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  1. 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.
  2. Background Three weeks to the Mighty Mosquito 99 trail race! So my main priority for week zero is to finish my last week of full training, week one and week two for a progressive taper, week three for recovery and who knows after that. So for this challenge it makes more sense to just have a weekly goal and will include a graded week zero, so 2 stat points for each of the seven weeks and 1 stat point for the race. I think I might have a biking goal later on in the challenge, maybe a walking for recovery goal, I don't know yet. Weekly goals can be refined as long as the week hasn't started yet. Week Zero 100 mile week +2 STA (grading based on 50 to 100 miles) Week One Workout easy and short everyday +2 DEX (grading based on 3 to 7 days) Week Two Primal eating +2 CON (grading based on Monday through Friday) Mighty Mosquito 99 Do the race +1 STA (grading based on 33 to 99 miles) Week Three Easy recovery +2 WIS (grading based on who knows, how does someone grade recovery) Week Four Continue recovery with 15 dog walks (boy oh boy will my dog love this!). +2 CHA Week Five Five bike rides? +2 DEX Week Six To be determined. +2 ? Stats LVL: 23, FAILS: 2, STR: 37, DEX: 32.5, STA: 53.5, CON: 25.75, WIS: 19.5, CHA: 14.75
  3. Main Quest Prepare for a 99 miler on August 8-9. News Year's Resolutions Keep Calm & Play Background Definitely time to get ready for the ultra. So long runs and daily running really help that. I also want to keep an eye on what I eat and really like how primal eating works for me. I want to keep up the lifting and bodyweight. And of all the bodyweight, the handstand I really want so a specific goal for that. Goals Attack Food Soldiers 1) Made smart primal choices every day +5 CON Running 2) Run every day (40 days) +3 STA 3) Run long once a week +3 STA Lifting 4) Lift heavy once a week +2 STR Handstand 5) Do 200 minutes of handstand during the challenge +1 CHA Bodyweight Momentum 6) Do 20 bodyweight reps every day (5 seconds of non-handstand static hold counts as 1 rep) +1 WIS
  4. Hey! My name is E. and I am a passionate dreamer. I'm a graduating HighSchool senior, making it trough my last month of exams. One of my most profound dreams is to compete in Ironman World Championship at Kona, Hawaii. I know there is a long road to get there, but I hope I can document my travels here with this marvelous community. I was going to start this challenge when the six weeks started but then just forgot about it. Better late than never. Here is my MiniChallenge: The superhero/Avengers hype is at its max right now, and as an avid and proud comic book reader, I decided to paint my Main Quest with Marvel and D.C lore. My superhero's name is Detrix. He will obtain his powers if I manage to complete this Main Quest, and then will proceed to venture on the road against Ultron (Ultra Distance). Detrix has run 5ks, 10ks, and 21ks. He is a pretty avid runner. He also did some Crossfit back in the day, but he slacked off a little and went astray in the path of Wellness. Now, a real challenge is posed before him. Defeating Ultron's right hand, Marathon Murdok, former SuperHero Daredevil (42k) He is a powerless man right now. He will need to first vanquish Tony's 30k to prove himself. He only has 20 days. To defeat Murdok he also need strength! A mixed strength training program will help him get there. Main Quest: Run 30k by May 25, in less than 3hrs 35 minutes. Log 10 gym strength training sessions. Side Quest: Read 1 book a week. Detrix has to grow intellectually too. Lez du diz -dtx
  5. Main Quest Train for a 99 mile trail race in August. News Year's Resolutions Keep Calm & Play Challenge Introduction I have been solidly strength training three times a week since November and plan to keep that up for this challenge. I also want to focus on keeping up my long runs so once the warm weather arrives I will have a good endurance base maintained. And I want to be calmer, and I find that being outside and running help the most with this. But the biggest thing I want to tackle is my diet. I have skirted being primal for a while and have done challenges being primal. I noticed last challenge my biggest diet failures always came at times of stress followed by eating crap followed by eating lots of crap. If I stick to primal, sure I might have a binge when stressed by the total derailment usually is avoided and only mitigated. And if I can do things to reduce stress (be outside and/or run), everything will be better. Goals (1) 95% primal +5 CON (2) a: Exercise 40 times (includes strength training and long runs) +2 DEX (2) b: At least strength training 17 times +2 STR (2) c: At least 4 long runs +2 STA (3) Spend time purposely outside 36 times +2 WIS +2 CHA Stats LVL: 20, STR: 30, DEX: 28.5, STA: 45.25, CON: 16, WIS: 16.25, CHA: 11.75
  6. Hello Scouts! I come humbly and ask if I can join your ranks. I'm dedicating 2015 to something I've wanted to do since I started running in earnest in college: ultra marathons! So far I've only planned out my 50k (30ish miles race) in early May, but I'm also working on setting up a Ragnar run with some fellow NF rebels in early April, a backpacking trip in Colorado over the summer Jul/Aug, and a 50 mile ultra sometime in the late fall. All of these mean I need endurance and time on my feet. Without further ado, the goals! 1) Run faster by training slower: Follow Matt Fitzgerald's "80/20" running book. I'm working off of the Level 2 marathon 16 week training plan with adjustments to fit my needs and incorporating some of Brian McKenzie's training suggestions from him "Unbreakable Runner" book. 2) Cross train, cross train, cross train! Full body strength training 2x a week. Non weight bearing cross training (stationary bike or elliptical) 2x a week (start at 1x a week and work up to 2x a week by end of challenge) Short core session as well as hip/mobility work 3x a week. Most of these can be easily fit in after work on easier days and done at home, and I'm looking into buying a bike trainer so I can get my riding in at home. That's it! I'm going to be adding in mini-challenges on a weekly basis as I figure out what is working and what isn't. Week 1 Mini-Challenge: a) Perform max heart rate test and map out heart rate zones for training. Find and buy a bike trainer for indoor use
