into the mud and my acl on my left leg tore. Done for 7 months - rehabbing now. I ran my best mile last year at a 5k at 6:40 - I'm at 10 min. miles right now and I'm only up to two.

PR'ing a race that you're looking forward to is better than a race that everyone "thinks they can do". At least with a HM there is training that goes with it.

I'll never do a mud run/ obstacle course again.

 

2013-04-30 2:23 PM
in reply to: #4721103

User image

Master
2541
200050025
Washington, DC Metro
Subject: RE: Spartan Races
jayhawk_sean - 2013-04-30 3:19 PM

I haven't done a Spartan race, but I've done two mud run/ obstacle course races. I'm 50% - the first one I did was a blast - so I came back for the second one. Last August I was 300 yards into the race - literally "hopped" into the mud and my acl on my left leg tore. Done for 7 months - rehabbing now. I ran my best mile last year at a 5k at 6:40 - I'm at 10 min. miles right now and I'm only up to two.

PR'ing a race that you're looking forward to is better than a race that everyone "thinks they can do". At least with a HM there is training that goes with it.

I'll never do a mud run/ obstacle course again.

 

Exactly why I've never done one of these types of events.  A lot of folks I work with do them and they always ask me to join their team but I always say no.  I'm not risking major injury to fuel my internal testosterone induced raging caveman!  They do look like fun though!

2013-04-30 2:46 PM
in reply to: #4720728

User image

Extreme Veteran
1245
100010010025
Wausau WI
Subject: RE: Spartan Races

That must be the one at Miller Park. Sounds cool. Looks like it is more physical than some of the other obstacle races.

 

2013-04-30 3:36 PM
in reply to: #4720728

User image

Veteran
310
100100100
Gilbert, AZ
Subject: RE: Spartan Races
I did the Super Spartan last year in Phoenix.  I had a blast; mostly because it seemed like most of the guys there were bodybuilders/gym rats who have never worked on cardio a day in their life, so   I had to laugh every time I passed one of them, which happened most of the race.  Yes, you can bench twice your body weight, but you can't run a mile to save your life.  Gotta love it. 


2013-04-30 4:08 PM
in reply to: #4720728

User image

Expert
1125
100010025
Charlotte, NC
Subject: RE: Spartan Races
I'm all for doing fun events like the Spartan, but if you're focused on a HM 3 weeks later and you already have some nagging injuries, I'd pass.  There are plenty of mud run type events out there now - should be able to find another later in the season.
2013-04-30 5:35 PM
in reply to: #4720728

User image

Master
1398
1000100100100252525
Calgary, AB
Gold member
Subject: RE: Spartan Races

I did a Spartan Sprint (race report is complete) and it's over pretty quick. I would have no problem running one 3 weeks before a HM. The risk of breaking something isn't much more than any trail run IMO, or getting smacked by a car.

But the obstacles aren't a joke - leap over a 7 foot wall with no rope or footholds, walk a 2x4 beam, do a horizontal wall climb etc.

Signed up for another sprint this year, still haven't committed to the Spartan beast in the fall though.

I would never do a tough mudder - too many people, not timed, etc.

 

 

2013-04-30 7:54 PM
in reply to: #4720728

User image

Member
138
10025
Subject: RE: Spartan Races
I did a Spartan Sprint last June as part of a two race weekend (Spartan on Saturday, City Chase on Sunday) ...and had a blast. have a great pic of me crawling through ice under barbed wire, just grinning away.

Note the distances are estimates. Ours was stated to be 5k, when actual distance was 7.5k with about 15 obstacles). Train for more that you expect. And train on some hills. My race was at a ski resort...it was insane! Spartan Race actually has a training guide now I think. Haven't read it, but you might want to look into it.

I was debating doing a Spartan Beast this year, but decided the potential for injury was too high. I am just getting into triathlon (sprint/Olympic this year) and am running a marathon - so figure that will be plenty to keep me busy.

Good luck!

