How to train for a super spartan race and what to expect

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“The Spartan Race for me was never about the medal or the time, it was about pushing my body so far past its own limits to know that it could be pushed that far. The bruises and the cuts and the aching muscles were a reminder that hey I didn’t die and yes it made me feel alive!” – Adrienne

The road to a Spartan Race is paved with sweat, bruises and lots of dedication. When I did my first Spartan Race I wasn’t sure what to expect, but now that I have two under my belt I have a better sense of how to prepare for my next one. The next race I am doing is in September and it is the Tri-State Super Spartan at Mount Vernon, NJ. This will be my second Super Spartan race and it is the same one I did last year at the same location. When I did the Tri-State Super last year I had no idea that it would take nearly 3.5 hours to complete. I also didn’t realize how much uphill running and walking would be required. Now that I have a better sense of the terrain for this particular race I can prepare better for it. The obstacles for me were fun and challenging, but strength for me was not my biggest issue. For me it was building up my endurance to run 8 miles up and down ski mountains! That is something that is hard to train for and is always something I will never forget!


Every day I now make time to go running at the track near our house. I do 2 miles daily and usually aim to do 4 laps of moderate pace running without stopping and then the last 4 laps I do sprints. I walk the outer parts and sprint the straight aways. This builds up endurance but it is also a HIIT (high intensity interval training) cardio session. That helps to burn more fat and calories than just straight running. Right now I am 2 months out from the race so I do weight training in the gym and at the track I do some tire flipping, burpees, push ups and walking lunges. The thing with the super spartan tri-state race in NJ is that it is mostly hills, so you need to build those leg muslces and make sure to not just do walking or easy running cardio. You will need those muslces to get you up those super steep hills – and trust me the hills are VERY steep! (going up and down).


Make sure after every training session you are drinking a post workout drink that is packed with amino acids. Aminos are critical to helping you to repair and recover after training session. It also helps me to not cramp up or get too sore after. I am currently enjoying the fruit punch flavor of Amino X by BSN Supplements – it is an effervescent drink so it is less sugary tasting and more airy than other post workout powders. I also love the fruit punch flavor because its not too sugary.

Watch my Instagram video to see how to do burpees: click here

Make sure you learn how to do burpees and do them often. Not only will you have to do them if you fail an obstacle, but it helps with cardio and upper body strength. You will need upper body strength to get you up and over walls and ropes. I add push ups to my routine every time and also pull ups and chin ups.


While I prepare for my next race I always keep in mind that on the day of the tri-state I know I will be filled with adrenaline that will help me get through the 8 mile course. There still is no greater feeling than doing something with your body that you never believed you could. I love doing the Spartan Races and pushing my body to the absolute limit. I hope to beat my time last year and have a great finish!

Doing a Spartan Race was one of the best accomplishments for me this year both mentally and physically. I did two and I hope to do more next year. I keep collecting those medals and hope to do the TriFecta one day!

When all was said and done, I was covered in mud from my hair into my ears, in my eyes, down my shorts and in my socks. You literally will crawl in mud and scrape your knees so bad you will have bruises and cuts for days (see below). I had to take an entire week off of the gym because I was in so much pain from soreness, but that was when I did the Super Spartan which is over 8 miles. If you do the Spartan Sprint which is only 3 miles you won’t have that problem. You can also donate your sneakers and other clothing after in case you don’t want to drive home in the mud so bring some change of clothes and flip flops with you.

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