Spartan Sprint Tips

Spartan Sprint Tips for Beginners

If you follow me on Instagram, or you read last week’s post, you’ll know that I ran the Spartan Sprint last Sunday at Blue Mountain Ski Resort in Pennsylvania.  It was my first Spartan race I have ever done.  So now, I am here to offer my Spartan Sprint tips to other first-timers!

Spartan Sprint Tips

Some of these tips are things I wish I would have known before running my first Spartan, and some of these are tips that I knew from running a Tough Mudder a couple of years ago.

Alright, first thing’s first.  Let’s talk wardrobe…

1.  What to Wear

Just google search “What to wear for a mud run” and you’ll get a million of the same answers.  One of the biggest tips being, do NOT wear cotton.  Instead, go for tops made out of moisture-wicking material that will dry quickly.  You WILL be getting wet.  VERY WET.  I mean like swimming through a mucky lake wet.   If you’re wearing cotton, you will be heavily weighed down.  I, personally, wore just a sports bra and Nike Pro Compression Shorts.  The less to weigh me down the better!

Spartan Sprint Tips

As for shoes, it’s a lot more trail running/walking/hiking than just plain old running.  A trail shoe might be your best bet for a Spartan race.  You will want the traction on those steep, muddy downhills. Trust me.  I wore my Altra Ones, which was the best choice out of all of my shoes.  It’s more of a running shoe than a trail shoe, but I loved how light weight they were, so even after they got wet, they weren’t SUPER heavy!  So definitely, consider the weight of the shoe you choose too!

Wear long socks that cover your ankles and calves.  I saw many other participants wearing these long socks – some were compression socks, some were just high socks.  When we got to the obstacle where you’re hanging upside down from a rope and climbing to the other side, we understood why.  Alex and I both had cut up the back of our ankles pretty badly from the rope.   Next time, we are definitely going with compression socks!

2. Don’t think.  Just do.

This rule goes for any mud run or obstacle run.  You are going to come across crazy (and sometimes insanely nasty or scary) obstacles that in any other circumstance, you would never do.  However, when you’re in the midst of a race, you’re in a different mindset.  But you still can’t psych yourself out.  And if you stand there trying to wrap your head around how you’re about to jump 12-feet down into muddy water (one of the Tough Mudder obstacles), you’re going to find a way to talk yourself out of it.  So don’t overthink it.  Don’t even give yourself time to think about it.  Just go for it.  You’ll surprise yourself at what you’re truly capable of!

Spartan Sprint Tips

3. Try things by yourself before getting help.

This is one of my new tips that I learned at the Spartan Race.  I was coming up on a 7-foot-wall.  I knew this obstacle was in there.  Alex and I already had planned that he was basically going to have to just pop me over!  I’m only 5’1″…maybe 5’2″ on a good day.  As we approached the wall, I said “Okay, Alex, how are we going to do this?”  The two female volunteers manning the obstacle said to me, “No!  You should try it by yourself first!”  After some convincing, encouragement and tips, I ran at the wall, jumped and hung onto the top, walked my feet up, swung one leg over…then the other, and jumped down the other side. GIRL POWER!

Thank you to those two female volunteers who encouraged me to try it by myself.  I can’t tell you how proud I was after I climbed that wall.  I couldn’t believe it!  I literally shocked myself that I could do that!  From that obstacle forward, I tried everything by myself once before getting help.

And to be honest, from that point forward, Alex refused to help me on anything else.  Even if I tried and couldn’t do it, he wouldn’t help me, and so 30 burpees it was!

Spartan Sprint Tips

4.   You DO need to train!

This is mainly for safety.  If you aren’t used to working out intensely and often, you need to make a point to train for this race.  Sure, you can do this race for fun – I did!  I didn’t care about time.  I just wanted to finish and enjoy the ride.  BUT, Spartan is no joke, people.  I spent the first 30 minutes walking up what felt like an 80 degree incline.  I’m a workout junkie, and even I had a hard time with that.  I saw guys with bulging muscles and 8 packs having a hard time with it too.  I saw many people pulling over to the side and breaking down.

Later, we were jogging/walking down an extremely steep hill with loosely set rocks and tree roots.  Without some sense of core strength and stability, you can seriously hurt yourself here.

This is no color run!  You need to come into it prepared.  Don’t let this scare you away from doing a Spartan race!  But I am letting you know, it’s not all sunshine and rainbows.

Spartan sends out daily emails with workouts inside that are meant to prepare you for Spartan races.  If you don’t know where to start in preparing for a Spartan, I highly recommend signing up for their emails.