2013-05-01 8:56 AM
in reply to: #4721167

User image

Champion
6054
500010002525
Menomonee Falls, WI
Silver member
Subject: RE: Spartan Races
Lumber Dad - 2013-04-30 2:46 PM

That must be the one at Miller Park. Sounds cool. Looks like it is more physical than some of the other obstacle races.

 




You are correct. And then my Brewers HM three weeks later will be right back in the same place-- Miller Park.

It's funny. After reading through all these posts-- which have lots of good info, so thanks to everyone who posted-- I'm just as split as ever about this. Yep, it sounds fun, but I just don't know if the risk of injury is worth it.


2013-05-01 10:12 AM
in reply to: #4720728


35
25
Subject: RE: Spartan Races
Best summed up by a friend of mine:

"None of my runner friends are doing it, but all of the non-runners are."


2013-05-01 3:16 PM
in reply to: #4722151

User image

Extreme Veteran
1245
100010010025
Wausau WI
Subject: RE: Spartan Races
scoobysdad - 2013-05-01 8:56 AM
Lumber Dad - 2013-04-30 2:46 PM

That must be the one at Miller Park. Sounds cool. Looks like it is more physical than some of the other obstacle races.

 

You are correct. And then my Brewers HM three weeks later will be right back in the same place-- Miller Park.

I will be there for the HM. too bad we couldn't catch a Brewer game the same weekend.

2013-05-01 10:19 PM
in reply to: #4720728

User image

Veteran
243
10010025
Calgary
Subject: RE: Spartan Races

I did a Spartan Sprint (5 km) and had a lot of fun.  All around / upper body strength will obviously help, but I think that running ability was a lot more important.  I can't recall seeing any significant injuries amongst the participants.  Some random thoughts on my race...

  • I did the it with my son who has not done a lot of running.  We stayed together so I wasn't pushing very hard and it felt easier than any tri or running race that I have done.  I'm sure the obstacles would have been a lot more difficult at a more serious race pace.
  • Most of the obstacles were fun.  The spear throwing was lame.
  • I think that the big muscled dudes with the padded sticks at the finish line dish out punishment based on the aggression vibe that you bring at them.  Don't lower your shoulder and charge at  them like you're a running back.
  • It might be possible to finish faster by just jumping off of some of the obstacles and accepting the burpee punishment instead.  This would obviously suck the fun out of the event.
  • The highlight for me was making it over the wall without using the ropes.  (You could choose ropes on the left or no ropes on the right.)  I'm 50 and the days when I could muscle myself up using arm strength are long past.  I was barely able twist my body sideways enough to hook the heel of one foot over the top.  Once I had the leg hold it wasn't too hard.
2013-05-02 10:02 AM
in reply to: #4722292

User image

Veteran
357
1001001002525
North Carolina Foothills
Subject: RE: Spartan Races
jblamb1401 - 2013-05-01 10:12 AM

Best summed up by a friend of mine:

"None of my runner friends are doing it, but all of the non-runners are."


^^^^ This is exactly my experience when it comes to these type of events. Where I work, they offer free entry to a local mud run and get lots of takers, but I have yet to see a serious runner sign up.

They just seem like a recipe for an injury ... I lump them in with all of the other gimmick runs. No desire to do one whatsoever.
2013-05-02 10:35 AM
in reply to: #4720728

User image

Member
76
252525
Subject: RE: Spartan Races
Done the TRIFECTA last year (arrooo!!!) and a Spartan Sprint already this year a few weeks before a tri. GO4IT... Just pace yourself on the spartan, wear some knee and calf protection. Use some cleated trail shoe( I use the inov8 bare grip 200) dont run in  your normal running shoes. Spartan races tend to be muddy and slick, bumps and bruises are fine but you dont want to roll a ankle  or have a hard fall injury. When your done go to the shirt tent and get the t  "SPARTAN THE F*%$ UP!!" and wear it proudly to your next race. Spartan races are a blast, you'll be fine...
New Thread
General Discussion Triathlon Talk » Spartan Races Rss Feed