SGPT: Tell us about yourself?
BB: I am 46, from Edmonton Alberta, Canada. I currently work my passion, which is coaching/training hockey players.
SGPT: Did you have an athletic background growing up?
BB: I was active from a very young age, from playing hockey, baseball, track and field, badminton and volleyball. I grew up in a very small town in Saskatchewan where everyone played sports.
SGPT: How did you train for the Spartan Race event?
BB: I dedicate as much time as I can to my training. I did: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday SealFit OPWOD/Master, Wednesdays – rucked 3 to 10 miles one time per week, Saturday: rucked/ran hills mixed in log carries, pail carries, bear crawls, low army crawls, tire flips, sledge hammer work etc, Sundays – Off. I did my running within the OPWOD and 2-3 mornings going 3-4 miles. Mental training: Unbeatable Mind and Seal Grinder PT audios for mental strength and focus.
SGPT: Tell us a little about the event? Where was it?
BB: The Spartan Beast was held at Sun Peaks Ski Resort in British Columbia, Canada. The course was 24.2km long up a mountain and down the mountain with 35 obstacles. Some great terrain from trails, mud, water, rocks and some steep climbs. Rained the day before which made the course more muddy and the water colder. Fun times!
SGPT: What was hardest part of the event?
BB: I did not have a real hard time through any of it. If I was to pick one point in time if would have been near the end of the race. I had just finished the obstacle, Stairs to Sparta and you could hear the festival music and see the finish line. In the back of my mind I was thinking I am almost done. It was a ‘false summit’ moment. Instead of heading down the hill to the finish, the trail took as to the right through some trees and then back up the mountain for about 3 miles and then back down. I used my mantra and embraced the beauty that surrounded me. This leg of the race ended up being the best part of the race for me.
I have struggled with a fear of heights, the rope climb and Stairs to Sparta have been an issue is past races. For a month before the race I made time to visualize doing both obstacles to perfection. When the time came to do both obstacles during the race, I completed both with no hesitation. No burpees!!
SGPT: What is one thing you wish you would have done to get ready for the Spartan Race event?
BB: I would have put more time into doing more hill work with running involved. I would add more lunges and step ups to my WODS.
SGPT: Any tips for up and coming athletes that want to do the Spartan Race?
BB: Sign up! Once you do that your committed to going! For the beast make sure you do enough running and hill/mountain work. Add in step ups and lunge work both with added weight. This will help with the run/walk up the mountain. Put some time in doing pull ups, push ups and other upper body work to be strong enough to do some of the obstacles. Do lots of burpee’s, just in case!!
BB: I used Reebok All Terrain shoes. I would recommend using shoes with a good tread for traction and any mud you may encounter.
SGPT: Did you use double socks or body glide on your feet to prevent blisters?
BB: Yes i used two layers of socks, thin pair of socks for the base and wool socks for the outer pair. I did you body glide on my feet, groin and feet.
SGPT: What is your next big event?
BB: I have signed up for a Basic Leadership Academy from SEALFIT. Will be doing a local event in Edmonton called the Rise Up Challenge. Waiting for the dates to come out for Go Ruck and Spartan Races!
BB: I am reading two books, Unbeatable Mind: Forge Resiliency and Mental Toughness to Succeed at an Elite Level (3rd time) and Team of Teams by General Stanley McChrystal
SGPT: Many thanks for the interview Blair
BB: Thank you for Coach for all you do for you athletes and weekend warriors like my self. Your a great mentor!
Interview with Spartan Beast finisher Shane Henderson