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  • Writer's pictureChristina Spaulding

Ready To Rumble: Spartan Race Training and Mud Run Training

Have you wanted to take on the challenge of a Spartan Race? Maybe you’re not ready for Spartan yet, but you want to do a mud run or other obstacle race? Darin Larson is the trainer for you! With years of experience both running Spartans herself and training others specifically for all the obstacles that get thrown at you, Darin’s Spartan Race training will have you ready and confident in your next race.

Spartan Race Training Climbing Obstacle

Why Work with a Coach for Spartan Training?

You can train for a Spartan Race on your own. Put in the miles, do the exercises, and done. Right? Working with a Spartan Race Coach can help you hit your goals faster and with less chance of injury. A Spartan Coach that has done a lot of races themselves, like Darin has, is intimately familiar with exactly what exercises you need to overcome the obstacles. And better yet, an experienced coach can measure your current fitness level and personalize the exercises for you.

For fitness newbies, it can be hard to determine your current status, and it can be even harder to figure out when to increase weight without increasing risk of injury. And figuring out if you’re doing the exercise right can be really intimidating. Darin is there to ensure that you’re ready and healthy on race day.

If you’re used to working out and know where your body is at, then leveraging a coach can help you get those incremental gains that can be so elusive. With a degree in biology, Darin knows the ins and outs of the human body. Getting an external opinion can help with things like identifying stride issues, body imbalances, and compensation movements that can be holding you back from peak performance.

What Can I Expect in Training?

Any Spartan Race training plan will focus on two main types of exercise: running and functional fitness. In other words, getting you to the obstacles and getting you through the obstacles. We’ll go through Darin’s approach to each of these below.

Running Coaching

Running is a core component of Spartan Race training. However, we’re not looking at endurance running, but more at sprints and short-distance runs. With most Spartan race distances, you’re looking at quarter-mile sprints between obstacles or less! You do still have to complete the full distance too.

Your running training will focus on sprinting, with a long run at the end of the week to ensure that you can hit the full distance. Total distances will start short and grow, ending with either the full distance or a mile or two less than full.

We find that doing sprints on the treadmill is easier for pushing that cardio. Long run environments will depend on the kind of race you’re doing. If you’re doing an Urban or Stadion run, then choose the treadmill or outdoors on paved surfaces. Any other distance, you should do your long runs on trails to be ready for the unevenness and inclines that the course will inevitably have.

Darin will give you a sprint cadence, say 20 seconds sprint, 20 second rest, as well as distances for mid-length and long runs. To get the most out of your training, these should be done independently. Feel free to share your results with Darin - overall time, distance, and cadence can be helpful. If you’re unsure of anything, we can also do a running assessment to hit some baseline numbers and check for any potential injury sources.

Obstacle Preparation

Darin Larson Spartan Race Training Crawl Obstacle

The main focus of your in-person training will be preparing for the obstacles in your chosen Spartan Run. Your training will start with core strengthening, since you need a solid core for many of the obstacles, and some total body workouts that hit both upper and lower body.

Darin has a good idea of which obstacles come up the most often at different races, so once you have a race distance chosen, you’ll work on specific exercises to build muscles, balance and agility independently. Then you’ll work through the obstacles themselves, whether that’s farmer carries or spear-throwing, monkey bars or rope climbs, to bring the individual skills you’ve drilled into a cohesive moveset.

Why Darin for Spartan Race Training?

Darin Larson is an experienced Spartan Runner and SGX coach. She’s completed over 30 races, including multiple Beast races, which run 21k and 30 obstacles, and Trifectas. A Spartan Race Trifecta means that the athlete has completed a Sprint, Super, and Beast race within a calendar year. That’s a total of 45K of running and 75 obstacles.

On top of her running experience, she’s spent more than 10 years as a certified personal trainer, leading people to be in the best shape of their lives. She continually adds certifications and specializations, staying on the cutting edge of fitness science to keep her clients healthy and at peak performance.

Schedule your free fitness assessment and get started on your goals today!

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