If you have been reading carefully, you probably know that I’m a runner. When in a good training cycle, I run daily, missing only one or two days per month. At my best, I’ve run over 60 miles per week. Each week, these runs include a track workout, a long run, and a tempo or fartlek run in addition to several comfortable pace runs. In order to be at your best, its essential to run at different intensity levels for varying amounts of time weekly.
In 2016, I had one of my best years of racing. While I didn’t run any new best times, I ran close to those best times on several occasions, while also finishing in the top 3 overall at many of my races, and since this blog usually focuses on money, I’ll add that I won around $300 in prize money. Unfortunately, that prize money, when calculated on an hourly basis, equates to numbers to small to comprehend, so I wouldn’t recommend winning foot races as a way to supplement your income. The money covered my entry fees, and bought me a new pair or two of running shoes, basically allowing me to break even for the year.
Related: Show me the money: Triathlon
This running habit, was proceeded by my triathlon obsession, which as I’ve written previously, was terrible for my finances. Triathlon was preceded by weightlifting in college, which had gradually taken over as my basketball career floundered and ultimately failed, during my junior year. Growing up, I spread the wealth around a bit more and enjoyed swimming in the summers, followed by soccer in the fall, with basketball being the focus during the winter.
I bring all this up, because my running is currently slogging along. Basically, after two consecutive years of singular focus, I’m finding it difficult to maintain the effort and intensity needed to match my previous abilities. The danger of going all in with an activity, is that when you back off a bit, you quickly become a shadow of your former self. Thus, as March comes to an end, I find myself running sluggishly 5 or so days per week, wondering when my old legs will return, yet knowing that they won’t return at my present level of training.
My mind is searching for a bit of a distraction, maybe a bit more balance in my training, which will not allow me to run at my previous levels, but may allow for a variety of activity.
Thus I am inviting my friends, as well as readers of my blog to take part in a monthly fitness challenge. Each month, at any point during the month, I shall submit a challenge, which requires little, or readily available materials. From the day in which the challenge is submitted, all participants will have 7 days to complete the challenge and submit their results, via pictures and / or video. Results will be based on the honor system as well as the digital evidence submitted. Prizes will include nothing other then a possible boost to one’s ego. I will retain dictatorial control over the proceedings each month, but will entertain other’s ideas for challenges, so long as they are submitted privately.
And now, for our first challenge. As March is nearly spent, the timeline for this first challenge will overlap into the beginning of April, but April itself will enjoy its own challenge. Within the next 7 days, all participants must clasp a gallon jug in each hand, with arms extended, the jugs must be raised to the side until the arms are at a 90 degree angle to the body. This position should be held for as long as possible. Time should be recorded and stopped, when the arm or arms deviate from the required position. For inclusion into the contest please submit your time along with photo or video evidence of your performance.
Each month these challenges aim to reward overall fitness through variety and spontaneity. The short time period for completion means that the athlete must already possess a general level of fitness which will then transfer to the monthly challenge.