Spartan Races Galore in Thailand — 2020!

I’m sitting in front of an executive at one of the biggest banks in Thailand and abruptly he says, “registration opens tomorrow!” It was a random comment at the time since we had been discussing the ever-so-annoying-coronavirus, but I shifted my attention to him and said: “huh?”

He said, “Spartan Race Thailand!”

I was in disbelief. I was in awe. I didn’t know what to say. Should I ask him where? How? When? What? Who said? What’s happening? I told him, “get the hell outa here! Show me!” He quickly went to his phone and there it was, three spectacularly magnificent dates of the race here in Thailand this year.

After going on a one year hiatus after the Spartan Trifecta in Hua Hin, people rambled about it having poor reviews, complaints, etc. I thought it was perfectly placed, but the mountains and going through 13km of hills was a daunting task for my joints.

2019 it was crickets. I had already opted out of races for the subsequent year because that 2018 ripped the soul out of me. I just felt, “man, f*** that! That was just soul-crushing. I damn near died!” Not only me, but another massive trainer (bodybuilder) by the name of Vishal, who works at the lab, was found by me….crouching over, eyes red beyond comprehension and gasping for life during the bucket carry towards the end of the Spartan Beast. However, that was a resurgence and gave me a ton of energy to finish because I said, “wow, I’m not in this condition and have about 25% of the muscle!”

I finished, stopped doing Spartan Races, then flirted with the potential of doing one in Vietnam this year (as a matter of fact, tomorrow).

I said, “man, I just don’t have it in me. I just don’t wanna do it. What are you trying to prove, Arsenio?”

Until I saw dates at Chiang Mai (not interested), but the ultra-gorgeous Krabi (beach camp) and a forest camp in GORGEOUS Songkhla!

I HAD TO!

Interviewee #026 – Moustafa Sano – The Marathon Man!

I brought Moustafo on a long time ago, and here I am bringing him on again because there was a particular pain threshold he passed that I’m very captivated by.  Being able to overcome the amount of pain, a rain storm, fatigue and other things is just AMAZING. Reminds me of David Goggins, so here is my Malaysian fitness entrepreneur again!

Get in touch with Moustafa Sano

Links:

Things we discussed:

Dieting before the race.

How much sleep before the marathon.

The entire experience of the marathon itself.

Body usage.

The moment you want to give up is the 40% threshold.

Individuals hitting that threshold, ultimately giving up during the race.

Eating and recharging after the marathon.

Pain thresholds.

Listen to “Interviewee #026 – Moustafa Sano – The Marathon Man!” on Spreaker.

Thank you for listening!

Links:

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Interviewee #22 – Jonathan Darling – Personal Trainer and Ultra Marathon Runner

This is a man that’s an ordinary guy trying to make an extraordinary impact on the world.  After starting his fitness journey playing football and wrestling in high school, he began studying exercise science in college.  This propelled him into the world of bodybuilding, powerlifting, and competing for several years.  8 months ago, he decided to compete in his first ever endurance race, a 50k ultra trail race.  That is only the beginning…..

Get in touch with Jonathan Darling

Links:

 

Things we discussed:

  • How do you start in the fitness industry?
  • What the differences between powerlifting and bodybuilding.
  • Bodybuilders vs Crossfitters
  • Injecting positivity in the community.
  • The reasons why people love and are attracted to crossfit.
  • Empathy.
  • Why the interviewee became a reader?
  • The reasons why the guest signed up for a race.
  • Failure.
  • How do you develop the mental capacity to shutdown negative talk?
  • Believing in yourself.
  • How to deal with mediocrity?
  • Driving force.
  • How you demolish fear and follow your dreams.
  • Failure is better than success.
  • Goals for 2019.

Listen to “Interviewee #22 – Jonathan Darling – Personal Trainer and Ultra Marathon Runner” on Spreaker.

 

Thank you for listening!

 

Thank you so much for listening to this podcast. Please do write down some feedback and comments. Please do share this podcast to your social media.

 

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Spartan Bag for The Beast

On the dawn of the monster, let’s take a look at what’s important for a Spartan Beast!

