Trifecta Weekend: Survival Tips
by Barbora Kršmaru • Jun 21st, 2023

Have you already mastered the Spartan distance of the Sprint, Super and Beast races? That you have already managed 2 races in a weekend? Then there is another challenge for you, and that is to fulfill the entire Trifecta weekend, i.e. run all three races in one weekend. As a rule, Super and Sprint are run on one day and Beast on the next day (or in reverse order).

Preparation for such a weekend should certainly not be underestimated and requires a certain amount of discipline, strength training and mileage. Let's assume that you've been preparing for a fair few months and focus on what the last week should look like before the weekend where you'll be chasing all three medals.

DRINK, DRINK, DRINK! Adhering to the drinking regime in the race is extremely important, but it is equally important to adhere to it before the race, especially before such a weekend when you plan to run almost 40 kilometers in individual stages. The body must be pre-supplied with fluids, so increase your standard daily drinking regime by 0.5 l and supplement it not only with water, but also with mineral waters or ionic drinks.

The same applies throughout the weekend. For shorter distances - Super and Sprint - there is absolutely no need to take fluids with you (applies to more experienced competitors), however, what the body loses and sweats during the race should be returned immediately after the race so that it starts to regenerate quickly and is ready for the next race. On the Beast, it is generally recommended to take a soft flask or camelbak with you, or to make full use of the refreshment stations if you are more of an advocate of "easy" running.

CARBOHYDRATES Just as it is necessary to fill up with enough fluids in advance, it is equally important to supply the body with carbohydrates, because they are the main fuel that your body will run on during the entire weekend. But don't get confused, when we talk about carbohydrates, especially the complex ones that will give your body long-term energy, we're not talking about stuffing yourself with chocolate and other sweets a week before the race. Complex carbohydrates are found, for example, in rice and pasta and oatmeal. Therefore, a week before the race weekend, lighten your diet a bit, avoid heavy and fried foods, and on the contrary, include rice, rice or oatmeal, pasta, couscous and others.

GEAR When preparing your equipment, you need to think about the fact that you have 3 races ahead of you. For each race, we recommend a new set of clothing that you adapt to the conditions and weather. Spare shoes are also an ideal option - remember that you will be wading or even swimming in most Spartan races, so it is ideal to have a dry pair of good quality trail shoes that can handle OCR races for every day.

As we mentioned above, for a long Beast race we also recommend a camelbak filled with a sufficient amount of liquid - ideally a tried-and-tested ionic drink. Don't forget that clean water paradoxically does not hydrate you during the race and can be hard on the stomach (everyone knows "frogs" in the stomach). You can also take a tried-and-tested stick or gel with you. We don't recommend trying it for the first time in a race, because not every gel or bar can fit you and you can easily cause stomach problems. The same applies to magnesium. On the track, we see a lot of competitors who drink magnesium in capsules and even several times per race. This form of magnesium is very laxative, and instead of saving you from cramps, it can make you feel good. Cramps can be prevented by replenishing ions and electrolytes, which should be contained in a quality ionic drink.

Gloves are also allowed during races (but not liquid magnesium), so we recommend that you also have them in your equipment, especially in rainy weather, they can save you from some handicaps or help you carry or pull heavy loads.

Be sure to read the mandatory equipment before the race, as it may happen that in later open waves a headlamp is already mandatory (this may differ from race to race).

WHAT TO DO BETWEEN RACES You should start the race already slightly warmed up - take a light jog and dynamic stretching. After the race, it is necessary to replenish fluids and carbohydrates within half an hour - fast carbohydrates contained in candy bars, bananas or sugary drinks are also appropriate here. Fast carbohydrates travel back to the muscles and thus start regeneration. An hour and a half after the race it is recommended to supplement with complex carbohydrates with a little protein, but here it depends on how much time you have between the Super and Sprint races, be careful not to overburden the stomach with a large amount of food.

After the first day is over, give your body a good night's sleep and rest, as it works best for recovery. You can speed up regeneration with other methods, such as a cold shower, massage using a massage gun or a massage roller, and there are a number of massage ointments on the market that accelerate regeneration. In short and well, a combination of everything - food, drink, sleep and massage - can help you wake up easier for the second race day.

HEAD You may have trained, run as many kilometers as you want, but the head is one of the most important factors that will either stop you or help you finish the race. The question is - how do I train my head? There is no special recipe for this, and everyone has to be able to deal with this head on their own. The more races you do, the more you will get to know yourself and how you will react in certain situations. It is important to be able to prepare in advance for the fact that crises will come, and that there will also be thoughts of giving up the race. It is good to be able to accept these moments at that given moment and convince yourself, and your head, that the pain and the crisis will pass sooner or later and things will go well again. After all, no one wants to give up the race at the first crisis or the first puncture!

AFTER THE RACE Did you manage to complete all three races in one weekend? CONGRATULATIONS! You are fighters! Now it is necessary to give the body a really quality rest. We don't recommend throwing yourself into the next training session on Monday, but really take a few days off and focus on regeneration - sauna, massage, stretching, swimming,... The body had a large expenditure of energy, which you now have to send back to it in the form of quality food to regenerate as quickly as possible. Don't be afraid to eat, and don't be afraid to eat a lot!

After a few days of rest, you can slowly return to training, but remember that even if you feel rested, you may still have some accumulated fatigue in your muscles, so don't immediately want dizzying performances and return to training rather gradually from slow recovery runs. Your body will definitely thank you for it at your next race.

Spartan Trifecta Weekend

Barbora Kršmaru - Spartan Ambassador Czech rep.

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