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Coaches Blog

The Mileage and Elevation Challenges

Updated: Apr 21, 2022

This week's read might be a couple of minutes of reading - there's great info, so read on!

COVID-19 has brought about a lot of virtual challenges – marvelously creative running challenges, and there’s one for everyone. From a race across Tennessee to 4x4x48 (a la David Goggins). Maybe you’ve already participated in one or maybe you’re thinking about one.

Let’s take the two types of virtual running events I’m hearing the most about this summer and discuss how to handle them.

1. Virtual Cumulative Mileage Races: The Great Virtual Race Across Tennessee 1000K, the Leadville 100,000 Foot Challenge, the Texas Distance Challenge, or the Virtual Florida Man 883 Mile Challenge.

How to handle this type of challenge:

· Learn the rules – can you walk/run/hike/bike/swim/crawl? What’s acceptable mileage – meaning, can you count your daily steps, or do you have to be exercising? There’s a difference!

· Calculate distances or elevation gain you need to commit to finish on or before the cut-off date based on how many days you want to walk/run/hike/bike/swim/crawl.

· Input your mileage regularly (many races will only let you go back a few days to input mileage).

2. The 4x4x48 Challenge: Basically, you’re running 4 miles every 4 hours for 48 hours. (Thank you, David Goggins.)

How to handle this challenge:

· Plan your routes and communicate them to someone so they know where you are!

· Plan the times you want to run to be most advantageous to you. For example: 4 a.m., 8 a.m., noon, 4 p.m., 8 p.m., midnight, then repeat.

· Plan your clothing choices so you pull on the clothes and go – the less you must think about as the miles wear on, the better off you’ll be.

· Keep your devices charged: cell phone, Garmin/Fitbit/Apple Watch, headphones (if used).

· Plan your nutrition so you have easy meals for the duration of the challenge. Trust me when I tell you that trying to cook a big meal after your 5th or 6th iterations is a pain in the butt.

· Keep ice or heat easily accessible in case you need it for your joints and muscles as the miles wear on.

There is one common goal for these challenges! Have fun!

If you’ve participated or are participating in one of these challenges, tell me how it went and I’d love to hear any advice you have!


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