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Old 10-15-2012, 11:02   #1
jason10mm
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Spartan Beast

Just did one this past weekend. If anyone is interested in it, DO IT! It hurt, yes. It sucked, yes. It was a PITA to train for, yes. But finishing was one of the most sublime experiences ever!

My workout for the past 6 months was basically kettlebell clean and presses and swings 3 x week, bodyweight exercises (the Convict Conditioning program) of pull-ups, push-ups, leg raises, and squats, and lots and lots of running (I was up to 3-5 miles twice a week and a 8-10 miler on the weekends).

I finished in 4 hours, 3 minutes, which put me right at the top 30% for all men and 25% for men my age (36-39). Pretty nice validation of my training program, made all those stinking hot and sweaty summer work-outs worth it :P

Training FAILURES: Cramps were my biggest limiter. After mile 6 (of 12-14) calf cramps were frequent, usually happening right as I jumped on a wall or was -almost- to the top of a mud slick hill :P Need way more hydration and electrolyte replacement.

Need to do WAY MORE hill sprints and lower body work. Carrying weights was easy. Pulling myself over walls and up ropes was easy. Climbing YET ANOTHER DAMNED HILL was excruciating. I have a nature trail near my house that is basically straight up, then straight down. I thought it was too steep to be good practice and instead spent my running time at the paved, mostly flat greenway. WRONG! That nature trail will be my new friend for the next training cycle. Interval sprints, ruck marches, anything that overloads and develops the legs. They can not be strong enough. Running for distance is cool, but there are so many times where you simply can't run (trail too steep, too narrow, too crowded, underwater) that max run distance is secondary to peak effort and VO2max.

Run wet and muddy. Find shoes that can be easily removed and washed out. My New Balance 993s were great for the first 5 miles, but eventually became completely waterlogged and sand filled. The laces wouldn't unknot and trying to wedge my foot back inside just caused lots of cramping. Definitely going to invest in a minimalist shoe or 5 toed shoe, something that won't hold water and can be more easily removed if necessary (downside is potential loss of said show in a mud pit, do they make 5 toed ghille broughes that lace to the knee?

Finally, RUN WITH A FRIEND! We made lots of temporary trail buddies, but it was my longtime friend who pulled me through it, made me run when I wanted to walk, and motivated me during this past summer of training. I'm sure his desire to not fall behind me did the same for him Get someone, ANYONE, to do this with you.
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Old 10-15-2012, 11:30   #2
Goldendog Redux
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Good job.

I did the last two Tough Mudders in Tahoe (Squaw Valley and Norhtstar). I did not train for them other than just doing what I usually do. I did the Squaw event alone and the Northstar event with five other guys. I enjoyed them both equally.

A good plan is to walk the hills, run the flats and haul ass on the descents.

I cramped a little in each event but nothing major.

To go really fast, the courses certainly favor dedicated runners and even more, hardcore trail runners. Unless you have some weird phobias or are just a wuss, the obstacles are no big deal.

With regard to shoes, I wore NB MT10 Minumus. I would not recommend anyone completing an event like that in a shoe like the MT10 (or any true minimal shoe) unless you are very used to the super-minimal shoe or you will wreck your feet and calves

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Old 10-15-2012, 19:00   #3
sappy13
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I did toughmudder this past February in GA and loved it. I qualified in the top 5% and was so close to signing up for the Worlds Toughest Mudder but decided it would cost too much between entry fee and travel. I havent done a Spartan Race yet, but would like to do a Beast when it comes back around to my area. Obstacle races are so much fun. I love running in general, but combining the running with all other aspects of physical fitness makes it so much better.
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Old 10-16-2012, 11:21   #4
jason10mm
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I've been looking at toughmudder events as well. There is one near Nashville this spring that looks promising. Not too keen on the electricity based obstacles though.
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Old 10-16-2012, 11:45   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jason10mm View Post
Not too keen on the electricity based obstacles though.
You get a pretty good thump but I thought it was pretty funny.

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Old 10-17-2012, 08:39   #6
jason10mm
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Yeah, but electricity can do funny things and who knows who is doing the wiring and what power source they are using, what is the possibility of error?

That said, I'm sure my adrenalin and sense of macho manliness will dictate that I dance through the stinging wires :P
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Old 10-17-2012, 10:55   #7
sappy13
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The electricity isnt as bad as you would think. You notice the shock, but it happens so fast. I think the people you see in videos that hit the ground from it just get caught off guard. With that said, I did have a couple black marks on my arms and chest from where the wires touch my bare skin.
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