Run Through Fire? Scale Walls? Learn more about this Crazy Obstacle Challenge.
Today I am excited to bring you an interview with Tomas Becklin. I’ve known Tomas since 2007 and we worked for MySpace together back in the old days. When we last caught up, he told me how he was doing Reebok Spartan Races. For those of you who don’t know, The Reebok Spartan Race is an obstacle race course challenge where you go crazy things like scale walls, climb through mud, and run through fire. I have personally never done one. It sounds intense, and I wanted to learn more about them. Here is my Q & A with this 8 time Spartan Race veteran!
How did you get started doing Spartan Races?
I saw an ad on Facebook. I started to read up on the race and decided this is what I wanted/needed to do.
What type of shape were you in before you started doing Spartan Races?
Not very good. I’d fallen off the workout wagon for a couple of years, focusing too much on work. Thanks to Spartan Race I’m now in the best shape of my life at the age of 40!
How do you train for events? What is your workout regimen like?
I start my workout routine beginning 6-8 weeks before an event. Every 3rd day I run -either in the trails up in Santa Monica mountains for 5-10 miles or interval training on the track or in the sand at the beach. Running every 3rd day gives me ample time to recover. In between runs I do functional training such as rope climbs, bear crawls, pull-ups, push-ups, etc. I also do Yoga at least once a week. After a race I take a week or two off (depending on the race). During that time I do yoga and work on my flexibility.
How many Spartan Races have you done?
8 races including the Ultra Beast in Vermont.
What is your favorite thing about Spartan Races? Least favorite thing?
I love the fact that you never know what the race will be like. Spartan Race course designers never fail to surprise. Least favorite? I wish I could do them more often… 🙂
What is the hardest obstacle? What’s it like to run through fire?
A 5 gallon bucket filled with gravel that you have to carry for at least ~400 yards in hard terrain. But the 60lbs sand bag carry up the ski slope in Vermont during the Ultra Beast was probably one of the harder things I have done. Ever. Jumping over fire is probably the best part. It’s the second to last obstacle during a race. Right before the gladiator gauntlet and you can usually see the finish line at that point.
What 3 tips would you have for newcomers who haven’t done a spartan race but are thinking about doing one? Is there any training regimen you recommend they follow?
1) Get a good pair of trail running shoes. 2) Find a partner in crime to train and race with. 3) Watch videos and pay attention to obstacles techniques. Besides trail running I would recommend functional exercises. Specially those that get you down on all four. You need to get used to crawling, rolling, climbing and jumping. Bear crawls and burpees are some of my favorite exercises.
Wow, talk about inspiration. I feel like I need to go run up a mountain with a sled strapped to my back. Thanks so much, Tomas for sharing your experience!
To learn more about Spartan Races, visit their website and view their race schedule for 2014.
What about you? Have you ever done a Spartan Race? Run through Fire? Post in the comments and let us know!