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The Spartan Race can seem like an enigma and only for the most elite athletes, but the obstacle races hosted around the world at different distances and levels of difficult embrace a philosophy of community. The Spartan reputation carries a challenge and tenacity both physical and mental, but one that anyone can accomplish through dedicated training and nutrition.
Meredith Bumgarner, MS, OTR-L, is an occupational therapist at OrthoCarolina Hickory and is also an SGX-certified Spartan trainer. She trains Spartan hopefuls of all levels, and says one of the most important elements of training is team comradery. There are three tiers of Spartan racing:
For each race, Meredith’s clients join her team and participate in Spartan-style high intensity interval training (HIIT). They may carry heavy objects like stones, logs, and cinder blocks, learn proper form to climb ropes and walls effectively, and work on cardiovascular endurance with bear crawls, running, and burpees. Trail running is a must for training to promote ankle stability. As a medical provider Meredith knows that injury prevention is paramount.
“Most of the injuries that I encounter while completing obstacle course races are rotator cuff injuries and ankle injuries. We work on prevention techniques in our training to encourage balance and coordination. We also incorporate rotator cuff strengthening.” –Meredith Bumgarner
Dominating the Spartan Race can be done for anyone willing to put in the work, according to Meredith, but it takes a dedicated training regimen…and an element of team comradery doesn’t hurt, either. Here are Meredith’s top tips for beginning your journey toward becoming a Spartan: