How Long Is a Spartan Race? A Full Guide to Spartan Super

Are you wondering how long does a 10k Spartan Race take and what to expect from the different distances? The Spartan Super race is one of the longest races, requiring athletes to combine speed and endurance.

Are Spartan Races hard? – What should you expect from the distance? In this article, you will learn about how long a Spartan Super race lasts, what obstacles are included in it, and how to prepare for success on the course. Get all the details you need before signing up for your first 10K obstacle-filled adventure.

How much time does it take to complete Spartan Race Super?

The Spartan Race Super is an all-levels obstacle race that takes place in various states across the USA. This one is one of the most popular among other Spartan races. It is a 10K course filled with 25 obstacles. The average time for completion of the Spartan Super race is between 1:30 to 2:45. Preparation should start 3 months prior to the event in order to ensure you are adequately equipped for the grueling race.

What Is Spartan Super?

The Spartan Super is an intermediate-level obstacle race that takes place in various states across the United States, as well as in many other countries around the world.. Many people wonder how many miles is the Spartan Race, and if it is hard. This 10-kilometer (or 6.2-mile) course is designed to challenge racers of all abilities, as it contains both flat sections and more difficult terrain, testing both speed and endurance.

Its unique blend of distance and rugged terrain makes it a great option for those seeking an extreme sports challenge, but who don’t want to take on the ultra-endurance distances of Spartan Beast or Ultra Beast events.

Spartan Race has a global presence, and Super races can take place in a wide range of outdoor environments, from mountains to forests to urban areas.

Here are a few examples of obstacles that you might encounter in a Spartan Super race:

  1. Rope Climb: Participants must ascend a rope and ring a bell at the top before descending.
  2. Wall Climbs: Climbing over walls of various heights.
  3. Spear Throw: Throwing a spear accurately to hit a target.
  4. Monkey Bars: Crossing a series of hanging bars without falling.
  5. Barbed Wire Crawl: Crawling under barbed wire obstacles, often through mud or water.
  6. Bucket Brigade: Carrying a heavy bucket filled with gravel or sand over a specified distance.
  7. Atlas Carry: Lifting and carrying a heavy stone ball.
  8. Hercules Hoist: Hoisting a heavy object off the ground using a pulley system.

These are just a few examples, as Spartan Race continually introduces new obstacles and variations to challenge participants. The combination of distance, obstacles, and challenging terrain makes Spartan Super a physically demanding and mentally tough race.

All ages are welcome, though participants must be in relatively good physical condition, due to the level of difficulty.

Let’s find out how long do Spartan Races take!

What Are the Different Spartan Races?

How hard is a Spartan Race? From Spartan Sprints to the Beast Race, every obstacle course has a unique challenge for participants.

1. Spartan Sprint Distance

The Spartan Sprint is one of the most popular and beginner-friendly races of the Spartan series. It covers a distance of 5 kilometers (3.1 miles), with a total of 20 obstacles, making it one of the shortest races in the lineup.

Spartan Sprint races from road to grass for beginner
Photo by RUN 4 FFWPU

The terrain varies, depending on the location and course type, which ranges from road to grass. Regardless of the venue, the obstacles make it fun and challenging.

2. Spartan Super Distance

How far is a Spartan Race Super? The Spartan Super is a 10 km (6.2-mile) race that combines trail running with 25 obstacles. The course takes racers over rugged terrain and includes challenging obstacles such as climbing walls, barbed wire crawls, and spear throws.

Compared to the 5k Spartan Sprint race, participants of the Spartan Super must endure more physical exertion. This makes it significantly harder than the Sprint level event.

The average Spartan Race time varies depending on age, experience, and gender, but can be anywhere from 2:30 to 4 hours, making it one of the toughest obstacle courses out there.

3. Spartan Beast Distance

The Spartan Beast is the longest and most difficult race of all the Spartan events offered. How long is a Spartan Beast? With a 20 km (13.1-mile) distance, this course includes 30 obstacles designed to push even the strongest runners to their limits.

