We all want to know: What makes the best-of-the-best Spartan athletes out there tick? How do they keep their edge? In our Train Like A Champ series, we dig into the details of the training, nutrition, mindset, and more that keeps our most epic athletes on top.
Webster’s training is diversified and calculated. Her workouts are broken down into morning and afternoon sessions. The training mix includes high intensity running, along with lower intensity and longer duration running, muscular strength training, rock climbing, and strategically planned rest, recovery, and physiotherapy.
The One-Week Train Like Lindsay Webster Plan
As excitement grows for the 2019 Spartan World Championship in North Lake Tahoe late this September, we tapped Webster for an inside look at what a week-long “Lindsay Webster training plan” looks like, so you can follow along as she preps for Tahoe—and learn to train like a champ yourself.
Note: Begin all workouts with a warm-up—and end all with a cool-down.
Monday: Running intervals, bike ride
AM Running intervals
- A series of 3 or 4 x 10min at threshold (~90-95% of your max heart rate) running intervals
* Throughout the workout or at the end, throw in 2 x 4 min uphill sandbag carry, and 2 x 3 min uphill bucket carry. Total run time ~1h 30 min
PM Bike ride
Lower intensity, steady-state
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Ran myself up Mt Elbert today! It’s the highest peak in the Rockies at 14,439ft. 22.5km, 1536m vertical ascent in 3hrs2mins of a perfect day 🤗 Ryan and I are out west getting acclimated to altitude before our World Championship race at Squaw Valley, CA in two weeks. My taper for the race is supposed to start really soon, but after a few days of the Colorado mountains tempting me, maybe I’ll just say screw the taper and keep running 😉💁♀️ #RoadToTahoe2018 #TheHeartWantsWhatItWants #MountainRunning @beetelite @marenasport @goattough @suunto @ultimatedirection @merrell
Tuesday: Mountain bike ride, strength-training session
AM 2-3 hour easy mountain bike ride
PM Strength Workout (2-3 sets of each)
- Stair jumps with 10lbs for women/20 for men: Explosively jump up a staircase, skipping as many stairs in between as possible—try for hitting every 2nd or 3rd step.
- Max chin-ups: If you have trouble doing chin-ups, try looping a thick physio band through your chin-up bar, and putting your knees in it while doing your chin-ups to give some assistance.
- “Ball roll alphabet”: Do a plank with your forearms positioned on a physio ball, and move it around underneath you to form the letters of the alphabet. See if you can get all the way from A – Z.
- “747’s” with weight: My physiotherapist for some reason calls these 747’s. Stand on one leg with your knee slightly bent and holding the weight in your hands, lower your chest parallel to the ground, while your free leg comes up behind you. If you don’t frequently do hamstring exercises, try for 8-12 of these with a 10lb weight. If you’re used to hamstring exercises, try with a heavier weight.
- Deadhang: Hang from your fingertips from your chin-up bar for 1 minute or as long as you can.
- “Deadbug”: Lay on your back on the ground, with your knees in the air, bent at a 90-degree angle so your feet are parallel to the ground. Push your hand into your opposite knee as hard as you can for 3 seconds, then do the other opposite hand/knee. Try for 15 on each side, or for 1 minute.
- Weighted step-ups: I do this with 50lbs, which is heavy for me. For men, try with 70-80lbs or whatever is heavy for you. Step on to a knee-height platform, and drive your free leg up in front of you as if your taking off in a runner’s stance. Don’t let your knee that you’re stepping up with collapse inwards! If you find it wobbling or collapsing inwards, use less weight.
- “Monkey Bars”: If you don’t have monkey bars, find a place in your gym where you can switch back and forth from one bar to another. They don’t have to be far apart; at my gym, I switch back and forth between two different chin-up grips.
- Push-ups: Try for 20! It’s good to practice these in case you ever have to do burpees in a race. They’ll keep your tricep muscles strong and prepared!
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Found some mountains after days of solo driving our camper van out West! The 10,000ft of altitude is leaving me breathless after even silly things like stepping in to the van, but I’m not complaining because the fall colours are gorgeous, the sun is shining, and the views and mind boggling 🤯😍 … @beetelite @merrell @marenasport @goattough @tough_mudder @maverixracing #mountainbiking #colorado #highaltitudeexercise
Wednesday: Physiotherapy session followed by an easy 1.5-hour run
- Band exercises: Put a physio band around your ankles, bend your knees to about 45 degrees, and step sideways. I do 30 steps to each side, repeat x 3 sets.
- Calf raises: Lean with your hands against a wall at a 45-degree angle. Raise your right leg so your knee is near your hip, your stance imitating a runner taking off from the ground. With your left leg, raise your body with your calf muscle, 30 times. Repeat x 3 sets.
- Walking plank: Get into a plank position on your hands. “Walk” sideways with your hands and feet, making sure your butt isn’t sticking up, and your hips stay level (try not to let them wobble side to side! Keep them flat). I take 20 sideways “steps” each way.
- Cross-overs: Running is very linear. It’s important to do lateral work to keep our glutes and stability muscles firing! I’ll incorporate cross-overs into my running warm-up, or into my physio exercises. Normally we run straight down the road, but instead, face sideways. Cross your left leg in front of your right, then behind your right, effectively running sideways. Then, do the same crossing your right leg in front and behind your left. Do 30 on each side.
