My Personal Challenge for 2012.. Wish me luck!

47 replies
In 2011 I competed in my first ever Adventure Race; the Connemara Adventure Challenge, a 31km multi-discipline race. While I had always been interested in team sports, I had a deep-seated hatred of running, had a bike that weighed a ton and had never sat into a kayak before the race itself. Through 4 months of training I remained motivated by the determination that I would succeed in finishing the race, nothing more and nothing less.


Training took the form of a regular 5-8km run in the Phoenix Park and the occasional 10k cycle, while much of my gym time was spent in the weights room, with little regard for the cardio machines. Come May 7th 2011 I was ready for the challenge, and I met it head-on – albeit with a not so blockbuster time of just under 3 hours and 48 minutes.

Since the euphoria of completing the race faded, the motivation to maintain the cardio fitness through winter faded alongside it. It is only now, as the first month of 2012 draws to a close, that I have decided I need to see a year-on-year improvement. I want to compete in the 2012 Connemara Adventure Challenge and I want to do so in a time of 3 hours and 15 minutes – cutting a substantial 30 minutes off my previous best. On paper this seems (relatively) attainable, but how will it work in practice?


The race consists of 3 disciplines, a 12km mountain run, a 17km cycle and a 2km kayak. The first area I need to work on is the running. In 2011 I was regularly running, with a little difficulty I might add, a consistent 10km in training. What I wasn’t prepared for, and what drained every ounce of energy on the day, was the concept of hill running, essentially running up one side of a mountain and down another, in the marshiest, muddiest conditions you can imagine. No amount of training on the flat, well manicured trails of the Phoenix Park could prepare me for that. I suffered, and suffered badly.

If I am to succeed in cutting 30 minutes off my 2011 race time then mountain running needs to incorporate part of the training. My leg muscles, and particularly my calf muscles, need to be stronger and capable of moving at pace over rough terrain. Flat running just won’t cut it. Luckily on my part, I have recently moved home to a neighbourhood at the foot of the Dublin mountains, leaving me no excuses (in theory).

My plan is this. Four mornings each week I will commit to taking our Black Lab/German Sheppard cross for a run in the local fields. While this is on flat ground, the terrain is extremely wet and muddy and is a good substitute for the mountainous terrain of the Connemara course. At present I am doing 4 laps of the field (about 2.4km total), along with 120 push-ups, 30 squats and 30 lunges. When I hit the gym I am going to need to increase my leg workouts and push this harder than I have in the past. Then of course, I need to bite the bullet and take my running game to the mountains. The Hell Fire Club is my target. For those who don’t know it, the Hell Fire Club in the Dublin Mountains is a 10km mountain trail that is renowned for it’s stories of secret societies and haunted past. If I can manage to maintain a steady pace in the mountains and start hammering down my times, then I will be in with a chance of achieving my goal.

Tackling the other 2 disciplines of this race, the cycling and kayaking, are another days work. At this stage I don’t want to get overwhelmed and once I work the running into my schedule I will build on the other aspects of the race. For now it’s time to put on the running shoes and hit the gym. Wish me luck!

You can follow my progress here on Warrior Forums or on ChallengeMonkey.com
#2012 #challenge #luck #personal
  • Profile picture of the author Keith Green
    Its Nice, Very nice Kevstorrs. Wish you luck for 2012.
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    • Profile picture of the author Joseph G Spiteri
      Go for it Kevstorrs, All the best and lots of luck for 2012.
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      • Profile picture of the author kevstorrs
        thanks guys, i'm going to be writing a column tracking the progress for an adventure racing site here in ireland, so ill keep this thread updated as it goes along, hopefully it will inspire and motivate others to improve themselves too!
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  • Profile picture of the author ElliotBerg
    @Kevstorrs All the best dude. Wish you loads of luck for the year 2012.
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  • Profile picture of the author MaryKathan
    Hey - great luck with this. It sounds like a fun adventure....I bet your dog is loving the training sessions!
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  • Profile picture of the author danlew
    Wish you luck for the challenge! Stay strong and I hope you will have some success this year.
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  • Profile picture of the author lifesofree
    You're going to make it in 2012!
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  • Profile picture of the author aatyum
    Good luck. I'm jealous. lol..

