Hey Reddit!

Spartan Race was started in 2004 with a simple goal: to help people out of their everyday comfort zones and self-imposed personal barriers through obstacle racing. We’ve ripped close to 1 million people from their their couches to test both physical and mental limits while they earned the right to be called a Spartan.

Personally, I have completed over 50 ultra-events and 21 Ironman Events so I have tasted our own cooking. I've also fallen down in life, made plenty of mistakes, and many times lost motivation - all easy things to do. The hard part is pushing forward!

Here is the required proof of identity.

I’ll be answering questions for the next few hours and promise to do a burpee for every question. Burpees are a favorite but I also share some other workouts daily if you are interested: http://www.spartanrace.com/wod/

Thanks and look forward to the discussion!

UPDATE: We're done for today. Thanks everyone for all the questions - we got over 400 total and it was a blast to be talking to you all. I've done over 300 burpees so far between typing, and 100 more to go to fulfill my reddit quota.

Comments: 1113 • Responses: 79  • Date: 

SomethingsHappen295 karma

Fat guy here. No real questions. Just like to say I sometimes have people throw buckets of mud at me while I'm on the elliptical trainer so I can get in on this running through a bunch of bullshit craze.

spartantough140 karma

That is hillarious love it. Send me a video please. [email protected]

spartanchick252 karma

I am 23, and have been working as a personal trainer and as a fitness coach for the last 2 years, and have lost 54lbs using your race program (and becoming an elite racer) as motivation to keep going and get in the best shape of my life.

I have a Bachelors degree, and multiple fitness certifications, and working for Spartan Racing would be a dream for me. Can you tell me if there is any way to go about finding a career with Spartan, and how to apply? The race has literally changed my life.

spartantough257 karma

Shoot me an email [email protected]

mombroughtnutella149 karma

Hey Joe! All of us at /r/SpartanRace want to give you a warm welcome to Reddit. Also, we'd like to challenge you to record yourself doing a hundred burpees in a row. Thanks for the AMA!

spartantough235 karma

No problem but 5 minutes before I started I did 75 burpees, 5 rope climbs, 30 sand bag squat tosses, 30 pullups, and 25 pistols per leg in 8 minutes and 8 seconds...so I am a little dizzy while typing already :)

spartantough99 karma

Joe D here, reading these great questions, doing burpees...who else is?

thatonetechgirl33 karma

Joe, I am doing burpees for you. This work related conference call is super boring anyhow.

spartantough25 karma

Please do them :)

chewyblues79 karma

How do you feel about other events similar to SpartanRace, such as Tough Mudder and Warrior Dash? Have you completed any of those? What is the event you have done that's been the most fun for you? Most difficult?

spartantough225 karma

I think at the end of the day the most important thing we all should be excited about is getting people off the couch. Now does it bother us when a competitor is untruthful, or malicious, or hurts us directly- absolutely..but at the end of the day...lets all rip folks off the couch.

monstajosh72 karma

I'm running my 2nd Spartan Race next month in Amesbury, MA. I was overweight and unmotivated until I saw a trailer for The Spartan Race last year which made me want to challenge myself. Thank you for this!

spartantough84 karma

You just bought me another day of sitting in front of a computer...I LOVE, We love to hear these stories...

Frood-dude60 karma

what is your favorite obstacle in the race and why?

spartantough138 karma

My favorite obstacle just became the spear throw...WHY? Hunter Mcintyre just came up to visit us in Vermont and he can throw a spear 100 feet and nail a piece of wood dead center. I have to say I was jealous and now my wife and kids are watching me throw spears all around the house and pull them out of the siding.

jakegunst57 karma

Is the Spartan Race designed only for people that already run/tri/etc, or can anyone try it?

spartantough103 karma

I am so glad you asked...Spartan Race is 95% couch potato that is dreaming of turning into a piece of steel! Spartan Race is for anyone and everyone that is looking to make a difference to themselves and others around them.

