How to survive your first Spartan Race
Photos: Spartan Race Singapore
Pumped and ready to go for your first Spartan Race? Adhere to this checklist of tips and reminders, and you’ll be crossing that finish line like a boss.
Dress like a Spartan
This doesn’t mean rocking up in battle armour and a helmet, but more like dressing to maximise your potential on race day. When in doubt, gear up according to the weather forecast — if it’s going to be a scorcher, wear as little as possible; if there’s a chance of rain, stick to long compression gear for additional protection. As a Spartan, also be prepared for vast quantities of mud. Remember, the more clothing you wear, the more extra weight you’ll be carrying to the finish line. Opt for lightweight gear instead.
Leave personal belongings behind
You’re probably excited to take a million photos to Instagram your #spartansg experience, but you won’t be as excited when you finish the race with a mud-caked, crack-screened, very-much-expired iPhone. You’ll be jumping, crawling, tumbling and rolling your way through a jungle — do you really want to subject your stuff to that kind of abuse? The bag check counter exists for good reason, and anything not firmly attached to your body should stay there.
Warm up like your life depends on it
This might seem like an obvious one but it’s worth reiterating. Shoulders, thighs, calves, arms — your muscles are going to need every last bit of stretching to accommodate the perils ahead. To put things into perspective, I was on the ground in spasms at the barbed wire course due to a leg cramp during my last race, and would have probably died (slight exaggeration) if some guy hadn’t come along to help me stretch it out. Which brings me to my next point…
Make friends on the track
No man is an island and the Spartan Race community is one of the friendliest and most helpful we’ve ever seen. Feeling winded? Need help getting past the 8-foot wall? Just want to lie down and quit? Look to your fellow racers for a leg-up or that boost of motivation. One of the best things about being part of the Spartan Race is experiencing the spirit of camaraderie and infectious enthusiasm among racers that will spur you on to the finish line.
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: The race is brutal and hydration is crucial. You’ll encounter numerous hydration stations throughout the race providing water, Vita Coco and Lucozade — use them, use them all. Twice. Don’t worry about having to go to the bathroom because we guarantee you’ll be losing water as you sweat faster than your bladder can process. Don’t be that guy who misses out on a finisher medal because of heat stroke.
Embrace the burpees
Depending on your fitness proficiency, you’ll either end up doing some burpees or a heck of a lot of burpees. Either way, burpees are an inescapable aspect of the Spartan Race, so get acquainted. Do a bunch each day from now till race day so you’ll have no problems when it’s time for the real thing. And whatever you do, don’t make the mistake of thinking the burpees are an easier alternative to completing an obstacle — they’re really, really not.
Bonus Tip: Spartan Super
If you’re a Spartan Sprint finisher who’s returning for the Spartan Super this time round, the most important thing is to pace yourself. At double the distance with many more obstacles, the Super is going to be a real test of endurance. Then again if you’re signed up for the Super, what are you even doing here? Go train, you’ll need it!