*** Today I am going to turn it over to my good buddy David Jeffries! He is a wealth of knowledge and running is something that he has done a lot more of in his life than I have. So here you go!***
Training for a Spartan Sprint
Quick Intro: Like Wayne said, my name is David Jeffries. I first found Coach Wayne and teamRIPPED when I was starting my own journey back in 2011. Like a lot of people back then, I found his results on YouTube and sent an email. And you know what, he helped me LOL We’ve become good friends through Beachbody and I have been able to run a few Spartans with him. Today I am going to share some of my experience with running (it’s what I do best) to help you see what it would look like to prepare for a Spartan Race.
Spartan Race Distances
There are 3 main race types with Spartan Race: the Sprint, the Super, and the Beast. There are also Ultra Beasts (26+ miles) and the Death Race… but that is for another time.
What we are going to focus on today is the Sprint length race. Most Sprints are around 5 miles and have – give or take 25 obstacles. If you have never run an OCR (obstacle course race) then the Sprint is a perfect race to get your feet wet.
Run Training for a Spartan Sprint
If you are already a runner, you might not need to train much for a Sprint. It all depends on your goals. If you are running with friends to have a good time, you probably have plenty of running endurance as it is. If you are running to see how well you can do, you will want to train for the run.
The ability to run hard and recover is most important in a Sprint. You aren’t going to have 4 mile sections to stride out and settle into a pace. You need to think of your running as interval work. You want to be able to hold a good pace, recover during some of the obstacles, and then get back to it.
Unless you run some competitive heats, it’s been my experience that you will wait for some obstacles, that is more time to recover. Here are some interval type runs to set you up for success.
8x400m w/ Push Ups and Squats
Run a 400m at a fast mile pace (if my best is a 5:00 mile, I would run at 6:00 pace – still moving with a purpose – I think like 80-90% effort)
Upon completing a 400m, in a 2 minute window, do 10 push ups + 20 air squats. Rest the remainder and then continue your sets.
2 min (10 push ups + 20 air squats)
2 min (10 push ups + 20 air squats)
… and so on
In the end, you will have 2 miles of fast running and plenty of auxiliary work to stimulate your rest periods and show you how to run under distress.
These are my favorites for pain! Find a good hill about 100-150m long.
Hills x 10
You want to run your first few times to establish your pace. I aim for at least an 8 on my effort scale (1 being crazy lazy and 10 being the best I could ever push). I want it to feel like I could go a little harder but not so much that I would be spent after 2 or 3. Once you know that time, your goal is to meet or beat that each time.
For rest, I walk down the hill and force myself to start right again. No waiting. Again, you want to get comfortable with being uncomfortable!
A New Burpee Mile
If you are a Spartan, you know about burpees! This is my version of the burpees mile (some people do burpees with a board jump until they reach a mile… it plain hurts).
Run 1 Mile
Stop Each Minute on the Minute (starting at 0:00) to do 5 Burpees.
Then continue on your mile run :)
Score yourself with your final time and how many burpees you had to do. Example if it took you 10:15, you’d have 11 sets of burpees of 55 in all. It gets moving in a hurry but builds that Spartan mind and perseverance!
You can always add more distance work. For me, I use off day runs to just recover and still get moving. Go out for an easy 3 to 5 miles. If you are only running a Sprint there is no need to build a huge base of mileage. If you can comfortably run 5 miles, you are fine.
So who’s going to post their first burpee mile time? I will be posting mine next week :)
COMING UP NEXT WEEK: Strength Training for a Spartan Sprint
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