LaurenDrain39 karma

Hey Joe, your Spartan cover/ad girl here. Just wanted to say hi :) can't wait to do my 4th VT Beast race ;)

spartantough29 karma

Ha...haven't read your book yet...but heard it was awesome..Are you sure you can handle it? Do you want to be on TV? We are shooting for a network show at that event.

bloodscourge39 karma

First off, thank you for making time for this AMA.

I was wondering what it takes to become a sponsored Spartan athlete. Geography and finances are the only things holding me back from competing in more races at the current moment. I have competed in two this season and am still ranked in the “Elite 300”. What else can I (and others like me) do to get noticed if we don’t have the means to travel the country yet?

spartantough50 karma

Basically we are not only looking for super athletes..but super moms as well cancer survivors, weight loss enthusiasts, etc. If you fit the bill, are amazing, and think you can inspire the world..shoot [email protected] an email and or use this link http://pages.spartanrace.com/get-on-tv.php

TazedNConfused33 karma

How do you keep yourself motivated during these long runs?

spartantough126 karma

Its simple...run one direction as far as you can...take no money with you. Then you have to run home. We all have the same issues I get it..just stack the cards in your favor. Put the alarm clock 40 feet from the bed, tell your friends you are doing something so you look silly if you don't, get dropped off by someone 10 miles from your house etc.

kyzylwork29 karma

How much control do you have over advertising? I'm a longtime ultrarunner and Ironman, and I've never before seen races (not just Spartan, but Tough Mudder and Warrior Dash) so blatantly feature boob shots. I can't imagine that 90% of the people who do your race are skinny models with giant fake D-cups spilling out of their jogbras, but the advertising for these races certainly seems to imply it. My friends - Marines and CrossFitters, i.e. your target market - screencap egregious ones and laugh about them on Facebook.

Seriously, man: hooray for getting people off the couch, but the advertising is turning people off.

spartantough66 karma

I think the story there is that people are so inundated with content on a daily basis in their news feeds that the advertising companies are looking to get folks attention. At the end of the day this product is so good we need people to just become aware of it..and your right we probably cross the line.

paulbuijs28 karma

As a busy CEO, investor and father do you still compete in races/events yourself? I believe that many stand behind Spartan Race because you are out there actively in the field at races and Hurricane Heats. As the business grows how do you plan on differentiating yourself from other CEOs in the industry who aren't on site and don't appear to be very active or are a participant of the sport themselves, i.e. Will Dean?

spartantough29 karma

Never heard of that guy :) Well I just finished the "wrestler" workout and it sucked..so yes I still do this stuff..Andy has us signed up for some crazy distance race at the end of the year he won't tell me about...If I had my way I would ALWAYS prefer to be out biking 150 miles or running or carrying rock..BUT we are inspiring alot of people here so that is what we are supposed to be doing most of our days!

ImThatGood25 karma

Hi Joe,

Thanks for doing an AMA! I don't really have any questions but just wanted to say THANK YOU for offering such a great event! I did my first ever Spartan Race, in fact, my first ever anything this interesting, fun, physically and mentally demanding, and my wife and I are both in LOVE with this type of stuff now!

We just finished doing the Montreal one 2 weeks ago and we have never gotten so dirty, nasty, and scratched up, but we loved every second of it! I didn't get to finish the race due to getting hurt, but I am more than happy to do them all next year!

You have honestly forever changed our lives because we have found a new hobby! My wife and I are planning on doing all 3 races next year, Sprint, Super, and BEAST! Never did I think I would do this type of stuff, but the people there are so friendly and even the attendees are all super encouraging. I was always afraid of doing this type of stuff because I didn't think I could do it or was too intimated or scared. NO MORE! I will be doing every single one of these events from now on!


To anyone who's never tried it and is contemplating about doing it, JUST DO IT! It'll be the best thing you've ever done for yourself!

spartantough22 karma

I want to hear your [email protected] we are filming at the world championships in Vermont in September and we need stories like this for NBC.

JinJarO23 karma

Hi Mr Desena! Thanks for doing this AMA. My question is, what is the process you use to come up with course design and obstacles?