Essentials

Hydration Pack

Energy Gels

Protein Bar

Two pairs of socks

Arm sleeve of some kind to protect you

Sunscreen

Compression (shirt and shorts)

Distance running shoes

Waist belt

  • The hydration pack, given the distance, is absolutely essential.  Because I’m running in such a sweltering and humidity-filled climate, dehydration, especially during the beast, will lead to a lot of problems on the course.  Yes, water stations will be scattered, but that won’t be good enough to defeat a course that’s 21km long. I bought one of these packs recently and I’m super excited to use it. Option: run with a bottle, but I totally wouldn’t recommend it.
  • Energy gels made their debut when I first ran the Spartan in KL, a very memorable monster I had to defeat and befriended a Malaysian entrepreneur during the process.  In a 13km race, I probably took one around the 5-7km mark and maybe towards the end (not even needed).  In a sprint, it’s not needed at all.  However, the Beast is an entire new beast, and it’s absolutely needed for the beating your body will take.  I did a Tough Mudder three years ago, and that I didn’t have ANYTHING to help me through the entire course.  The climate wasn’t suffocating, though.  Coll temperatures (around 15 degrees celcius and maybe went up to about 20-25) made it the most enjoyable race (maybe not the best — Bali’s Tough Mudder was pure heaven). Thailand, on the other hand, isn’t like that.  Stack yourself with gels.
  • Any form of food during the race will work.  Getting some food, protein, carbs or anything that has energy in you will significantly reduce all the negative effects that will take place during the race.  However, having a melted protein bar will do you no good, so stash a bar or two in the refrigerator (or even the freezer for an x amount of time) to have it nice and cold before race time.  1-2 hours in, it’s a edible bar.
  • Doubling up on socks reduces the chances of having to take off your shoes over, and over, and over during the race, smacking it against the ground to get those imaginary (what it seems like during the race) and microscopic rocks out of your shoes.
  • Arm sleeves and gloves are your best friend! Honestly, don’t be the big-tough-guy-bonehead that says “gloves are for __________.”  Carrying, dragging, holding buckets, etc will get increasingly difficult after the 10km mark, so please, don’t be the idiot.  Your arms will look like Freddy Kruger got a hold of you after the race.  Keep those arms looking gorgeous and protect yourself.
  • The waist belt I bought a couple years ago is still durable and still works.  This has gone through about 3-4 Spartan races and plenty of city runs.  Having this enables me to carry my protein bars and gels; and even if I have to crawl, I can rotate it to the back so it doesn’t get ruined.  SMART!

One of the biggest problems I had with running shoes back in 2015 had to be the only pair I had at the time.  I bought a pair of under armour shoes that I KNEW wouldn’t survive during the race, but didn’t want to use the other ones (in the video down below) instead.  I decided to wear them and probably halfway through the race, I was limping because it was painful and I had a pinching sensation on the outer portion of my right knee.  Problematic to say the least.  Test your shoes, in the grit, and see if they hold up.

Fitness Entrepreneurs Pod #1: Conditioning + Spartan Training Tips

Boy! This was an exciting podcast.  Moustafo and Hakeem, two podcasters (in their own right) and fitness entrepreneurs who live in Malaysia, joined me this morning to talk about conditioning and Spartan training.  I’m amazed how much knowledge these young individuals have in the health spectrum of everything.  Because this will be a 2-3 weekly type of podcast, I do want you guys to send your questions in.  The next podcast will be on Crossfit, so anything crossfit related would be great!

Get in touch with Fitness entrepreneurs

– The art of conditioning and Spartan training.

Links:

Hakeem Khan

 

Moustafa Sano

 

Things we discussed:

  • Introduction given by the host and his guests.
  • The differences between cardio and conditioning.
  • How the guests condition their bodies?
  • The length of their training.
  • Building of death leaps and squad.
  • Understand what your goals for training are.
  • Talking about trying marathon.
  • Moustafo shared his Rugby story.
  • Sharing about unfortunate accidents and injuries.
  • What are the basics of conditioning training?
  • Sharing about running and marathon.
  • Final thoughts by the guests.

 

Thank you for listening!

 

Thank you so much for joining me for this podcast. Please do write down some feedbacks and comments. Please do share this podcast to your social media.

 

Links:

Podcast

 

Interviewee #15 – Moustafa Sano On Fitness, Learning Five Languages, & Fitting In

It was an afternoon when I received a few video messages in my Instagram inbox.  Here was a guy that I’ve never met before sending me videos.  I was a bit adamant in terms of opening those videos, but I’m glad I did because it ended up  being one of the most inspirational guys ever!

 

Get in touch with Moustafa Sano of Malaysia

– About fitting in, learning 5 languages and fitness.