Spartan Sprint Tips

5.  Have fun!

Last but not least, if you are a beginner racer, have fun!  Don’t worry too much about your time if it’s your first race!  I went into it thinking I’d be done around 2 or 2 1/2 hours.  Nope.  It took us 3 hours and 20 minutes.  Don’t be too hard to yourself.  Do your training. Build your endurance.  Wear the right clothes.  Get in the right mindset.   Be confident that you’ve done all you could to prepare, and from there, just have fun with it!

Spartan Sprint Tips

Full disclosure:  I was provided with one free race code in return for a post on Spartan Race.  As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

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Dani Mathers

Thoughts on Dani Mathers Debacle

Today, I am linking up with Amanda from Running With Spoons for Thinking Out Loud Thursdays.Thinking Out Loud: Thoughts on Dani Mathers Debacle

I’m sure by now we have all heard about the whole Dani Mathers debacle.  It is hitting the media like wildfire, and people everywhere are firing back.

Thinking Out Loud: Thoughts on Dani Mathers Debacle

Now, the last thing I want to do is post Dani Mather’s snapchat, and publicize the picture of the innocent woman once again.  I’m sure you’ve all seen it by now anyway.

I want to first say, this isn’t me writing a post bashing her or scolding her, as she is clearly receiving plenty of that already.  I also don’t want to make this post about her.  Rather, these are my thoughts and reflections on the situations.  These are the changes we need to start seeing in society that have been brought to light by this incident.Thinking Out Loud: Thoughts on Dani Mathers Debacle

1.  Us females have to STOP shaming each other and start sticking together.  Why are we SO hard on each other?  We are all in the same boat here.  We are on the same team.  We’re all just humans trying to get by in life.  Gosh, females are harder on each other than guys are on females!

Dani Mathers

2.  I don’t care if you are 100 pounds or 400 pounds, if you are stepping foot in a gym and you are doing something for your health, I have tremendous respect for you.  It takes courage to step foot into any gym!  Gyms can be super intimidating, and there’s always the fear of judgment.

The sad thing is, this woman may never step foot in a gym again because of this incident. And I don’t blame her!  That is a hard thing to overcome!Thinking Out Loud: Thoughts on Dani Mathers Debacle

3.  Think before you post!  If you have any doubt in your mind about what you are about to post, don’t post it.  And let’s go back to that elementary school rule:  If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.

Even Snapchat, where the photos are supposed to fade away, are there FOREVER.  Be careful!Thinking Out Loud: Thoughts on Dani Mathers Debacle

I think, or I hope, Dani Mathers has learned from this mistake. If she did, she unfortunately learned her lesson at the expense of an innocent woman in a gym doing something positive for herself.

To the innocent woman in the photo, I support you.  Do not let an insecure, immature woman’s action keep you from going forward with your health journey.  Fight back and keep making healthy choices for you.  You have an army of women behind you lady 🙂

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SCULPTURE & ART

Find Your Flavor Soulmate

Today, my friend, is a big day. Today, you are going to find your flavor soulmate!   For worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health…you two will stick it out until the end!

Find Your Flavor Soulmate

You know how certain foods just combine to create a flavor-gasm in your mouth?  Some foods just pair SO well together, like the salty and sweet combination of peanut butter and banana, the nostalgic favorite of PB&J, and Elvis was onto something with PB and bacon…okay, so everything is good with peanut butter.  Even cantaloupe and prosciutto creates a flavor bomb…or watermelon and feta cheese, blackened chicken/fish with a mango salsa,etc. It just works!

I am coming at you today with a pretty fun post.  Chobani sent over an awesome flow chart to share with all of you.  The flow chart will lead you to your ideal flavor combinations; sweet and sweet, sweet and salty, or sweet and spicy!

Chobani sent me some coupons to try out some of their new Flips.

Find Your Flavor Soulmate

I’ve actually had quite a few of their Flips before, but the 100 calorie ones are new to me!  I used to only have Flips maybe once a month or two because I try to eat really clean and considered them more of a “treat” before bed.  Also, some flavors are a bit high in calories for a nighttime snack.  I’m thinking these 100 calorie Flips might be making more of a presence in my eats!

Find Your Flavor Soulmate

Take the quiz below and check your answers at the bottom!

Find Your Flavor Soulmate

Find Your Flavor Soulmate

Find Your Flavor Soulmate

Find Your Flavor Soulmate

I’ve gone through the flow chart a couple times, going a different ways starting with the first question.  Every time I have ended up with the same, and least suspecting, answer.  Sweet and Spicy!

By just looking at the flavors under each category at the bottom of the flow chart, I’d definitely classify myself as a Sweet and Sweet kinda girl.   Based on the descriptions of the answers, I’d say I’m Sweet and Salty all the way.

Your turn!  Go through the flowchart above.  Comment below with your result.  Was it what you expected?  If not, what other flavor combo do you think you’d be?

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