The challenges participants can expect include scaling walls, rope climbs, wading through mud and water trenches, bucket carries, and many more strength exercises that test both mental and physical fitness.

Racer overcomes wading through mud and water trenches
Photo by RUN 4 FFWPU

Comparison of Different Spartan Races

AspectSpartan SprintSpartan SuperSpartan Beast
Distance5 kilometers (3.1 mi)10 kilometers (6.2 mi)20 kilometers (13.1 mi)
TerrainVaries (road to grass)Rugged, trail runningChallenging, varied
Difficulty LevelBeginner-friendlyIntermediateAdvanced
Average Race Time1-2 hours2.5-4 hours4-6 hours
Physical ExertionModerateHighVery High
Notable ChallengesVarious obstacles, such as walls, mud pits, rope climbs.Climbing walls, barbed wire crawls, spear throws.Scaling walls, rope climbs, mud and water trenches, bucket carries.

How Tough Is Spartan Super Compared to Spartan Sprint?

The Spartan Super is a very demanding and challenging distance in the Spartan Race series, with a longer course and greater number of obstacles than the shorter sprint distance. The Spartan Super covers 10 km, with 25 obstacles, whereas the shorter sprint is typically 5 km long and includes around 20 obstacles.

While both races require participants to be physically fit, those taking on a Spartan Super typically invest more time in their training and preparation.

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Pro Tip:

Not only does this longer distance involve significant amounts of running, but it also requires intense strength and endurance. This prepares runners for difficult terrain and unique challenges, such as rope climbs, walls of mud, river crossings, sandbag carrying contests, and other demanding obstacles.

How Long Does the Spartan Race Last?

On average, the Spartan Super Race takes between 3 to 4 hours to complete for beginner racers, while experienced racers can finish within 2.5 to 2.75 hours.

Spartan Super Race Average Completion Times

Gender/Fitness LevelBeginner Racer (Hours)Experienced Racer (Hours)
Male3.5 – 4 hours2.5 – 2.75 hours
Female3.75 – 4.25 hours2.75 – 3 hours

Athletes and professionals may finish more quickly, while first-time runners or those with lower levels of fitness may take longer than 4 hours. Depending on the location’s terrain, the difficulty of the course obstacles can also add to your total racing time. By following good training practices and being dedicated, you can work towards completing the race in an optimal amount of time, no matter what your age group or gender.

How Difficult Is the Spartan Race?

Spartan Races are highly demanding obstacle course races that will challenge your physical and mental resolve. Spartan Super often includes crawling, carrying heavy objects, climbing high walls, and other types of physical and mental challenges.

1. Physical Challenges

The course is designed to challenge racers in all areas — physical strength, agility, coordination, and overall fitness.

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Pro Tip:

Participants should be prepared for a grueling experience that will test their limits, while relying upon teamwork when needed.

Of course, different obstacles will be harder for some people than others. Some recognizable obstacles you can expect to come across are Helix, Olympus, Rope Climb, Beater, and Stairway to Sparta.

These all test different muscle groups through various movements, such as swinging, running up inclines, etc.

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2. Mental Challenges

The distance is also designed to test participants’ mental fitness, with hills and miles of running on uneven terrain.

In addition to completing physical challenges successfully, competitors must also demonstrate mental grit and determination. They must push through fatigue and exhaustion to finish the race.

6 tips How to Prepare for Spartan Super

Consistently following a Spartan Super training plan that includes both cardio and strength workouts is essential for improving performance.

1. Stay Committed to Your Training

Being successful in the Spartan Super requires a high level of commitment to your training and preparation. Setting goals, creating realistic yet challenging intensity levels for each workout, and tracking progress towards your goals can help you complete this intense race.