 

Links:

 

Things we discussed:

  • Rite of passage in our pre – teen years.
  • Different cultures, values and morals.
  • Understanding of other cultures are important.
  • People’s stories because people deserve to be listened to.
  • Different cultures have different ways of communication.
  • Pain turned to sports without realising it was self – expression to pain.
  • Self – image is important.
  • Need to have an empathy.
  • Fitness is important.
  • Don’t keep your pain inside you.
  • Pain is another key to success.
  • Racial tension or racism in Malaysia.
  • Learning Malay language (Bahasa) through playing football within his neighbourhood.
  • Languages are a way to bridge the gap between foreigners and locals.
  • Talking about personal development on “empathy”.
  • Benefits of reading – how you contextualise?
  • Personal development books that change your life and skills.
  • Pain is a good form of motivation.
  • Being proactive vs reactive.
  • Motivation comes from your morals and values and live life through your imagination.
  • The best way to learn a languages is by getting yourself outside — not by writing.
  • Learn about people’s languages.
  • Watching movies and listening to podcasts.
  • Learning different cultural – expressions through watching movies.
  • Talking about paradigm shifting of habits to growth.
  • Read more, talk more and train or challenge your brain to keep yourself fit in terms of spirituality.
  • The power of giving.
  • Believe in your words.
  • Life filled with fulfilment when you give people more.
  • The impact that you try to give to this world and the people.
  • The purpose of suffering and pain.

 

Thank you for listening!

 

Thank you so much for joining me for this podcast. Please do write down some feedbacks and comments. Please do share this podcast to your social media.

 

Links:

 

Podcast

Questions & Answers: Why The Spartan/Tough Mudder Competitions?

It was a perfect question at a perfect time.  Back in 2015, I put my mind, body and spirit to the test.  In one of the most difficult races of my life, I saw everything flash before my eyes: ewwwww! Black man! Negro! Pimp! Black people are disgusting! — yes, these are the comments that Thai women spewed upon me.  Not only that, in 2015, I worked for a company where a dutchman, who is known as a pedaphile here in Thailand, got more praise at a job (how does he have a job being a pedaphile in Thailand is beyond me) than me.  2015 was also the last stint of holding myself to being a victim.  It was difficult.

So, like many people, I joined this competition to hopefully get over that mental hurdle.  Did it help? Not only did it help, but it opened something within my mind that pressured me to better myself.

If it wasn’t for these redunculous competitions where I put myself through so much agony, I wouldn’t be where I am today, right? Something inside me needed to be turned around.  My paradigm needed to change or else it would’ve driven me to pure insanity.

Back in 2016, I still remember working at a job in the heart of Bangkok and they said, “sorry, you can’t teach TOEIC (a test for non-native English speakers) because you’re black and the students don’t like you).  I quit that job in a heartbeat and continued searching.

This is why I do these competitions because now I’ve re-created a reality that none of that trash from 2-5 years ago exists.  Sure, I get the occasional racist looks, but hardly ever.  I stayed away from racist Thai news websites that demonized black people….and now all of that has seemingly vanished.  Let’s get into this in my podcast down below!

Podcast

Spartan Super: Chon Buri, Thailand – The Good, The Ridiculous, The “Come On, Man”

The Race – A Debacle of Astronomical Proportions

This is a very infuriating situation that was BECAUSE OF ME.  I couldn’t believe out FAT and out-of-shape I was for this race.  Did I feel fat? Well, the extra fat on my stomach is absolutely noticeable.  However, I think a lot of it had to do with the people I ran with.

The situation was much worse  this time because it was just a walk-a-thon.  In the first four KM, I wanted to quit.  I’ve never felt that before in my life.  I think 60% of it was because I kept looking back and never got into a rhythm in terms of running.  Two, I honestly have done only a few classes at my gym in one month.  That’s a recipe for disaster.  Normally I do two classes a week, but three classes are better.  I didn’t have anywhere near the amount of strength I had in the past.

This was a very sad reality.

When you’re able to Face What Isn’t Working, you’re able to think clearly about situations.  A day after the race, I’ve cleaned up everything.  Yes, I had that sugar craving and wanted my gummy bears, but I didn’t because I have a nasty image of what I’m becoming engraved into my head, and that’s the most terrifying part about all of it.  So, I just keep asking myself, “if I buy those bags of candy, I won’t be proving a god damn thing to myself.”

Podcast

 

Flights/Hotels/Spartan Tickets Booked – Training Commenced

To give everyone a nice little update on the upcoming trip to Malaysia, I’m EXCITED!

I haven’t left the country since Maldives last year.  Does anyone know how long it’s been?! Although I’ve now left a very forgettable neighborhood, the “fun and hobbies” portion of the wheel of life has taken a massive hit.  I now have a lot of free time to focus on my projects, but I’m still missing out on a key piece of my happiness.

TRAVELING!

Well, I’m back! Malindo Airlines (praying everything goes well because I’ve heard horror stories), a gorgeous hotel (PARKROYAL) in KLCC, and an easy way to get to the race.  This trip should go perfectly.

