If you've never done a Spartan Race, Tough Mudder, or other "extreme" mud run, your first question may be "Can I even survive that kind of a race?" While there is a "you may die" element to the races, your chances of actual death are very small. If I had to guess, I'd say you are more likely to die choking on potato chips in front of the TV than you are during a Spartan Race, Tough Mudder, etc....and really if I had to choose one or the other, I'd much rather not be known as the guy who died while choking on a potato chip.
If you are like me, surviving a Spartan Race by itself isn't enough. I wanted to do as well as I possibly could, which meant, learing about the race, reading blogs and training articles, and doing what I could to make sure that I didn't just finish, but actually did well. "Spartan Race" youtube videos became an obsession for me.
For a lot of people, just setting the goal to finish the race is enough. I don't think there is anything wrong with that. But I'm the type of person that is hesitant to agree to do things, because I know that once I commit to do something, I'm going all in, and that's what happened when I decided to sign up for my first Spartan Race.
A few good blog articles I read while preparing were:
I also read "Spartan Up," "Born to Run," and "Obstacle Race Training" as I was preparing for my first race. The amount of profanity in "Spartan Up" can be distracting, but otherwise it is a good book. I also felt like running, and especially endurance running, was my biggest weak spot when I first decided to try the Spartan Race. Other than a 1 mile race in high school, and a 5k jog a few years ago, I'd never really run any kind of distance before. (Uhh, yea-I thought of a 1 mile race as a "distance race" before I signed up for my first Spartan Race). I asked a running friend what he recommended and he directed me to "Born to Run" which was a great read. "Born to Run" does seem over the top, and it's hard to tell how much is objective truth and how much is embellished storytelling. Either way, it greatly popularized "minimalist" shoes, and I think if read with a grain of salt, it can really change a person's perspective on what is possible. It got me dreaming not just of completing a Spartan Race, but building myself up to be able to endure an "utlra-trail race" of 100k or more. Which is crazy, because like I said, I kind of considered a 1 mile run a "distance" race and even a half-marathon was pretty much beyond the realm of possible.