Obstacle course racing — or really any tough, endurance-type of exercise, for that matter — can be daunting at first. Maybe you don’t think you have the time to train, or the strength to finish. We work up all sorts of mental hurdles in our head. too. What if we run out of steam and can’t push past our breaking point?
Of course, we’ve got you covered when it comes to the training. We have everything you need to be prepared for the physical feats and obstacles you’ll face. (You can also get pro athlete-level training wherever you are on our new Fit app.) But it’s not just about how intense your grip strength is.
What you wear when you’re training and racing makes a big difference, too. Top sports psychologists have found that wearing gear that makes you feel positive and connected to the sport you’re playing can actually help improve performance. One study, in, particular found that what you wear can help you acclimate, and even feel a stronger connection, to your fellow racers.
For all the newbies out there who are training for their first race in 2021, our pros picked the essential gear you need to motivate yourself and crush it on the course.
#1: The Spartan by Craft Pro Series Compression SS Top
Why it’s essential: It may be part of our Pro series, but this top is perfect for beginners who want the comfort and support that comes from the compression fit, as well as stretchy fabric that allows you to have true freedom of movement as you complete each obstacle. Plus, the sleeves will protect your arms on race day without keeping you too hot.
#2: The Spartan by Craft Lumen Urban Running Tights
Why it’s essential: Another go-to for newbies and veterans alike, these versatile training tights have a back-zip pocket in case you want to bring something on the course, and an internal drawstring for extra comfort.
#3: The Spartan by Craft Charge SS Intensity Tee
Why it’s essential: One of our staples for Spartan men, this tee it made of technical performance materials and has a great relaxed fit. Plus, it has mesh panels under the arms to help you ventilate when you’re sweaty or wet.
#4: Spartan by Craft Pro Series 2-in-1 Shorts
Why it’s essential: One of our top sellers for men, these multitasking shorts are perfect for racing in. The stretchy, technical fabric on the outside is moisture-wicking, and the inside is made with compression fabric to keep you comfortable.
#5: The Spartan by Craft RD Pro OCR Running Shoe
Why it’s essential: This is THE only shoe on the planet that has been specifically designed for obstacle course racing. Made for both men and women, the RD Pro will give you an advantage in both training and racing, with its lightweight flexibility, all-terrain traction, and patented drainage system.
#6: Spartan by Craft Compression Knee Sock
Why it’s essential: You may think compression socks are more for pro athletes, but ours can help newbies because they’re designed with mesh panels to help keep you cool, and have ergonomically-placed pressure points to improve your circulation. Plus, they’re built to stay in place when you’re racing!
#7. Spartan Franklin OCR Multi 1.0 Glove
Why it’s essential: The rope climb can be one of the more challenging obstacles for new Spartans, especially since it requires incredible grip strength. These gloves were engineered to be slip-resistant, and have a wet grip so it’s easier to grab that rope. Plus, they have a unique padding system that keeps your hands safe and comfortable on race day.
#8. Spartan by Craft Hydrate Belt
Why it’s essential: Another race-day must: staying hydrated. Wearing this belt ensures that you’ll have water to sip on between obstacles. It also has one zippered pocket so you can stash whatever you need along the way. Here are some additional tips to avoid dehydration before the race.
#9. Spartan by Craft Neck Tube
Why it’s essential: Usually we recommend these tubes to racers on days when the weather is fierce, as it will protect your neck on scorching hot days (and from windburn on the cold ones). But during COVID times, it also doubles as a face mask. Win win.