I am a full-time traveling registered nurse, fitness enthusiast, and nutrition expert. Every morning I wake up intending to bring awareness of the importance of health and spiritual wellness, especially to the traveling community. At Messy Bun Traveler, we promote travel that allows the traveler to either kick-start, maintain, or enhance a healthy lifestyle. So whether you're someone who travels for business, travels for pleasure, or new to travel and looking for health advice while on the road, this blog is for you!
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Competing in Spartan obstacle course racing is something I’ve been doing for years and thoroughly enjoy! This September, Dustin and I traveled to North Lake Tahoe and competed in the Spartan World Championship Weekend Beast Race for our second time!
Words cannot describe how good it feels to cross that finish line and get a medal placed around your neck! I encourage any and everyone to join the hype and compete in an obstacle course race!
Once you hit the “sign up” button, you’re officially on the clock to getting yourself in shape in time for race day. Participating in Spartan races helps you set fitness goals that are much more functional than just “dropping that extra 20 pounds” or “fitting in those pair of jeans.”
You’ll learn how to exercise effectively—without necessarily even having to sign up for a gym membership.
To be successful in a Spartan race, you’ll focus on HIIT exercises like pushups and sit-ups, hill climbing and long-distance hiking, and burpees. Lots and lots of burpees.
These types of bodyweight exercises will focus on your stamina, endurance, and fine-tune your motor strength.
In obstacle course racing, solely focusing on powerlifting doesn’t get you very far. I’ve seen many gym junkies and bodybuilders attempt and fail at obstacles because they trained for strength but forgot the endurance and stamina.
Pretty much anyone with heart, determination, and a never-quit attitude will be able to complete a Spartan race successfully. However, what changes is how easily you can get to the finish line and the speed of recovery after the race.
Your racing stamina is determined by how much effort was put into the conditioning and training beforehand.
If you live a relatively sedentary lifestyle (or you just came back from a long, relaxing vacation), you’ll want to give yourself at least six months to adequately train for race day.
If you’re active and already in the habit of exercising, a couple of months is plenty of time to acclimate. I personally give myself six to eight weeks of hard-core training before race day.
And of course, with all this training you’re doing, you’re going to start noticing changes in your diet as well.
It’s ineffective to do all this intense training to go and eat an entire cheese pizza. You’ll find yourself indulging in more lean protein sources, fish, whole grains, fresh fruits and veggies, and drinking LITERS of water a day.
Your healthy habits won’t just all stop the day after race day. Remember, you’ve been training for this for months.
You’ll find you have now built a solid foundation of healthy habits of eating right and exercising regularly. You might even find yourself signing up for another race!
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Since this is a travel blog, let’s not forget one vital aspect of Spartan Races! You get to TRAVEL to new and exciting destinations to compete in the ultimate fitness challenge.
Think of it as a fitness travel tour. You’ll travel to new destinations, meet new people, hike through untouched wilderness at high elevations, and experience new places in the most memorable way possible.
According to the Global Wellness Summit, more travelers want to visit wellness retreats and partake in wellness activities.
Travelers want destinations that push them harder to conquer challenges, engage in extreme experiences, and ultimately positively transform them. Competing in a Spartan Race can do just that.
Additionally, many studies have shown that spending time in nature decreases stress, positively recharges the brain, and improves overall mood and wellbeing.
No matter if you sign up for a Sprint, Super, Beast, or Ultra, Spartan races are HARD. Spartan races are doable for anyone that’s taken the time to train for them beforehand.
You’ll be one of the few people around that can say you participated in one of the hardest physical agility tests around. And for that alone, upon completion of a race, you’ve earned eternal bragging rights.
To be around like-minded people with a thirst for wellness and physical fitness is like being swept away in a room of gospel worship. You’ll be surrounded by individuals that love to be active and love to challenge themselves.
In everyday life, it’s hard to meet people that have the same motivation and drive to conquer obstacles—to be a part of this community is so uplifting!
Additionally, when most people sign up for their first Spartan Race, they do so with their friends and family to complete the challenge as a team.
Not only will you have your family and friends team, but you’ll see individuals all over the course, helping each other over obstacles. You’ll hear everyone on the course encouraging each other to keep going.
Strangers will pull you over an 8-foot wall, or even grab your butt to push you over. It’s all a part of the Spartan mentality of no man left behind. And it’s a pretty fantastic environment to be a part of.
One of the reasons why you should compete in a Spartan Race at least once is because you’ll push yourself in ways you never knew existed. You’ll push yourself to run just a little bit farther. You’ll push yourself to hop just a little bit higher.
It’s an incredible feeling to see yourself going well beyond what you only imagined you were capable of.
A Spartan Race will test your willpower to carry on despite difficulties and setbacks. The finisher medal isn’t just a symbol of your physical strength or fitness, but rather, it represents your immense dedication, commitment, and grit.
Similarly to my last point, you will discover that mind over matter really does hold merit. Completing a Spartan Race is all about continually reassuring yourself that you can do it. You CAN get over that wall and swing on those monkey bars. You CAN make it up that hill carrying a bucket full of gravel.
“I will persist until I succeed. Always will I take another step. If that is of no avail, I will take another, and yet another. In truth, one step at a time is not too difficult. I know that small attempts, repeated, will complete any undertaking.”
Each obstacle is a steppingstone. And each one will get you closer to the finish line. I’ve always believed conquering Spartan Races is much like conquering life. They’re hard, require determination, and you’ll get a little dirty in the process.
Crossing that finish line after all your hard work and dedication will give you an immense confidence boost and sense of accomplishment.
In a Spartan Race, literally, everything will be thrown at you all in that one race. By the end, you’ll realize you can truly conquer anything.
And with this newfound confidence you’ve gained, who knows where you’ll go from there!
My partner and I have been running these competitions for five years and counting. Spartan Races have become our Friday night dinner dates if you will.
They help strengthen our relationship by us helping each other over obstacles and encouraging each other to get over walls and climb steep hills. We even massage each other’s muscles when one of us starts to cramp up.
If that isn’t love, then I don’t know what is.
It’s no mystery why regular, high-impact physical activity enables your body to create an abundance of endorphins. These hormones are the “feel good” chemicals in the body that has similar effects to morphine, cocaine, and even orgasms.
Going through a Spartan Race to eventually cross that finish line will make you feel empowered—and also a little bit of a badass.
With all that obstacle course race training, finishing the race is like the grand finale. Crossing it feels like you’ve completed a significant milestone in your life.
In the end, people run obstacle course races because they feel this incredible rush of accomplishment and pride the moment that shiny medal goes around their neck.
I am a full-time traveling registered nurse, fitness enthusiast, and plant-based nutrition expert. Every morning I wake up intending to bring awareness of the importance of health and spiritual wellness, especially to the traveling community. This blog is designed to bring you travel and health advice while sprinkling in some fun life stories.
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[…] And if you’re still not sure as to if you should sign up for one or not, I wrote an entire post on why everyone, no matter what age, shape, gender, or fitness background, should try a race at least once in their life, here. […]