Today we are exactly one month away from Spartan Race (#spartanraceTH). It will indeed happen on the 9th of September at the Siam Country Club, Chonburi near Pattaya.
2017 marks the first year in bringing Spartan Race to Thailand. This major sports event has spread worldwide since its first version in 2010 in Vermont, USA; and this year alone, there are about 240 Spartan races going on in 25 different countries, impressive!
If you are part of the numerous participants who have already signed up, we will see each other there… Well, at least at the starting line, not sure how this will go for me as it is my first participation in a major fitness event! But whether you are a first timer or an adept and experienced racer, we all have one thing in common now: the remaining preparation time ahead of us until the “fateful” date.
How are you getting ready?
What to expect
One way to get ready for this physical and mental challenge is to know what to expect, especially if you are not a regular racer.
The race and obstacles
It is official that the race will be over 5 km (and I heard somewhere around 6,8 km), along which over 20 obstacles will be waiting for us, with a fair amount of climbing, crawling, jumping and carrying heavy stuff around.
While endurance and strength would be your best assets on that day, there are few obstacles that would also require proper technique, such as rope climbing and monkey bars. Check the videos below.
– Get ready to be muddy and wet.
– Do not wear cotton as it will get heavy and uncomfortable, but use wicking fabric (synthetic) which is way lighter and help you stay as dry as possible.
– Wear gym (weightlifting) gloves.
– Although it will be hot, it is better to cover your skin with long sleeves, high socks, longer shorts & sports leggings to prevent you from being covered with scratches.
– Use shoes you are comfortable with (no new pair on that day!)
Food & Beverages
It is considered a short race, so there won’t be much need for refuelling along the way.
The best would be to have your snacks and beverages ready for after the race and leave them in your locker, as you are allowed to bring one bag per person (complimentary).
We WILL get wet and dirty, so better not take anything in your pockets; unless it is super practical and light to carry such as gel pouches if you fear you might “hit the wall” during the race.
Along the track, there will be 3 water stations.
One month away
Specific Spartan work-outs
For the physical preparation, running outdoors (vs. indoors on a treadmill) is what I am pushing myself to do, to be in the real conditions of the race.
Besides, to work your technique, strength and endurance, joining some “Spartan training” groups is helping a lot, plus it is fun!
Fitness First is the official Gym Partner for Spartan Race Thailand. In Bangkok only, they have 28 Clubs, fully equipped, so you can train and get fit in the best conditions.
At the occasion of this race, they are organising some FREE community work-outs and the next one is on Friday (11/08) check them out here.
There are other boutique gyms offering classes to get you Spartan Race ready, such as:
Located in Thong Lo, this club offers personal training and group classes, with a strong focus on HIIT (High intensity interval training) and strength building. All trainers seem very passionate and committed to help you “build your base” and grow it.
Until the race, they have scheduled some Spartan training classes every Sunday at 11:10 am.
It is the largest Muay Thai gym in Bangkok, and they offer different type of packages, wether your goals are fitness or reach a competitive fighter level. They also organise Spartan mass work-out for this particular occasion.
Race track at Benjakitti Park, Bangkok.
Eat healthy in Bangkok is here to share tips on how to be on track on a nutritional level. For more advice on nutrition, contact me directly to find out about Nutritionists in Bangkok.
The right level of hydration
Our body is made of about 60 to 70% water. It is a primary need for our health to drink the right amount of water per day. But what is the right amount?
According to our height / weight, the need is different. here is how to calculate:
Divide your weight in pounds by 2, and translate the result into ounces of water.
For instance, if you weight 55 kg (= 121 pounds)
121 / 2 = 60.5 and 60.5 ounces = 1.79 L
For a weight of 55 kg, you would need to drink 1.79 L of water per day, on normal days.
In addition, in hot weather and while exercising, your water intake should be more, as well as adding an electrolyte beverage such as a coconut water to replenish on sodium, potassium and other inorganic substances (minerals).
Best food to boost your endurance, stamina and strength
Our needs are different according to our sizes, body fat, health conditions and fitness goals.
Women and men, being hormonally different, don’t develop in the same way (muscles and fat) and we do not have the same calories need either. Generally speaking, a man requires about 2400 to 2600 calories a day, whereas women would require 1800 to 2000 calories a day; figures would vary according to your level of physical activity.