    Good luck.

    Tom
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  • Profile picture of the author intoDust
    Good Luck man! I wish you the best for 2012.
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  • Profile picture of the author Audrey Harvey
    Sounds like a fantastic event. I've not done any adventure races as such, I'm not a good swimmer. I've just done some longish trail races, but I too love to train with my dog.

    I'd so love to have a go at that Hell Fire Club!!!

    Look forward to seeing how you get on.
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  • Profile picture of the author paul_1
    Discipline is one of the attributes of being successful. And, you've got it! Keep it up..
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    • Profile picture of the author Richard Essi
      Hey Kev!

      Wow! That is truly a noble challenge!

      The internal and mental traits you will develop in your challenge like Paul said are what the successful are made of.

      These same attributes (discipline, perseverance, getting out of your comfort zone, taking action, facing your fears etc) are success values that are applicable in every aspect of life - be it for sports, relationships or business.

      All the best to you, and keep us posted!

      Richard
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  • Profile picture of the author mambotimothy
    am appalled, wish you all the the best...remember this is the last year with2012 on it!
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    • Profile picture of the author kevstorrs
      Thanks for the support and encouragement guys. This morning I took the plunge and tackled the Hell Fire Club in the Dublin Mountains. Amazing views over Dublin City on a bright sunny day. The run itself was tough - very tough. Managed a 5.5km (approx 3mile) mountain run in 32mins. There were some periods of stopping to walk in the steepest areas, but I managed a sprint finish which I was happy about. The short-term aim over the next few weeks is to double the distance to a total of 11km and do it in under 1 hour.



      A few of you mentioned how this kind of challenge builds discipline and mental strength - I couldn't agree more. What I have found while training, both this year and last year, is that the voice in your head who keeps saying "Stop, you're too tired, there's no point pushing it, slow down" needs to be defeated.

      When you get to the point when that voice is encouraging you, cheering you on, willing you to keep going, that's when you know your inner strength is gaining power. I encourage any of you to push yourselves health-wise over the next few weeks too, even if it's just walking an extra 2 mins after you're tired - it will really pay off!

      To paraphrase Muhammed Ali "Only start to count your sit-ups when you get tired.. Because that's the only time it really counts"
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      • Profile picture of the author Lane Bowers
        Good Luck Kevstorrs, Hope you hit your target and do better than you anticipate.
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        • Profile picture of the author guy99
          Good luck mate....surely you will achieve it...
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  • Profile picture of the author mitchellsmith
    .....nice share...
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  • Profile picture of the author Lin Raj
    Great kevstorrs.all the best for 2012.
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    • Profile picture of the author kevstorrs
      Thanks for all the support guys... My second training column for ChallengeMonkey.com is online now, I've copied it below for you to see how progress has been going (it has been a lot tougher than I thought!)


      My Challenge for 2012 - Training Blog 2
      So here we are with my second training blog, and admittedly it has been a little slow in coming. However, that doesn't mean I have been slacking with the challenge. When we last spoke, I had outlined my "Challenge for 2012″ as being the successful completion the 2012 Connemara Adventure Race in a time of 3 hours and 15 mins, 30 mins quicker than my 2011 Personal Best. I had targeted the running section of the race as an area I could hammer down my times, and when I last wrote I had been running 2.5km on a regular basis. It was clear I needed a big improvement, in both distances and speeds. So I set myself a short term goal, and have been working towards it since (with a few setbacks I might add).

