On the 22nd of April I raced in the Seattle Super Spartan Race. The race is part of Spartan’s US Championship series. A lot of the big names in Spartan Racing were there to race. So, it was a great opportunity to see where I stacked up against the best. The super was 9.8 miles long with some of the more common obstacles made to be more challenging. In the end I finished 28th in mens, 3rd in my age group and 33rd overall. It was a tough race that resembled the Championship Race last year, which I discuss here. I believe I made some major improvements since the championship, but have a lot of room to grow.
I struggled a bit in the endurance department. Mainly due to the fact that the course consisted of many areas that was hard to run in. These included muddy areas where my feet would sink in the mud and it was hard to keep balance. In addition, there was heavy vegetation that made it difficult to get through smoothly. To improve in running on this type of terrain I need to train on this type of terrain more often. I utilize the treadmill because there are not many hills in Davis, but it is a disadvantage to running on a smooth terrain constantly. So, I will need to branch out and find some more trail runs around Davis. Even if they don’t have hills, the rough terrain will help me strengthen this weak area.
Another issue with endurance was my inability to stay with the front pack at the beginning of the race. I find myself struggling at the beginning and then getting in a groove during the middle and end of the race. In the future I need to train more intensely at the beginning of my workouts, especially my runs. Hopefully this will allow me to stay with the front pack and still maintain a solid pace for the rest of the race.
Somewhat discussed above is the importance of staying with the front pack at the beginning of the race. I was unable to do this during the Seattle Super, mainly because of my lack of endurance on the muddy terrain. I strongly believe being with the front pack will push me to increase my pace. Like I say above I need to increase my intensity of my workouts to accomplish this goal.
A major disappointment was that I did not complete the spear throw. The 30 burpees hurt me a bit on this one. If I am unsure I will complete the spear throw I need to run at a faster pace during the race to account for the increased time it will take to perform the penalty burpees.
Another strategy that came to light in this race is the importance of keeping your hands dry for certain obstacles. At the end of the race we had to traverse through a body of water and then attempt the multi rig. I was unable to complete the rig because of the lack of grip from my wet hands. In future races, I need to try to keep my hands dry if an obstacle that utilizes grip is coming up.
The bucket carry was different from previous races because the marked route was much longer than usual, like the Championship race last year. I was very happy with my performance on this obstacle. I did not have to drop the bucket once, but did kneel a couple of times with the bucket resting on my thigh. Overall, I need to improve my endurance with carrying a bucket, especially going up and down hills.
I have had a major issue with the dizziness caused from this obstacle. I tend to roll because it is the faster form of movement if the barbed wire is very low. However, I was right behind one of the top racers and noticed a technique he did. He would roll in one direction and then switch to the other side to roll the other way. I tried doing it and it helped a ton with reducing the dizziness I felt. I will definitely use this technique for the barbed wire in future races.
Like I said, I missed this one again. It was a strong and level throw, but it was just thrown too low. I saw one of the top racers have their throwing arm raised. I may try this technique to prevent a low throw. Also, I may go to home depot and make my own spear to practice. Practice is the only way I will get better at this one.
Again I completed this obstacle with ease. The technique of a staggered stance with one foot on the fence allows me to efficiently pull the sandbag up. If there is any improvement, I need to increase my speed of raising and lowering the sandbag.
Resembling last year’s Championship race, there were two sandbag carries during the Seattle Super. The first involved carrying two sandbags, while the second involved the new sandbag that is longer. The two sandbag carry were the normal woven sandbags, probably weighing around 40-50 lbs each. It is just difficult to find a good position for both the sandbags. I am going to try to make another 50 lb sandbag to practice this one, the instructions are in a previous post here. For the later sandbag carry I need to just improve my speed by incorporating more runs with sandbags.
Overall I am very happy with my performance in the Seattle Super. I have a lot of improvements I need to make, but have made many improvements since the Championship Race last year. The next Race is the Super in Monterey on June 3rd. It is another race that’s part of the US Championship Series. So, many of the big Spartan names will be there. I am going to be training hard for the next month to make a a development in my performance!