Here are some prep notes for anyone getting ready for the Fenway Spartan Sprint in November.
Before the race:
Get some quality sleep before the race (especially if you are running at 8am) and fuel up the day before with quality veggies (carbs) and some good fats (avocado anyone?) As well as getting plenty of water 48 – 24 hours before.
When and what to eat before?
Definitely give yourself time to eat before the race. Be finished eating 2 hours to at least 45 mins before your start time. A small snack closer to race time is okay, like a banana, but only if you have had something before. DO NOT TRY ANYTHING NEW! There will be tons of free samples at the race from energy gels or beans to protein bars.
Do not have anything too heavy or too sugary, save that for after the race.
Have 16 – 20 ounces of water at least an hour before the race. This will help with your hydration and it’s long enough that you won’t feel the water moving in your stomach.
Yes, it’s a short race (~3 miles) but it is also an obstacle race which means you will be using just about every muscle you have. Make sure you are properly warmed up 15 – 20 mins is appropriate. Try to replicate the warm ups we use in class. Here is a good template:
Joint warm up: Ankles, Knees, Hips, Low back, Arms, Shoulders, Neck
Dynamic warm up: If you are not sweating at the end do it again.
High kicks, Inch worms, Knees to Chest, Quad Superman stretch, Samson Stretch, World’s Greatest Stretch, Squats, Jumping jacks, Butt Kicks, High Knees, Sideways Shuffle, Carioca, 400m Jog
What to expect during the race:
The race is about 3 miles long. it may be a bit longer or shorter depending on the course configuration. Remember that if you are not comfortable with any of the obstacles you can “opt out” by doing burpees. Most obstacles are 30 burpees if you opt out or fail to conquer one.
During the Race you will be tired, try to keep moving even if it is walking. Keep a positive attitude and smile, A lot! When you come up to an obstacle, try to give yourself a good laugh before tackling it. Remember you are there to have fun. This is “game time” you have trained as much as you can and you’ve got what you’ve got, so don’t worry about anything you didn’t do and work on the obstacle in front of you. Work with a team member and help others through obstacles as well.
Spartan Races do not release most of the obstacles ahead of time but let’s see if I can divine from my crystal ball what awaits you!
Stairs, stairs, and more stairs will await you at Fenway, most likely with a sandbag or 5 Gallon Water jugs. A Spear toss, a 4’, 6’ and 8’ wall, The lateral traverse Z – wall, Herculean hoist (a rope with a weight you have to lift by pulling), The Rope climb, and more.
The obstacles require some determination, grit, and a belief in yourself. None of them are impossible. The point of these obstacles is to challenge you so try something you may not think you can do. Study it and find a way over, under or through! Dig deep and show the obstacle it cannot break you!
There will be lots of stairs! And running through the stands and across the top or the Green Monster! Don’t worry about being slow or walking. Everyone does at some point. Smile and recover your energy and start running again when you can. Yes this is a timed event, but do not run if you feel the terrain is unsafe or challenging. Feel free to run as a team and help each other out.
What to wear for the race:
Gloves: Mechanix brand gloves or thin running gloves with great grip. Nothing too bulky and have a place to store them like pockets.
Shirt: This will depend on the day of weather but 2 or 3 layers will be good. Base under armor type sweat wicking shirt, a looser cotton long sleeve shirt, Your Mountain Strength CrossFit shirt! A sweatshirt or jacket for before/after a race.
Pants: Cold gear running tights and loose running pants or shorts if it is still warm. A pair of sweatpants for before and after the race.
Hydration Pack: You will not need a hydration pack, but if it is hot and 3 miles is challenging then please bring water.
What to eat after the race?
Recovery meal: After the race you will want to replace your lost carbs and not just by drinking that beer 🙂
A 2:1 to 4:1 Carb to Protein ratio is ideal for an after race snack within 15 – 30 mins of finishing. A recovery protein shake, Chocolate Milk, or sweet potato and chicken are good suggestions.