Tonight, will I be dining in hell?
September 13, 2016 5:09 PM   Subscribe

So, I just signed up for my first Spartan Sprint. Am I going to die?

I'm not a runner. I'm in pretty decent shape for a man of my advancing years - weekly full contact LARP combat for years has kept me pretty fit, and I've been going to HIIT training two or three times a week for the last few months along with the occasional trip up the wall at the local rock-climbing place. My core is in much better shape than it's been in years, and the HIIT is doing wonders for my stamina and endurance. But, I'm not a runner. I've never done distance, and running, stamina be damned, usually does leave me winded quickly when I try.

Has anyone here done a Sprint? What kind of shape were you in? How did you do? There are a ton of websites with tips to help prep - what helped YOU survive the day?
posted by hanov3r to Health & Fitness (4 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I did a Stadium Sprint in terrible shape (planned to train but life got in the way) and I survived- took it slow, did a LOT of burpees. You will do great! You don't have to run it, people are let on the course throughout the day so you can take it at your own pace and not feel like you're the last guy on the course.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 6:10 PM on September 13, 2016

You're not going to die. I'm a 41 year old dude and am not ripped, built, or hardcore. My first Sprint was last November at Fenway Park. At that point, I could run a 33-35 minute 5k at best. I've since done 4 other events, including a 10 mile Tough Mudder, a 5.6 mile BattleFrog, and an 8.4 mile Spartan Super. I haven't been fast at any of these, and at no point has my cardio exceeded my previously-stated time. Unless you're running in an elite or competitive wave, no one cares if you need to walk for a bit to catch your breath. Further, if you fail an obstacle and are too tired to do the burpees, don't worry about it. Although there are staff or volunteers at each obstacle, no one will notice or care if you do 0, 10, or 30 burpees. On my Sprint, I failed only the spear throw, and did 3 sets of 10 burpees with rests between. On my most recent Super, I failed 4 obstacles, and didn't do burpees for any of them because I was dealing with cramps in the humid 90-degree weather. No one said a word about it.

I'd also add that other competitors are really encouraging and helpful on the course. When we were lined up waiting to start under the grandstand at Fenway, the rope climb obstacle was nearby, and there were hundreds of people cheering the climbers. A few people got stuck near the top, and those that hung on until they rang the bell were rewarded with a huge round of applause.

I'd advise you to do some distance running training, but it doesn't have to be anything extreme. When I started training, I could not run .25 mile without having to stop. I used the Couch to 5K app until I could run for 30 minutes continuously. Depending on how much time you have before your event, you might be able to do the entire program, or if your current fitness allows, you can start a few weeks into the program with whatever durations of running and walking suit you.

Have fun!
posted by EKStickland at 6:30 PM on September 13, 2016 [3 favorites]

As someone who just completed a trail ultra marathon whose sister and brother are ultra marathoners and whose friends have completed Spartan Sprints.... No, you won't die. It's only 3 miles. Couch to 5k will help, but as EKStickland says no one is going to care if you walk to catch your breath. You may want your inhaler available just in case if you need it.

1. If I were you, I'd get really good with burpees, so you aren't winded by those.
Review the obstacles and the rules/penalties here.

2. You may want to go to your local playground and do some runs through the monkey bars and/or get a pull up bar for your doorframe to gauge how you'll do on the upper body dominant obstacles.

3. Practice lifting from your knees. Be mindful of the things that could tweak your back and do some PT/core bridge exercises.

4. Have fun. This doesn't have to be a competition. Set personal goals and you do you.
posted by msladygrey at 7:59 PM on September 13, 2016 [2 favorites]

I'm a SHW weightlifter, and I managed to finish a Sprint, and have volunteered at a couple other Sprints and Supers. I try to live my life in a manner where the furthest I have to run is from the gym door to the empty squat rack, and I made it through on pretty much sheer grit and stubbornness. You'll be fine. Feel free to MeMail me if you have more specific questions.
posted by culfinglin at 7:02 PM on September 14, 2016

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