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Life > Experiences

I’m Running a Spartan Race and Here’s What I Did to Prepare

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UCLA chapter.

Ever wondered if you have what it takes to run a Spartan? Here’s a little secret: everyone does! All it takes is a little preparation and training. For those who don’t know what a Spartan race is, it’s not your traditional run-of-the-mill challenge. Being widely considered the world’s most popular obstacle course race, a classic Spartan features an off-road trail in addition to at least 20+ obstacles, depending on the race distance, that runners must complete, such as monkey bars, carrying a bucket of rocks, and even trekking through knee-high mud piles. Better yet, if you find yourself completely unable to complete an obstacle, you have to complete a 30 burpees or a penalty lap to continue. While that may sound nerve-wracking, I promise that you are more capable than you think. All you need are some tips to help you get started, and here are some of my own!


Fuel your enthusiasm, chase your greatness! 🏃‍♂️💥 Spartan pass prices are climbing on 3/31. Grab yours now and blaze your trail to glory! #SpartanRace #Unbreakable

♬ original sound – spartan
If you aren’t a runner, now you are

If you already consider yourself an experienced runner, this tip may not be for you. But, if you don’t run normally and want this race to be your first, you should definitely start by establishing a running program to keep you conditioned. For example, if you’re just starting out, there are plenty of free couch-to-5k running programs on the internet that will keep you from hurting yourself and ensure that you allow yourself the correct amount of recovery time.


If I could start my running career over from scratch, these are 3 of the main steps I would take. Running & strength programs incorporating these 3 steps are just part of what’s included in the app for beginner runners, early-released this Friday (11/10). Your strong and healthy running foundation awaits! I hope to see you Friday!! -Casey #beginnerrunner #newrunner #howtostartrunning #runningtips #running

♬ Good Life (Instrumental Beats) – Hip Hop Hitmakers
fuel your body

Something I noticed in my training regimen was that I found myself having much more of an appetite during my program, and for good reason. Listen to your body. With extra cardio and weightlifting (something I highly recommend before a Spartan), your body will need nutritious food and fulfilling meals to keep your muscles happy. This race should most definitely not be a torturous way to get you to lose weight. I promise you will feel so much better if you give your body the diet that it needs by implementing a healthy meal plan.


Replying to @davidgarza661 here is the best way to train for a spartan race. Simulating obstacles or doing metcon work can also help but is best used when stacked on top of a solid running and lifting base #spartanrace2023 #spartantraining #spartanbeginner #spartanracing #iamaspartan #spartantrainingtips #spartantok #ocr #gripstrength #obstaclecourseracing

♬ Powerful songs like action movie music – Tansa
for the girlies, work your upper body

I know that my fellow cardio bunnies will despise me for saying this, but I’m going to say it anyway: you need to lift weights. These obstacles are honestly no joke and if you’re looking to set a personal record, you’re most definitely going to need to work out your upper-body. Yes, leg day is still allowed, but don’t sell yourself short by neglecting your upper half! Get on that pull-up bar and start off with some dead-hangs to improve your grip strength (trust me, you’ll thank me later).


first ever spartan race! craziest 2 months of my life 🥹❤️ AROO! #spartan #spartanrace #spartanraceph #vermosa

♬ оригинальный звук – Freezy18 – Freezy18
electrolytes for the win

Stay hydrated. This one may seem implied but it’s been so important, especially in my own training. When I’m not hydrated, I can sense it the second I start running. Your muscles will thank you if you keep yourself hydrated during your training and the race itself. A great way to make sure you stay hydrated is to drink electrolytes! My personal favorite is Liquid IV but any brand will do. Just adding this small supplement to your routine will help you improve by leaps and bounds!

recovery is no joke

This is a serious one. The second you start to feel very sore or a possible twang of serious discomfort, stop. If you are just beginning to train, it can be a lot on your body at once which can be a recipe for disaster. Rest days are absolutely pivotal when discussing muscle growth, health, and preventing injury. Make sure to prioritize sleep, stretching before work-outs, and implementing warm-ups and cool-downs. If something starts to hurt, stop. Reassess the next day, slowly, and see if you can keep going. If you can’t, do not push yourself and instead focus on healing so you can come back even better than before.

get used to getting dirty

To all my clean girls out there, this may not be the race for you. During this run, you will most likely be sweaty, soaking wet, or coated with mud (maybe even a mixture of all three). But, hey, that’s a part of the Spartan experience. So why not accept it! Trek through that mud like nothing can hold you back, because nothing can! Let that dirt and grime be a reminder of all the sweat and effort you put into challenging yourself.

Running a Spartan race is an achievable goal for anyone willing to put in the preparation and training, and I do mean anyone. With its challenging obstacles and rigorous demands, this race may seem daunting at first, but with the right mindset and dedication, you can conquer it (I promise!). So, lace up your shoes, prepare for the messiness, and get ready to discover just how strong you truly are.

Autumn Morgan is a third-year Film & Television major at UCLA who grew up in the San Fernando Valley. She thoroughly enjoys being overdressed and reading women’s divorce fiction. In her free time, you can find her laying by a river eating fruit.