TRAIN: Get Spartan Fit

Spartan Race is coming to Manchester in July – AROO! – and I’ve put my big brave girl pants on and entered the Super*. The Super race is 13+km worth of obstacles, but there’s also Sprint at 5+km at Beast at 20+km.. I might have been tempted by the latter but in Manchester this time Super is the longest! I have an entry place for any Spartan you wish to give away (worth up to £90) so read on for details of the giveaway plus some of my tips to help with your Spartan training.

The Spartan is a pretty unique race, and from the information I can find the obstacles vary from race to race, so there’s not just one set of exercises you’re training for. I had a look around my gym to see if I could get creative with some of the kit and hopefully build my strength to help with the Spartan.

There seem to be quite a few obstacles in the race that involve pulling, dragging and pushing heavy objects, which will use the entire body, not least the core. Farmers’ walks will get you used to carrying heavy things for an extended period of time: all you have to do is grab some dumbbells or kettlebells (I find the latter easier to grip) and walk around the perimeter of your gym a couple of times. Trust me, this sounds a LOT easier than it actually is, and not only does it help train your body but also makes your mind resilient. Keep your posture straight and your core engaged. If you have sandbags in your gym get used to flinging those around as well, as the Spartan ‘Pancake’ gets used a lot: it’s a sand-filled neoprene bag weighing either 20 or 30lbs.

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Jumping and climbing over things seems to be a key theme, and although I have no walls to scale in my gym, we do have plyo soft boxes. Get your technique right jumping over these and you’ll shave a few precious seconds off in the race if you can leap rather than scramble over smaller objects. Upper body strength is important too, so get working on those pull-ups (I’ve given some advice on those here and here) – even if you can do a couple of mini ones they’ll benefit you a lot when you have to climb up a muddy wall or rope.

One thing’s for certain: you’re going to get VERY muddy and you’re going to have to face some fears. And do a LOT of burpees – so I better get over my hatred of those pretty quickly! Don’t forget that as well as obstacles the Spartan Race involves a long run, so keep up with your endurance training, too.

To win your own place in a Spartan Race all you have to do is retweet the following Tweet:

*Giveaway closed, sorry!*

* I just have one place to give away courtesy of Spartan Race, who provided my race place also (thanks!). The giveaway is open for one week and a winner will be drawn from the retweets on the 28th May. Multiple retweets do not count as multiple entries. If you’re not a winner you can use code BLOGGER15 to get 10% off entry. Good luck!

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