Packs are discussed a lot and often it’s military-style “tacticool” packs that people go for. This is for a number reasons... durability, looks, thinking more pockets equals a better bag, and so on. One of those reasons isn’t comfort and weight though. “Civy” packs are far more comfortable, flexible, and weigh a lot less than their military counter-parts. It’s no wonder the Marines had well-known outdoor pack manufacture Arc’Teryx make their recent pack. One of the better known outdoor pack manufacturers is Osprey, and I wanted to take a moment to sing the praises of their customer support team.Read More...
I wanted to take a moment to share my experience and thoughts in regard to being in the 2013 Boston Marathon. It may start off seemingly mundane and trivial, but please bear with me as I attempt to paint a portrait that will come together in the end.
September 22nd 2012
The Event: The Ultra Beast is the first marathon/marathon+ length obstacle race. Competitors had to go through an application process and not everybody was accepted. It consisted of 2 laps through the regular Beast course with time cutoffs to ensure competitiveness. Anybody finishing in under 11 hours was awarded a Spartan Race 2013 Season's Pass.Read More...
A fellow adventure runner, Army vet, and Simple Brandz founder gave me some of her signature Simple Granola to try, and it was so good that I wanted to share my thoughts on it. First let me tell you about Simple Brandz. It’s a company founded by Sherry Post, who is a holistic wellness coach based in the Philadelphia area. Her philosophy is to provide a comprehensive, holistic training approach, and Simple Brandz is an extension of that as it provides an all-natural, organic alternative to the other health food and supplements on the market.
60+ Hours & Too Many Miles
June 15th - June 18th 2012
The Event: The Death Race is as much a mental challenge as it is a physical beating. Hard, grueling terrain mixed with strenuous challenges and combined with a healthy dose of mind games make this event unique in the newly evolving world of obstacle races, and as far as I know it, it is unique in the more established adventure race world as well. Competitors don’t have any realistic idea about course length in miles or hours, and the only given is that they’ll have to chop wood somewhere along the line.Read More...
In my not so humble opinion, the jerk is often overlooked when it comes to strength training. I'm not talking about this guy:
I'm talking about the Olympic Weightlifting maneuver known as the split jerk. I'm sure you've seen it a few times during Summer Olympics highlights where large men throw bar bending weights above their heads or from a CrossFit video where smaller people throw not-so-bar bending weights overhead numerous times.
5.4 Miles + Lifting Competition
May 19th 2012
Camelback Resort, PA
The Event: Civilian Military Combine (CMC) is just what the name implies: a combine. It’s a combination of a lifting event followed shortly by an obstacle race. The lifting event is four exercises done for a minute and thirty seconds each with a rest period of thirty seconds between exercises. The exercises are done for max reps with max total reps being worth the most points. The exercises are thursters (75 lbs men/45 lbs women), kettlebell swings (20 kg men/12 kg women), burpees, and 20” box jumps. In an industry of copy cats, this is a refreshing and unique challenge.
May 6th 2012
Mt Snow, VT
The Event: Tough Mudder is currently one of the big names in obstacle course running. They combine distance, quality obstacles, strenuous terrain, and the freezing cold to challenge participants both physically and mentally.
They say they are “possibly the toughest one day event of the planet”, and while I wouldn’t go that far in describing their events, they are definitely tough and challenging. Tough Mudder is not a timed race. They make it well known they see themselves as a challenge and that your fellow Mudders are to help you through the course and not step on your head to get over an obstacle (unless you offer of course).
March 30th 2012
Special thanks to Gabby Portillo Mazal for following us around for the full 15 hours taking all these pictures.
The Event: S.E.R.E. is a team event, and this is the basic level of their challenge. There will be Advanced and Xtreme levels to come. Basic is meant to be a physical and mental challenge where trainees carry a ruck containing 20% their bodyweight in sand and whatever other supplies that are on the packing list or that they feel they need. It is led by former/current military personnel and is inspired by the military’s S.E.R.E. school in that teaching survival skills also plays a role in the challenge.Read More...
