I think my workouts have been heading in the wrong direction – from “actual exercise” to “kind of like exercise” to “is this really so different from sitting on the couch?”
Granted, I’ve had reasons for that – some health troubles -- but the fact is that I USED TO do things like “ride my bike all the way around Lake Mendota” (20+ miles) or “jog from my house to the Capitol” (7+ miles of up and downhill running).
Then, I joined a health club and began running on a track – no up or down hill, no wind, no weather, but still a good workout.
Then I began running on a treadmill – because they had TVs to watch while I ran, which helped break the monotony of running.
Then, I began mixing in some stationary biking, and I discovered recumbent bikes – so now I could literally sit down and watch TV while working out.
Recently, our health club put in a muffin bar. I see where this is headed.
Now, this morning, I heard about something called “Spartan Racing.” Spartan Race is a tough, fun new way to do endurance racing – through obstacle courses and muddy tracks and more, with courses ranging from 3-milers to 40+ miles.
Spartan Racing tries to make running, and training, follow the “Spartan” idea – Spartans were tough, and so if you train and race like a Spartan, that mentality will transfer over to your everyday life. And while the races aren’t EASY, they’re very challenging in a fun way, and Spartan Racing makes it simple to sign up and train for one – they’ve got programs and blogs that, if followed, will have you racing in a Spartan Race in 45 days.
AND, the whole family can join in: there’s a kid’s race, and something called “Spartan Chicked,” so your wife and kids can be there, too.
I can't tell you everything there is to know about Spartan Racing in a single post, but you can get lots of answers to frequently asked questions about this fun exercise at
For me, it seems like a really good motivation to increase my workouts and try to get back in the shape I was in at 30. The training regimen, the challenge of a new kind of race, the advice and blogs and community of Spartan Racers, all ought to give me the best chance to really up my workout and enjoy it at the same time.
I just wonder if they’ll have TVs along the course?