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Spice up your fitness with Spartan Racing

Spice up your fitness with Spartan Racing

Staying healthy is all about diet and exercise, but what happens when exercise loses it's spice? If you're bored of 5ks and are itching for something new and exciting to make running fun again, you might want to try OCR instead. OCR, or Obstacle Course Racing, makes running more challenging by adding obstacles to negotiate during the race.

Signing up for a Spartan Race can make even your every day workouts more fun, knowing that every pushup you do will help you negotiate obstacles later.

Spartan Races are one of three major obstacle course races available. Unlike Tough Mudder, which tests you psychologically with obstacles such as Electroshock Therapy that forces you to run through live wires, the Spartan Race is a more physical test.

The race is available in different lengths, with the shortest being the 3-5 mile Spartan Sprint, to the Ultra, which is 26+ miles and over 60 obstacles. The obstacles focus on upper body strenght, with walls to climb over, long monkey bars to negotiate, and rockwalls to hang off of. If you fail an obstacle, you must do 30 burpees in order to continue.

While this might sound a little frightening, don't let it discourage you from joining the race. Spartan Racing is fun and adventurous, and will take the monotony out of staying fit and active. If you're ready to give these thrilling races a try, here are 3 tips to get you started.

Burpees, burpees, burpees.

Chances are you will fail at least one obstacle during your race. If nothing else, the spear toss, which requires you to successfully land a spear several feet away in a haybale—and have it stick without touching the ground—is called the burpee maker by racers because of the low success rate. Make burpees a regular part of your training routine so you can handle them if you do fail an obstacle.

Run farther than the race

Sure, you may be able to run 5 miles easily, but the terrain is far different from what you're probably used to. Even if you can run 5 miles in 45 minutes, it will probably take you much longer to run the spartan race due to the obstacles. Plan on running hills and for longer distances to help make race day easier.

Work on grip strength

Even if you can handle the monkey bars ordinarily, they're likely to be covered in mud and sweat by the time your heat is allowed to run. Slippery obstacles require tighter grips. You can practice grip strength in a variety of ways, such as holding the broad ends of dumbbells or doing dead hangs and pullups.

Obstacle course racing is a lot of fun, and people of all fitness levels can compete in them. There have even been successful competitors without limbs, or with other disabilities. No matter what place you are, as long as you finish you are considered a winner and get a shiny new medal to take home. Take your fitness to the next level, and try a spartan race for your next competition!

Read more by clicking on the links below:

Spartan racing

Spartan race training

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