Last weekend I was able to attend an event hosted by Gazelle Sports called “The Cross-Training Challenge” presented by The North Face. I found out about it because 8th Day Gym was helping and promoting it to their members. (See my article on them here).
I thought it sounded fun, so I decided to go. I remember the flyer saying something about someone speaking but it didn’t register who it was until I got to the event. North Face representatives were there and so was Timothy Olson, one of their sponsored athletes, who is a world-renowned ultrarunner.
North Face was showcasing some new footwear at the event and you could actually try the shoes on and wear them while training. I am a big North Face fan. I have every weight of jacket they have ever produced. They make a superior product – end of story.
The event started with a short run over to MVP Fieldhouse where the coaches at 8th Day Gym put us through an introductory workout and reinforced the value of cross training to improve performance. As we finished our dynamic warm-up we were then asked to pair up. I usually wind up being the odd-person out and was wondering what I was going to do. Just then, I heard someone ask, “do you need a partner?” Yep. The invited guest and elite athlete Tim Olson needed a partner and I was the only one left. Perfect.
We completed 8th Day Gym’s “Vesuvius” metabolic conditioning workout which allowed us to work together to complete the various exercises. It was a series of total body movements that incorporated atomic sit-ups, push-ups, medicine ball slams, hurdle-hops, burpee hurdle hops, and overhead walking lunges. The coaches explained the value in this type of training as a means to build strength and reduce our risk of overuse injury.
Tim was so nice. It was funny because as I was doing my best to complete my part of the workout, he would be getting a quick rest period where he was chatting with the people from The North Face. When it came my turn for rest, I was sucking in as much oxygen as the space would allow. It was fun though. He was so laid back.
After our workout, we were able to hear Tim speak and ask him some questions. Here are his words of wisdom that he shared.
- When asked about his nutritional strategies (naturally) he said the best diet you can have is not someone else’s diet but your own. He has spent time experimenting and determining what works best for his body and encouraged everyone else to do the same. He did mention multiple times that his diet is full of whole, fresh foods.
- He meditates daily. He said he feels that this is a way for him to reflect inward and remove the noise of society. It makes sense that someone who can run for the distances he does would find value in this. This is something I definitely agree with and plan to do more of after listening to Tim speak.
- Seek balance in life. He shared with us that he tries to find a schedule that fits well with his work but also with his family and his ability to spend time with the people he cares about.
- He reminded everyone to appreciate their health and their ability to be able to do the things they love to do and encouraged everyone to try to find joy in running.
- When asked about his training plan he reinforced the need for core strength and the importance it plays in injury prevention.
- He inspired everyone to continually set new goals and break new boundaries. He shared his story and the fact that he never imagined being where he is but it is largely due to the fact that he just kept setting his sights on new horizons.
“My office is a mountain and I just run up it.”
~Timothy Olson, ultrarunner