Thursday, June 25, 2015

Training for Spartan Races and the 2103 Spartan Events

There are levels to everything.  You can do just enough to get by.  You can even just look like you're doing enough while putting no effort at all.  Many people kick it up a notch and really make an effort to be ready for these races.  Inevitable you have those few...those rare individuals that are so driven that they take this training to the extreme.  Then of course you have me.  When I first signed up for the 2011 Spartan Sprint in Tuxedo, NY, I did set up a workout routine.  I mean, I had every intention of being as competitive as possible that race.  Looking back on it now, I would have been better off doing "wax on....wax off" every day considering how much those workouts helped.  After that race though, things got serious!  I wasn't expecting anything spectacular...never considered being truly competitive...but I just wanted to put on a better show than last time.  I realize that's not exactly setting the bar very high, but you have to start somewhere.

In the months prior to the 2012 Spartan Sprint in Tuxedo, most of my training was done at Eisenhower Park.  A local park with one of those fitness trails and exercise stations every so often.  Turns out, that those layouts area a pretty decent facsimile for a Spartan race.  A lot of running with some obstacles (stations) mixed in.  Of course these stations were about as close to the Spartan obstacles as juggling tennis balls is to juggling chainsaws....but let's not quibble.  Even though the race was brutal...and well documented in a previous post...I did manage to improve my splits by around 5 minutes a mile.  Ok, so I had massive room for improvement from 2011 but still...better is not worse!

However, eventually Fall comes, and for me it just got tougher and tougher to get some training in before dark...when the park closes.  Eventually the training would have stopped altogether.  Since I had to move soon after the 2012 race, I also ended up exactly no where near another decent park!  As fate would have it, a friend mentioned a nearby Planet Fitness.  Now, joining a gym wasn't quite in my budget, so I thought.  But I figured, at least go take a I did a drive by.  Well...not immediately...first I went to the wrong place and ended up at some late night health clinic.  In the end though, I did manage to find it.  Actually, it amazed me that I hadn't seen it before...I mean I drive around the area all the time.  This place must have been 15,000 square feet...of windows! you get to train with a few thousand friends.  But it turns out they had exactly what I needed.  Needless to say, I didn't actually have the best training plan in mind...but we'll talk about that next time.

Meanwhile, I've declared 2013 the year of the Spartan Beast. heard it here first!  This year I plan to run several Spartan races eventually culminating in the Vermont Beast next September.  Assuming of course that I'm not impaled, drowned, shredded by barbed wire or otherwise incapacitated along the way.  February will start the madness with a Super Spartan race in Miami.  I mean, I've done so well so far, why not try a race that's over twice as long and in the brutal heat (compared to New York in February).  Surviving this race, I'll be giving a shot at the April Citifield run here in NY, another stab at Tuxedo in June, then a sprint in Pennsylvania...maybe a couple more...spirit and budget willing!  Aroooo!!

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