Also, I am trying to get to the Midwest Super in IL next Saturday to run with my family, the Corn Fed Spartans. Any chance you're giving away free entries? :) I hear you like hugs and KNOW you like burpees, and I am willing to give you both! I'm not ready to don a tuxedo or build a stairway to heaven just yet, but as soon as I am able, I will come visit. Thanks again for being here and answering our questions, and have a great one!

spartantough49 karma

Shoot me an email we will always hook people up that help. [email protected] of what you ask for though..We had someone the other day wanted a free season pass. We made them come work on the farm for a week...he left after 3 days...:) There are no free lunches..just free workouts :)

Jack_Lupino22 karma

What is your favorite kind of cereal?

spartantough41 karma

I actually LOVE cereal but found out I am gluten intolerant and can't eat cereal anymore which has me on more raw fruits and veggies which is always a good thing. If you can eat cereal you have to try Weetabix.

jenstuart2718 karma

What does your training schedule look like? Do you train yourself, or do you work with a trainer?

spartantough25 karma

I train with some super inspiring folks here in Pittsfield Vermont. It is hard for all of us to stay motivated. I do it by having a great support system whether it is Andy waking me up at 4 am to punish me or Jason J, or some random Spartan from anywhere in the world that is visiting (yes thats right everyone is invited to visit) I train by being motivated by others. They might be right next to me or it could be a story i heard about the day before. I train daily. I try to do the "wrestler" every other day and a 4-12 mile run on the opposite days carrying a rock or anything i can find.

cactopuss18 karma

I've ran a tough mudder, warrior dash (that was a joke), and then a spartan race in that order. The Spartan race was so much more organized than the other two. What kind of team does it take to put an such an intense yet organized event?

spartantough21 karma

80 people plus 500 volunteers are needed to put on these awesome events. They are a massive undertaking. Thanks for thanks.

waynejont16 karma

Do you think the sport favors runners too much and was that always the intent? I know hobie wrote something about how it's not an overall test of athleticism because there's still too much running in the races...do you see that changing at all or was that always the intent?

I'm running the PA race this weekend! Thanks!

spartantough15 karma

Stay tuned...we have something really cool coming out that will make it an exact playing field. I disagree with Hobie as if you look at Hunter Mcintyre he looks and is built like a weightlifter yet crushes courses..he is a phenom. I would say the sport favors really hard headed in shape people.

youcancallmedre14 karma

just curious on your opinion on the growing minimalist footwear movement? thank you!

spartantough22 karma

We believe in it and are working closely with Reebok to launch a great new shoe.

IAmTheDayman113 karma

What is the single hardest physical activity you've ever attempted. Ranging from throwing a strike to one of these ulta-marathons (which sound horrifying, by the way).

spartantough32 karma

The Iditarod by foot. 30 below and it sucked! Eyelashes frozen shut. Ugh.

imma_Tahitian13 karma

1) have you been to Sparta?

2) would you consider naming your child Leonidas?

But all seriousness, how many of the Spartan Death Races have you competed in? I've wanted to complete the trifecta since my first "Beast" and want to know how it compares to all of the Ironman races you've competed in.

spartantough13 karma

1) I have been to Greece but never to the exact location I dream of Thermopylae, and I would LOVE to name our next child Leonidas or Aroo! BUT my wife wouldn't let me give the name Joe to our last child so those will be long shots :)

I have completed one spartan death race..and it sucked..kind of an exorcism. Ironman is a long training day compared to the Death Race. If you don't believe me well you will just have to find out for yourself :)

SpartanerMcGee12 karma

How do the courses vary (country wise), as in are the American races harder than the Canadian or UK races?

spartantough13 karma

All courses are different yet similar. It varies based on terrain, based on the consumer base in those countries, based on local laws etc. By and large though if you do a Spartan Race in Slovakia it will be similar to California. The one course that just will take your breathe away is Vermont at the World Championships.

caligrown8711 karma

As an ex wrestler, and bjj practitioner, I am now an avid crossfitter. These races are amazing for getting those competitive fixes during crossfit competition downtime. Thank you so much and congratulations on creating a sustainable and profitable business while helping people. You are an inspiration.

spartantough7 karma

Nothing like a wrestler..you are probably killing it...

