BU:10 Becoming Ultra: Warming up and cooling down for your next Ultra.

116 Memorial Day: The Bolder Boulder from the best seat in the house.


On this episode of Athlete On Fire we had the opportunity to get a front row seat for all of the festivities at the fourth largest race in America, the Bolder Boulder.  Sitting in on the press conference we had the chance to listen to some legends of running talk about the history of the sport, competition, and event the logistics of the race that hosts 50,000 people.  There are some great sound bites from some amazing and humble athletes.  Enjoy and check out some of the images from that beautiful Colorado day below.

BU:09 Becoming Ultra: Some ideas on managing time with life and running.

FIT>50: Post Go Ruck Reflections On Memorial Day.

What in the heck are you thinking?

“Why are you wearing a backpack?”

“What’s that for?”

“What in the heck are you thinking?”

Those were the questions I answered over and over when training for the GoRuck Challenge last month.  A big part of the challenge was to carry a backpack chockfull of bricks (mine weighed about 30 pounds) for the duration of the 12 hour trek. So, about a month before the challenge I began wearing my pack to work, and subsequently fielding questions left and right. My favorite scenario went like this: During a down moment someone would pick up the pack and say, “What have you got in here, bricks?” “Yep.”

Karen Rucking

And this is me rucking in Moab.

Then there were the questions I asked myself.

  • Why would I purposefully sign up for an event designed to “break me?”
  • What made me think I could do this? I wasn’t sure I could stay up all night, much less carry the brick-laden backpack and whatever else I’d have to endure. I questioned by my age and my ability; at times the self-doubt was paralyzing and an impediment to my training.
  • How did I get myself into this situation? Upon reflection, there were several compelling reasons why I committed to this and why I will continue to seek future adventures and challenges.

The first was ego, pure and simple.

When you’re 55 with hip problems and lingering self-esteem issues from high school – and some young(er) male athletes ask you to sign up because they somehow think you can hang with them – you say yes and worry about it later. There is a sense of pride that has come with my new identity as an athlete, and the mere notion that this challenge was within my reach brought with it a feeling of accomplishment.

The second was the opportunity to be a part of a team.

 

The idea of working with the entire group, as one team, compensating for one another’s weaknesses and encouraging each other to finish was appealing; The GoRuck Challenge did not disappoint. But, I find the same to be true when I’m running a race or even just out for a run on my own. There is that special little head nod that runners exchange that says,

“Welcome! You’re part of the club.” “Way to go!” “You’re out here; you’ve got this.”

The last reason I signed up for the GoRuck challenge was honor.

GoRuck is run by members of our US Special Forces and taking one night to experience just a taste of what our men and women in uniform go through to protect our freedom was an honor; I am forever in their debt. I approach any event I enter the same way. I do it in honor of my friend who can’t run, or to honor the sacrifices others have made in my behalf; it is my way of expressing gratitude.

Fittingly, that's me with the flag draped over my head about 12 hours into the challenge.

Fittingly, that’s me with the flag draped over my head about 12 hours into the challenge.



Ultimately, we exercise and train to get in shape. We strive to be thinner, leaner, healthier; we do it to be able to enjoy our lives as we age. Training with a purpose, though, adds a dimension that will help anyone reach a new level of fitness in a way that just exercising to be healthy cannot. It increases motivation, provides a blueprint for the training experience and offers camaraderie. The feeling of accomplishment that one feels at the conclusion of an event is unparalleled. Best of all, the journey to get there is challenging, fulfilling and just plain fun.



My next adventure? I don’t know… I’m thinking Tough Mudder in September with a couple of races along the way to help me prepare. We shall see..


 

Karen Adler is…

An educator by trade, runner, hiker and adventure-seeking fitness enthusiast by passion. She explores what it means to be fit after fifty along with the multiple joys and trials that come with age. She is truly an Athlete On Fire!

What a Grateful athlete sounds like.

BU:08 Becoming Ultra: Tactical nutrition for runners, from one of the best.

115 Gabriel Odujobi: World class hurdler and Bboy, yes bboy.

All Day Athletes:03 Core Regression You Won’t Regret.

This post is part of the series “All Day Athletes”.  To read the first of the series click HERE.

 

Everyone is busy.  But even worse, everyone thinks they have to put one continuous hour of exercise together to reap any benefits.  That is simply not true. The cumulative effect of exercise can be met with short sets.  This workout is all about core. You know, pretty much everything about your upper thighs and below your chest.  This is a complimentary workout as much as anything and can be done anywhere, in a short period of time.  We will be posting variations of these so be sure to come back to see what else you can do with less big chunks of time!  The best athletes in the world are athletes all day long and if you want the best out of your busy life, you’ve got to get the work in.


Before we share the workout:

Here are a few podcasts with athletes with killer cores:
Trish Downing – An amazing and inspirational paraplegic athlete that has to be strong through her core to complete triathlons of all distances.

Mike Swick -You literally could not fight the best in the world in the sport of MMA without a ridiculous core.  He describes a workout on this show that is phenomemenal.

Jess McMillan-Big mountain skiier, ex kayaker, and pilates instructor.  Can’t focus on core enough in her world.  You definitely need a good strong core to land 70 cliffs.


 

This workout is best for:

  • Anyone who wants to get more efficient with their movement
  • Anyone who wants to increase flexibility and decrease injury
  • Anyone who has a floor.
  • Anyone.

Basics:

Core.  It’s a pretty overused term in health and fitness.  We will keep it simple.  If it burns, you’ll live.  Pain during any exercise is not good so don’t push if you are hurt or hurting.  These exercises are pretty basic. We just put them in a pretty awesome order.  Enjoy!

NOTE:  This is a suggested workout for people that understand their own limits, have been cleared to exercise, and want to improve their fitness in a busy, busy world.

 

Core Regression You Won’t Regret: Do the below set 3 x’s

Needed: A floor.  We actually recommend a hard surface so you don’t just slam yourself down every rep.

 

25 reps

  • Sit-ups
  • Reverse crunches
  • Flutter Kicks(2 count)
  • Push-ups(yes it is a core exercise)
  • One Minute Plank

20 reps

  • Sit-ups
  • Reverse crunches
  • Flutter Kicks(2 count)
  • Push-ups(yes it is a core exercise)
  • One Minute Plank

15 reps

  • Sit-ups
  • Reverse crunches
  • Flutter Kicks(2 count)
  • Push-ups(yes it is a core exercise)
  • One Minute Plank

10 reps

  • Sit-ups
  • Reverse crunches
  • Flutter Kicks(2 count)
  • Push-ups(yes it is a core exercise)
  • One Minute Plank

COOL DOWN (lay on ground, think about the good parts of life for a couple minutes. Get up and go do something great, your getting stronger!)

All Day Athletes will be a regular series on how to get the most out of your busy day no matter what level you are as an athlete, and yes everyone is an Athlete! These will help you get on track and at the very base, think differently about your training.

Learn, get inspired...

AOF:191 Defining health, bleeding veggie burgers, branding, and healthy plant based food of course.

Matt Frazier founded No Meat Athlete as a blog to follow his own journey and since has grown it into a loyal and respected brand! He previews his newest project, a cookbook with all plant based menu items. We talk about the potential controversy with plant based products that are meant to feel and taste like […]

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AOF:190 Gold medalist and founder of WheelWod.com on adapting.

Chris Stoutenburg leaned back on a railing when he was 20 years old and fell two stories, landing on his arm on a patch of grass the size of his body.  It was a lucky fall and the beginning of his story on the show. He went on to travel the world and win multiple […]

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AOF:189 Adventure writer and ultrarunner Morgan Tilton.

Morgan Tilton decided to run ultra after ultra one summer after catching the “bug”. She just happens to also be a freelance writer who has written for Backpacker, Outside, and Men’s Journal to name a few.  She shares her creative process and some basic guidelines we should all follow when writing.  She shares her training […]

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AOF:187 Great white sharks, sea lice, and big time open water swimming.

Eliza Cummings is a young athlete who is competing in some of the biggest open water swims in the world.  We learned so much from her and enjoyed the passion she brought on a sport we really haven’t covered. On the show There is repellant for sea lice, larva of jellyfish Painting stripes on your […]

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All Day Athletes:02 Twenty minutes of stair love.

This post is part of the series “All Day Athletes”.  To read the first of the series click HERE.

 

Everyone is busy.  But even worse, everyone thinks they have to put one continuous hour of exercise together to reap any benefits.  That is simply not true. The cumulative effect of exercise can be met with short sets.  Here is a workout you can do without needing one full hour. As a matter of fact, 20 minutes will do just fine. We will be posting variations of these so be sure to come back to see what else you can do with less big chunks of time!  The best athletes in the world are athletes all day long and if you want the best out of your busy life, you’ve got to get the work in.


Before we share the workout:

Here are a few podcasts with athletes that could dominate climbing things, like stairs:
 

Stevie Kremer – As one of the best Sky Runner’s in the world, she likes going up stuff. And, she is a teacher.

Nathan Welton -An awesome photographer and rock climber. Knows a thing or two about pushing limits.

Wendy Fisher-Big mountain skiing’s first lady knows all about climbing to the top just to get a thrill on the way down. Awesome story from an Olympian turned free skier turned mom!


 

This workout is best for:

  • Anyone who wants to improve strength and fitness in a short period of time
  • Anyone with access to 20 steps
  • Anyone.

Basics:

A word on fitness.  Fitness speaks to the ability to do the same things that used to be difficult with more enjoyment.  Besides training to win, training to enjoy the competition is a valid reason. Picture this: you are running one of the most scenic trails in the world, the views are as breathtaking as the terrain to get to them.  Are you fit enough to take it in or are you just trying to survive with your head down?  It’s an extreme example but everything you do can be made more enjoyable if you are more fit.  That’s the disclaimer for stair workouts, and this one in particular.

NOTE:  This is a suggested workout for people that understand their own limits, have been cleared to exercise, and want to improve their fitness in a busy, busy world.

 

Twenty Minutes Of Stair Love: Do the below set 3 x’s

Needed: at least 10 steps and up to 25. That’s it.  Oh, your legs too. (and heart) (and lungs)

One minute

Jog up and down continuously without stopping. Be sure not to skip steps

One Minute

Push ups with hands on 3rd step and feet on ground.

One Minute

Jog up and down continuously without stopping. Skip every other step on the way up.(always hit every step on way down)

One Minute

Calf raises on one step(steady pace, no stopping)

One Minute

Two foot bunny hops up, jog down.

One Minute

Deep Squats (butt hits the second step every rep from standing on ground.)

One Minute

COOL DOWN (walk in place or walk up and down stairs, catch breath)

All Day Athletes will be a regular series on how to get the most out of your busy day no matter what level you are as an athlete, and yes everyone is an Athlete! These will help you get on track and at the very base, think differently about your training.

Learn, get inspired...

AOF:191 Defining health, bleeding veggie burgers, branding, and healthy plant based food of course.

Matt Frazier founded No Meat Athlete as a blog to follow his own journey and since has grown it into a loyal and respected brand! He previews his newest project, a cookbook with all plant based menu items. We talk about the potential controversy with plant based products that are meant to feel and taste like […]

Read More

AOF:190 Gold medalist and founder of WheelWod.com on adapting.

Chris Stoutenburg leaned back on a railing when he was 20 years old and fell two stories, landing on his arm on a patch of grass the size of his body.  It was a lucky fall and the beginning of his story on the show. He went on to travel the world and win multiple […]

Read More

AOF:189 Adventure writer and ultrarunner Morgan Tilton.

Morgan Tilton decided to run ultra after ultra one summer after catching the “bug”. She just happens to also be a freelance writer who has written for Backpacker, Outside, and Men’s Journal to name a few.  She shares her creative process and some basic guidelines we should all follow when writing.  She shares her training […]

Read More

AOF:187 Great white sharks, sea lice, and big time open water swimming.

Eliza Cummings is a young athlete who is competing in some of the biggest open water swims in the world.  We learned so much from her and enjoyed the passion she brought on a sport we really haven’t covered. On the show There is repellant for sea lice, larva of jellyfish Painting stripes on your […]

Read More

 

BU:07 Becoming Ultra: The guide to your next trail half marathon from Ian Sharman.