Chances are that if you’re reading this, you might be on the verge of deciding whether or not to do a Spartan Race and wanted a little more information. Or, maybe you DID sign up and just want to know what you’re getting yourself into, in which case AROO! You made the right choice and will have a blast with the whole thing. In either case, there are some things you should know about Spartan Race that differentiate it from other OCR races like Spartan Race. Spartan Race is a different animal than races like Warrior Dash vs Tough Mudder, or Rugged Maniac vs Savage Race. Below, we listed some Spartan Race FAQ that will help you understand what you should expect when you’re out there with a few thousand of some other crazy people who want to test themselves against some of the best Spartan Race obstacles.
What should I wear to a Spartan Race?
For more detailed information, check out the essential guide for what to wear to a Spartan Race, which details all of the do’s and don’t’s for Spartan Race clothing tips. In general, the things to remember when deciding what to wear to a Spartan Race include:
- Wear shoes designed for Obstacle Course Racing
- Avoid cotton clothing
- Don’t wear hats or jewelry
- Have a change of clothes for afterward
Is Spartan Race harder than…?
A lot of questions we get are in regard to how difficult Spartan Races are compared to other races like Tough Mudder vs Savage Race. The truth is, there are so many variables each race has that makes it hard to definitively say that one race is harder than another. For instance, a Tough Mudder is longer than a Spartan Race Sprint, but you’ll have help getting through obstacles and there are no burpee penalties in Tough Mudder. If running comes easy to you, a Tough Mudder is likely easier than Spartan Races. But, for the sake of argument and from our experience…
- Spartan Race is harder than Warrior Dash
- Spartan Race is harder than Tough Mudder Half
- Spartan Race is easier than Tough Mudder Full
- Spartan Race is easier than Bonefrog
- Spartan Race is harder than Savage Race
- Spartan Race is easier than running a marathon
- Spartan Race is easier than Conquer the Gauntlet
Can anyone run a Spartan Race?
Yes. As long as you take training seriously and are ready mentally, anyone can run a Spartan Race (as long as you are 14+ years old). You will see all sorts of people run Spartan Race (my wife ran one while pregnant!), including handicapped men and women, old and young, skinny and heavy. Spartan Races are as much a mental challenge as they are physical, and as long as you are careful and determined, you can overcome any obstacle and cross the finish line.
Check out these kids running a Spartan Race:
What is the best way to train for a Spartan Race?
Run. 90% of a Spartan Race is running. Running up and down hills is a great way to train, but also just building endurance by road running is great. Another thing I do when training for Spartan Races is practicing my burpees. It’s very rare for anyone, beginner or elite athlete, to not have to do at least 30 burpees during a race. Get comfortable doing burpees and you’ll be ahead of the game. Aside from those, some great ways to train for Spartan Race are:
- Run (hills and flat)
- Heavy carry practice
What happens if I can’t do an obstacle?
There are two answers to this question. By the book, you are supposed to complete a 30 burpee penalty for any obstacle you don’t complete on your first try during a Spartan Race. The truth is, this is rarely policed if you aren’t in a competitive heat. However, you should always try to complete the burpee penalty, but you should also listen to your body. If you are hurting and don’t want to be stuck doing burpees all day long, it’s OK to try an obstacle and just move on if you can’t complete it.
Spartan Race’s are meant to be fun and the best way to truly answer some of the above questions is to just throw yourself out into the mud and do a Spartan Race. Make sure you start with a Sprint if you aren’t sure about your fitness level, and keep going. There are always people who will help you along the way and give you tips to get past any obstacle.