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Spartan Race comes to Japan

 

 

In the countries they are held, is hard to find someone that has not heard about the iconic Spartan Races series that are currently held in 14 countries throughout the world and that number is soon to be 15 countries as the Spartan race is now coming to Japan with the first event to be held on 27th May 2017!

A spartan race is setup with a variety of spaced obstacles of varying difficulty that must be traversed throughout the course. The races vary in difficulty, ranging from 3 miles (Spartan Sprint) to marathon distances.

The inaugural Spartan Japan event will be a spartan sprint (3-5 miles long, 20-30 obstacles).  The spartan sprint is designed for everyone but that does not mean it is a walk in the park! The spartan organisers do not announce the obstacles for the course ahead of the day, but you can expect to have a lot of fun on the day challenging yourself with the obstacles on the course, such as wall climbs, moats, mud pits to name a few.

Participation can be as an individual and all participants are time and recognised individually, however racing a team with friends is encouraged. And what better way to have fun with friends than getting out of your comfort zone accomplishing a feat of endurance together!

 

The spartan sprint is the perfect a race for anyone to try out and discover what they are made of and is an ideal goal for pushing yourself to train and get into a better shape! So what are you waiting for? Go ahead and sign up today!

There will be English speaking support available at the event.


Training

The Spartan team recommend the following as minimum preparations for the event:

  • Walk/jog/run at least 1 mile per day
  • 30 burpees per day
  • 30 of the best pull-ups you can do per day

You might also like to check out a meetup group in Tokyo who train in Hibiya park every saturday to support members get ready for the Spartan race!

Location

Less than an hour out of Tokyo, the closest station is Sagamihara on the Yokohama line and the venue entrance is less than 1 minute walk from the station. There is no parking space on site.

Weather

The average weather in Sagami ranges between during May is 13.5°c with the warmest around 19.5°c

Official Website

For more information please refer to the official Spartan Japan website that is kept up-to-date with the latest and official information.  

 

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Ketogenic Coffee Japan

As part of what will be a series of blogs about ketogenic dieting in Japan, today I am sharing where you can source your ketogenic coffee supplies in Japan – how to make it!

For the uninitiated, Ketogenic coffee is a high fat, high calorie zero carb breakfast brew which is often referred to as ‘bullet proof coffee‘. I intermittent fast daily and drink this as a replacement for a breakfast meal. The calorie density is more than enough to take me through until mid afternoon without feeling hungry at all.


So, let’s get started with Ketogenic coffee in Japan!

Ingredients

  1. Butter (1tbs)
    I use trappist butter which is a fermented product made by Trappist monks in Hokkaido, seriously delicious butter and can be purchased in most major supermarkets or you can buy online on Rakuten. This butter does contain salt and a lot of recipes call for ‘no salt’ but I don’t mind the slightly salty flavour of the coffee and happy with the extra benefit of having a fermented product in my diet.
  2. Coconut Oil (1tbs)
    I use Brown Sugar 1st Organic Extra virgin coconut oil (despite the name, there is no sugar in it!) Also available in most major supermarkets or Rakuten. If you can’t find this brand generally there will be an organic extra virgin brand available.
  3. Coffee (1-2 scoops according to taste)
    One thing Japanese do love is a coffee brew and generally there is no shortage of roasters and I recommend a hunt around your local area to source some organic origins coffee beans.

 

 

 


Equipment

  1. Coffee Brewer – I use the aeropress purchased from Tokyu Hands store.
  2. Blender – I love my blender and own a vitamix, which I also purchased from Tokyu Hands, of course any decent blender can do the job here and you don’t need a heavy duty, just enough to mix the butter and coconut into the coffee.
  3. Kettle / Water Boiler – No explanation really needed here!

 


Method

  1. Boil water
  2. Brew the coffee
  3. Place butter, coconut oil and coffee in blender
  4. Blend until creamy
  5. Serve and enjoy!

 

The slides below demonstrate the process.

 

 

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My arctic experience at -180° with Cryotherapy

 

Stripped down to my boxers, given thin cotton gloves and booties to wear; the single person chamber I was standing in had reached -160° celsius, blood was rushing away my extremities and I felt a deep chill like nothing I have ever felt. Only a minute more and this would be over!

It doesn’t sound like the start of a story that a sane person would volunteer themselves for. While my sanity certainly is debatable, I have been interested in Cryotherapy ever since learning about it from ultra motivator and life coach to the masses Tony Robbins describing his daily routine.  As it is with cognitive biases, I had then consequently kept hearing more about it including that a number of top athletic sports people turning to this therapy as treatment for fatigue, anti inflammatory properties and faster recovery muscle and joint soreness and other maladies.

So when earlier this year, while attending the Tokyo Health and Sports Technology conference SportTec  I chanced upon a Japanese company named Saraya demonstrating their Cryotherapy machines, I took note and contacted them to arrange to try it out for myself. They generously invited me to their office to discuss and try it out and the following photo’s are from my experience.

 

 

The Experience

While I already have a daily routine which involves me finishing my morning shower by turning the temperature to ice cold, I don’t know anyone who had done this and I confess, I was still a little nervous. I took confidence that lot’s of other people had done this before and there was no reason for me to be a chicken about it!

Stepping into the chamber you notice quickly the ice cold temperature dropping rapidly and it was around 1 minute and around -140° that I felt arctic, my elbows were the most noticeably cold feature perhaps because my knees were covered with a thin cotton cover or that my elbows were a bit close to the edges of the unit I’m not sure. Shortly after my legs were starting to chill deeply and then, my whole body started to somewhat pleasantly ‘numb’. Then, it’s around minute two and you know you are in a deep freeze and your brain is telling you something isn’t normal! You are told you can ‘turn’ yourself in the unit if it’s bothering you a lot and I did move around a little but even though I was starting to freeze, I didn’t feel panic and it wasn’t as ‘shocking’ as I had expected. But I’m a guy that does ice plunge after sauna and goes from hot shower to cold shower, so perhaps I’m conditioned for it.

In the third minute of the session I was counting down until I stepped out and the chamber had reached its lowest temperature of just under -180°, but honestly -160° or -180°, at these temperatures it’s all feels just bloody freezing!

As soon as I stepped out into room temperature the sensation of blood returning to my extremities was palpable and would continue to give me a tingling sensation for the following 10 minutes or so but that wasn’t the highlight. The “WOW” experience was how good I felt mentally! I felt refreshed, more alert and clear in my thoughts, these being the exact same reasons I cold shower in the mornings, but this was on another level! For this point alone I will be doing future treatments when I have the chance.

In terms of muscle recovery or joint pain improvements I can’t provide an strong opinion as this was a one off treatment and I don’t have any injury I’m focused on recovering from.  But for the sensation of alertness and freshness alone I would certainly consider to get one of these units installed my apartment, but that’s going to need to wait until I have something a little bigger than my shoebox in Shibuya.

 

Saraya Story

Saraya have only recently started develop of the Cryotherapy units and are the only Japanese business currently manufacturing the devices. They initially intended to bring in imported models from Europe, but given Japan’s engineering and technology excellence it was not at all surprisingly found they could create a superior product with more features at a lower cost for the domestic market. The features they developed were those such as a safety switch emergency stop button, self drying operation and exhaust features to prevent the machine from suffering from moisture buildup.

If you would like to speak to Saraya about acquiring a unit or trying the product for yourself, please contact the very helpful (and English speaking) Deputy General Manager of Saraya, Marlon Amado V. Mamaril