      WORDS: Kev Storrs

      So, what is the short term goal? The 2012 Runamuck 10km Challenge on March 3rd. Essentially 10km of running through deep mud, swinging ropes across rivers and jumping tyres and bales of hay - something a little different! To add to the challenge, the ChallengeMonkey team I have entered with finished 4th in the overall team results in 2011, so I have my work cut out to put in a respectable performance in line with the team.

      So what exactly have I been doing? Well, the month of February was my target for taking my 2.5km runs up to 10km, without losing too much in terms of speed. It all began well on the 2nd February with a 5.3km mountain run in 33mins at the Hell Fire Club, followed by three successive local 3km-3.5km runs that came in at 15mins, and were very much focused on maintaining a good steady speed. However, that's when disaster struck with the onset of the flu virus, which left me housebound from 9th Feb for the guts of 7 days. Eager to get back into the flow of things, yesterday I took my first post-flu run, and clocked a 6km hilly route in a personal best time of 35mins.

      That leaves me exactly 2 weeks until the Runamuck Race Day.

      Given the course obstacles, I would be extremely satisfied with a sub-60mins time. That requires a consistant 6 minutes/kilometre. I am currently clocking 5:55 minutes/kilometre over a 6km distance, so maintaining that pace for a further 4 kilometres to include obstacles is going to prove quite a challenge for a 2 week run in.

      The Plan: Take my first 10km run in the coming week over hilly ground and measure the times. Also include two 6km runs with the aim of breaking the sub-30min mark. Intersperse this training with sprinting/cross-training days to boost supporting and power muscles. Of course, also maintain general gym weights work. The idea of running the distance on hilly ground is that it will seem that bit easier on race day (I hope!)

      By following this plan, I am able to focus on the running aspect of the summer race and build up my speeds and distances with a clear short term goal in mind. Once I achieve this goal, I will turn my attention to the cycling aspect of the race, and dedicate one month to improving my cycling power, before bringing it all together in April.

      Follow Kev Storrs' Training Blog only on ChallengeMonkey.com.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jim Guererro
    Living a life of adventure is exhilarating and you're living proof of that! You have my thumbs up for having the courage and persistence of having a goal and just doing it. Sometimes it takes putting a blindfold on and getting on with it.

    Sure there will be days where you will be tired and start wondering if it's worth it. Well it is, because you'll have us following you and waiting for your next moves.

    Stay with it my friend, I'm counting on you.

    Jim
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    • Profile picture of the author kevstorrs
      Originally Posted by Jim Guererro View Post

      Living a life of adventure is exhilarating and you're living proof of that! You have my thumbs up for having the courage and persistence of having a goal and just doing it. Sometimes it takes putting a blindfold on and getting on with it.

      Sure there will be days where you will be tired and start wondering if it's worth it. Well it is, because you'll have us following you and waiting for your next moves.

      Stay with it my friend, I'm counting on you.

      Jim
      Thanks Jim! The kind words of support mean a lot and I'm sure they will come in handy on those tired days you speak about! There's 2 weeks now until the first race so I'll make sure to do you and the others proud! Thanks again for the support!
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      • Profile picture of the author Jim Guererro
        Hey Kevstorrs,
        You know I visit this forum periodically during the week and look for people that need help. I found your post and replied on how I felt about your commitment. My words came from my heart and really want to thank you for your reply. I know it takes the time commitment to create posts and even to followup on them.

        Your followup post to me hit me hard in the gut. I know that the support that people get from complete strangers can be enough to overcome anything in life. And for that I really want to thank you for taking the time to recognize me.

        Look at what you did? You've transformed me into one of your ardent supporters. Win or lose, the point is being in the game. Being in the game of life is where you can never lose. Keep that fire burning in the pit of your stomach and know that people are being inspired by you. I know that I am inspired and am working hard to keep pace with you within my business.

