Marc Trussell is the country’s highest-qualified Spartan Race SGX Coach and the first and only Spartan Delta holder in the UK, one of only 10 in the world. Now specialising in Obstacle Course Race coaching, Marc is also a Personal Trainer qualified in CrossFit and MovNat. He has a background in Double Iron distance Triathlon and 100-mile Ultrarunning. Find out more at www.gomarc.net and www.spartanrace.uk
A man who has completed multiple races. Marathons, triathlons, Ironmans, tough guy just to name a few. He’s the man who will get you in top shape for your Spartan Race! Marc Trussell started his Spartan journey 2/3 years ago, going straight in for the Spartan Beast (22km). Which I guess for him was pretty minor considering all his previous experience! But for anyone, even the high elite, Spartan is still a challenge, it’s something new which Marc not done before.
‘It’s a community, a big family!’
But, Marc wasn’t born into the fitness industry. Just like many of you, he started in an office job, in marketing, but decided he wanted his hobby to be his career and went for the huge career change, which I can totally relate to! He’s been running for 10-15 years now and loves every second. But why Spartan? It’s a community, a family as such, everyone gets ‘s together and gets you to that finish line.
That feeling of satisfaction when you’ve completed a race, the challenge you have achieved, that feeling is tremendous. You have to push yourself in life and Marc certainly like to challenge himself. It’s good to have goals, especially in fitness. However, you will go through times either during training or during a race, where you want to give up, but, Marc always tells himself ‘all things must end’. Which I think is bang on.
‘All things must end’
Just like the average person, Marc finds it hard to get that work/life balance at times. He tries to train 3/4 times a week focusing on functional movements, big compound exercises like squats and deadlifts. But the main focus of his training…keep it interesting! Which I think is so important to everyone’s training. If you are getting bored switch it up and do something more exciting. That’s why Spartan is great. It challenges you in ways that you wouldn’t realise.
Everyone has times in their life where other priorities take over. Marc has a busy schedule packed with 1-2-1 clients. Trying to fit everything in can be tough at times but you have to remember why you are training and why you love it! Marc has been a Personal Trainer now for 2-3 years and loves it.
‘Good 80% and Bad 20% of the time’
Marc has 10 top tips to get you fully prepared for your Spartan race, which I hope you have signed up too!! Come and race with me on Sunday 7th October 2018 in Windsor! But what does the man himself eat pre/post race?? He explains that his diet is good 80% of the time and bad 20%, which is a healthy balance. No restrictions or calorie counting from the Spartan trainer! Keeping it simple and having porridge, a banana, whole foods high in carbs pre-race to keep him going. During the race, he will happily snack on jelly babies and anything sugar boosting! There’s no fancy pre-workout, or supplements, just whole foods and sweets. You guys have got to be happy with an answer like that, haven’t you?!
So, if you haven’t already go and sign up for your next challenge. Doesn’t have to be the beast (22km), start with your first Spartan Sprint (5km) and become part of the Spartan family. Have a read of Marc’s top tips below, on how to get started with your training. Trust his words, he’s highly experienced and has been exactly where you are at some point in his life. We all start somewhere!
TOP 10 TIPS TO CONQUERING YOUR FIRST SPARTAN RACE
By Marc Trussell
#1 Join the Spartan Race UK mailing list and Facebook page
There’s a wealth of information available for those taking on their first Spartan Race and for seasoned racers alike – tips from coaches, interviews with elite athletes and discount codes too.
#2 Consider enrolling in a Spartan SGX training course
The official group training method of Spartan Race will help get you event-ready, focusing on technique and conditioning with likeminded Spartans.
#3 Start running
You’re going to need a base of fitness, so invest in some trail shoes, get out there and run. Venture off-road and find trails, working up to covering your chosen race distance, initially without the obstacles.
#4 Become used to being comfortable with being uncomfortable
When running, train in all weathers. Get muddy, get wet, get uncomfortable! Throw in some bodyweight exercise into your run. For example, 10m bear crawl, 15 x press-ups, 20 x squats every 5 minutes. Mix it up. Become creative.
#5 Carry awkward stuff
Whether it’s a bucket, a sandbag pancake or a chunk of wood, at various points in your Spartan Race you will be carrying something. Incorporate this into your training, carrying natural materials such as rocks and logs, especially up and down hills.
#6 Nothing new on the day
It’s a week before your race, you’ve just bought a new compression top, so now test it out before race day to ensure it’s comfortable. This rule applies to everything: shoes, shorts, socks and nutrition as well. Nobody wants gut problems before a rope climb.
#7 Compose yourself
When you approach an obstacle on race day, walk to it rather than run, especially in the latter half of the race. This will give you time to compose yourself, make a judgement and watch how best (or not!) to get over it, through it, carry or throw it. The right mindset and game plan may well save you that 30 burpee penalty (see below).
#8 Master that burpee
Regardless of tip 4, whether you’re at the spear throw or on Mount Olympus, those burpees may well make an appearance on race day. Embrace them! Get working on some Tabata burpee training (4 mins – 20 seconds work / 10 seconds rest x 8 rounds), shoot for 5 burpees per 20-second interval. That’s 40 burpees done, and at Spartan Race, we ask you for just 30 if you fail an obstacle. That’s a win, right?
#9 Enjoy the experience and smile at the marshals
Running a Spartan Race is an awesome experience, so take time out to enjoy every mile and obstacle. Engage with the marshals. They love a ‘high-five’ and a muddy hug. Share a smile. Some marshals even give out jelly babies.
#10 Help your fellow Spartan
You’re in this together, so if a fellow Spartan needs a hand over a wall, or some encouragement over the cargo, then help them out and don’t feel afraid to ask for help yourself if you need it. As you conquer your first Spartan Race, remember to live by the Spartan warrior ethos: Never leave a fallen comrade behind.
Let me know what race you’ve signed up for!! Comment below!