Tips for Running a Spartan Race

Running a Spartan Race was one goal I wanted to check off my fitness list. I am happy to say that I did it and would do it again in a heartbeat. It was such a great experience. It challenged me physically and mentally and I would recommend anyone give it a shot. If you are thinking about signing up, here are some helpful tips for running a Spartan Race.

Tips for Running a Spartan Race

Train, Train, Train

If you haven’t run one of these types of races before, like me, I started with the shortest Spartan Race, the Sprint. The Sprint race is anywhere from 3-5 miles with 20-25 obstacles. Depending on how active you are, I would plan for at least 2-3 months of training for the race. Work on your cardio and do strength training, specifically your upper body. A lot of the obstacles will involve pulling yourself up and over walls and have you carrying heavy objects. Also, practice your burpees. If you can’t complete an obstacle you are supposed to do 20 burpees. If you need some programs to help you train, check out my favorite fitness apps.

Take a Look at the Course Tips for Running a Spartan Race - Obstacle

It is always good to know what you are getting into so take a look at the course map. Spartan releases a map of the course with the obstacles plotted on it. Knowing the obstacles will also help with your training exercises. The course map will help you get a good game plan together.

Get there Early

It will take some time to park, pick up your race packet and store your stuff. Make sure you are there well before your race time (minimum of an hour prior). They release groups in waves so the course doesn’t get too crowded. You will also want to stretch and check out all of the sponsors giving away free stuff.

Training for a Spartan Race - Registration

Hydrate and Fuel Up Appropriately

Make sure you drink plenty of water the day before and leading up to your race time. Have a good meal 2-3 hours before your start time and maybe just a small snack before, if you need it. While you are on the course, be sure to pace yourself and stop for water breaks at the stations as necessary.

Avoid Running in Hot Temps

I made the mistake of running the race in hotter temperatures than was ideal. If you can, try to pick a race that is during the cooler months. If you are running during one of the warmer months, try to get an earlier start time to beat the peak heat. Usually, the earlier time slots fill up quickly, so register early to get the best options.

Get a Team Together

Tips for Running a Spartan Race - Team

These types of races are always more fun when you have a group going in with you. Gather some friends to help keep you motivated throughout the race and to train with. It will also help to have some stronger and taller individuals to help give you a boost on some of the obstacles. It is also nice to have people cheering you on at the finish line.

Tips for Running a Spartan Race - Team 2

Wear the Right Clothes

Be prepared to get very muddy and wet. Wear clothes and shoes you don’t care about ruining or losing (I had a friend lose a shoe in the mud). I also suggest tighter fitting clothes so they don’t get caught on obstacles or weighed down when wet. I also suggest wearing lifting gloves to help you grip obstacles and weight. Also, bring a change of clothes so you don’t have to ride home in your race clothes.

Have Fun!Tips for Running a Spartan Race - Done

I know some of you might find it hard to believe, but it is a fun race. Enjoy the challenge and push yourself to stay positive. Once it is done, you will look back and say “I did it!” Also, if you are up for celebrating, there is a free beer afterward.

Pro Tip: Check Groupon or other apps and websites for discounted race entry fees.

I hope my tips for running a Spartan Race prove helpful! What races are you running this year?

35 thoughts on “Tips for Running a Spartan Race

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  1. I’ve done one OCR and it was fun, but on a hot day. It was at a military base, none the less, and we had trenches to run through and helicopters flying overhead (simulating an actual battleground setting).

  2. These are great tips! I have only done one Spartan race but it was super fun! I love the difficulty of the obstacles and how people were willing to help others when climbing the walls, etc.

  3. I would have to train to get through anything needing upper body strength – like pulling up my body weight. But it would be so much fun to do with a group of friends.

  4. Fully agree on having a great team to race with! I’d say have a dedicated photographer friend follow you throughout the race as well. There are so many great action shots!

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