Tag Archives: Spartan Races

Top 5 things I’ve learned since I started Running

I have always despised running and I generally don’t follow a strict “training program” simply because I enjoy exercising and don’t have a specific goal to achieve with it. Now there are times when I have Spartan Races or other mud runs coming up and I will alter my training slightly to suit their demands. But then again, I’ve never taken on the task of running a half marathon distance Spartan Race and chased that with a full marathon eight weeks later!

On September 13, 2014 I will be running my first Spartan Beast which is a 13+ mile obstacle race with trails, mountains, mud, water, barbed wire, walls, ropes, spear throws etc. It is one of the most defining tests of what the primal human is capable of as it tests your endurance, strength, skill, and resolve. And then in November I have the Surfer’s Point Full Marathon. Two very demanding runs for someone who has pretty much always hated running!

 I have done numerous Spartans and other mud runs as long as 12 miles and have pretty much just “shown up” meaning that I didn’t really cater my training to what was ahead of me. And for many of these races, especially the longer ones, I suffered through them. I have never had a “did not complete” but I very rarely finished a race and felt like I performed to the best of my abilities. That doesn’t sit too well with me, especially since I’m my own toughest critic. So I have taken it upon myself to adopt more of an endurance training system to help me accomplish my goals and upcoming races. I will say that 5 weeks into my endurance training I am starting to really enjoy running, especially the trail runs where it’s early in the morning and there’s nobody else on the trails. It’s extremely peaceful even with my headphones blasting some old Killswitch Engage tunes!

Here is a list of what I’ve learned about endurance training…… formerly known as “My Arch Nemesis”

1. I can actually run!

I think my biggest hesitation to running before was that I never felt like I could do it well. Generally running isn’t something that 200 lb men excel at!

2. I can still get my high intensity workout in:

While a long run is very exhausting, the recovery is relatively short. And after about a 10-15 minute recovery period after my hour long run, I am totally capable of tearing up a short high intensity workout. One of my recent favorites is 5 rounds of the following circuit. 10 Kettlebell swings, 5 Pull Ups, 10 Burpees.

3.  I can spend even more time with my daughter:

I sometimes will run with my soon to be two year old daughter. The jogging stroller is well designed and probably can’t be improved much but it still adds a new dynamic and difficulty to the run. I have two separate time standards when I run, They are With or Without a stroller. I am usually at least a minute/mile slower with the stroller.

4. It can still be a social workout

My history with working out and training has always been very social. I have always been able to train harder and more effective when I have people all around me. It’s not that I’m super competitive, but I lack motivation when I’m by myself

5. I’ve stopped listening to all the haters

The fitness community can be very black or white when it comes to long distance running. With the fast twitch guys saying that running in unnatural and it will destroy your joints and your muscles with shrivel up and disappear. And the runners saying that everyone else is a bunch of meatheads and are too lazy to put in the effort to become a runner.

All in all, I’m up for a challenge. I’m not saying that I will turn into an endurance junky but I love exploring all corners of fitness. If I’m not trying new things and pushing my boundaries than I’m just being stubborn and stagnant!

Just when you think you know yourself…… you throw yourself a curveball!

My upcoming events schedule is NOT looking like something I would normally sign up for. It’s looking like a runner’s calendar, not a meathead’s like me.

In September I’m running my first Spartan BEAST which is 13+ miles of mountains, mud, barbed wire, fire and rope climbs oh my! I have run four Spartan Races in the past and love them, but this is the first time I will be participating in the Beast! We are talking about a 1/2 marathon distance in tough rural rugged terrain, I will admit I’m excited and damn nervous too. But if there’s one thing that the Spartan Races have taught me it’s that if you look adversity straight in it’s face, tell it to “fuck off” and continue putting one foot in front of the other, you will eventually get to your destination.

Shortly after I heal from the Beast I will be running my very first marathon! Now this is something I never thought I would do. I always thought it would be cool to say that I had run a marathon but never actually had any desire to do such a thing. That was until my awesome client told me that she has a goal of completing a full marathon by her 30th birthday and that she would pay my registration fees so I could run with her! Without hesitation I told her we’re running a marathon, and later that night I came across the Surfer’s Point Marathon in Ventura CA. This is a flat beach side run that in November so it should be nice, cool, and hopefully overcast which should take away from some of the misery of the day.

Also since I’m vegetarian and my client has celiac disease we both have our hands full when it comes time for fueling up for this race. Luckily I’ve found a couple really cool interwebers that can help both of us.

Celiac is an autoimmune disease and  causes inflammation and irritability whenever you eat gluten (which is in almost all of our modern day carb sources). My client’s case is pretty severe and even trace amounts of gluten will render her useless and make her pretty sick.  So in steps Rebecca with runrebeccarun.wordpress.com, Rebecca is a long distance runner with celiac disease and has figured out how to fuel with all the challenges of managing a gluten free lifestyle. I am definitely going to be researching her blog to find recipes and ideas!

And luckily for me, my resource for vegetarian marathon training found me! Alina has become an avid 5 for 5’er and reached out to me on Instagram recently. After talking to her shortly she was surprised to find out that I don’t eat animals. Well I’m going to surprise her again by announcing that I’m doing a marathon! Her site www.veganrunnereats.com is filled with Veggie fuel! And I can’t wait to start trying some of her recipes!

And lastly, assuming I can still walk. I have my annual Malibu Spartan Sprint in December. The race that started it all for me! This will be my fourth Spartan race in Malibu, and it’s pretty nostalgic for me.  Back in 2011 I had known that I wasn’t in my lifelong career job and wanted to make a change but not quite sure what to do. I had started training friends at a park three times a week after work and everyone was loving it. I knew then that being a trainer was something I could love to earn a living doing. All the people that were training with me decided that we wanted to challenge ourselves and we came across the Spartan Race. The Spartan race brand was very much in it’s infancy and nobody really knew much about it other than it looked tough! Well we were tough! So we signed up and created a team.

We trained for about 6-8 weeks for this 5k mud/obstacle race that we knew nothing about and thought that nothing could stop us. It didn’t STOP us but holy crap, it sure kicked our asses! I still to this day remember when I crossed the finish line thinking to myself “This is exactly what I’m supposed to do with my life”. And ever since then that’s all I have been doing. Training people has become my life, I train people face to face, one on one, in a group, anonymous people online etc. It is who I am, and I can honestly say that it’s Spartan Race’s fault!

So I really should stop writing and start running because these legs need to get conditioned to move this 200 pound body!