Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Prepare for the BEAST!

Many of my students have been inquiring about what to bring or wear to the NJ Beast coming up April 18th. So I decided to make an easily accessible list for all Spartans to share. Many that have gone through a Beast (Elite or novice) should know that you will be out there for hours. How many hours? That's up to the individual. First of a Beast is a Beast, the following list can serve as a guide to all Spartan Race Beasts.

1. Hydration Pack or Belt 

Whether you are elite or a novice, water stations may not come around during the time you need them to. I have seen many racers make the same mistake which is to wait until they feel thirsty to have drink. Feeling thirsty is the body's natural indicator that you are already dehydrated. Having a sip or two every 15-20 minutes will keep your body hydrated and performing to the best of your abilities.

2. Salt 
Have you ever tasted your sweat? When you sweat you are losing sodium in the body, in fact you can lose about 1.5g per hour. So why is sodium so important? Sodium helps keep your body temperature and heart rate from rising during lengthy amounts of exercise. Where to get your sodium fix? Most endurance sports drinks contain enough sodium to keep you going (without cramping as well). Feel free to toss in a sports drink into your hydration packs.

3. NUUN 

Ran out sports drink? Can't find the next convenience store on the course? When you get to the next water station fill it up with water and pop in 1 or 2 tablets of Nuun and Wallah instant sports drink with the sodium to keep you going! 


Yes, you need to fuel up during prolonged amounts of exercise! Even the best of athletes can only hold a certain amount of muscle fuel (glycogen). With in an hour into the race eat, whether its a gel pack or a sports bar. After 45 minutes, have another 60 - 80 grams of carbohydrates while still keeping the body hydrated every 20 minutes.
Here are some examples:
Gels: Roctane, Gu pack, PowerBar Enery, Surge
Bars: Clif Bar, Clif Builders, PowerBar, Bloks
Estimate the amount of time you believe you will be out there and take a little more. It's always better to carry a little more than to be scavenging on race day. I have seen people picking up gel packs and eating left overs from desperation.... YUCK! 

5. Compression Apparel

You may have noticed many racers wearing a bunch of tight spandex looking cloths. Why are they wearing all this tight cloths? Is it a fashion statement or are they going to audition for black swan Part 2 right after the race? 
Compression apparel, whether it's socks, arm/calve sleeves, shorts, pants. or shirts are meant to help increase blood flow  which can improve performance and speed up recovery time. Now it is still open to researchers on whether it fully does what it's stated to do but any boost to prevent a nasty leg cramp is worth it! Hylete has been a popular choice among the OCR community. If you're interested in getting some apparel use code "AragonFitness25" at https://www.hylete.com/ and save 25% off your next purchase. 

6. Shoes

The right pair of shoes is a must when it comes to muddy or rocky terrain of these races. Reebok has come out with the Spartan All-Terrain Series specifically meant for Spartan Races. These shoes can obviously also be used for all other OCR races as well. I have used them in many past races and the Spartan Super model has a bit more durability then the Sprint model. Another great pair of outdoor running shoes is from Inov-8. Inov-8 was among the first on OCR scene. Many may remember seeing them a couple of years back at most Races. When looking for a good pair of OCR running shoes you are looking for something light and has a good grip. 

7. Determination

You signed up, now SHOW UP! You have all the nutrition and hydration to get you through the race. Just keep in mind..... 
"The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step"
Lao Tzu
Keep moving one foot in front of the other and you will be at the finish line before you know it! 
Also, YOU WON'T BE ALONE! There are thousands of Spartans on the course right there with you battling along your side to accomplish and own this dreadful course!

There it is troops, simple and sweet! If you feel I should add something, please feel free to comment below.

See you at the race! AROO!

Spartan SGX Coach ARAGON

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