By: Spartan Pro McCauley Kraker
1. Go farther
Progress begins where your comfort zone ends. When you start to feel a little bit too comfortable with your distance of choice, you risk of getting “too used” to something. Here at Spartan we believe comfort breeds stagnation — and stagnation stymies growth. How do we avoid this? Simple: take on a new challenge! It’s time to increase your race distance. Increase the number of laps or leave laps in the dust entirely — instead opting for “loops” of greater distances. By increasing your distance you increase your performance output! So, go after that Trifecta. Challenge yourself and reap new rewards!
2. Go faster
Sure, you could take a short, overpriced tour at your favorite stadium. You might enjoy it, see some cool things… you might even get some decent pictures (if they even let you take pictures). You could do the conventional, or you could get the full experience by signing up for a Stadium Sprint.
You’ll spend your day exploring the stadium, doing push-ups in the locker rooms, scaling the outfield walls, and sprinting across the infield and to the finish. Just make sure you look up from time-to-time — you may catch a glimpse of yourself on the scoreboard! Afterwards, relax with a free beer in the stands and enjoy views from seats that would normally cost you an arm and a leg!
3. Have you heard the story of the Hurricane?
Have you ever thought about giving one of the more extreme endurance events a try, but you’re unsure of whether or not you have what it takes?
The Hurricane Heat is the perfect gateway into the ultra-endurance world. The Heat started as a response to Hurricane Irene’s cancellation of the 2011 Amesbury course, when 150 people braved the elements to show up and compete and the event has grown from there and is currently one of toughest challenges Spartan offers.
The Hurricane Heat is designed to break you down over and over again with the intent of molding you and your fellow racers into a unified team capable of overcoming the most difficult of objectives. The event reveals and exploits weaknesses so that they can become strengths. Expect hours of endless burpees, carries, group exercises, and of course, an abundance of mud. Can’t finish an objective or obstacle? Get ready to pay in the form of burpees as currency.
As you work together you’ll forge the type of Spartan teamwork integral to your success. Feeling extra-badass? Tackle the 12 Hour Hurricane Heat (Warning: the 12 Hour Hurricane Heat fills up quickly and is limited to only 100 participants. Sign-up well in advance to guarantee yourself a spot) or attempt to double-dip and finish the Hurricane Heat followed by your usual Spartan Race.
4. Test your strength and athleticism
Have you ever watched the Pro Teamers run a race and thought to yourself, “Sure they’re good at running but I bet I could take them over the obstacles?” The Spartan Combine is your chance to find out!
If you were to fuse the Spartan Festival Challenges and the NFL Combine it would look something like the Spartan Combine. This event offers a fresh take on traditional obstacle racing competition by taking many race day obstacles and holding individual competitions for each obstacle while utilizing a decathlon-style scoring system over a two day competition.
The Spartan Combine offers a more intimate environment than conventional Spartan races, providing participants the opportunity to rub shoulders with some of the sport’s top competitors and maybe even beat them at a few challenges. The Spartan Combine is as much of a training camp as it is a competition, which is great as you will leave the event with new training insights and obstacle technique and fitness tips that will allow you to take your racing to the next level.
Reebok Spartan Race kept the numbers small for the first two Spartan Combines and still received a ton of praise from their participants. The event drummed up some major mainstream fitness and media attention mainstream. Could this new format be a precursor for the future of the sport?
5. Spartan Ethos, redefined
Endurance/adventure race/challenges challenge us mentally and physically. Most people have one thing in common — striving to be better versions of themselves. The Spartan Agoge takes the traditional endurance format and turns it on its head by focusing on self-improvement.
The specifics of the Agoge are still under wraps, but expect 24, 48, and 60-hour sessions of mental and physical challenges that help strengthen, unite, and test the mind, body, and spirit. Unlike other endurance challenges, participants cannot simply show up and gut it out to become a “Finisher.” This challenge stresses mental preparation specifically targeting educational challenges. Expect to put in months of learning, training, and self-discovery to earn what looks to be one of the most coveted achievements in outdoor endurance and education. According to Spartan HQ, “Participants will leave having attained a higher level of one’s original self, with a sense of ‘leveling up’ in life.”
You will need to apply and qualify for the Agoge by completing the Hurricane Heat or HH12HR.