A great way to ensure that you stay on track with your training is having a partner or even a group of friends who are also running the race. This will provide moral support when needed, and keep motivation levels high leading up to race day.

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Pro Tip:

If you find yourself making excuses or feeling tempted not to follow through with your training plan, it’s important to remember why you signed up for the race in the first place. That will help keep you motivated!

Make sure that each workout session offers enough variability in intensity so you don’t get bored by repetition. A mix of cardio, strength training, and endurance exercises helps you develop total body fitness, which is essential for tackling the various obstacles in the race.

2. Focus on Building Endurance and Strength

Having muscular strength and aerobic endurance is essential for Spartan Super race participants. To prepare for the rigors of the course, a good training regimen must be built around regular resistance training exercises, which help increase strength, as well as dynamic bodyweight movements.

To develop physical conditioning before this race, runners should incorporate distance running into their daily exercise routine.

Along with building endurance, doing interval runs with can also develop stamina, helping participants to better perform in a longer obstacle race.

3. Incorporate Dynamic Exercises into Your Routine

Dynamic exercises can help you become a more powerful and efficient runner, while also helping you prepare for the challenge of a Spartan race. These exercises require explosive movements and a full range of motion, increasing strength and improving your cardiovascular endurance.

Core-strengthening exercises such as planks, knee tucks, and other should be incorporated into any Spartan Super training program. Working out with gym equipment, such as dumbbells, can also add an extra challenge for more experienced athletes looking to take their training up a notch.

Examples include broad jumps mixed with squats, or hills sprints mixed with burpees. Try stepping it up further by adding weighted balls or kettlebells.

4. Strengthen Your Core

A strong core is essential to powering your body through the obstacles and terrain of a Spartan Super race. Building strength in your core will improve balance, stability, and endurance, all of which are critical for success on the course.

Whether you have access to a gym or are training at home, there are exercises that can help strengthen your core in preparation for the Spartan Super.

Core-strengthening exercises such as planks, knee tucks, and other should be incorporated into any Spartan Super training program. Working out with gym equipment, such as dumbbells, can also add an extra challenge for more experienced athletes looking to take their training up a notch.

Finally, don’t forget about cardio! Cardio exercises like burpees, sprints, and jump roping help build the stamina needed during the long hours of racing, while also strengthening your core muscles at the same time.

5. Prioritize Recovery and Rest

Taking time to rest and recover after the hard work of training helps prevent injuries and allows your muscles to repair from strain and fatigue. It improves stamina, builds endurance, and enhances physical fitness level and athletic performance.

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Pro Tip:

Rest days should be scheduled between intensive workouts and sprint sessions in order to reach the peak fitness level required in a Spartan Super Race. Regular low-impact activities like walking or swimming will help your body relax while increasing muscular flexibility.

Engaging in active relaxation, such as yoga, is an excellent way to restore calmness while strengthening certain muscle groups.

6. Follow a Healthy Nutrition Strategy

Adequate nutrition prior to and after a Spartan Super is important for any runner looking to maximize their performance. Consuming a balanced diet that includes fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, carbohydrates, and whole grains is key for fueling your body during the race and providing energy for endurance.

Increasing your carbohydrate intake 2-3 days before running will help you perform at your highest level by aiding in muscle contraction and optimizing fuel delivery into the muscles.

Hydration is equally important. Drinking water throughout training sessions and on race day helps you avoid dehydration, which can impede your performance and have serious health consequences.

It is also wise to avoid processed and sugary foods, as they can negatively impact performance due to their lack of nutrient value and the rapid spike and crash in blood sugar levels.

Spartan Training Plan

Get your body and mind ready for the Spartan Super race with an effective and comprehensive training plan.

1. Gym Sessions

Gym sessions are essential for building both strength and endurance. They ensure that runners can maintain an optimal level of intensity throughout their entire race.

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Pro Tip:

Resistance training programs can help build the physical power needed during a Spartan Super or Beast. Meanwhile, including cardio exercises is important for maintaining stamina throughout a long-distance race.