March 17th 2012
The Event: The GoRuck Challenge isn’t a race. It is a team challenge that generally covers about 15-20 miles over 12-15 hours where classes are led by ex-Special Forces cadre through a series of challenges designed to tax the class members mentally and physically while bring them together as a cohesive unit. Class members carry a backpack (aka a rucksack) during the entire challenge with 4-6 bricks in it depending on their bodyweight. Classes are capped at around 30 people. This is their idea of “Good livin’”.
Want to change your life for $6? Ok, I may be overstating it, but here’s the deal. I’ve taken supplements for a long time now... over a decade in fact. Heck nearing in on 2 decades. One thing that constantly annoyed me, but I just dealt with it was mixing protein/MRP/and whatever type of powder by hand. True I could use a blender, but that was usually inconvenient and clean-up was a pain. What I was left with was often clumpy liquid that I just had to learn how to chug fast. On the bright side of this is I can shotgun beers like a champ now.Read More...
If there is one thing that the Tough Mudder New England held on Mt Snow, Vermont taught me, it’s that I had a very large, glaring hole in my training. That hole is the art of the climb. I would say “hill training”, but I do hill training. These were no hills; there was a mountain. If the Spartan Races’ Beast in Killington, VT or their Death Race are any indications, then there will be a growing number of events on mountains.
February 4th 2012
January 27th 2012
Guest Contributor - James Ogden
The Event: I suppose the best way to begin this review is to explain that S.E.R.E. Performance offers a multitude of different challenges and events. Their “Basic” is the baseline and starting point for everyone who wants a gut-check and a lesson in survival. It then ascends from Basic to Advanced, Elite, and then Extreme. “Only four levels?” – You wonder? Nay, nay. This includes four separate facets of Advanced. They are: Urban, Jungle, Desert, and Maritime. The idea is to complete each level before moving on to the next. Now before I go way off into the deep-end, let me be clear that this is a review of their initial challenge; Washington D.C. Basic Class 001B. We were affectionately dubbed “The Frozen Chosin Few” after the Marines that fought in the Chosin Reservoir in Korean War.Read More...
Polar is a well-known name in heart rate monitors and for good reason. They work. I picked up a Polar F11 a while ago when I decided to start training in target heart rate zones after ignoring such things for a very long time. Quite honestly, I was looking for a simple HRM, and this thing is loaded with options I never use but others may find useful. A great bonus of Polar HRM’s is that nearly all cardio equipment you’ll find at a gym is Polar-ready. It will instantly pick up your transmitter’s signal and display your current HR on its own display.
8+ Miles Loops over 24-28 Hours
December 17th - 18th 2011
The Event: World’s Toughest Mudder is the Tough Mudder organizations championship event. Where other Tough Mudder events are billed as not a race but a challenge, World’s Toughest Mudder (WTM) is most definitely a race with $10,000 going to the male and female winners. The obstacles are beefed up and conditions are bad. This is to be a true challenge for Mudder veterans.Read More...
I know I know. Running is boring, right? Whether we want it to or not, it provides the foundation for any foot race. You may get away with minimal running in a 5k distance in a small group, but the longer races will require some regular running for optimal performance. If you are in a field with competitive runners, then it’s not going to matter how much you can squat or deadlift or whether you can do really intense intervals. You will likely get beat. Runners run a lot... even for 5k’s. It has the added benefit of being beneficial to overall health too, so let’s stop avoiding it like the plague and get down to business.
October 8th 2011
The Event: Metro Dash is not a mud run, but it is an obstacle race. It’s a challenging sprint through a “gut wrenching, muscle pounding, make you want to through up (their typo not mine) obstacle course”. In a type of racing dominated by longer distances with 5000 meters being considered short, Metro Dash offers a unique experience by packing obstacles into 600 meters.Read More...
September 24th 2011
The Event: The Rugged Maniac recently held in Southwick was a 5k Adventure Run billed as being designed by the Navy SEALs and combining “the most rugged terrain and burly obstacles”. It’s also not billed as a “race” but as a “race and music festival”.Read More...