A Quick Beginner’s Guide to the Spartan Race

A Quick Beginner’s Guide to the Spartan Race


Spartan Race Pro Gabb Rosario gives a quick rundown of what to expect in the country’s biggest obstacle course race

Races are hard enough without obstacles in your way. Add in environmental elements like the sun and the mud, and it would seem that obstacle course races are reserved for the most dauntless among us. As a result, the Spartan Race can feel like an unachievable task for most, but professional athlete and coach Gabb Rosario says it’s a doable goal.

For Gabb, the first time he joined the race was in 2018. He didn’t fail any obstacles, which was a good sign, but he finished the 10k race in four hours due to inexperience with running. After that, he fell in love with the sport and trained even harder. Now, as a Spartan Race Pro, he can finish a 10k race in less than an hour.

What to expect

The Spartan Race is 80% running and 20% strength. In light of that, Gabb says it’s better to build your aerobic base first before you build on your upper body strength for all the obstacles. According to him, you can expect mostly upper body-related obstacles because you’ll be hanging from monkey bars, rope climbing, and doing a lot of heavy lifting.

Kailangan mag pull-up ka in order to be successful. If wala, you’ll end up failing all the hanging obstacles,” Gabb says.

If you’re a newcomer to obstacle course races, Gabb says to join the Open Heat category. You can join this category with a group of friends and help each other to complete the race without worrying about competing. When you get better or if you want to challenge yourself further, you can join the competitive Heats like the Elite or the Age Group category.

How to prepare

Gabb says you can build mental toughness with long, hard runs. Meanwhile, he personally trains in running and strength every day to be physically fit. He does this by running in the morning and lifting weights at night. “If you neglect one of the two, you’ll end up not being successful,” he adds. He also explains that if you focus on just running, you’re sure to fail the obstacles. And if you’re purely strength-based, you’ll be a slow runner.

The professional athlete adds that when he builds someone up from scratch for the Spartan Race, the best time to begin training is six months prior. With just six months of training, you can finish the race in a good time. That said, even just three months of training can let you finish the race. As mentioned before, you just need to know how to run and successfully do a pull-up.

But of course, nutrition should also be in the mix. If you eat too many fatty foods, you’ll get too heavy; if you eat too few carbs, you won’t have the energy to train and run. And according to Gabb, everything has to be precise, including the timing of your meals.

Greater heights

Gabb ends his rundown by saying that obstacle course racing is one of the fastest-growing sports in the world. As a result, obstacle course races might be added to the Olympics soon since it’s already at its trial stage.

“So, if you have dreams of competing at the Olympic level, now is your chance to do it since wala pa masiyadong malalakas like in other sports na sobrang established na. This is a new sport so there [are] a lot of possibilities,” he finishes.

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