I discovered Spartan Races in early 2017 and fell in love with the idea of using fitness in a competitive way outdoors. By discovering Spartan races, I was able to combine my love of fitness and travel and found 3 ways that these races can encourage you to discover great places around the world.
A Spartan race is a worldwide obstacle race that has turned into a competitive sport with athletes vying for top positions in regional championships all over the globe. You can enter a Spartan Race to test your own fitness and enjoy the community of athletes who all have the goal of completing the race together. Alternatively, you can enter the race as an elite or competitive athlete who wants to compete for money or bragging rights. Either way, get out there and give it a try! A Spartan Race typically has 3-4 various lengths and difficulty levels.
- Sprint: This is these shortest and easiest of the Spartan Races. A Sprint has a total of 3+ miles and 20+ obstacles. (This race is a great place to start!)
- Super: This is a medium-length obstacle course with a total distance of 8+ miles and 25+ obstacles.
- Beast: This is the more difficult obstacle course with a total distance of 13+ miles and 30+ obstacles.
- Ultra Beast: This is the most difficult race and is not found in all locations. Often it is combined with Spartan Beast courses and can be 26+ miles with 60+ obstacles.
The Spartan race tests your running ability and stamina along with your general fitness level. You can expect to run long distances with varied terrain (road, trail, mud, water, hills, etc…) and you can expect to get very dirty. You will be crawling, jumping, lifting, hoisting, climbing, and testing your physical capabilities beyond what you are used to. Training is essential, especially for the longer distances, and your upper body strength will be an important determining factor in being able to complete the obstacles without penalty burpees.
After discovering Spartan races online, I decided to enter my first one in March 2017 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. I did it with two other friends and we had a blast. We finished the Sprint in around 3 hours and I was determined to find the next race and enter at a more competitive level. The next one was in Singapore and it was also a Sprint so we signed up and started the training. Training consisted of daily fitness routines at a local CrossFit box and 3-4 mid-range runs each week of about 6-9km each. I loved the cross over of my CrossFit training and obstacle races and chose CrossFit as a way to improve my upper-body strength and my overall mobility. I discovered that Spartan races could really encourage travel and fitness at the same time.
1. SPARTAN RACES TAKE PLACE ALL OVER THE WORLD
The great thing about Spartan Races is that you can find them all over the world. After completing my first Spartan Race in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia I was on the internet the next day looking for the next race location. I discovered that the next Spartan Sprint was going to be in Singapore three months later. I love Singapore and thought it would be a great chance to see the city again and join another Spartan race. You can find where Spartan races are taking place globally on their website and you can search there by location and type of race.
You could technically travel the world and participate in Spartan races almost every weekend if you had the flexibility to do so. There are some interesting people on the internet who are documenting their journey of Spartan races all over the world. Spartan Nomad who has made it his goal to travel the world and race in Spartan races has traveled the globe to fulfill his passions. Miguel Labranche is on a world tour of Spartan races and you can follow him on his Instagram, Youtube & Facebook to learn how he does it and watch his incredible races in which he often places in the top 10. I have been in two races with him and he is inspiring to watch. His youtube channel also documents some of his travel experiences while racing Spartan races and his training routine which you can do just about anywhere.
2. YOU CAN TRAIN ANYWHERE FOR A SPARTAN RACE
Spartan Races consist of a large volume of running with a lot of upper body strength. This means that the best training you can do for a Spartan race, especially for the longer distances, is to maintain a consistent running routine in which you are attempting to run 120% of the distance of the course for at least two weeks prior to the race.
Spartan Races use a lot of your upper body in the obstacles. You will need to strengthen your upper body for the ring and bar obstacles, the wall climbs, the Hercules Hoist, and several others that will test your strength. Good quads will also help in addition to strong legs which you will get from running. Think of doing body weight exercises where ever you are.
3. DOING A SPARTAN RACE ALLOWS YOU TO SEE NEW PLACES
As I said before, Spartan races allow you to visit new places and explore the city where the race takes place. We had a great time in Singapore exploring the city at night and visiting Sentosa island during the next day to catch some sun and beach. Each Spartan race is different and you really don’t know what to expect. Malaysia has a hot and humid climate with hilly terrain so much of the course took place in the jungle up and down hills which was quite different to the Singapore race which was flatter and had more road and field terrain.
Whether your goal is to travel the world and compete in Spartan races or to enter your first one in the country that you live in, I guarantee you will find a great community and a new opportunity to take your fitness to the next level. I have certainly enjoyed the competitiveness of a Spartan Race and will continue to look for them in various countries as I travel around seeking out new and exciting fitness opportunities.
OTHER GREAT SPARTAN RACE BLOGS YOU MIGHT ENJOY:
- Amelia Boone Racing by Amelia Boone
- Vanessa Runs by Vanessa Runs
- Dirt in Your Skirt by Margaret Schlacter
If you like this article, perhaps you would also like my article, Hiking Kinabalu Mountain in Borneo, Malaysia.
I would be thrilled to connect with you on my social media channels. You can find me on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. I post photos, articles, and inspiration for staying fit while traveling.
Have you ever done a Spartan Race? What was your experience like? Would you ever travel the world to do Spartan Races?
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