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Prepare for the Spartan Race

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Sprint-hemlet-150x150How CrossFit Helped Me Prepare for the Spartan Race

Over 3 years ago, I ran my first long distance obstacle course race, or OCR. Crossing the finish line in agony after a grueling 12-mile run, it was apparent that I was not properly prepared.


For the next season and a half that followed, I made a point to run more and hit the gym. When it came to lifting, I approached it as most people do, with traditional free weights and machines. Though I was getting a little stronger, my performance wasn’t getting much better. I continued to get beat up pretty bad during those longer races, resulting in injury and exhaustion. The combination of not lifting properly and the physical stress of the races left me with bad shoulders and sciatica. Which, in turn, limited what I could do and how often.

Going into the second half of my third season, my sister, who had been attending classes at CrossFit KMK, recommended that I try out a session. Honestly, I was reluctant. Because of my aforementioned injuries, I was nervous about the type of lifting Crossfit required. However, I knew I needed a change in my approach if I was to see any improvement. Speaking with the head coach, Jamie DeFelice, we identified ways to work around my existing injuries, improve upon them and, eventually, eliminate them all together. As nervous and self-conscious as I was in the beginning, it seemed the more I struggled, the more support I got—not just from the trainers but from the members as well. It didn’t take long for me to start seeing big improvements. Where I hadn’t seen substantial progress in years, I was noticing serious changes within weeks. I was lifting more, running faster and running longer.

As time went on, I would speak to the trainers about my challenges at the races. They would give a few tips and sure enough, come race day, I was pretty confident about how I would perform. I felt smarter about how to use my body, strength and stamina efficiently. Obstacles that used to challenge me were easier and once I crossed the finish line, rather than wanting to collapse or feel defeated, I was ready to go again.

Season 3 closed in Killington, VT with the Spartan Beast, as it had in the season’s prior. This time, though, I walked away proud. My performance had improved dramatically. I left eager to continue my training and prepare for season 4, and discover what else I was capable of.

So what was the difference? Why was CrossFit so essential to my OCR training?

CrossFit is concentrated on functional movements. Gaining strength in ways that will be directly applied to the movements needed on race day.

Qualified, knowledgeable trainers who can help work around injuries, improve upon them and assist in avoiding them in the future

Trainers who take the time to discover your weaknesses and work with you to eliminate them.

A community of members who care about your success in the Box and on the course. Your success directly reflects their own.

With CrossFit KMK, I have become stronger, faster and smarter which results in increased confidence on race day and in life.

Joe C.

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