2. Cardio Sessions

Cardio sessions help runners prepare for the length of a Spartan Race and pass the obstacles. These sessions can simulate the various obstacles and terrain faced on the racecourse in order to build endurance, agility, speed, and strength.

Common cardio exercises used during these sessions include bear crawls, high plank holds, sprints, and lunges. Training with interval methods such as plyometrics is also a great way to develop aerobic fitness while building up muscular endurance at the same time.

Outdoor runs like fartlek or hill running are also included in cardio sessions. They prepare you for tougher environments and reflect the course conditions in an actual Spartan race better than indoor gym workouts.

3. Pulling Exercises

Pulling exercises helps build strength in the upper body muscles, increasing power and muscle coordination. These movements are essential when it comes to completing complex obstacles on the Spartan courses, such as walls and monkey bars.

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Pro Tip:

Working on movements like pull-ups, inverted rows, and chin-ups will benefit performance immensely during the race. Additionally, compound drills such as high pulls and cleans are excellent for targeting multiple muscles at once. This also helps with the explosive movements needed for climb ups or swinging.

4. Strength Training Circuit

Strength training is an integral part of the Spartan Race training plan, with exercises like squats, deadlifts, and variations of lunges building lower body strength for the race. Such exercises typically use weights that are challenging but not excessive.

Interval sets, such as rounds of push-ups alternating between upper and lower chest presses, should also be worked into every other session to increase overall core fitness levels.

During rest periods, it’s recommended to engage in dynamic stretching activities, which can help relax tight muscle fibers.

5. Endurance Training

A comprehensive endurance plan should involve a mix of cardio and strength workouts, running intervals, hills training, full-body exercises, and HIIT. T​​his all helps to build up muscle strength, improve cardiovascular endurance, and develop the mental stamina required for completing an obstacle course race.

Interval running helps adapt the body to the different terrain encountered during Spartan Races. Additionally, supplementing lower body fitness with pull ups helps create the overall balance needed while tackling challenging obstacles like rope climbs or walls.

Adding longer runs into your program by increasing distance gradually over several weeks can help you build up your aerobic capacity, making it easier to sustain a good pace during long races.

4-week spartan plan Example

Remember to adjust the program to your fitness level and consult with a healthcare professional if needed. By following this 4-week plan, you’ll be better prepared to conquer the Spartan Super race.

Week 1: Foundation and Assessment

During Week 1, you’ll work on building strength with bodyweight exercises and get accustomed to running. This week also includes an assessment of your fitness level as you begin to prepare for the Spartan Super.

DayWorkoutDuration/Sets and Reps
1Warm-up, Push-ups, Running10 min, 3 sets of 10
2Warm-up, Dumbbell Squats, Running10 min, 3 sets of 8-10
3Rest or active recovery (gentle yoga, walking)
4Warm-up, Rope Climbing or Pull-ups, Running10 min, 3 sets of 5-8
5Warm-up, Bodyweight Exercises, Running10 min, 3 sets of 12-15
6Rest or active recovery (gentle yoga, walking)
7Warm-up, Long Run, Obstacle Practice, Cool Down10 min, 60-75 min

Week 2: Increasing Intensity

In Week 2, you’ll increase the reps and sets of your exercises and push yourself further in your running sessions. The focus is on building endurance and strength while progressing toward your Spartan Super goal.

DayWorkoutDuration/Sets and Reps
1Warm-up, Push-ups, Running10 min, 3 sets of 12-15
2Warm-up, Dumbbell Squats, Running10 min, 3 sets of 10-12
3Rest or active recovery (gentle yoga, walking)
4Warm-up, Rope Climbing or Pull-ups, Running10 min, 3 sets of 6-8
5Warm-up, Bodyweight Exercises, Running10 min, 3 sets of 15-20
6Rest or active recovery (gentle yoga, walking)
7Warm-up, Long Run with Obstacle Simulation, Cool Down10 min, 75-90 min

Week 3: Simulating Obstacles

Week 3 is all about simulating the Spartan obstacles you’ll face in the race. You’ll continue to work on your strength and endurance while incorporating obstacle-specific training. This week helps you gain confidence in tackling the challenges that await you.

