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  1. I realize this song isn’t about bike racing, or perhaps anything at all, but it’s totally kicking and I’m going with it. I’m terrible about challenges. The only thing I promise to do is listen to this song before every bike ride. I have Thursday night training races, the Borah Epic (40 mile off road) on June 8 and the Lutsen 99er (99 mile off road) on June 23. I may also do the Elm Creek Menacing 40 June 15. I’m not getting off to a great start this year*, the goal is simply to finish these. Any result better than getting swept up is gravy. * Not a euphemism, it’s actually Minnesotan for I’m in very shitty shape.
  2. Race Season Begins Here we go again. Anyone following my last challenge will remember that I managed to miss the first race of the season thanks to some unexpected snow! Let's put that behind us and focus on my next race(s). I have no fewer than 2 coming up this challenge. March 18: Reading Half Marathon. This is my local half marathon. It's a pretty big deal in the town and draws quite a bit of attention. It begins in a place that I know very well and nothing short of the apocalypse (or injury if we are being realistic) can stop me from getting there! My goal at Reading Half is to run a sub 2 hour half marathon. My current PB is 2:01. If I am honest I'm not entirely sure I can pull it off but I'm going to give it a good go. @Charlie_Quinn and @Jarric are also signed up for this one so it should be a lot of fun. April 7: Spartan Super This will be my first OCR of the year and the first race towards my Trifecta! Should be a lot of fun. I'm not in the condition I'd like to be in for it either but I'm looking forward to this one. This race will also mark the start of the shift of focus in my training towards the insane endurance challenges I've got coming up in the summer and beyond (aka I start my marathon training program). My goal for this one is just o have some fun. If I remember correctly, @Charlie_Quinn, @Rhovaniel, @iatetheyeti and @Big_Show have signed up to this little beauty. Hopefully everyone can make it! I'm in a team with @iatetheyeti and @Rhovaniel and I really hope they can both make it. The Actual Challenge: I've not been as consistent as I'd like so I'm going to keep things really simple: Run 100 miles! This includes week 0 and is basically just a goal to average 20 miles per week. Ideally I'll include an interval session and tempo session each week but there is going to be much need for recovery too so I'm just going to focus on getting the miles in. Strength: Do at least 2 strength sessions per week. This can be bodyweight work or a lifting session at the gym. The trick is just to get something done. I've come to acceptance that I'm probably not going to be hitting a structured strength program for the foreseeable future so I'm mostly concerned that I do something and focus on a lower body and upper body session each week. There will be an OCR focus to my workouts but I like big core movements like heavy squats and deadlifts for my overall running strength. Do your Burpees! 30 burpees twice per week! Wot it says. I want to get good at burpees Don't Binge: This is a big challenge. My focus here is just to avoid the mindless eating that has crept back into my life. To this end I'm going to limit myself to just 2 beers per week with an exception for race weeks where I'll go up to 4, maximum. For the sake of realism I'm going to waive this goal for Easter Sunday.
  3. This post really has nothing to do with swimming as the title might suggest. Instead the next month will be about keeping some good habits I formed last month, working on some weak areas I observed, and generally trying not to get overwhelmed by my work and training load(s). I only have two months until I toe the line at American River 50 Mile and to be honest, I'm freaking out! The next six weeks will be the most important training block, but will also overlap with two separate week-long trips, trying out a new position at work, and taking two night classes. Whew! Things are moving, but they seem to all be coming to a head at the same time. As a result I'll likely have more than four standard goals. FITNESS & HEALTH GOALS - Goal # 1: Increase weekly mileage. Run 4 days weekly. Right now I'm comfortably running close to 35 miles each week. Over the next six weeks I'm going to add 10% mileage increase each week until I'm running 50 mile weeks in March. The breakdown will look like this. Week 1 - 37 Week 2 - 40 Week 3 - 44 Week 4 - 48 Week 5 - 53 Week 6 - 55 Goal # 2: Pack Lunch and Breakfast every work-day during February. This was a great success last month, and definitely saved me some money that can instead go to paying down debt and saving for travel later in the year. Goal # 3: Strength train twice weekly. Again, this was part of my last challenge, and I think it's valuable to being a good ultra-runner and important for overall fitness. I'll be following stronglifts 5x5 which I enjoy, is a simple program, and produces results. Goal # 4: All the little things! I have a really hard time remembering to foam roll, do hip and glute strengthening, basically all the little things that help me not get injured. The goal for this challenge will be to develop a 20 minute session that I can do most week-nights before bed that will help me to get rid of some nagging pains and be a more resilient runner. Goal # 5: Dinner time is winner time. Last challenge I noticed that my eating habits really deteriorate around dinner and the weekends when things are less structured. This challenge I'm going to focus on no grains, dairy, or sugar around dinners. And on the weekends I'm going to allow myself only one "off plan" meal. I'd love to get to my race 5-10lbs down from where I currently am and I know this will help. PERSONAL GOALS - Goal # 6: No skipping! I will now blow off class unless I'm traveling, I will not blow off my homework, period. Goal # 7: Try really really really hard at work, and be really really really nice to everybody. I'm being given a trial run at work for the position I want to move in to and I really want to impress everybody and show that I can hold my own and deserve the job. This challenge will be about knocking it out of the park when it comes to work. In addition to that I know one of the biggest things holding me back is how I present myself and how I work with others. My review from this year was stellar aside from that so it really is the only thing holding me back. I need to revive the old version of me who taught snowboarding, could take crap all day from dumb clients and do so with a smile on her face and the air that made everybody think they were having the best time ever. This challenge looks like a lot, and it is. But there is a season for all things, and this is the season for simplifying life outside of a few key areas, working really hard, and embracing the challenge. Come April I'll have more time on my hands to relax and decompress.
  4. Alright, here we go. Goal 1 - Sub 20 Minute 5K. Fairly self explanatory. My body is slowly getting used to running faster. I have a 5K on the calendar in May. And, I might squeeze in another one before that. Either way, my goal is to race one with a finish time in the teens. Last 5K was raced on 3/16 & I finished in 20:15. I'd love to be sub-19, but that may be a bit aggressive right now. So, I will keep with a goal of Sub 20. Goal 2 - Strength training at least 3x a week. Last couple of months, I have focused more on my running. I ran a Spartan Sprint this past weekend, and finished... ok. Obstacle Course Races tend to have a way of highlighting your weaknesses. And, my lack of consistent strength training affected my finish time. I'm not going to allow that to happen again. Goal 3 - Complete the GORUCK Challenge on 5/24 ... preferably without embarrassing myself too badly. Simple enough - in theory. My life has been a bit busy lately leading to lower NF participation than in the past. I can't guarantee daily posts. But, I will finish this challenge with posts. Here we go now. Aroo!
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