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My Spartan Experience

Category: Special Events
Southside Conditioning Club
Wednesday, April 1, 2015
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My Spartan Experience

Let me start this by letting you know that, I AM NOT A RUNNER.

I love lifting weights!


Now that is out of the way I will show you how I seemed to convince myself that running isn’t just for runners, and runners are not people who are innately runners.

In 2014, my partner, Jason, and I decided to put together a team for the Spartan Sprint in Edmonton. With Jason being in the military, it wasn’t very difficult to put together a team of dedicated fellow P.P.C.L.I soldiers. Once that team was born, we (they) were dead set on getting a trifecta medal, which is completing all three of the Spartan race difficulties in one year.

The goal of these races are to finish - times don’t really matter unless you are in the elite heat, and because of this, if you are running in any other heat you will be running with fellow Spartans who will help you out whether they know you or not.

About the races

The Spartan Sprint is for all levels of fitness! It truly is.

Yes, if you are a beginner to running and obstacles it will be difficult, but it is possible.

The Spartan Super (12-16km + 29 obstacles)

If you are attempting this race, run with a team and start running more! It is twice the distance with more obstacles, so train for it!

The Spartan Beast (19-22 km + 35 obstacles)

We were planning on running this race until Spartan announced the first ultra beast in Canada would be happening in addition to this race… so our initial reaction was, ‘go big or go home!’ .. IT IS A HUGE DIFFERENCE from Beast to Ultra Beast… I RECOMMEND RUNNING THE BEAST BEFORE SIGNING UP FOR THE ULTRA... I’m just silly sometimes.

The Spartan Ultra Beast (40-44km +60+ obstacles)
We ran the FIRST Ultra Beast offered in Canada, which is why as a non-runner, I signed up for this race! You know, “If you’re not first you’re last.”- Ricky Bobby… Now, I’ve done a lot of crazy sh*t in my time, but signing up for this race scared me; running it was worse. It took mental strength to get through this race for me, just like all of the others, except this one was 9 hours long.

50 km over 56 obstacles up and down, and up and down a ski mountain! I took my time, had an amazing running partner and knew that I was running smart, not just running. Out of 100 people that signed up for this race under 60 finished. This was due to not making timings and injury. As I ran, I saw injury after injury happen and that is when you play smart. LISTEN TO YOUR BODY! Injuring yourself in a recreational sport, race or anything that can be prevented IS NOT WORTH IT! Your body won’t remember the victory, it will remember the trauma, and it will remind you of it. Prepare for your races, train SMART, and know when you need rest.

Recommended Training

What we did:

We have our regular strength training, and we added running, running the ski hills at Edmonton ski club and stairs. Because my team wasn’t always around to train with due to postings and such I would borrow client’s dogs to take for runs to keep me company.

If you hate running, taking a dog for a jog is a great way to get out, if you don’t own a dog borrow somebodies or volunteer at a shelter and you can take a dog out who is waiting for their forever home! No excuses! If you love running and running is your thing, remember there are obstacles and you may need to look at that aspect of your training so you are prepared. Other than doing the actual obstacle itself to get better at it there are a lot of other things you can add into your training. For me, the obstacles are my bread and butter, and were the only thing I was looking forward to.

Prep training: 


  • Burpees!
    • Get good at burpees… If you cannot perform an obstacle, you must do 30 burpees.
  • Pull Ups! And/Or Inverted Rows
    • You will have to pull yourself up ropes, climb and jump walls, so pull up strength will be beneficial.
  • Run Hills!
  • Run Hills! (Yes, I meant to put running hills on here twice. There are always hills and man do they suck! Get use to the suck of the hills and accept it now.)
  • Stairs!
    • Doing stair intervals helps build the power you need for these races, and there are sometimes stairs! 
  • Push Ups!
    • Any good burpee requires a push up, so might as well…
  • Kettlebell Work
    • Specifically kettlebell swings, & kettlebell high pulls. It will help by conditioning yourself with the HIIT training and the explosiveness of the kettlbell work is the perfect way to prepare for the obstacles ahead. 
  • Sandbag Carries!
    • In these races you have to pick things up and carry them around. Consider adding a sandbag to one of your hill days! 
  • High Intensity Interval Training Cardio
    • There will be periods of high exertion, followed by down hill periods.
  • Strengthen your shoulders and knees! 
    • Make sure when you are training to add in strengthening exercises for your adductors an abductors, this will help strengthen your legs and knees, try exercises like banded walks
  • Band pull aparts to strengthen shoulders are a must! 
  • 12 Weeks to Your Next Spartan Race Weight Training
    • You need a strong foundation and finding a program that will help you build that is important. We have our 12 week Sparta-Fit Program that will build the muscle/strength needed to get through every obstacle!

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