How to prepare for the start?

Are you signed up for your first Spartan run, or are you still wondering if this is a good idea? Unnecessarily. The answer to this question is short. Definitely yes! Regardless of whether your name is already on the starting list or you are still hesitating, there are surely a lot of questions in your head ... How to Prepare? What to wear on take off day? Do I need to take anything with me? What shoes to wear? And probably a few more. In this article, we will try to explain everything to you and dispel any doubts. We will not discuss training and nutrition issues at this point. This is a topic for a separate text. At the beginning, we will focus more on technical issues.


Taking part in a steeplechase race is definitely not a fashion show, but the right outfit will make a big difference. First of all, take into account the time of the year and therefore the weather in which you will face the challenge. At any time of the year, choose technical fabrics that wick away moisture and allow air to pass through. In hot weather you will avoid feeling hot, on colder days you will not be burdened by materials soaked in sweat or rain. Also take into account that you will probably also have water obstacles, such as swimming or a dunk wall, or crossing a mountain stream. Classic tracksuits or a cotton T-shirt will definitely not work in such conditions. These materials will become heavy, uncomfortable and will increase the feeling of coolness in unfavorable weather. Many competitors in the summer decide to start without a shirt, and some women run in short tops and shorts. This is not a bad solution, as long as you are not afraid of abrasions on your stomach, back and legs, after overcoming walls, entanglements or climbing a rope. High socks can be a good solution. If you choose the compression ones, they will at the same time protect your legs and take care of better muscle condition, which will be important especially over longer distances. However, if you don't want to expose your body, a classic short-sleeved running T-shirt and short or long, but thin leggings are a good option. When the temperature during the run is lower, long-sleeved thermo-active t-shirts will work well. You can put on an additional layer in the form of a raincoat / windbreaker or a warmer running jacket. Layering can be useful in changing weather conditions. However, remember not to overdo it with their amount. You still need to be able to move completely, and clothing that is too thick will restrict your movements and be problematic on obstacles. Even if you feel a bit chilly at the starting line, you will be warm in a moment while running. On colder days, it is worth having a multifunctional scarf, headband or hat and gloves, and a cap with a visor for hot weather. Spartan races very often take place in the mountains, and the weather can be surprising there. The reality from the starting point to the highest point of the route can change many times. Contrary to appearances, even the simplest items of clothing, such as underwear and socks, can make a difference. For your own comfort, wear things that you know and know are comfortable. Nobody likes chafing while running. Socks should be suitable for running. Even if you don't get the rest of your clothes wet on the run, your feet have a good chance. A cotton sock will remain wet for a long time, it may move and roll, causing a lot of discomfort and abrasions. Avoid underwear with lace or other decorations, choose seamless models. The competitor should also be aware that during the competition he will probably get dirty, perhaps he will finish the race with holes and abrasions on his clothes. So put on things that can be treated that way.

Footwear. A matter that will surely keep you awake at night before the first start. First of all, let it be running shoes. For longer distances, they should also have good shock absorption. Sneakers or trekking shoes will not work, but it probably does not surprise anyone. You don't have to invest in expensive and professional trail running shoes from the very first start. However, if you decide to go a longer distance and the weather conditions suggest that the route will be muddy, for your own safety and that of other competitors, we recommend footwear with a tread, designed for trail running. It will provide better grip on downhill runs, and is often additionally reinforced in the vicinity of the toes, which will protect the feet from possible bumping against stones or protruding tree roots. If you don't want to invest in such footwear right away, standard running shoes will also do the job. It is important that they are checked and comfortable. If you've just unpacked a new pair and are planning to dress them up for the competition this weekend, we strongly advise against doing such experiments.

Additional equipment.

What else might be useful?

Basically, apart from the ultra distance, there is no mandatory equipment that you should have with you. Try not to take too many things. During a short run, you probably won't need them, but on a long distance, every extra gram will be a burden for you. What could possibly be useful are gloves, especially if it will be wet on the route. It's good that the gloves are not too thick, which will worsen the grip, an additional plus is the anti-slip coating on the inside. In this case, you do not have to invest in expensive OCR gloves. The plain, gray ones from the DIY store should work. If you want the gloves to be dry, it is worth packing them in a string bag. They will not get wet in the event of a bath or rain, although it will take some time to get them out of the pouch. For longer distances, it is worth having a small running backpack with a water bag, a vest or a waist belt with a bottle or a soft water flask. Additional pockets will also be useful for energy gels, bars or other snacks. At Sprint or even Super distances, additional water will not necessarily be needed, it will also depend on the prevailing temperature. For longer runs, such as Beast or Ultra, additional water and food supplies are recommended. Adequate hydration and energy supply will be key to maintaining a high level of energy and well-being during and after your run. The supply of water and electrolytes will be especially important at high temperatures, because you will lose them with sweat. However, you don't have to take the water with you for the whole distance. You will be able to replenish it at the points with water on the route. Backpack, vest or waist belt? The belt will not fit much, so it will be better for shorter distances. For longer journeys, a backpack with a water bag or a vest with pockets for soft water bottles (the so-called water flask) will work well. The more fitted the equipment, the better. He will not jump while running or interfere with obstacles. The food you take on the route cannot be accidental. It is not worth experimenting and exposing yourself to possible gastric revolutions. So take proven gels and bars. Make them rich in carbohydrates, they can be enriched with electrolytes, but they do not contain a lot of fiber. You can also get a few patches, a pill for pain relief or against diarrhea, if needed. The longer the distance, the greater the chance that something will be useful, although it is still not a necessity. A list of recommended equipment will be included in the Athlette Guide, which will be emailed to you a few days before departure. It's worth getting acquainted. We also recommend that you prepare your outfit and everything you want to take with you the day before. Also consider whether you will leave something in the deposit and pack it immediately in a separate backpack. You will avoid unnecessary searching and stress in the morning. The only thing left for you to do is eat a proper breakfast, get dressed, pick up your starter package, deposit your belongings and show up in the starting area with enthusiasm and a smile on your face. You already know everything. Now it's time to pack up and head to the starting line or sign up for a run. If you have more questions, feel free to contact Spartan Poland. At the event site, you will also find volunteers and ambassadors who will be happy to help.



SPARTAN EDITORS help people develop the systems, psychology and game plan they need to get their minds and bodies into peak condition.

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