First Spartan Race? Here are 10 Top Tips

Planning on a Spartan Race? Here are the top ten tips from a Spartan Trainer!

Are you thinking about doing your first Spartan Race but there’s something holding you back? Maybe you’re not sure when your nearest Spartan Race is or even how to train for a Spartan Race. Well I may have some of the answers you’ve been looking for in today’s post.

I want to introduce you to Marc Trussell, who I’ve asked to share his top ten tips for smashing your first Spartan Sprint. He’s the country’s highest-qualified Spartan Race SGX Coach, which means he trains people all over the UK how to take part in Spartan races to the best of their ability. He’s also the first and only person in the UK to hold a Spartan Delta which is a pretty big deal because that involves completing every type of Spartan event within one calendar year! He has a background in 100-mile Ultrarunning and Double Iron distance Triathlons, so he knows what he’s talking about!

Marc Trussell’s Top 10 Tips for Conquering Your First Spartan Race

#1 Join the Spartan Race UK mailing list and Facebook page
There’s a wealth of information available for those taking on their first Spartan Race and for seasoned racers alike – tips from coaches, interviews with elite athletes and discount codes too.
#2 Consider enrolling in a Spartan SGX training course
The official group training method of Spartan Race will help get you event-ready, focusing on technique and conditioning with likeminded Spartans.
#3 Start running
You’re going to need a base of fitness, so invest in some trail shoes, get out there and run. Venture off-road and find trails, working up to covering your chosen race distance, initially without the obstacles.  
#4 Become used to being comfortable with being uncomfortable
When running, train in all weathers. Get muddy, get wet, get uncomfortable! Throw in some bodyweight exercise into your run. For example, 10m bear crawl, 15 x press-ups, 20 x squats every 5 minutes. Mix it up. Become creative.
#5 Carry awkward stuff
Whether it’s a bucket, a sandbag pancake or a chunk of wood, at various points in your Spartan Race you will be carrying something. Incorporate this into your training, carrying natural materials such as rocks and logs, especially up and down hills.   
#6 Nothing new on the day
It’s a week before your race, you’ve just bought a new compression top, so now test it out before race day to ensure it’s comfortable. This rule applies to everything: shoes, shorts, socks and nutrition as well. Nobody wants gut problems before a rope climb.
#7 Compose yourself
When you approach an obstacle on race day, walk to it rather than run, especially in the latter half of the race. This will be give you time to compose yourself, make a judgement and watch how best (or not!) to get over it, through it, carry or throw it. The right mindset and game plan may well save you that 30 burpee penalty (see below).
#8 Master that burpee
Regardless of tip 4, whether you’re at the spear throw or on Mount Olympus, those burpees may well make an appearance on race day. Embrace them! Get working on some Tabata burpee training (4 mins – 20 seconds work / 10 seconds rest x 8 rounds), shoot for 5 burpees per 20 second interval. That’s 40 burpees done, and at Spartan Race we ask you for just 30 if you fail an obstacle. That’s a win, right? 
#9 Enjoy the experience and smile at the marshals  
Running a Spartan Race is an awesome experience, so take time out to enjoy every mile and obstacle. Engage with the marshals. They love a ‘high-five’ and a muddy hug. Share a smile. Some marshals even give out jelly babies.
#10 Help your fellow Spartan
You’re in this together, so if a fellow Spartan needs a hand over a wall, or some encouragement over the cargo, then help them out and don’t feel afraid to ask for help yourself if you need it. As you conquer your first Spartan Race, remember to live by the Spartan warrior ethos: Never leave a fallen comrade behind.
Now that you are armed with Marc’s top tips, I hope this has better prepared you to take that leap of faith to do your first Spartan Race. If it has, I would love to see you there! Let me know in the comments below if you sign up to any races. I will be at the Sevenoaks Sprint April 8th and the Windsor Sprint October 7th. Maybe I can be the helping hand that gets you over that 8ft wall!
Sign up here and use the code ‘URBANSPARTAN’ for 20% off of all Open Heat Sprint, Super or Beast races this season!
Image Credit: Epic Action Imagery

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