A_Rose_Thorn11 karma

First off thank you for your time, the spartan races were a huge motivation for me this last year to get into shape. Have you changed the security or done anything differently following the attacks at the Boston Marathon? Is that something you are worried about?

spartantough21 karma

We are concerned for sure. We have started to institute dogs for bag checks as well as security. One thing that gives us solace is 10,000 Spartans in one location are probably the last group of people anyone would want to mess with. You have seen our competitors and you are one so you know what I mean! :)

MillennialWriterBloc11 karma

In the week leading up to a marathon do you run more or less than usual? What is your routine to find the right balance between being energetic but not lethargic from taking time off?

spartantough11 karma

7 days before a big event i like to do a big event..so if I was doing a 4 hour run next weekend I would do a 4 hour run this weekend. Some say that is ridiculous but i found that the body adapts and gets stronger not weaker.

FirstArchetype11 karma


spartantough8 karma

I never got a Ironman Tattoo but I do love Ironman. I wonder if one of the Spartan 300 would have taken an Ironman in a fight?. What keeps me motivated is simple. Commitment, great support system, and all of you. It is so important to just SIGN UP..TELL EVERYONE...and then just train...you can always go alot further and push alot harder than you ever thought possible. The only thing required is to actually take the first step EVERY day.

kinglabtested10 karma

Hey Joe, how do you feel about Team X-T.R.E.M.E./Operation Enduring Warrior competing in your Spartan Races? Have you met any of them and how inspiring are they to watch?

spartantough11 karma

Oh man..they made me cry..super super super inspiring..you have not seen anything until you see that in person.

Noggin_Punch10 karma

Were you always into running and fitness?

spartantough17 karma

I was always into pushing. I wanted to work really hard at whatever I did. Take cold showers because everyone could take warm showers, not turn on the air conditioner because that was easy, etc. I just like pushing. We are here for such a short time lets do some great things always ran through my mind.

SoYppah10 karma

What's one piece of advice to those who are afraid of stepping out of their comfort zone?

spartantough24 karma

Step out quickly...you might not ever come back!

mjclaycomb10 karma

What possessed you to go those extreme distances?? I'm fine running my local Baltimore Marathon thank you...

spartantough16 karma

I was just hoping to push myself further than i ever dreamed..there is something addictive about it. I was lucky my mother would talk about people doing a 3000 mile run back in the 70's...i guess it became part of my DNA...you would be surprised how far you can go. Just go.

neecho2359 karma

What the heck is a burpee?

spartantough19 karma

Jump up, go down, do a pushup then jump back up..they suck. Google it.

jamesvreeland8 karma

Two questions for you.

  • When plotting out events like the DR/TDR, what sort of benchmarks for feasibility do you have in your head? It is relatively easy to design a course that has a 100% or 0% finish rate, but finding the sweet spot where "enough" people cross the line alive strikes me as a much larger challenge.

  • You aren't really letting Sedlak design all of the MidWest courses are you? Do I really have to endure another 1/2 mile up-hill low crawl in Chicago next week? :)

spartantough11 karma

We have a really unique skillset Andy and I in that our courses when designed are fluid. That means we actually build them on the fly based on what we are seeing competitors do.

As far as Sedlak I just emailed him to make it 1 mile :)

eatapastarunafasta7 karma

Joe, Death Race was a horribly good time and I'll be back to "finish." You, Andy, and Don are sadistically/insanely great people. Curious, but what jobs (desk jockey, cubicle farm work, etc.) did you have before Spartan that kind of led you to one day saying, 'this sucks...I'm gonna start my own brand of crazy.'

spartantough8 karma

I cleaned swimming pools, built them, did construction etc. It was 20 hours a day 7 days a week. Very few people wanted to work at that level. We said lets create an event that emulates that kind of life..those still standing we want to hang out with. You sound like one of them :)

spntod6 karma

I am doing my first Spartan Race with a couple of my friends this September in New Jersey. I have been training hard everyday and I am ready to DESTROY this thing haha.

spartantough7 karma

I wish you luck...and smart that you are doing it with friends...easier to achieve success that way!

