For those of you that don't know what a Spartan Ultra is it is a 30 mile Spartan Race, and the thing is, I have been dreaming of doing one of these for years. So you might be asking yourself why the hell would you sign up for 30 miles of obstacles and my answer is WHY NOT!!! Ten hours of playing in the woods and at the end of it all, I get a sweet belt buckle (for those of you who don't know I have a small obsession with belt buckles). The reason I have not done one of these yet is none of the locations were really obtainable to me; they were in places like Vermont, Hawaii, or Texas. I just could not justify traveling such a distance for a race. Luckily this year the obstacle gods have blessed us with one in Ohio! So I immediately discussed it with my wife who will be sitting at the venue waiting for me the entire 10 hours (did I mention how much I love her and what a saint she is) then I immediately signed up and started training.
So lets talk about what a benefit signing up for something you know requires real training can be. I am at the point where I can do up to a beast distance while in just ok shape. The ultra is a different animal with time cuts and extreme endurance required. What does all of this mean, I refuse to DNF, I want to minimize burpees done, and I want to be as comfortable as possible the entire race. Looking at these factors my training has focus it hasn't had in years. I started training basically January 1st, I weighed in at 205lbs and hadn't really ran or had a focused training session since the Chicago Spartan Beast in September. Boy did the switch flip the second I signed up for the race. Since then I have progressively upped my mileage (hitting the rower when the weather was bad), focused my strength sessions to making sure I can handle the obstacles, and locking my nutrition down. I am happy to report that I am responding well, endurance and strength are up and my weight is down.
I will be periodically checking in on here to let everyone know how the training is going and how it is evolving along the way. Right now my focus is on running, grip strength, and heavy training. I am trying to lose all my extra weight during this first phase of training so as things get serious I can concentrate on performance and not weight. There will be future blog post about why being lighter is important in an event like this and welcome all questions about my training techniques and any suggestions on posts to help you out as well.
The biggest point of this is to let everyone who has hit a slump in their training, find a reason to refocus. Sign up for something that you refuse to fail at and requires you to step it up. The most important part is SIGN UP, its not real until you do.