This trip also marks the breaking of the chains and shackles I’ve had for so long.  So grateful for everything, but it’s time for the new life to begin.  Officially on a tourist visa and really not sure what’s going to happen or what to expect next.

Nevermind all that though.  This is about the Spartan Race, an appetizer leading up to the main dish in May (Spartan Super).  It’s really funny because I’m between a rock and a hard place at the moment.  I’m trying to figure out who to go with.  I promised a friend last year I would go with him, but after he brought along one of his friends who failed to run more than 1km, I really don’t want to “walk.”  If I want to walk, I’ll walk at home or on a treadmill.  All the training and everything leading up to the Spartan was based on cardio.  If someone failed to prepare cardio, the most important aspect of the race, disaster will happen (and did at that point).

If I go with some others, there will be a group of 20.  I know within the group of 20….at least half of them won’t be doing cardio.  Therefore, I’ll have to walk for 13-15km, which would take AGES! So this is the big problem with doing the Spartan Super.  I can hurry up and find a friend (somehow) to go with who’s a beast, but it’s difficult.

Nonetheless, this Malaysia Spartan is going to be a battle for me, just because I’m going to try and finish it as fast as possible (record time) and see if I can compete in the competitive or elite next time.

Training

I’ve been busting ass (not that way) in the gym.  Over the last couple of weeks (including Friday – a day I ran 10km and did a one-hour class later in the evening), I’ve gotten my body back! This is what I LOVE! Looking like a damn Greek God! More importantly, I ran 10km (felt very odd at the end) without any issues.  I went to the gym to buy a protein shake, up to the Skytrain, and felt perfectly fine (unlike my earlier years where I felt like hell).  I’m doing a series of different movements, body weight exercises, and developing strength in my legs.

With Spartan, cardio and upper-body are the most important parts.  The first Spartan I did last year sucked.  My upper-body was…….weak.  However, the second Spartan I did, I couldn’t believe how much my strength increased.  Cardio in KL (last July) was amazing, but overall upper-body was sub-average.  Second Spartan I did….completely crushed it.  Now with having the experience….here’s my workout regimen on a weekly basis.

Monday – Class: Lab Leaner + Kettlebell Strength

Tuesday – Cardio (bike and treadmill) in the morning

Wednesday (City Run – 10km)

Thursday (upper-body on my own)

Friday – Class: Lab Stronger

Saturday and Sunday – Rest days or core work.

This is just for the 7km race.  After April 15th, my workouts will get much more difficult leading up to the Super after my birthday in May.

Stay tuned for more!

Traveling + Fitness Goals = Malaysia/Singapore Spartan Is On The Board!

There’s been some hard decision-making going on my end, but I’m finally kicking off my travels this year with a minor bang.

Like I told you in the beginning with my blog, outlining the possible scenarios of traveling….it’s now evident that I will do a small travel at this juncture of the year, basically due to the fact that work is fluctuating like crazy at the moment.

Since I got some excellent feedback with crazy jobs, big projects and not quitting my main job (fully), I decided to go through with it.

I stated that I would be completing the trifecta this year in Spartan: sprint, super and beast being the races I would need to compete in to obtain that unique medal.

So, if I can take a pre-workout with the sprint in Malaysia/Singapore come March/April, compete in the Super with a massive team in May, and top if off with the Beast in Australia come November = WIN!

Now that I’ll be on a visa that enables me to travel every 2-3 months, I have even more opportunities to visit the likes of Jakarta, Bali (against), and hopefully fulfill that fantasy of doing a Tedx in Morocco later on this year.

The Problem

Airlines going to and from both KL and Singapore are infamous.  Air Asia, being a low-budget airline, forces passengers to pay for extra luggage.  Not only that, this airport is no longer in the vicinity where I live.  I would have to trek to northern Bangkok, stay at a hotel in the weeeee hours of the morning, then check in at 5:30am.  That’s a pain in the ass.  Furthermore, I have to pay for luggage and fly to the dog-house (KLIA 2 – the airport that smells like URINE – LOL).

If I go to Singapore, I can fly with scoot, who’s known for cancelling flights (like Australia’s Tiger Asia).  I get free baggage, but I might not get there.  Plane tickets are around the same cost….but Singapore’s hotels are more expensive, and the day of the race requires me taking a train and a cable car to Sentosa Island, something I seriously don’t want to do after a race.

So with the ridiculous but manageable problems, I decided to make a podcast that was just about everywhere in terms of information and throwing my arms in the air.

Podcast

https://www.spreaker.com/user/thearseniobuckshow/traveling-fitness-goals-malaysia-singapo