Go get it.

aintbutathing6 karma

What are things you do as a consequence of your training that you take for granted that couch potatoes may not realize. For example taping your nipples before a marathon.

spartantough7 karma

I think i know exactly who this is :) I am not one for taping my nipples..BUT your right it goes a long way to have some knowledge in advance of an event. I was lucky as I always races with Seasoned people...but i actually enjoyed training with the wrong shoes, no socks, no food or water...if I could survive on nothing well then a few obstacles wouldn't kill me.

Brolestebrol5 karma

Hey Joe- I've been running the races in Eastern Canada this summer, after starting with the Ottawa Beast last summer. It's been am amazing experience, thank you! My question is, is there any way to invest in SR?

spartantough3 karma

You can certainly come to Pittsfield Vermont and come hang out with us for a week! Who knows what we can dream up!

Asstrailprojection5 karma

Yo Joe! What happened to the inov8 sponsorship? Did Reebok just dish out more coin?

spartantough7 karma

Inov8 just didn't want to play. We asked over and over and then Reebok came in and the 3-4 folks at Reebok we met with (they came to Vermont) were so awesome we could not say no. Many times in business it really is about the people you are dealing with more than the economics..and in this case Reebok really shined.

Vinovidivici5 karma

What do you think about the plethora of new mud/obstacle course races that followed the Spartan Race? (already answered here)

  1. Why do you think your race is better than the others of the same type?

  2. What was the best moment you've witnessed in a Spartan Race?

Thanks for creating this type of race. I enjoyed myself thoroughly doing it last year with my girlfriend.

spartantough5 karma

Well I don't know if we can say we are "better" than anything else we are just different. We are a race. We want the sport of obstacle racing (we coined) to become an olympic sport. We treat it with more seriousness than our competitors.

Deep down inside everyone is a competitive spirit and what we do differently is target that competitive spirit by giving it timing, ranking, judging, and supplying obstacles based on athleticism.

There is a ton of thought that goes into our courses based on the above so we believe that is what makes us different. Thanks for thanking us! :)

sri7455 karma

Wow, thanks for the AMA. As someone who's about to run their first marathon, any wisdom to share?

spartantough4 karma

Have you been stretching? Go to our blog and search stretch. Also hydrate and go a little slower than you feel comfortable with.

-chrispy-5 karma

Thanks so much for doing this!

I don't have much of a question (or any question for that matter) but I had to express my sincere thanks for getting me in the best shape I've ever been in. I signed up for the beast in Glen Rose last year, started training (mostly cardio, despite the numerous warnings from the WOD that I should focus on strength too), and finished it in 4.5 hours.

I just signed up for the Texas Beast this year and can't wait to beat my time from last year.

I love pushing myself to my limits and feel like there isn't anything I can't accomplish now. I owe that to the Spartan Race.

Thanks again!

spartantough8 karma

That Texas Beast is no joke. We could not do it without you so I want to thank you and please let me know how you do in Texas. [email protected]

SeryaphFR4 karma

How are you still alive?!?

spartantough6 karma

I just won't quit!

Stevowpappas4 karma

Spartan races are often compared to tough mudder. Other than burpees what would you say is the biggest difference between them?

spartantough15 karma

Not sure what that is you are comparing us to- Tough what :). Basically those folks have taken a very smart approach to the business. They focus on the party aspect, the beer, the music, the hand holding etc. By eliminating timing you save alot of money at each event. By eliminating obstacle penalties and rankings again you save alot of money.

We have taken an opposite approach. We believe in camaraderie (spartans invented it) we believe in timing (humans desire it) we believe in ranking (everyone wants to be the best they can be) and we believe in penalties (everyone wants to be held accountable).