DayWorkoutDuration/Sets and Reps
1Warm-up, Push-ups, Running10 min, 3 sets of 15-20
2Warm-up, Dumbbell Squats, Running10 min, 3 sets of 10-12
3Rest or active recovery (gentle yoga, walking)
4Warm-up, Rope Climbing or Pull-ups, Running10 min, 3 sets of 8-10
5Warm-up, Bodyweight Exercises, Running10 min, 3 sets of 15-20
6Rest or active recovery (gentle yoga, walking)
7Warm-up, Long Run with Obstacle Simulation, Cool Down10 min, 90-105 min

Week 4: Active Taper and Race Preparation

During week 4 you should foucs on maintaining your fitness but reducing the intensity to ensure you’re well-rested. You’ll engage in active recovery activities to stay mobile and relaxed as you prepare mentally and physically for the big event.

DayWorkoutDuration/Sets and Reps
1Warm-up, Light Jog or Stretching10 min
2Warm-up, Light Jog or Stretching15 min
3Active Recovery: Easy Bike Ride or Swim30-45 min
4Warm-up, Light Jog or Stretching15 min
5Active Recovery: Hiking or Yoga45-60 min
6Rest or Active Recovery: Gentle Yoga, Walking

Frequently Asked Questions About Spartan Super Distance

How Many Obstacles Are in a Spartan 10K?

The number of obstacles included in a Spartan Super race is typically 25, which is 5 more than a Spartan Sprint race. This makes the Spartan Super one of the toughest races in the US.

What Do I Need To Bring to a 10K Spartan Race?

All runners should bring a hydration pack or water bottle to stay hydrated during their race. Additionally, bring along energy gels or snacks for sustained energy throughout your run. It’s important to fuel up before, during, and after racing. Don’t forget post-race care, including a towel and change of clothes for a comfortable clean up afterwards.

Final Thoughts on Spartan Training Plan

The Spartan Super is a challenging event that requires an extensive training plan. A complete and structured training plan should include specific exercises that focus on building strength, endurance, dynamic movement, and core stability, as well as prioritizing recovery and nutrition.

Training consistently for at least 3 months is recommended to master all the components necessary for success in this grueling event.

Have you ever tried running any of the Spartan races? Please share your experience in the comments below.

Also Read:


  1. The Obstacle Bible: The 411 on Every Obstacle in the Spartan Universe https://www.spartan.com/blogs/unbreakable-race-stories/spartan-race-obstacles
  2. Rabb H, Coleby J. Hurt on the Hill: A Longitudinal Analysis of Obstacle Course Racing Injuries. Orthop J Sports Med. 2018 Jun 20;6(6):2325967118779854 https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/2325967118779854
  3. Hung KC, et al. Effects of 8-week core training on core endurance and running economy. PLoS One. 2019 Mar 8;14(3):e0213158. https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0213158
  4. Donohue B, et al. Effects of brief yoga exercises and motivational preparatory interventions in distance runners: results of a controlled trial. Br J Sports Med. 2006 Jan;40(1):60-3; discussion 60-3. https://bjsm.bmj.com/content/40/1/60
  5. Doherty R, et al. The Sleep and Recovery Practices of Athletes. Nutrients. 2021 Apr 17;13(4):1330. https://www.mdpi.com/2072-6643/13/4/1330

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One Comment

  1. Thank you for the tips on training for the Spartan race. In recent months, I have been actively reading articles, consulting with runners who have participated, because I want to try my hand at Spartan races, but I still doubt whether I will be able to overcome all the stages.

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