- Haybalers: Take a lightweight, anywhere from 3-20lbs. Hold it in front of your stomach, and keeping your hips facing straight forward, rotate the weight from the left side of your body to the right, 20 times each side. Then, use your core strength and raise the weight from above your right shoulder, to down by your left hip, x20. Then, raise it from your left shoulder to your right hip.
- Single-leg hops: Skipping rope on one leg is really great too! Otherwise, you can just stand on one leg and long-jump forward as far as you can. Stick the landing, and don’t let your leg wobble or collapse inward. If you find it doing so, try doing this exercise with both legs at first. Aim for 15-20 per leg.
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Spent the best weekend in Vermont with @lilmissginae & @ryanatkinsdiet. Not going to lie, it would have been pretty easy to turn a weekend trip into a full week with good company, mountains to run, maple syrup to taste (Canada still does it better 😜), homegrown food to eat, microbreweries to visit and #CliffordtheBigRedVan to camp in. Hope everyone had the best weekend! … @tough_mudder @merrell @beetelite @goattough #VermontMade #mountainrunning #trailrunning #vanlife
Thursday: Running intervals, rock climbing and strength-training
AM Running intervals: tabatas
A proper “tabata” workout is three sets of 20 seconds on, 10 seconds off x8 (so each set takes 4minutes.) Max out the incline on your treadmill. Do a full 10-15 minute warm-up, then get ready to start this workout by finding what speed is a good uphill “sprinting” speed for you. Once you’ve found that mph number, start your sets. For the 20s on, sprint at this speed. You only have 10seconds to recover, which won’t even be enough time to catch your breath, so I usually just step my feet off to the sides of the treadmill and gasp for breath. Once your 10s are up, hop back on for your next 20s sprint. Once you’ve finished the set, turn the speed and incline down on your treadmill and recover for a full 4 minutes of easy jogging, walking, or even just standing still before starting the next set. If you do these properly, you shouldn’t be able to finish all three sets! If you’re able to do more than three sets, sorry, but you haven’t done them properly.
PM Strength Training Session (2-3 sets each)
- Jump lunges: You know what a lunge is! Instead of a normal body-weight lunge, jump as high as you can from 1 leg to the other. Try for 8 per leg or more.
- Toes to sky: Hang from your chin-up bar, and raise your legs towards the sky. This is a good core exercise! To make it more challenging, I’ll hang from the chin-up bar while holding a 90-degree angle arm lock-off, and try to keep my legs straight while raising them to the sky.
- Side plank with elevated feet: This works not only your core but also the muscles on the inside of your thighs.
- “Mountain climber holds”: Hold a normal plank position, but on your hands instead of your forearms. Bring one knee towards your same-side elbow, and hold it there for three seconds. Then do the other side. I keep a timer going while doing this until I reach 1 minute. When your knee is being held by your elbow, do not let your hips rotate! You may find yourself rotating to one side, but the goal is to keep your hips flat and parallel with the ground.
- 10 second chin-up deadhang: This will be the only grip strength exercises in this workout since your grip strength will already be tired from rock climbing! This is a fun challenge I got from some of my OCR friends. Hang from your fingers off a chin-up bar, and every 10 seconds do a chin-up. See how long you can hang/how many chin-ups you can get. I have yet to beat Faye Stenning’s time of 2 minutes.
Friday: Running intervals and a hangboard session
AM Running Intervals: The tire pull workout
Run 200m pulling the tire, as fast as possible. Then immediately un-clip it from your pulling vest, and sprint the next 200m, focusing on keeping proper running form (hinged forward from ankles, good leg extension, landing forefoot). Recovery 2 minutes btw intervals. Repeat 6-8 times. Give yourself 5-10 minutes recovery, then finish with 20minutes of tempo running (HR 65% of max). Cool down. Total run time ~1h45min.
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I never fancied myself much of a writer, I’m feeling pretty special that @redbulluk asked me back to do another article for them 🤗 If you’re new to #obstacleracing, this one should (hopefully!) be a good read. It’s all about “11 Tips for Mastering your Obstacle Race.” I go over everything from my favourite essential race gear, basic training tips, how to handle race day nerves, and fuelling yourself before and during the race. Thanks, author @katiecampbellspyrka, for giving me this exciting opportunity again! Article link in bio 👆 📷 @ocrnation #masteryourrace #ocr #racetips #RedBull #ocrtraining #racenutrition #bestracegear #trainingtips @beetelite @humanpowerofn @marenasport @goattough @tough_mudder
Saturday: Long run
Slow, easy, keep the heart rate under 70% max.
Recovery with some light bouldering
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Rolling with a view 🤗 Stretching and rolling is a pain after a run when I’m hungry and just want to eat lots of food and chill 😂 But someone once said to me, “Imagine if you reached 70yrs old and had stretched every day what an impact it would have.” That’s always stuck with me. So I take the time to stretch, some days just 5 minutes (if I’m really hungry 😂) but other days I get in to it and it easily turns in to 20 mins of relaxation movement. For me, lots of things I do as an athlete are a lifestyle choice so that I can continue having adventures as long as possible! #IllBeRunningWhenIm90 😎 #NoDayWasted #TrainRecoverRepeat @goattough @beetelite @spartan #SpartanPro