When you're considering committing to your first Spartan race or taking on your first race after some time off, you don’t need a Spartan coach telling you that you should be getting a couple runs in per week, stretching regularly, and doing burpees. Those things go without saying. However, there are a few sneaky mistakes that a lot of first-timers and returning racers make.
Here, fitness model, online coach, Trifecta Nutrition athlete, and former Spartan first-timer Michael Dean shares three mistakes that he made before his first race, plus what you can do to avoid the pitfalls yourself.
Michael Dean's Coaching Advice for Your First Spartan Race: Don't Make These Mistakes
1. Not Putting a Date on the Calendar
This should be obvious, but it’s not. If you don’t commit to a race by picking a date and putting it on the calendar, you’ll never actually train for it.
“You have to have the mindset of a Spartan,” Dean says. “If you call yourself an athlete or want to be one, then a Spartan race is how you put that to the test. It starts with putting a date on the calendar."
2. Trying to Be Perfect
Being a perfectionist is an easy way to set yourself up for paralysis by analysis. Dean says that you can’t be afraid to be unconventional out there on the course.
“When you’re doing the Barbed Wire Crawl, you don’t need to do an Army crawl,” he says. “Get on your side and roll through that thing if you need to."
3. Underestimating Hydration and Nutrition
During Dean’s first race, he took the Spartan Hydration Tablets and threw them in the trash. That was a big mistake, he says in retrospect.
“I cramped up a bit during my first race because my hydration was a little off,” he explains.
Having learned from experience, Dean suggests using the tablets during the race and making sure to drink about eight ounces of water every hour in the 24 hours before a race. He also paid closer attention to his nutrition in the weeks ahead of the race.
“Trifecta Nutrition is my go-to source for all of my meal prep, no matter what I’m training for,” he says.