Training for the Vermont Spartan Beast is unique. I have
competed in all three Spartan distances and I am very familiar with
the Spartan style of race and the obstacles. The biggest obstacle
in this particular race is the mountain itself. Each time you round
a corner and the course swings uphill again, your mind attempts to
take over and drain your energy. Endurance is the key to this race
both physically and mentally.
I live and breathe fitness on a daily basis as a boot camp
instructor and personal trainer. This puts me in a perpetual state
of training but I step it up to a whole new intensity to prepare
for this race.
My average week consists of 5-6 days of moderate to intense
exercise for at least 2-3 hours. Boot camp is my base exercise
routine. It consists of varied drills including sprints, hill
crawls, lunges, plyometrics, sandbag tosses, burpees, and much
more. I add hiking, cycling, TRX suspension training and yoga for
my cross training.
About a month before the Beast I step it up considerably with
3-4 endurance days of 6-7 hours of intense activity. In boot
camp classes I begin to add drills to train specifically for the
obstacles. We practice low crawls and rolling to prepare for the
barbed wire. Burpee sets increase in number. We use the heavy ropes
to work on grip strength and pull ups. The sandbags are added to
hill sprints and shuttle runs.
Breaks are shorter and intensity is elevated.
Since we are lucky enough to have the mountain in our backyard,
this year's Killington Boot Camp Team has been subjected to extra
training days on the slopes. We alternate carrying sandbags up and
down Lower Superstar with a half mile of traveling lunges.
We hike uphill followed by a crabwalk downhill while stopping
for uphill sprints and sets of burpees.
A TRX suspension session focusing on upper body strength, grip
and core strength follows our day on the hill. At the end of a
training day like this I push myself through a 90-minute Bikram
Yoga class for both the physical and mental endurance.
Balancing the intense training with rest and recovery as well as
proper hydration and diet makes all the difference in the
Knowing I am ready to conquer the Beast is the final component,
giving me the extra mental edge I need to push through the hardest
moments on the course.
Beth Roberts is a Certified Personal Trainer and the founder of
Killington Boot Camp. For more info visit