I would like to share with you my last personal challenge : To participate in a spartan race!
And the first reaction of my relatives: “What is a Spaatan riiiice? “
A “spartan race” is an obstacle course, the event that I signed up for: the SPRINT, was to run 8 km while crossing 25 obstacles. These obstacles can be walls to cross, sacks of sand to be carried from point A to B, mud pits or climbing ropes …
Before I give you my impressions at the start of the race, I would like to tell you how it all started, when I decided to register.
I believe that all the conditions were there: a desire for challenge, a goal for my training, a race partner, and above all, I missed the competition so much!
As a former athlete, I have not forgotten the days before of competitions, the careful preparation of my stuff, the meticulous choice of outfits and especially the suspense of knowing how I will feel at the first stride, how I will resist fatigue, if I was trained enough, what would be the feeling at the start of the race … in short, I needed to test myself, I wanted fun, challenge and especially novelty.
Mid September 2016, I signed up for the San Diego Spartan Race. Date of the race: January 29, 2017.
No time to lose, because as I was working six and a half days a week, I already knew that the challenge would be to keep up the pace of training. So you’re going to tell me: “no need to train you practice all the time” I answer “FALSE! I do MAKE PEOPLE practice all the time. “
Taking a step back on my schedule I realized that at that time, I was only doing 5 Nordic walks a week, a yoga session every 15 days and swimming 3 times a week. When I give my coaching classes at home or in small groups, I am dedicated to my clients and I do not train myself.
So I made room to integrate more specific sessions, mainly fitness and a bit of running (although this is not what I prefer, it was 70% of the event that I was preparing). I therefore replaced my 3 sessions of swimming by another type of training.
In order to put all the chances on my side, I decided to register in a CrossFit room, I wanted to progress in a group because being surrounded by other athletes motivates me to push my limits. I followed the “conditioning” classes twice a week, because I was interested in the most cardio workouts. And I added a running session a week. To be more efficient in a short time, I trained on an uneven ground, and I placed voluntary accelerations on the flat zones. A sort of split training for connoisseurs.
I would lie to you if I told you that during the 15 weeks I followed my program to the letter. Some weeks I had some planning changes due to my clients, others I felt exhausted by the many hours of cars I do in the week (4 hours a day on average), and then I left a week on vacation And two weeks in France for Christmas… What I can assure you is that I never lost sight of January 29, 2017. So I took care of my sleep to do quality workouts, j I ate properly, stopped alcohol and talked about my race to my loved ones.
This last point is the most effective for me: the more people who matter to me know that I am challenging myself, the more the pressure rise, and it motivates me to train to give the best.
D day arrived faster than expected and I felt both excited and stressed. I redoubled efforts to take care of my sleep and my diet the last days before the race. My clothes were carefully selected and folded over the dresser the night before. The stone in the stomach when I woke up, I retrieved my rituals as if my last athletic competition was the day before. Even if a small voice in my head said “Why did you impose such a thing on you? That’s what I was looking for.
I swallow half a cereal bar with a 1/2 liter water … and go!
Arnaud, my racing partner, accustomed to the Spartan Race, accompanied me in every stage: bib number removal, site tracking, tests, equipment check-up, warm-up, and the start line … I realized then the whole staging around the Spartan Race: a race launched every 15 minutes, the speech at the start which gives chills, the impression of attending a solemn oath that transcends the participants, then it is the long-awaited moment: 3, 2, 1, GO!
I placed myself at the front of the race so as not to be too embarrassed by the participants on the first obstacles. With Arnaud we start on a good stride, we traveled almost 3 km before the first stop, the first obstacles are crossings of wall and happen without problem. We chain the events one after another, we expect and encourage each step. I feel good, we catch up little by little the competitors left in the races before our. It passes quickly, the heat is there but far from being suffocating. I take the time to hydrate myself at each supply station and am surprised myself by obstacles in obstacles.
The most dreaded test arrives: the suspensions at the end of arms (rings, bars, climbing) I try each one of them and make my pledges in the form of “burpees” for each test missed. I know what I’m going to have to do with my preparation for the next race…
After an hour of racing, fatigue begins to be felt, at this moment I look around me and realize that the end is close, I see this last straight: 3 jumps in mud pits, one last wall, then the flames! The last strides were made thoroughly and they were savored. In the end, it’s 1 hour 12 minutes of happiness, sweat and mud!
On arrival, we have the possibility to see the ranking with our bib numbers, having started early in the morning, we are only 30 to have already crossed the finish line in my category. At that time, I’m 5th out of 30. What I did not imagine was that this figure would increase all day and I would finish 8th out of 592 competitors.
In other words, I have already registered for two new Spartan Races in 2017 and I can not wait to see how far I can go …