Category: Spartan Race Training

Spartan Race Training 0 Comments

There are few things about Spartan Races that are discussed, argued, practiced and just plain talked about like the SpearMan. Many people scream that the SpearMan should not even be an obstacle, others love it! No matter what side of the spear you stand, I want to share why it’s a part of the race and some of my own thoughts on Spartan Races SpearMan.


Honestly, this is a very simple answer and if you have seen the Movie 300 then you should know the answer. Spears, or as it is really called the Dory, were the primary weapon of choice for the Spartan Warriors. So how could you have something called the “Spartan Race” without a spear throw? If that wasn’t answer enough for you then simply it is Spartan Races distinguishing obstacle, it’s part of what separates Spartan Race from the rest of the OCR world.


Well the big deal for most people is that they HATE burpees and the SpearMan isn’t nicknamed the “Burpee Maker” for nothing! The SpearMan looks simple enough but it’s obvious when you watch a race that it is by far the most failed obstacle. No matter how many Spartan Races people have run they continue to miss the SpearMan. The only thing that I can really think of that explains why so many end up doing burpees instead of continuing on to their race is either they are just too tired by the time they get to Spartan Races SpearMan and botch it or they just haven’t taken any time to practice it.


If you really struggle with Spartan Races SpearMan and want to start avoiding burpees then why aren’t you practicing it? There are dozens of videos on Youtube that will show you how to throw the spear successfully and it is really a very easy thing to learn. Not only that but there are dozens of videos that will even show you how to build your own Spear and if you aren’t the handy type then get in Touch with Matt Novakovich and he’ll make a badass spear for you!


Spartan Races 3Many people are complaining about Spartan Races Spearman and asking for it to be taken out of the race, but personally I love it and would hate to see it go! It’s really one of my favourite obstacles at all the Spartan Races I run. I don’t want to jinx things but I have yet to miss one in a race. The reason I love it so much is because it is the only obstacle that requires a little bit of real athletic skill. (WHAT? DID HE REALLY SAY THAT?) Yeah I think everything about Obstacle Course Races are really just about being good at exercise. Don’t get me wrong I love competing at Spartan Races but there as far as “sports” go there isn’t much skill required, other than the SpearMan and arguably the rope climb.

I’d love to hear what you think about Spartan Races SpearMan! Leave your comments below!…

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Race, Spartan Race Training 0 Comments

The day did not start off to a great start for me. My body felt pretty wrecked after the Beast the day before and when I woke up I could feel it. I might have even contemplated staying in bed but that was only for a few seconds. Ultimately I knew I had travelled a long way and was sacrificing time with my girls to be here so there was no way I could skip the race. I had spoken to Ryan Kent after the Beast and jokingly said I wasn’t sure how I was going to even try to run the Sprint the next day and he just plainly said something like “get your ass to the starting chute and your body will do the rest”. That isn’t word for word what he said but it was along those lines.

Anyway, I dragged my sorry butt out of bed and spent a couple minutes trying to dry my shoes off a little more. I downed my Red Rush beet juice and made myself a coffee with a whack of butter in it and got dressed.

Everyone that raced the day before looked pretty rough but they were there and we were ready to take on the Sprint. It was pretty exciting to be a part of the NBC race and see all that stuff going on and seeing so many pros at one race! The race started off with a nice straight away so I was able to get ahead of most people and was probably somewhere in the top 20. Then we started climbing which really hurt today. I probably could have warmed up better and that would have helped a bit but the hills seemed pretty tough the second day. The obstacles started out with most of the usual like the Hurdles, O-U-T, Log Carry, and things like that.

I started to break away from a few guys at one of the big hill climbs and then really separated myself on the steep decent, something I think I’m half decent at. At that point I was pretty much solo, I could see a guy about 100 yards ahead of me so I was trying to gain ground on him but he was moving pretty quick. That’s when I came to the Z-wall and had no problem with it and up to one of the new obstacles. It was up a cargo net and then down a pipe ladder kind of thing. Nothing difficult but something a little different for sure. Then it was straight into the Atlas Carry. I had just finished my Atlas and was about to head onto the next obstacle, the Sand Bag Carry, when a guy came steaming up. It was Ben Greenfield! I’m not sure how I got ahead of him but that was pretty cool, it gave me an extra push through the sand bag and the rest of the race. I kept my distance ahead of him at that point.

The next tough obstacles were the Bucket Brigade and the Hercules Hoist. This is where I gained on a few smaller runner type guys and passed someone else doing burpees on the Herc Hoist. I didn’t have any particular trouble with the bucket carry or Herc Hoist but they definitely were tough today. From there it was me and at least 2 other “runner” looking guys heading back up the hill and around the course to the dreaded Barbwire Crawl.

I don’t normally dread any obstacles, I am confident in my abilities and know there isn’t often something that will cause me lots of problems. Except this barbwire crawl, it was LONG! Like yesterday I had a lead over some guys until the barbwire. I was about half way through it and trying to keep myself from throwing up because I was that dizzy and I look back to check on the guys behind me and out of no where Ben Greenfield comes barrelling down the barbwire like a steam roller! I have no idea how far behind me he was but he made up some serious ground and passed me under the bridge thing after the barbwire. I was probably about 50 yards or so behind him at that point and got to see him throw his spear and MISS!! I was so pumped that he missed!! I had never missed a spear throw before and this one was a pretty “easy” and straight forward shot. Plus I knew if I made it I would easily have a minute or two lead to get through the last couple obstacles and beat Ben.

I did as I usually do at the Spear throw, make sure the cord is untangled and ahead of the fence, I balance the spear in my hand, square my body up to the target and toss it like a big dart into the heart of the Spear Man. Unfortunately forme I messed up somehow, I must have rotated my hand a little when I threw the spear because it twisted and bounce of the chest of the Spear Man. DAMN! That’s 30 burpees for me, likely no chance to pass Ben this late, and even worse it gave the 3 guys behind me a chance to pass me. Fortunately they all missed their spear too and I finished my burpees and bolted for the last three obstacles: the Slip Wall, Lattice Wall and the Multi-Bar.

The Slip Wall and Lattice wall are nothing too difficult but the Multi Bar cost me 30 burpees yesterday so I was slightly nervous about it. I did have a better idea of how to take it on so I knew if I had any strength left I was going to crush it! I started off good on the rings, I have a long arm span so I only used two of the six rings and skipped right up to the sloped bar. I shimmied my way up that …

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Fitness, OCR Gear, Race, Spartan Race Training 0 Comments

Well it all seems like a dream now. I’m back home and this weekend just seems like it went by like a blur

Saturday was the first time in my life that I have ever been able to compete on that level. I have played very competitive soccer all my life but never on that sort of stage. It was an incredible experience and one I won’t forget.
The race started off with a long wait in the starting chute. It was a bit frustrating because people lined up so early to get to the front of the line and then they start walking at the first hill. So I got stuck behind a solid stream of people just walking the hills and couldn’t get passed for about the first mile and a half.

Then came the monkey bars which were dripping wet and freezing cold. For some reason they were spinning around with so many people on them. It was the hardest mommy bar I’ve done and unfortunately I made it to the last ring and couldn’t reach up to it because it was pretty high. It was a little de-motivating doing burpees so early but I still had lots of race to make up the time.
Then started the serious climbing along one of the gravel roads on the ski hill. We pretty much climbed for the next 5 miles all the way to the top which was around 8500ft. We had a few obstacles on the way up like the OUT and Hercules Hoist which were no problem. Once we get to the top we were hit with a barrage of obstacles. A long log carry and a steep sand bag carry (fortunately just a single), gave me the opportunity to pass a few people because those are more to my advantage.
IMG_1390At this point I was feeling pretty damn strong still. I’m a fairly good climber and I think I’mpretty fast on the descent. After the sandbag we were pretty much on the downhill for the rest of the race so I was thinking I’d make up some good time on some people. But then came the swim. Now I’m not a fan of cold water but being from Canada I am used to swimming in fairly chilly water. Normally your body gets used to it and you start to warm up a bit. Not in this water! It felt colder than most ice baths and the swim was about 70 yards long. Normally that wouldn’t take too long but being forced to wear a life jacket and having shoes and clothes on it made the swim very slow. I took it slow getting out of the water so I wouldn’t instigate a cramp or something then I took Yancy Culp’s advice and got moving as fast as my body would so I could try and warm up again. My arms were red from the freezing water and now we had to do a bunch of grip intensive obstacles. It started with the farmer carry, then the plate drag and into the brutal bar wire crawl.
That bar wire crawl was ridiculous! It seemed to be never ending with a mix of walls, dunk walls, and slip wall in between for good measure. This was where I was really concerned about my legs cramping up like they did in Montana. I felt little things tighten up but only for a second or two so I was thankful for that. Once I got through that mess there was the rope climb, it was short and easy but my foot cramped a little on the way down. Now I was starting to get nervous because there was still about 4-5 miles of descent left. I shook out the cramp on get back on the trail.

We came down another little hill to Atlas Carry and the Tyrolean Traverse on the top of a peak at the ski lift. It was incredibly windy here and it made me worry if I’d be able to hang on. It wasn’t over any water so I had to climb up on it and I decided to go on top of the rope. I figured it would help me save my grip a bit for that double rig at the finish line. It was a little wobbly with the wind but not a problem. Next up was the spear throw and this one really had me thinking about the wind. It was set up so the wind was howling across the targets. I took my time getting the rope right and making sure the spear was good and balanced, I picked a small black spot in the bay to aim at and let the spear fly. It flew very straight and true and stuck that hay perfectly. That definitely gave me a nice boost going back down the mountain where I quickly climbed up the Stairway to Sparta with just another quick reminder the cramps were on the verge of seizing my legs. So I downed a couple Salt Tabs and went on down to the Bucket Brigade. This was after the 13 mile marker so I was beginning to think there wasn’t going to be a Bucket Carry. When I got to the bottom of the hill to the clearing where the bucket was and looked up all I thought was “holy $h1t” for two reasons. One was because the hill was HUGE and secondly because there were so many people on the hill ahead of me. I had no idea what place I was in but I had hoped that I wasn’t this far back, but I guess I really did start that far back at the beginning!
The volunteer at the bucket made it very clear they weren’t going to tolerate buckets not filled all the way and that they had already sent 5 guys for a second lap. He also warned us that the dirt settled a lot …

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