But we may not be for everyone :)

nunes924 karma

how do you avoid injury?

spartantough6 karma

Stretch! Go to our blog and search for stretch.

spartantough3 karma

Hey guys it was awesome..now I have work to do since I couldn't do anything else today :) Everyone is invited up to Vermont for anytime that might work..and come to the World Championship if you can in September..want to have a 1000 person farm dinner pre race.

karipink133 karma

Hi Mr. Desena,

I was just wondering what is the percentage of women who run the race?

Enjoy your burpees :)

spartantough4 karma

38% female and they are all awesome!!

mrdapperpants3 karma

With the recent influx of Mud Runs popping up all around the country, what is Spartan Race planning on doing to stay in the top-tier of obstacle racing?

spartantough3 karma

Just to continue being authentic. As long as we keep giving people what they want and treating this like the real sport it deserves to be treated like I think we will stay on top!

Jazzman456373 karma

This isn't really a question, But i just wanted to thank you.

I did my first spartan sprint at Tuxedo, NY on june 1st and had started training for it about a year before. I've never been heavy or necessarily considered fit but committing to do the race has completely transformed my body, more importantly my mental drive to push my limits and more. The race was some of the most fun i've ever had. Ended up finishing in the mid 400's out of 5500 people!

So again just wanted to say thank you for providing me and the world this kind of opportunity and challenge :)

spartantough3 karma

Your welcome and we would love to hear your story. [email protected]

gooch973 karma

What do you eat/drink before a race to fuel you for the long runs?

spartantough4 karma

I don't like to eat before I train. I am always training for the worst..so that race day is easier..I try not to bring anything with me.

twoandonly3 karma

After reading the Book Born to Run, by Christopher McDougall I have a tremendous amount of respect for runner such as you. More power to you brother!

spartantough3 karma

Back at you Thankyou!

CR_S4083 karma

Joe, since the creation of the Spartan Race which spawned off the Death Race you and the company have expanded tremendously since the second birth of Spartan Race, first in 431 B.C. and the 2005 A.D., and continue to expand into the four corners of the Earth. My questions are:

With the joining of Reebok will we race in Sparta, Greece as hinted during that press release?

When can we see your passion for healthy eating take form in Spartan Fuel?

Is there any way that I can get a hold of a Spartan Pancake?

Did I win the trip to Spartan HQ for filling out the refer a friend card in Utah?

Lastly can you get me Ted the Tires autograph? I'm a huge fan of his work.



Spartan Street Member, 2013 Trifecta Owner, Storm Chaser, Guest Blogger on Spartan Blog, Spartan Fuel Tester(in the works still I assume) and will follow the Founding Few to the gates of Hell and Back....

spartantough3 karma

You win the questions of the day. Send this to me in an email. :) [email protected]

IAmASandwichAMA3 karma

Are you worried at all about the effects of scarring on your heart from these ultra long marathons that you've been running?

spartantough7 karma

No but I am worried about all the people who don't train and eat alot of junkfood. I think humans are meant to do a marathon a day.

whativebeenhiding3 karma

Ever do a Barkley?

spartantough2 karma

Never did it..but where we are in Pittsfield it is similar terrain.

SpartanerMcGee2 karma

Hey Mr. Desena! First of all, thank you for changing my life with these races! My question is: How do you come up with the Death Race course and how would someone train for it?

spartantough4 karma

Training for Death Race is easy..just email me [email protected] but if I tell you how we come up with the course we would have to kill you!

AintNoFortunateSon2 karma

On a scale of 1 to banana, how crazy do you have to be to run an ultra marathon?

spartantough3 karma


SaintMort2 karma

I've yet to run the Spartan Race but I've done a few Warrior Dashes until I feel confident to do the Spartan Race. I was inspired to get into shape BECAUSE I watched my friend run the Spartan Race. So thank you for improving my life for the better and giving me a goal to achieve. I look forward to running a Spartan Race in the next year or so.

