I did a quick write-up for my team mates to jump-start our Spartan training.  See previous post on the Spartan Race for context.

This is far from complete, and is just some basic principles.  As I’ve mentioned, each of our 5-person team is coming with completely different strengths and weaknesses so this is just to get us all on the same baseline.  What I personally am doing is slightly different.  I’ll share that at the end.

General Principles

– work up each week (longer or more intense, etc.); each week should be harder than the previous [we had 8 weeks at the time I wrote this]

– use varied training methods

– keep an eye on recovery:  you don’t want to be so sore that you miss workouts but you don’t want to undertrain either

– deload (reduce training 4-5 days before the event)

– stretch daily; this is important for recovery; my advice is mostly active stretching, but static stretching is fine too as long as it is AFTER exercise; foam rolling is amazing

– eat smart (don’t try to diet during this, but don’t eat junk; eat lots of good, real food to help your body recover)

– sleep well for recovery

Types of Training We’ll Cover

– endurance running (long distance)

– core training (stability, strength, endurance)

– load training (carrying)

– strength training

My Recommendations For the First 2 Weeks

These are the things I think should be a minimum.

1)      TRI once a week.  [For you LeanLifters readers, I don’t have time to explain the game of TRI but think of it as Rugby with 3 teams.]  If we miss a week, you need to spend at least 30 minutes doing similar training (sprinting with change of direction, add in throwing).

2)      2 runs a week.  One shorter one longer.  Goal will be to get your longer runs up to 8 to 10 miles by early July.  Depending on your current capacity, this could be a big leap so let’s talk if you can’t already do at least 4 mile runs.  Try to do a lot of your running on trails.

For your shorter run, I suggest the type of training you see in the spartanraceblog.  Something like this:

  • Run 1 mile
  • Do 50 pushups
  • Hold a plank for 2 minutes
  • Do walking lunges for .25 mile
  • Run 1 mile
  • Do 50 chinups (find a playground near your run?)
  • Hold a plank for 2 minutes
  • Do 50 bodyweight squats
  • Repeat

Note that doing 50 pushups doesn’t mean you have to do them all at once – it means do as many as you can, then rest the shortest amount possible, then resume, etc. until you get to 50.

3)      Hills.  At least once a week, find a huge hill and run it.  I don’t think you need to sprint.  Just keep steady.  Then… run it backwards.  You’ll see it uses completely different muscles and the backwards runs will help you if there are any major pulling tasks in the Spartan.

4)      Upper Body.  This is a tough one to train for without equipment [my teammates don’t have access to all the weight training toys I have].  You’ll get some upper body from the “breaks” in the short runs indicated above, but those are more for endurance, not strength.  If you do weight training, that’s good.  But we could also set up at my house once a week an upper-body strength circuit.

5)      Loaded walks.

Get a backpack and fill it with rocks or something.  Walk around in your normal life with this for a few hours a couple days a week.

Also, one day a week, find something really heavy to carry where you can only handle it for 60 to 120 seconds.  And repeat.  Things like farmers walks or even just carrying sandbags.  But it needs to be HEAVY.

Looking Forward

As I said earlier, keep progressing each week.  When we get to July, we will need to do simulation training where we incorporate various routines into a single 2.5 hour session.  We’ll get together once a week for that.  Also, watch all the videos at http://spartanrace.tv/ to get motivated (and scared!).

So What Am I Doing?

As I mentioned, the above is what I sent out to my team but here’s what I did last week.  The lifting routine is a new routine I’ve been working on and I might share the details for free if I get a lot of comments on this.

Sun:  4 mile slow run in the morning.  60 minutes of rugby (TRI) in the afternoon.

Mon:  Lifting – upper body (bench press, rows, dips, pullups); tried to do core, but was still super sore from previous day

Tues: 5 mile run (slow, still wicked sore from Sunday)

Wed:  Lifting – deadlift day

Thurs:  Lifting – heavy leg day plus core

Fri:  Lifting – emphasis on military press and high pulls

Sat:  7 mile run, with hills, medium pace

Notice that I’m not taking any days off.  Probably a bad thing.  Not recommended, but I just can’t help myself.

Thoughts?  Questions?

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