Interview with Head Coach Michael Cohen our [] Spartan Race Training Day review we caught up with Michael Cohen the UK Head Coach of Spartan to ask a few questions..

What is the philosophy of the training camp?

  • There are no limits or boundaries. Sometimes it takes stepping out of their comfort zone so that contenders can move beyond anything they have done before.
  • To teach contenders functional natural movements – climb, jump, throw, lift, carry, run, balance and crawl. It is these principal movement skills that will also develop their strength, power, flexibility, co-ordination and endurance skills.
  • To take students through a progressive series of training camps to learning new techniques and fine turn and tweak existing ones.
  • Race SAFE is more important than Race FIT or Race READY. The more Race SAFE skills they learn the more they can reduce the risk or instance of injury.
  • By training and practising on an on-terrain race venue enables them to acclimatise to water, mud, weather and natural obstacles.
  • Never train specialized. Always train with an emphasize on multilateral training as this will train them for the unknown and unknowable aspects to OCR.
  • Become ambidextrous in their day to day tasks and training. So that they can similarly adapt to the obstacle and terrain rather than expecting it to adapt to them.
  • We are an on-terrain ‘whatever the weather’ training camp that simulates OCR circuits – terrain, weather, natural obstacles and water.

michael cohenWhat is the aim?

  • We aim to reduce the risk and incidence of injury. OCR contenders need to treat OCR as a sport and train for it in the same way they train for marathons, triathlons and other sports.
  • To train Spartans so that on race/event day they have the OCR specific skill sets to not only complete their challenge but also to enjoy it.
  • To teach Spartans about the functioning of their body and how it is entwined with their mind.
  • Similarly how they have to learn to adapt to the terrain and environment rather than they expecting the environment adapt to them.
  • Through Functional Natural Movement teach Spartans learn how to move, manipulate and be co-ordinated, agile, flexible, strong, powerful, adaptable, confident and improve there self esteem.
  • Reduce the fear, worry and pain as these cause more injuries as it stops them in their flow on race day.

michael cohenWhat sort of things people will be doing?

  • Training camps are very organic. They have to be as I need to work and train Spartans in the way they need at that moment in time not from an agenda. For example the area of the forest we did all the steep hill climbs and crawling I only found that area on the Saturday whilst doing another recee. Similarly I need to work the camp to be inclusive as I never know peoples true fitness and experience until we meet and get out onto the terrain. It is about bonding, encouraging, teaching, sharing and experiencing.
  • Training Camps are progressive so that Spartans learn new techniques and skills, practice then come back to refine, tweak and learn new ones. As expected most Spartans go away and practice their new skills. Which is great. Almost immediately they get into bad habits or forgetful about all the aspects of the technique so wherefore benefit from periodic coached sessions where we can assistant, correcting and encouraging them.This is why they need to come back to camp.
  • They will be climbing, jumping, throwing, lifting, catching, balancing, crawling, running.
  • They will learn to carry and lift their own body weight.

Check out the camp here and be Spartan Fit, Safe and Ready. To enter a Spartan Race today visit

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