Anyway questions: 1) What's the worst injury you've ever seen/heard of that occurred during the race? 2) Have you ever removed an obstacle in the Race for any "legal" reasons or mostly just the shake up/change up the course?

spartantough2 karma

We are maniacal about our courses and safety. Injuries i was near a broken ankle once with my son when it occured the participant had the wrong shoes on. As far as switching obstacles we might if we don't like the way it is flowing from a participant standpoint or if we perceive something.

Thrasyboulus2 karma

Do you think the Peloponnesian war between Sparta and Athens in 431 BC was inevitable? Or do you agree with Donald Kagan's assertion that the war could have been avoided. If you were Perikles, would you have rescinded the Megaraean decree in the face of Korinth's objections?

spartantough9 karma

War inevitable? Is it ever? The Megarian decree was a direct provocation towards Sparta, so it certainly didn't help matters. The decree banned Megarians from harbours and marketplaces throughout the Perikles Athenian Empire which was kinda a big deal. Thucydides is very clear in his histories: "war could be avoided if Athens would revoke the Megarian decree". Not so sure about Donal Kagan, where he was where this was going down, but in our opinion, if Perikles would have stopped causes a rukus, Sparta probably would have found more useful things to do with manpower. I guess we can only guess.

d0ugh3rty2 karma

Hey! First off is like to say I respect you so much. Secondly, I was wondering how much of running would you consider to be mental rather than physical? A lot of the time I find I have the physical strength to push forward, but I'm not in the right mindset. Any thoughts on this at all would be appreciated! Thanks.

spartantough3 karma

Im never in the right mindset. I think the activity gets you in the right mindset. In other words if you aren't feeling it today..force yourself to do the thing you least desire...and do it with buddies or so far away from comfort of the house that you have to walk home..you will be surprised how that changes your day. I can't imagine Shackleton enjoyed being stranded out on the ice- he just started the journey..and felt great when it was over.

Sharzona2 karma

I am going to be a sophomore in college, and I want to do an Ironman. I have done a few Olympic triathlons before and am a USA Triathlon member, but what would you recommend as the best way to train up to an Ironman? (my best leg is swimming so that helps)

spartantough3 karma

Swim 3 miles a week, Bike 4 hours 1 day a week, and run 20 miles a week and stretch! That is all you need. If you want to take it to the next level than incrementally add some each week and try to get your times down. its more head than physical.

Scuzzboots2 karma

Hi Joe. What would you recommend for a 31 year old guy who hasn't excersized in a long time as far as a routine would be concerned? As in diet and working out... I'm in that place where I'm recently single and wanting to get fit as fuck for myself. Everybody i ask this question to seems to have a different answer.

spartantough3 karma

Just email me [email protected] I'll give you a simple routine to get going. There are 1000's of routines..but the first step is the first step.

MarieDenozo2 karma

First of all, I'm a big fan of your race. Your obstacles are great and your events seem to have a great energy. I have participated in many different races including Warrior Dash, Tough Mudder, Spartan Race, etc. and last year I started following races to different venues. I've noticed a huge difference in the variety of venues on the East Coast. What is your favorite venue, and why?

spartantough4 karma

My favorite venue...oh that is easy..right here in Pittsfield Vermont. You have to come visit and bring 1000 of your closest friends to see what we have here for training. [email protected] BTW do you know at this years World Championships in Vermont we are inviting 1000 people down to have dinner with us on the farm?

James_Dalton1 karma

Thanks for answering all of these questions! Awesome job!

My question is where do you see your brand in 5 and 10 years? What's going to keep people coming back to this type of thing?

spartantough2 karma

The burning desire to stay in shape, act like a human 3 times a year, and test yourself against the rest of the world should keep us alive for decades to come.

We will hopefully be in the olympics by then. you should come to the Vermont World Championships it will be on NBC and it will all make sense when you see that event.

AphiTrickNet1 karma

I did Tough Mudder and I absolutely hated it. The course started with three obstacles over the first 2 miles or so, then another three over the course of 7 uphill miles, followed by the remaining dozen obstacles crammed into three miles. Seemed like all we did was run uphill, which was boring and pointlessly exhausting

Convince my that the Spartan race is different.

spartantough8 karma

How about you come out and convince us you are a Spartan? You pick the race. If you love it you pay if you don't its on us. [email protected]

Meph6161 karma

Thanks for putting on these events. Did my first Sprint in 2010 in Pennsyltucky, this year going for the Trifecta.

