The last article covered how a heavy pack and a long walk could help you get to your goals. This article will cover how a seemingly innocent 5K can move you to the next step. A 5K is a bit of a misleading name in the case of this race. The Spartan Race is anything but your weekend fun run. It is a 3.2 mile race, but it has a bit of a twist. This is how the race website explains this challenge, “In a bygone era barely imaginable by present day desk jockeys and gamer warriors, adventure and toughness were a part of everyday life. Modernity, in its quest for ever higher standards of safety and convenience, has made our lives soft and lackluster. The Spartan Race is an international running series that revives the spirit of an adventurous age. The race is designed to test your resilience, strength, stamina and ability to laugh in the face of adversity. Our unique obstacle course will demand every ounce of your strength and ingenuity.” From the very start of the race you headed directly into the lake. From there directly into a quarter to half mile run up a hill and back down, all the while in about 6” of bank sand. By the time the first obstacle comes, some of the most fit looking competitors are sucking wind. It just gets more interesting from there. Through every segment and over every obstacle your endurance and strength are tested. Pulling yourself over eight foot vertical walls, high knees through webs of ropes on a narrow path in the woods, and under barb wire only 12” off the ground; you are forced to use every bit of will power to keep pushing on as hard as you can.
Ok. OK. You want to know how this gets you onto the next strength gain. Once again, we will note that the body gets bored. This type of event pushes you to convert the ability to squat a heavy bar, into the ability to get yourself up and over three round bales of hay placed 10 yards apart. Then the next obstacle makes sure that every pull up you did counts when it’s time to pull yourself up and over that eight foot wall. From there moving on to test the chest strength when you have to push your upper body up as fast as possible, so you can get out from under one log, over the next logs, and finally under the last set of three logs. Finally, you get to find out just how much conditioning you are getting out of that Tabata program or treadmill work. By the middle of the race, your lungs are burning, your legs are screaming, and you are really beginning to doubt whether or not the regular gym exercises your performing are really ready to transform into functional strength and conditioning. The final trial is there to test the hand eye coordination, as you have to throw a spear into a bale of hay from about 25 feet away, or pay the price of 20 up downs on tires to be allowed to complete the final leg of the race.
The next article in this series will cover the Warrior Dash. What is the Warrior Dash you ask? Here is the explanation from the event coordinators, “Warrior Dash is the ultimate event for thrill-seeking athletes. This running series is held on some of the nation’s most demanding and unique terrain. Participants will conquer extreme obstacles and celebrate their feat with music, beer, warrior helmets and muddy shorts.” Get yourself signed up, and get ready to experience your transformation to creating real, functional strength.