A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to attend The Running Event in Austin. I had the opportunity to meet with a lot of great brands and people, and learn a lot about what’s coming down the pipe for running in 2016. 

My first meeting of the day was with Joe DeSena, the founder of Spartan Race. I have never done a Spartan Race before because I’ve always been a little scared of it, admittedly. I know it takes an immense amount of body strength, and these t-rex arms aren’t really that great at doing much but run. 




An interview with Joe DeSena

But anyways, I had the opportunity to meet with Joe DeSena, the founder of Spartan Race, and my perception of the race changed completely. 

The one word that came up quite a bit in my conversation with Joe was transformation. His idea behind the Spartan Race came from knowing that life will test you. No matter who you are and how much you prepare, you just can’t prepare for some of things that will come your way in life. 

Most of the races out there are very controlled. You know where the rest stops will be, you know what to expect along the course. And, he created the Spartan Race as something that will test you in life. It gives you a chance to do a race where you can come out on the other side, ready for whatever obstacles life might throw you way. 

One of my new favorite analogies came from Joe — he was talking about iron. As we know it, iron is a REALLY tough metal — one of the toughest that we know of. However, when you take it out of the Earth, it’s useless — it’s super weak and falls apart. It isn’t until you apply heat, drown it, pound it that it becomes steel.

And that’s the same with humans. 

You don’t become strong until you are challenged. You’re pushed to the brink of your limits, and at that point, you truly understand what you’re made of. 

And that’s why Joe says the Spartan Race is transformative. 

I totally agree with him, and midway through our conversation, I was ready to sign up for one. Of course, given the arm situation discussed above, I’m nervous about it. I asked Joe for advice. 



He said that he recommends that you start with a Spartan Sprint. 

So, how do you prepare? Each day, you should (or over the course of 30 days, build up to):

  • 1 mile, walk or run
  • 30 burpees
  • 30 pull ups (if you can’t do a pull up *ahem*, you can do a jump up)


That being said, I think this may be my “try something new” for April! Stay tuned. (That was also advice that I received from Joe, he said “just sign up” — you can’t go for a walk unless you take your first step.)


Have you ever done a Spartan Race and/or obstacle race? What did you think? Would you do another one? 

Tell me! How do you do a pull up? 🙂


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