  7. Greetings Fellow Rebels! I am New to the forums and this is my First Quest. My Main Quest is to: Prepare for my first Ultra-Marathon, a 50K (31 mile) trail race on April 27th. Missions to help me succeed at my Quest: 1. Add at least one trail run to my regular weekly running schedule 2. Ensure one long run (between 10-22 miles) every week 3. Practice strength training 1-3 times each week Additionally, my current Life Quest is to practice visualization and meditation at least 3 times each week in order to facilitate my personal growth and active creation of an ever-improving, passion-driven life. --Inspired Fool
  8. This challenge period will be heavily influenced by several external events, so figuring out how to make this a success story will be a challenge in itself. The first 10 days of this challenge I'll be back in the States visiting, so working out and eating right will require the kind of dedication that I've been lacking the last couple of weeks. I have the Zugspitze Ultratrail on 22 June, so I'm going to be on crutches (don't laugh, it can happen!) for a week or two afterwards and will have to adjust my workouts accordingly. My current projects at work will end and it looks like things will slow way down for a few months, so I might be able to start expanding my workouts into new areas. With all of that in mind, this challenge is looking like: 1. Maintenance running: 5-10 miles 3-5 days a week? Still have some questionable owies from the last ultra that might affect this. Gotta make sure I'm good for the Zugspitz. 2. Body Weight exercises: I'm looking at chipping away at some upper body and core development. I want to work at one arm push ups, hand stands, hollow bodies, maybe some dragon flags. Not concerned with any uber-achievements this time around, just looking for laying foundations for continuous work over multiple challenges. 3. Diet and Drinking: Having proven to myself that I can run 30-40 miles a week and still maintain a gut, I need to reintroduce moderation here. Probably won't do a major fast this time because I don't want to sabotage the Zugspitze or the recovery afterwards. This is just about portion control and content. 4. Achievements: This covers items that either happen once or which I don't want to formally commit to at this time: -Zugspitze Ultratrail: This is only going to happen once. Its the culmination of where I've been heading for the last two challenges, so its The Big Deal this time around. Not sure I'll be able to make the time hacks, so completion is optional. Success here is about seeing where my limits are with respect to this challenge. I think engineers call this "testing to destruction" or something like that. -Mini Challenges: I've gotten away from participating in these for the last couple of challenges, so I figure I'll try to do at least one or two this time to get back into the groove. -Promote the Heresy: I don't think this thing has gone critical mass and taken on a life of its own yet, so I need to keep an eye out for opportunities to spread the madness. This involves ongoing harassment of our Fearless Leader. -Lifting: Been wanting to start lifting again but haven't wanted to work contrary to the ultra effort. Should have the chance to start working it back in along the way.
  9. The ice thawed, and me with it. I crawled out of my cave and everything was strange. No forest, no game, new people with straight backs and a new language. I grunted at them in a friendly sort of way. Some laughed. Some became angry. I ran off. When I stopped I ate some mushrooms and drank some old grape juice. I heard voices [NF members, not the other ones]. One, louder than the rest, cried out: "I tabulate, therefore I am!" I saw dancing badgers become lunch boxes. I swore off mushrooms and old grape juice. My people and our ways are gone. I must learn the new ways. I must stand up to walk. I must learn their speech. I will travel this land, its hills and valleys. I will hunt it. The voices guide, encourage and confuse me. (Spreadsheets? Flossing? "Man-scrape"?) I miss the ice. Translation: For this challenge I will get serious about training for my next ultra event and about getting into German culture. 1. Travel the land: -"No more mushrooms and old grape juice": Monthly fasts, smart food choices afterwards, limited alcohol. I'm in training for the Zugspitz Ultratrail in June. Minimize the dietary toxins and dial in on what my body needs for recovery. Starting with a 7 day water fast. Moving to the cleanest fruits, veggies, meats and fats that I can get. Continue to explore the merits of various complex carbs. -Walk like a man: Mobility and stretching. I need to expand on this, last challenge I started to tighten back up. -Run Forest, Run: Every day. Measured in hours, not miles. I have 60 days until the Zugspitz Ultratrail. Gotta get my body used to continuous running. I'll rest when I have to. -Hunt the land: Find and secure the necessary ultra gear for the Zugspitz. 2. German culture. This weekend a buddy hooked me up with the local British hunting club. Spent a couple of days with them at one of their ranges. They hosted a large number of German hunters who zeroed their rifles in preparation for hunting season. Good guys, great time. I think they like the idea of showing a Yank the ropes. They will provide the training I need to prepare for the Jagerbrief exam. I might be able to test before this challenge is over, but my focus is on the preparation for the purposes of this challenge. The oral portion of the test will involve a lot of specific language training. The interest here is less about killing Bambi and more about the people, the history and the traditions of the German Hunting culture. I'll still be doing the Rosetta Stone exercises. 3. -Bonus points: -Max APFT: This is easily measurable. The hard part will be running fast enough since all of my work will be long and slow. -Body Weight Exercises. This is purposefully vague. Going to see what's possible based off of how it works with the ultra stuff. -Vertical running. Gotta include "hill" work. Right now all I can think of is running up and down the six flights of stairs to my apartment. I hate running stairs. -Maintaining and expanding tight contact with my family stateside. -Giving Wolverine a hard time whenever I can. He's going to be feeling sad and will need a bit of cheer:o
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