        Sincerely,
        Jim
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  • Profile picture of the author buckeyes09
    Awesome! Running is a hobby of mine, and I look forward to continuing to read your updates.
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    Christian

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    • Profile picture of the author kevstorrs
      Originally Posted by buckeyes09 View Post

      Awesome! Running is a hobby of mine, and I look forward to continuing to read your updates.
      Brilliant, what kind of distances do you prefer? And thanks for staying tuned, bizarrely it actually becomes a kind of motivation knowing that your goal is out there in the open and you have to follow through on it!
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  • Profile picture of the author GT
    Hey, Kev! Good luck on the race! I admire people who set such goals and work hard to achieve them. Regardless of the results, you will emerge a different and stronger person, physically, emotionally and spiritually. Give it your best, buddy!

    GT
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    • Profile picture of the author kevstorrs
      Originally Posted by GT View Post

      Hey, Kev! Good luck on the race! I admire people who set such goals and work hard to achieve them. Regardless of the results, you will emerge a different and stronger person, physically, emotionally and spiritually. Give it your best, buddy!

      GT
      Thanks GT! Yeah I couldn't agree more with your last line; I think by achieving physical goals it actually really helps you achieve in other areas such as business and relationships too, reassures you and gives the confidence to succeed, so it all really feeds into the one positive experience! Do you have any goals you are working towards yourself at the moment?
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  • Profile picture of the author weebeastie
    All the best on this endeavor of yours, KevStorrs. For a change of pace during your running part try to think of yourself as a Thompson Gazelle taking gentle long springy type strides and see how long you can maintain that type of stride.

    You'll take half the strides of your competitors and perhaps use less energy, I never started out that way I began that type of gate after one or two hundred yards and maintained it for long periods.

    Try it out in practice sessions and maintain an easy rhythm - you'll quickly know if it's for you or not. If not you've tried it and haven't lost anything.

    I just noticed it was a mountain run for goodness sakes, this type of stride is probably useless for that. Sorry !
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    • Profile picture of the author kevstorrs
      Originally Posted by weebeastie View Post

      All the best on this endeavor of yours, KevStorrs. For a change of pace during your running part try to think of yourself as a Thompson Gazelle taking gentle long springy type strides and see how long you can maintain that type of stride.

      You'll take half the strides of your competitors and perhaps use less energy, I never started out that way I began that type of gate after one or two hundred yards and maintained it for long periods.

      Try it out in practice sessions and maintain an easy rhythm - you'll quickly know if it's for you or not. If not you've tried it and haven't lost anything.

      I just noticed it was a mountain run for goodness sakes, this type of stride is probably useless for that. Sorry !
      Thanks, I'm definitely going to try that out. In fact, I often go for the long-stride technique for down-hill sprints, it really reduces the resistance and impact on your legs if you are going for speed! I will mix that style in a little during the flat sections when training tomorrow and see how it works out! Being on mountains, the terrain is really varied so I'm sure it will suit during certain parts! Thanks for the tip!
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  • Profile picture of the author azjoemartin
    This is inspiring to see your determination. Keep it up.
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  • Profile picture of the author hireava
    Wow, you're really active kevstorrs! Good luck man! Keep it up!
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  • Profile picture of the author abking
    Good luck kevstorrs
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  • Profile picture of the author kinsleywill
    wish you all the best buddy...
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  • Profile picture of the author Anthony707
    Good luck although I believe you don't really need luck because you have clearly defined your goal!

    Earl Nightingale was quoted as saying;

    "People with goals succeed because they know where they're going."
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  • Profile picture of the author JonathanL
    Keep on keepin' on, brother!!

    It's great to see you pushing yourself and motivating the rest of us.

    All the best...
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  • Profile picture of the author sabreena
    Hello,

    Very nice and keep it up well try.......
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  • Profile picture of the author icegin
    It is obvious how truly determined you are to reach your goal. Best of luck
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  • Profile picture of the author Daystar11
    What a great program, goals, and determination! I was a runner, my favorite sport, I even ran the NYC marathon awhile back. I definitely know about that voice in your head, I did major battle with it at mile 18. (and WON that battle, and finished the race, btw!) It was a fantastic experience in developing mental toughness. I had a great book on the subject of developing mental toughness, but no comparison to real life- and boy did it come to life when I faced that demon down in the trenches!

