Training for a Spartan Race. One Month Down, Two to Go! #BeFearless

by Abra Pappa Comments1
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Here’s the thing folks, the IDEA of training for a race is much nicer than the actual training. (Read my first entry about where this brilliant idea came from here)

Welcome to my world of Spartan training. This is not a crazy race, compared to some of them out there, it is merely a 5K (eh, nothin’!) with obstacles. (Pehshaw, got it!)

It’s all relative though isn’t it? To me, this Spartan Race  is like climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro (which is on my bucket list, by the way) while to Tara, a very close friend of mine who runs 50-100 mile marathons, this race must seem like a walk around the block! (Read about Tara running the Grand Canyon from tip to tip here)

Here is what I have learned in this first month.

  • Your brain will ALWAYS fill you with reasons NOT to work out. Start a list of reasons why you SHOULD it makes all the difference.
  • You don’t need a gym. This one has been a major lesson for me. I have been working out with my buddy Doug (a kick ass trainer!) and he has taught me how easy it is to get a really good workout in at the park.

Penelope like the park too!

Penelope likes the park too!

I live around the corner from Riverside Park in NYC, an absolutely beautiful park with a million options for a serious workout! Doug typically has us doing some sort of circuit training an example could be; sprint, 20 squats, plank walk, 20 pushups, bear crawl, 30 step ups, sprint, 20 burpees. This gets repeated usually about 5x. Then depending on where we are in the park we will use benches or steps or even those torture rings you see above (I actually can’t do those AT ALL!) We even used this platform below for what Doug called “Plyo jumps” which basically means jump like a kangaroo as high as you can and keep repeating it until you feel like you may die.

Plyo jump platform

Plyo jump platform

  • The folks over at Spartan are pretty dang cool.  I get an email each and every morning with a workout to try and a new recipe. Some of the workouts are pretty intense, but it’s great to have a very specific goal that I am working towards.
  • Apps are awesome! Use them. I am like a  90 year old woman in many aspects of my life, technology being one of them. I run away from a “software update” like it’s the plague, but I really needed help with the running aspect of this race. I am using Couch to 5K and it is awesome! It’s like a game and I am totally in!

First 2 mile outdoor "run"

First 2 mile outdoor “run”

I still battle injury fear and it is most prevalent when I run. I have started using some creative visualization to help me through the fear. When I feel a tweak in my knee or a small twerk in my hip rather than focusing on what could go wrong I visualize a deep tissue massage and imagine that jogging is like a massage of sorts for my joints. I am doing it safely and carefully and I absolutely stop if there is any real pain, but as it turns out the majority of tweaks and twerks are mental not really physical. Running outside was a huge obstacle to overcome, I have only done it once but it felt so great! I must say having a puppy along for the run makes it much easier, I focus on her cuteness rather than my fear ;-)

I also focus on the image of a body of strong muscles running, I know the human body is amazingly strong and powerful. This image helps me focus on the power and possibility rather than the potential for injury. So far, it’s been working.

Overall, the first month was ok. I had a week when I didn’t work out at all, that sucked. Getting back in the game after that was even harder. I haven’t reached all of my goals for month one, but today is another day and I am committed to improvement. Progress not perfection.

I’ll be checking in again next month with progress, this week I will be testing my skills of working out while traveling. I am typing this while in a gym (jog happening as soon as I hit publish) AND I got in a “decent” workout this morning with my BFF Karen in Thomas Park (full park workout here)

Thanks for all of your kind words of encouragement this month, I have loved reading your emails cheering me on!

Remember to #BeFearless!

Abra Pappa
About Abra Pappa, Health and Wellness Expert

Abra is a wellness expert that has inspired thousands of people to reach their health and weight loss goals through whole, natural food and mindful lifestyle shifts. Her food philosophy is simple; keep it real, keep it simple, and it sure as heck better be delicious!

  • Tara

    I’m so proud of you!!! My first race was a 5K and I remember clear as day how exciting it was to cross the finish line. You are going to crush it!!! Next, you’ll be joining me on the trail…I’m sure of it!