Training for an Elite Spartan Race

This year I decided to take it up a notch and signed up for my first Elite heat Spartan Race. I’m going to share my goals and my three month training plan for my upcoming race which I hope lands me in the rankings of the amazing Elite Spartan women!


Spartan Success

I ran 2 Spartan Sprints in the Open heat in 2015 before deciding to sign up for the Elite heat. I ran my first race at Tuxedo Ridge Ski Resort and placed 7th in my age group for the day. I was trying to go fast, but wasn’t running too competitively in this race. We were more there for fun and had great matching costumes.

My second race was at Boston Sprint and I placed 2nd in my age group for the day. In this race I got stuck in some lines at obstacles, but was running competitively.

I had so much fun in those first two races that I decided to sign up for a more competitive Elite heat so I could push myself and also avoid the line congestion that happens at obstacles.

Signing up early (like 6 months early!) and using discount codes will save you so much! Do it!

Looking back at my second race results, which is the same course I’m signed up for in June, I would have placed 14th in the Sunday Women’s Elite heat with my Open heat time. When I plan for this race I figure I will gain some time by avoiding the lines at obstacles (about 5 minutes I think) while also pushing harder and training more to cut time off my race.

Ideally, if the course is the same I would like to take 15 minutes off last year’s time to finish under 1:20, which may put me in the top 10 finishers, if the results are like last year.

As a bonus, if I finish in the top 20 I will get qualified for the OCR World Championship next October. I qualified last year by being the top 20 in an Open Heat, but didn’t end up going.

I look forward to the challenge and hope I’ll get to meet some kick-butt women!

Spartan Obstacle

Obstacle Training

The obstacles are my favorite part of the Spartan Race, much due to my background in American Ninja Warrior obstacles. Compared to ANW obstacles, these are actually much easier. I like the fact that there’s an element of surprise to what you’ll run into and, honestly, I like the mud.

The obstacle I struggle with most is the spear throw. I’ve gotten it, but I’ve also stepped on the rope attached to the spear and completely fumbled it. I’ve practiced the spear throw at certified SGX gyms, which is great preperation.

One obstacle I spend a lot of time on is the bucket carry. I’ve always gotten through it, but I think I could cut time in this area. I plan to practice the bucket carry by doing a little more weight training: farmers carry with dumbbells, deadlifts and … plain old carrying a bucket full of rocks (nothing better than the real thing, right?).

Running Training

The Boston Sprint was just over 5 miles last year. Of course, you don’t necessarily know this going in, you know it’s 3-5+ miles. I’m sure you could find out but I actually loved not knowing, it adds to the adventure. I suppose it could change this year, but I still know I’m going to train for the ~5 mile distance. I plan to cap out at around 7 miles in my training, knowing from past training that I’m injury prone beyond that.

I plan to run 3 days a week and made the following calendar for my training schedule –

Running Calendar


Are you thinking about doing a Spartan Race? Or competing in the Elite heat? I’d love to hear about it and talk more about race training 🙂




Part of the link up Wild Workout Wednesday!


I share fitness inspiration for the daring and every day ways to get better on my blog, AcroCafe by Eliannah. I’m passionate about alternative fitness and doing what makes you feel alive.

Life is better upside down!

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