    You will do really well, I'm sure- you have what it takes. I'll be checking in from time to time to see how you're doing.

    Best wishes, and much success to you!
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    • Profile picture of the author kevstorrs
      Hi guys - It has been quite some time since I have updated this thread so I thought now would be a good time to check in with you guys. I will do my best to follow up on your previous replies tomorrow. Hope you enjoy the read, and as always, thanks for the support...


      -- -- -- -- -- -- --

      When we last spoke I was 2 weeks away from my first race; a 10km "mud run". I had hopes of completing the race in under 60mins having felt reasonably confident with my training results. This did not happen. The course was not what I expected (at times I was neck deep in muddy water) and even on the running sections I underperformed, coming in at a finishing time of 1hr 35mins - far worse than anything I had done in training.

      To say I was disheartened was an understatement. It felt as though all my work had been for nothing. I had told so many people I was going to do well and I didn't. That could be the reason I didn't post a follow-up to the thread immediately. I felt that I needed to redeem myself, not only to myself, but to my friends, family and the wider readers who have been following my progress. I needed to show that when goals are set they can and will be achieved.

      So, I set about examining the issues and addressing them. One thing I found was that I had only been running 5k in training, so to attempt a 10k race was always going to be a push. I decided to bite the bullet. I pushed it to 7km, 8km, 9km, and now I am now running 10 kilometres in training, and guess what; I am doing the distance, on hilly ground, in 58mins 40 secs, well inside the 60min target I had set.

      Coupled with that, I have followed through on my commitment to improve my cycling by signing on to a 6.45am Spinning class in my gym (45mins of intensive high-paced cycling) 3 mornings a week. On top of that I have pushed myself extra in the weights section in the gym.

      So let's see, from my first post to now, how things have changed:

      - If you look back I was originally running 2.4km and struggling. Just a few minutes ago I completed 10km and managed a sprint finish - progress!

      - I also mentioned that I was hoping to put on muscle weight as part of the challenge, not easy when the cardio burns so many calories. I started out at 64kgs when I first posted and this week passed 66kgs for the first time; an extra 2kgs in muscle mass - progress!

      Now, for the numerous setbacks and dark places of the last couple months, I feel I am in a stronger, fitter and mentally sharper state than I ever have been before.

      Again I find myself speaking to you 2 weeks before the next race. They say the proof is in the pudding.

      This time I WILL finish in under 60mins, and do it with a smile on my face!
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  • Profile picture of the author williamosorio
    its been a nice share....
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  • Profile picture of the author quercus5
    Good luck, be sure to update us on how it goes!
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  • Profile picture of the author mikedz
    I like to see how other people progress.
    Yeah, keep updating the progress.=)
    This will certainly going to inspire some people by looking at your progress
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  • Profile picture of the author Puusaari
    Originally Posted by kevstorrs View Post

    A few of you mentioned how this kind of challenge builds discipline and mental strength - I couldn't agree more. What I have found while training, both this year and last year, is that the voice in your head who keeps saying "Stop, you're too tired, there's no point pushing it, slow down" needs to be defeated.

    When you get to the point when that voice is encouraging you, cheering you on, willing you to keep going, that's when you know your inner strength is gaining power. I encourage any of you to push yourselves health-wise over the next few weeks too, even if it's just walking an extra 2 mins after you're tired - it will really pay off!
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  • Profile picture of the author Ferma231
    I hope you will succeed in this

    I wish you best luck !
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  • Profile picture of the author AllenYK2
    I wish you best luck too! =))
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  • Profile picture of the author Lee A Bracey
    Good luck this year!
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