After one unprepared race you start to realize that you struggled for nothing. I’m pretty tough mentally but my skin is still skin, therefore I must suggest a few things to aid you when going for your first spartan as well as many after that. Here they are split up by Spartan Race distances, for a Super you will need the things in the Sprint category, and for a Beast you will need the things in the previous two categories . (Also, these are the same things that would help you with a Tough Mudder, Warrior Dash, or any other obstacle race.)
Gloves – You will spend time crawling and climbing, and theres a good chance those surfaces won’t be smooth. Besides saving your hands they can also provide extra grip when your hands are wet. Having thoroughly tested a few pairs here are my suggestions:
For wet courses:
Under Armour Men’s CTR Trainer HF Gloves – They offer great grip, a soft area on the thumb to wipe your brow, and are mostly mesh so they hold very little water.
For dry courses (stadiums):
Mechanix Wear Grip Gloves – When you do the stadium courses you crawl on cement and do burpees on them too. These might be a bit heavier and thicker but the thick grip and durability will help.
Elbow and Knee Protection – Spandex, compression shirts, elbow pads, knee pads are all your choice but I highly suggest at least one. Spartan Supers involve barbwire crawls, scrambling up rough surfaces, crawling through tubes, and many more things that leave you on elbow and knees.
For compression needs I go with:
Under Armour Men’s HeatGear® Compression Long Sleeve – Keeps you dry and protects from scuffs on your elbows and arms while crawling and climbing
Mueller Diamond Elbow and Knee Pad – This pad can be used for either location if you get the size that fits that part. What many people do when racing is to slide the pads to their calf so they don’t get behind the knee chafing while running. And to keep it from moving around some people will remove one and stuff it in the other side near the shin.
And for stick on protection:
KT TAPE Pro, 16 Foot Roll – First important fact is to only buy this in black. The other colors for some reason just don’t stick as well. Secondly follow the instructions for application and it should stick very well. This stuff is like having another layer of skin and is well worth the money.
Hydration – There are a few reasons this is important, mainly because your body needs water and you don’t have enough of it to finish a race that’s well over a few hours without it. You also aren’t told when the water stations are on the course or how many there will be. Plus if you hate waiting in lines, this is another place to save time by skipping the busy stations. And finally you can store your gels and other small items in most packs and belts.
Nathan Minimist Vest – 1.5-Liter – As you could guess by the items name it is super light weight and stores 1.5 liters of water. One suggestion when doing a barbwire section is to remove it, then either drag it along or throw it ahead.
Food: There is generally no real calories for you at these long races. Bring something you have tested before hand and are sure will work for you. My suggestion is to bring either Shots (GU) or energy cubes. These items are made for fast digestion and easy consumption. There are many and you should test them all but here are a few I suggest:
And Most Importantly – Sign up for a Reebok Spartan Race!
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