Is a Spartan Race for you?
In Part 1 of our Spartan Race series, Amirra Besh talked to us about her experience as a Spartan athlete. She went from signing up for her first race on a whim to planning to finish a Trifecta by the end of 2019.
If you think a Spartan race would be an awesome challenge to push your physical, mental and spiritual limits, read on to learn about the training process.
[Interview with Amirra Besh, continued from Part 1]
For someone considering doing a Spartan, what kind of training do you recommend?
With some dedication and consistency, anyone determined can complete a Spartan race.
Strength and agility training! Spartan requires strength and endurance. Running a few times a week and using your own body weight for strength training is key. Grip strength is necessary for many obstacles. Some athletes train on their own using online resources, others take cross fit or circuit training classes. In addition, adding some flexibility and stretching to the training can help prevent injury. With some dedication and consistency in training, anyone determined can complete a Spartan race. My training sessions are intense and do not last more than 45 minutes about four times a week. Once or twice a week, I’ll add a longer run or hike to build endurance. And of course I take one day off.
In your opinion, is anyone able to train to do a Spartan race? Are there any limitations on people who should NOT train to do one?
Yes! Anyone can train. Of course, it’s important that athletes check with their health care provider before starting a rigorous training program. However, Spartan races welcome all activity and ability levels. And remember, if there is an obstacle that cannot be overcome, the athlete can complete the requisite burpees.
What is the recovery period immediately after a race?
Really depends on the athlete and the race length. I know some athletes who run the Super on Saturday and turn around and run the Sprint on Sunday! Also, depends on the terrain. The last race I completed had more hills than I had trained for so my quads were sore for a good few days. However, I find that getting moving and stretching in the days after a race helps with recovery time.
What kind of nutrition plan do you recommend during Spartan training?
Eating real food! Plenty of fruit, veggies and healthy sources of lean protein. Complex carbs like oatmeal and seeds like chia, help with energy level and endurance. Healthy snacks like raw almonds are my favorite. Hydration is another essential component of training, especially in the weeks leading up to a race.
What is the best meal to eat right before a Spartan (either night before or day of)?
A few days before the race, I avoid anything dehydrating like alcohol or excessive caffeine. I make sure I don’t skimp on the complex carbohydrates by enjoying oatmeal, quinoa or potatoes in addition to lean protein. I eat plenty of raw veggies and fruit. The morning of a race, I’m usually eat half a banana and oats or a dried fruit and chia.
Any other words of wisdom for women considering a Spartan?
Go for it! If you are already working out, this will give you a goal to work towards. If you need a catalyst to get you moving, grab a group and sign up for the open. You can help each other overcome the obstacles and it will be a memorable bonding experience. You never know what you are capable of until you try! And you are capable of more than you know!
Spartan racing is not for the weak at heart, but it is available for anyone who is willing to put in some grit! Spartan offers several free resources to train for your first race (available through their website).
Perhaps a Spartan Race is out of your comfort zone today, but sometimes we all need that extra push to really see what we are made of. For those of you intrigued by Amirra’s story, start by looking up when a race will be happening near you and if you are committed, sign up and do it!
And if a Spartan Race is not quite the level you are ready for, there are so many opportunities available to push yourself and challenge your own limits. Whatever journey you follow, remember that living in your comfort zone is not a state of growth. Don’t be afraid to take a leap of faith, see what you are made of, and always be SASSY AF!
Amirra Besh is a wife, mom & boss. As a busy mother of five and healthcare administrator, she finds her energy in fitness and philanthropy. In addition to enjoying time being active outdoors, traveling and growing a small business, Amirra loves volunteering with friends and family.
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