I was wondering if there were any obstacles you really wish you could add into the course, but don't because you think it would be just too difficult/harsh for anybody to accomplish?

spartantough2 karma

40 foot high cargo net would be my dream :) Good luck on the trifecta!

jesussucksmydick1 karma

train me?

nunes921 karma

is the spartan race profitable. how do you generate revenue

spartantough2 karma

Not yet but SOMEDAY! We hope :) Mostly from registrations to our events.

t3rrapins1 karma

Why did you pick the name SpartanRace?

spartantough2 karma

Spartans were pretty bad axx and they really started this whole thing...so rather than let what they started go to waste we figured we would run with it.

Websauced1 karma

I will be completing the Spartan Trifecta this year. I have done the Sprint in Texas, will be doing the Super on vacation in Virginia, and finish up with the Beast in Dallas.

My question is what can I expect from Spartan races in the next few years. I see myself doing any spartan race that is coming to my area (Texas), but what should I be getting excited about for future races that I haven't seen already.

Also thanks for what you guys have done. You help us office workers get outside and have adventures. I hope one day to make it up to Vermont for the Death Race.

spartantough1 karma

You must come to Vermont! Spartan is on its way back to its roots the next few years..back to the olympics!

ProbablyProne1 karma

Hi Joe,

Can you talk a little bit as to what it's like to start off with a relatively small event that grew into an international sensation? Obviously you can't speak to whether or not you're profitable at a large scale, etc., but what are the sorts of growing pains you've run into? Do you still have a hands-on role in management and leadership, or have you gone the Warren Buffet route and hired competent people and given them autonomy, or what sort of balance?

As a secondary question, what do you think of the people that are snobbish about OCR being "beneath" other sorts of adventure races, distance runs, or skyrunning events?

I'm curious because I managed a business that started with 4 people and now has 90, and the amount of structural reorganization, specialization, and cultural change was amazing to me. (I also worked directly under the owner, who was a "visionary", ie someone who didn't actually know/care what it took to get things done, just knew what they wanted, and that was a huge upwards management hurdle where I constantly had to explain ROI and keep him from managing five levels down.)

spartantough3 karma

Well lets just say if you are an entrepreneur like you are...well you are automatically a Spartan..no one knows like you do how hard it is day in and day out.

I don't think there is a sure fire way to find awesome people that just get it done..unless you are Buffett and have great people attracted to you. It is very hard to find great people we have been lucky as the Death Race and other races we do and just the overall excitement of this business brings us folks...they literally walk in the front door and then we make them walk out the back door with a sandbag. If they come back they are for us..if they don't well Im not sure where they go.

leannmean1 karma

Hey Joe,

I have been following your races for a few years now and have had the pleasure of meeting so many of your wonderful employees, like Mike Morris, Ben Killery, Tommy Mac…to name a few. Where do you find such great people and how have they impacted the early success of Spartan Race?

spartantough1 karma

We have a "great people" training camp in Vermont where we take ordinary people like me and the folks you list and after being in vermont for one month they turn into great people. You had to see Tom when he first came..he was a mess...now...he is incredible :)

weirdminds1 karma

Wow, thank you for this AMA. Im a fan of spartanrace and wonder if there is any chance you can make an event here in SEA especially in the Phil.

spartantough1 karma

If you have a bunch of demand and want to help push for an event lets get you to the website to our demand it page..you can push us to come!

leap_barb1 karma

Do you ever have IT band problems? What do you do to combat the pain and swelling in the knee and are there any wraps or braces you might be able to recommend to help support the knee in long distance running?

spartantough2 karma

Yes had that issue. Checkout thebodywrench.com also DO BIKRAM YOGA..and every day follow our stretching routine..go to our blog and search stretch.

I had that exact issue!