What a Week of Spartan Pro Nicole Mericle's Workouts Looks Like

What a Week of Spartan Pro Nicole Mericle's Workouts Looks Like
Presented by Spartan Training®

We all want to know: What makes the best-of-the-best Spartan athletes out there tick? How do they keep their edge? In our Train Like A Champ series, we dig into the details of the training, nutrition, mindset, and more that keeps our most epic athletes on top. 

Mericle has always been a powerful runner and a highly-skilled climber. That unique combination has made her a dominating force in the world of Spartan racing. However, with an ever-growing list of versatile competitors, her lungs and nimble climbing only abilities can only get her so far. For example, if heavy lifting obstacles are introduced she has found herself losing time to the slower, but stronger racers.

How Mericle Trains

To work on this particular weakness, Mericle has started integrating a series of kettlebell specific workouts a couple of days a week, in addition to weighted carry work to bolster her muscular strength and power. 

The One-Week Nicole Mericle Training Plan

As excitement grows for the 2019 Spartan World Championship in North Lake Tahoe late this September, we tapped Mericle for an inside look at what a week-long "Nicole Mericle training plan" looks like, so you can follow along as she preps for Tahoe—and learn to train like a champ yourself. 

Related: Train Like A Champ: A Q&A With Pro Nicole Mericle

Note: Begin all workouts with a warm-up—and end all with a cool-down.

Monday: Rest & Recovery

Rest day/no running; easy rock climbing and hangboard for 2-3 hours


Tuesday: Run, Hills & Climb

Run an easy 8 miles on the trails plus uphill strides (4-6 x 30 seconds uphill at 80-90% effort); Endurance climbing (warm up 45 minutes, 2 x 5 consecutive climbs alternating between hard and easy: 5.12a, 5.10, 5.11d, 5.10, 5.11d. I’ll also be getting back on the wall immediately after being lowered down. Finish with a cooldown of easy climbing for 30 minutes. 



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Last weekend: Drive 500 miles. Run up some peaks. Drive another 500 miles. 🚐 🏃‍♀️🧗‍♀️#roadtotahoe

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Wednesday: Hills & Kettlebell Lift

No climbing today; run workout includes 5 x 3 min hills with a recovery run back to the start, then 5 x 1 min fast/1 min easy on flatter ground. Followed by a kettlebell EMOM: Warm-up with Turkish get-up, plank shoulder taps, goblet squats, halos; then 30 minutes of 6 minutes of each exercise: 7 double swings, 7 double clean and press, 7 single-arm snatchs, 10 front rack reverse lunges, 15 single-arm swings.



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Be LIMITLESS. I’m not sure what other people see when they look at this, but I definitely see the hitch in my right leg. I have a labral tear in that leg that kept me from running and competing for 2.5 years. I thought my days of racing were over. I tried 2 years of PT and multiple doctors and tests to no avail. I felt like my body had failed me at the age of 26 and I got to the point where I didn’t even care about competing, I just wanted to move and run again without pain or problems. 3 years ago I found trail running, @spartanrace, chiropractor @drrichardhansen and coach @addiedoesstuff. It was a slow process and my right leg still doesn’t tolerate road running, but here I am racing on trails and competing as a full time athlete in obstacle course racing. It’s not the way I thought my running career would go and I’m pretty ok with that. #SpartanTrail #globalrunningday #globalrunningday2019 #repost

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Thursday: Run, Hills & Sandbag Carry

Run an easy 8 miles followed by sandbag training: I would pick out a 1 min hill and do: 50 lb sandbag carry to the top and back, then I rest while a partner goes; 40-50lb bucket up the hill and back, then I rest while a partner goes. Repeat for a total of 6-8 carries. Hard bouldering day afterward (warm up 1 hour, then trying various boulder problems that are at my limit, which is V7-V8 usually.) Concluded with time on the hangboard. Additional sandbag training day.


Friday: Rest Day OR Short Run and Power Climbing

Rest day (or easy short run 6-8 miles); Power endurance climbing: 4 rounds of climbing 4 bouldering problems consecutively without rest between, then taking a 5 min break between each round. These would be V4-V5 bouldering problems for me. Followed by another kettlebell EMOM similar to what’s listed above.



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Fierce feels on the flatirons in my favorite fabric. @darntoughvermont 💙 #scrambling #spartantraining #alliteration

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Saturday: Long Run

No climbing today; Long run of 14 to 20 miles (usually this run will be a bit faster overall or I’ll run just the uphills harder)



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Back to the Boulder grind 😎

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Sunday: Easy Medium-Distance Run and Climb

Run an easy 10 miles; rock climb outside (projecting)



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My kind of @spartan training 😊

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Hangboard: A popular training tool used for climbers which is also known as a fingerboard.

Projecting: You pick out a climb that you can't do on your first try and have to repeatedly attempt and might need to retry a certain move several times to figure out the best way to do it. 

Bouldering: Shorter routes without ropes. "Sport climbing" is my preferred type of climbing. This is with ropes. 

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