For general good health and body conditioning , you will need to follow a diet rich in whole foods combining lean protein, healthy fats, complex carbohydrates (ie. polysaccharides) that – as opposed to simple carbs – will take longer to break down, antioxidants, vitamins & minerals, and let’s note that a sufficient iron intake is necessary, as iron helps carrying oxygen to your muscles.
An arguable fact (between vegeterian and non) is where the iron should come from in our nutrition, as it exists two types of iron: the “heme” (ie.hemoglobin) coming from animal source and the “non-heme” coming from plant sources like in grains and beans.
It is said that heme-iron is a better source at is it more easily absorbed and will help absorb better the non-heme iron consumed in parallel. On the other hand, eating too much meat is not recommended. Whatever your perspective, variety is good, and if you do not consume meat, make sure to get enough nutrients and combine your sources of non-heme iron, protein and amino-acids.
Optimum sources of nutrition for fitness
Nuts & seeds
Almonds, pistachios, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds.
> Good source of unsaturated fats, protein and fibres.
> Around 40 to 60 g a day. In their original form or as butter to spread over a whole wheat toast. sliced bananas, apples or celery sticks.
Free range eggs, lean red meat, lean chicken, fish such as sardines with bones (great source of iron), turkey, beans, soybeans, peas, tofu, chickpeas, kidney beans.
> One to two handful per meal.
For added Protein
Good quality protein powders and shakes. Either made with whey protein or from non-animal sources (hemp seeds, pea, rice, soy).
> As a post-work out snack to help you recover and complement your protein intake when necessary.
Fruit, veggies & root veggies
Bananas, blueberries, cherries, goji, capsicums, carrots, leafy greens such as spinach and kale, sweet potatoes.
> Bring you vitamins, minerals, fibres. The vitamin C contains in fruit & vegetables will help absorbing the non-heme iron.
Barley, brown rice, millet, oatmeal ,quinoa, spelt, teff.
> A good source of vitamins and minerals, omega-3 fatty acids and fibres.
Avocado, Flaxseed, grapeseed, Olive, Walnut.
> Great source of healthy fats. Both avocado and grapeseed can be used for cooking (high heat).
Pre work-out snack
Before a work-out, your body needs more carbs and a little sugar boost. A good way of getting it is by combining simple and complex carb for that specific snack, which will be best to consume within 30-60 min before your session.
Organic yogurt, nuts and fruit
Apple slices with nut butter
Post work-out snack
Replenishing on fluids with water and a sports drink is the first step. Then, it is best to get your snack right after your work-out or within a 30-min to one hour window to get most benefits and to give your body what it needs to build lean muscle.
A combination of protein and carb is the best; even more with some alkalizing food such as green vegetables. If not a super protein smoothie, try for instance a spiced omelette with turmeric and avocado, some sardines on pumpernickel toast with a side of spinach leaves, or a healthy chicken sandwich.
The days before
We always hear that athletes load on carbs the day(s) prior to a physical challenge. That is because the glucose consumed ahead of the event will be stored in the body (liver and muscles) as glycogen and gylcogen will be your source of energy coming to the rescue when your sugar level drops, and will release more glucose into your blood.
For intense races, starting eating more cabs a few days before is necessary but if you are going for a less intense activity, having a pasta night the day before would be a good call.
Besides including carbs for that meal, it is best to avoid too much protein and greasy food.
On the day
Before the race
Whether you are joining the morning or the afternoon races, don’t start with an empty stomach!
It is best to eat about 3 hours to 1,5 hours before you start, to leave enough time between the meal and the race and avoid intestinal discomfort, especially that some obstacles might put you in challenging positions!
Breakfast or snacks that are easy to digest and combining fast and slow carbs such as a bagel with fruit jam and banana, are preferable, as well as limiting your consumption of fibre at that point.
Also, do not forget to warm up, walking and stretching before starting!
We are required to arrive 90 min before the race.
After the race
Just like after a big work out, you will need to get back some of the fluids you just lost, by drinking both water and an electrolyte drink.
Plus, have your snacks ready, whether it is a protein bar or powder, but you will need to have some protein to protect your muscles and help them recover.
Also, I am already thinking that after a big shower to get rid of all the mud… I will go look for a good massage place in Chonburi!
I am looking forward to the race although I am a bit anxious too. What I keep hearing though is that this event is fun, and open to all ages and shapes, that is good news! If you haven’t registered yet, it is still time by clicking here.
To me, signing up for Spartan Race Thailand was a way of pushing myself to work out more, get fit and focus on good nutrition. For September 9th but also for now, and after the Race.
Feel free to share your own goal and motivation below!