SGPT Interviews Ivan Schultz, Spartan Race Finisher

Tell about yourself.

I am 56 years old and live in Colorado with my wife and kids.  Grew up and still help my dad on the farm. The kids and my wife Dena are all graduates of the University of Colorado.  My wife has a her own Real-estate company which she has been doing for over 25 years. My son now works with her. I wanted to fly airplanes for a job and was after about 10 years I was at the point of getting interviews with the major airlines.  Until one day I got a pretty massive head injury, that ended any chance of ever flying again. The injury left me with paralyses on most of my right side. I had to basically learn to walk again. Everything was messed up and it was a fight to get a little better.  It is still and extra fight I go through almost on a daily basis.

Did you have an athletic background growing up?

In High School I played football and wrestled. I didn’t really like football that much but I loved wrestling.  I did letter multiple time in both. Having some knee damage, I did not really play after high school.

Tell us about the event.

It was a Spartan Race and part of the Military Honor Series. 4 ½ miles. It was just fantastic. The terrain the dry, dusty and the mud was thick and stuck to everything.  It turned out to be on a usually hot day. Lots of up and down on unimproved trails. This is one of the areas the Army does some special force training.

Want to take part in a Spartan Race or a similar event but don’t know where to get started? Check out SGPT’s Online Store! We have tons of options for you to get motivated and in shape for your event!

Where was it?

Fort Carson in Colorado Springs.

What was the hardest part for you?

I think the hardest part was not knowing.  This was my first Spartan. When I got there, I started looking around I could see this was not easy terrain. Some of the obstacles I had trained on a couple times, most was the first time seeing them. The bars were challenge, the month before I hurt my shoulder a little.  I ended up doing more burpees than I had planned for. The burpees got harder with the increasing heat.

What felt like it was easiest? I would have to say the easiest part for me was being ready mentally and as it turned physically. I knew one way or the other I was going finish.  Just never thought about how far I still had to go I just kept going.

Was there a moment you felt like quitting?

Never! I saw a few people being carted off.  There were quite a few people just sitting down and quitting.  The more I saw this more determined I was going to finish. SGPT training was deep by now and the only goal was to finish strong.

How did you stay motivated? 

This was first event of this type I had done since my accident.  Which was about 30 yrs ago. With the help of SGPT I was able to train my mind and body so I could complete event like this. When I started SGPT, I started in the fat loss group. Not only was I fat, I was weak. Sticking with the program, I now feel there is nothing to stop me.  I now motivate myself, every day. With great coaching.

What equipment did you use for the three parts?

I use the gym and everything outside. Rucking, running and my bike.  I just bought some new sandbags, made a spear and I have an 8ft wall.  Getting ready to add bars. Also working on a new track for sandbag carries up and down hill.

How did you train?

With the weather here in Colorado, I train a lot indoors in the winter.  Now with longer and warmer days I train about half the time outside. Maybe more. Some days I run to the farm, about 2 ½ miles. I carry my work clothes and boots in my ruck bag.  I do a lot of SGPT daily workouts, some modified. I also pull a lot of sleds and continue to get better at pull ups.   I also have Tom Coffey one of coach Brads coaches send me weekly workouts that are more specific to my weakness and over conditioning.  As coach Brad always says, 1% per day.

What would you have done differently?

I didn’t really dress correctly for the conditions.  I always wear a sleeve for my left knee, but other knee was worn raw.  My shoes were full of dirt and mud, I had to stop and clean them once. The biggest mistake I made was that I way over hydrated before.  There was bathroom, but it took a bunch of time.

How did you recover afterwards?

When you finish they give you a banana and a rehydration drink.  I ate the banana and went straight for the free beer. For the next couple days, I did SGPT recover workouts.  Helped a lot.

Any tips for someone wanting to train for and enter this event?

You have to set a goal. This has to become your top priority.  You need someone to keep you accountable, like coach Brad. It like I tell people; I am not the strongest or fasted, but I am consistent.  I was not consistent until I became part of SGPT.

What is your next goal?

I already signed up for the Spartan in Breckenridge (August). The race starts at 9500′ to 11500′.

Thank you 100% to coach Brad and the SGPT coaches! Without you I don’t think I would have ever even tried let alone complete it.  Coach Brad is the man!!! 110% 


QUESTION: Coach, I’ve been training for a Spartan Race coming up in August, and I’m in pretty good physical shape. But this is the first time I’ve done something like this and I’m already starting to psych myself out. Can you give me some ways to keep from doing that?

ANSWER: Yes; check out this article: 10 Tips to Break Through Mental Barriers.

QUESTION: So after carefully putting away my water bladder last fall, I pulled it out yesterday and discovered it no longer works. Do you have any you recommend?

ANSWER: Yes; check out our favorites here: Top 10 Hydration Bladders.



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