Monthly Archives: August 2014
Many of you know that I started doing Crossfit almost two years ago now and I love it. It’s totally addicting and fun and it pushed me to where I would never quite be able to push myself on my own. Some of you might also now that I have run three marathons. Baltimore 2012, New York 2013 and 2014. Well if you’ve never heard of a Spartan race it kind of marries those two passions of mine. It is a race but it is much more than a race. It involves treacherous obstacles that challenges you physically, mentally, and spiritually. If Crossfit is the sport of fitness than a Spartan Race is it’s proving grounds. Yes Crossfit has the Crossfit games but that is the elite of the elite. Anyone can sign up for a Spartan Race and really see what you are made of. From the average Joe to Navy Seals there is a Spartan Race for you. In Fact, I will be doing my first Spartan Race Super in two weeks at Mountain Creek, NJ Look for more to come when I recap that event in two weeks. Back to the Spartan Racing series.
The Spartan race was voted the # 1 obstacle race by Outside magazine. In a Spartan Race you can expect running, rope climbs, crawling, tire flips, mud, ponds, mud, hills, scaling walls ala Ninja Warrior, mud, carrying sandbags, mud, inverted wall climbs, barbed wire, fire,mud, and just general cool shit. It’s an adult playground to say the least. For some people this sounds like hell on earth but for people like me this sounds like a day full of fun. Where else can you challenge yourself to these extremes and put yourself in real world situations at the same time creating a bond with a group of friends that will last a lifetime. There is a saying that those who suffer together bond together. CrossFit does that for a lot of people and so does the Spartan Race. Get out of the gym and complete a Spartan Race with your buddies. Right now on the Sparta Race website they are offering a 15% discount with the code LABORDAY. If this video doesn’t get you inspired I don’t know what will.
Spartan race is also trying to promote a few upcoming events. First is the Spartan Race world championships which take place in Killington Vermont on September 20th. This will air on NBC Sports. Look on your channel guide to find an airtime near you. This is the extreme version of what you and your buddies will be doing but many of the same obstacles but done at a ridiculous pace and with more severe consequences. If you want to see some of the world’s most well rounded athletes doing crazy stunts while tackling a 14 mile course with elevations of 12,000 feet then tune in.
The other cool thing that Spartan Race is trying to do is a Spartan cruise. If you’re like me and fitness is your passion and your lifestyle than maybe you would want to go on a fitness based vacation. This cruise leaves out of Miami and you will most certainly have the experience of a lifetime. Anyone who is interested in the cruise can fill out the form below and you will be entered into a raffle for a free cruise with airfare included courtesy of Jerseystrong and Spartan Race. http://bit.ly/spartancruisegiveaway
In the summer months hydration becomes a critical factor for sports performance. The hotter and more humid the weather is the more fluid you will lose and subsequently need to replace. Dehydration cannot only affect your performance on the field but can also potentially lead to things like heart attacks, stroke, and even death if not managed properly. One of things that I was always taught was that thirst is the least effective indicator of dehydration. When you feel thirsty you are already dehydrated to some degree.
Electrolytes such as sodium, potassium, chloride, and magnesium play a crucial role in your body’s ability to function. They help muscles contract and nerves conduct in a coordinated manner. Therefore any disturbance in that electrolyte balance can hinder performance on the field.
The question of which is better water or Gatorade is a tough one. For most people in most situations water is just fine to replace fluids lost during a workout or a game. Sports drinks like Gatorade have excess sugar that is just not necessary for performance. However, sports drinks do help replace electrolytes lost and give added calories for energy. If you were in a situation where food is not readily available like in the middle of a game then Gatorade would be the better option. Also, if you were in extreme circumstances such as 90 plus degree weather or high humidity then Gatorade would be a better option. If you don’t like the taste of water and need something that will cause you to drink more fluids than Gatorade would be a better option for you as well.
To monitor your hydration status there are a couple of things you can do. First is to weigh yourself before a practice or game and then again after. Each pound lost during that event is equal to 1 pint or half a liter of fluid. This needs to be replaces before the next practice or event. Often an athlete can lose weight during a season and they can attribute this to being in shape. However, be aware of chronic dehydration. Fat loss does not happen that quickly where you will lose 5-10 pounds in a matter of weeks. If this seems like a lot of work for you there is another way in which you can monitor your hydration status. You can monitor your urine. If your urine is dark in color then you are dehydrated. Replace fluids until your urine is a lighter color similar to lemon juice.
Pre-Game: Before a sporting event where you know it will be hot and humid you should drink at least 16 ounces of fluids an hour or two before the event. The colder the fluid the better it is for keeping your body temperature down.
In-Game: During a training session or game you should drink as often as possible. Your goal should be 6-8 ounces every 15 minutes.
Post-Game: After the event remember to monitor your hydration status and replace fluids lost. Every pound you lose needs to be replaced before competing again.
Keep these tips in mind and you can dominate your workouts this summer.
Joe Lopez C.S.C.S.