My 4/4/48 Running Challenge Experience

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From 6PM on April 12th to 6PM April 14th 2019, I ran 4 miles every 4 hours for 48 hours. The 4/4/48 running challenge. In this post I’ll explain where I learned about it, why I did it, how I got on, what benefits I got from doing it and why you should do it too.

Authors Note (09/03/2021): I took part in my second 4x4x48 challenge from the 5th to the 8th March 2021 coinciding with the annual David Goggins 4x4x48 challenge. I made a video documenting the experience for my YouTube Channel. Please like, subscribe and share if you find it useful:

Where did I learn about the 4/4/48 running challenge?

Technically, the 4/4/48 running challenge started as a workout and not a challenge. I first learnt of the challenge when reading the American billionaire, Jesse Itzler’s, book ‘Living with A Seal.’

In the book, Itzler explains his many achievements in life which include becoming a rapper, selling a private jet company, purchasing the Hawks (American football team) and marrying Sara Blakely who owns Spanx.

With all these remarkable achievements, you’d think Jesse would have been proud of himself. Only thing was, he wasn’t. Jesse had become too comfortable with his life and he began to get miserable. After witnessing David Goggins, former Navy SEAL, take on a 100-mile run with zero training as a solo effort he hired him to come and live with him for a month.

The idea was to absorb some of Goggins’ work ethic and develop his mental toughness. Goggins agreed to train Itzler for a month under one condition; he had to do whatever Goggins told him. No excuses and no backing down.

One of the challenges was the 4/4/48 challenge. It’s the equivalent of running 2 marathons in 2 days (52 miles) over 13 reps of 4 mile runs to make up the 48 hours. You temporarily say goodbye to quality sleep  as you’re only able to get around 2 hours maximum at a time between each rep. Jesse said this was the toughest workout Goggins set him, without a question. That’s why I decided to do it myself.

You can find out more about Goggins in his hit 2018 book, ‘Can’t Hurt Me‘, which I would highly recommend.

If you’re interested in David Goggins and running, check out the following posts:

Why did I do the 4/4/48 running challenge?

I took on the challenge for two reasons. To challenge myself and to raise money for charity.

Looking up to role models like David Goggins and Dan Peña, I am all about getting outside of my comfort zone. I found this challenge the perfect opportunity to get uncomfortable, suffer and learn lots about myself in the process.

For myself This sounds crazy to a lot of people, but I truly believe that we find out who we are and what we’re capable of when we’re under huge amounts of pressure. I knew this from experience.

Three weeks before the challenge I had bad man-flu but had a half-marathon booked. I promised to drive my brother to the event, and I was scheduled to run it myself. I didn’t want to let him or myself down, so I dragged myself out of bed, drove us to the race and ran it.

It was one of the most painful experiences in my entire life. I struggled a lot, felt horrendous and kept sweating, but I carried on and crossed the line in under 2 hours (30 minutes slower than usual). This experience made me stronger and it proved to me that going through adverse events like that were necessary for my development.

Whenever I encounter a big problem now which stresses me out, I think about this experience and remind myself of how tough I can be when I want to. The 4/4/48 challenge pushed me to my limits which is exactly what I wanted to get out of it.

For charityFor me, raising funds for charity is my way of giving back and feeling like I’m contributing to a wider cause bigger than myself. I think it can be easy for us all to get wrapped up in our own individual needs and desires that we sometimes (unintentionally) forget to help others in need. Completely understandable in our busy, hectic lives with 100s of commitments and responsibilities.

The charity I raised funds for was Parkinson’s UK, my charity of choice in any situation.

The first time I saw someone with Parkinson’s was during an interview with Michael J. Fox a few years ago. Back to the Future was one of my favourite films growing up and I was totally gobsmacked to see how the condition had robbed MJF of so many things we all take for granted like sitting still and talking normally.

Despite having Parkinson’s, I admired Michael’s attitude to get on with life and not let the condition define him. A true inspiration.

Millions of people have the condition worldwide and I am passionate about raising the profile of this disease and raising any funds I can for Parkinson’s UK. Parkinson’s UK influence and fund ground-breaking research to advance understanding of the condition. They supply expert information to help people diagnosed manage the condition.

They offer support and opportunities so people suffering from the disease can live life to the full and raise awareness of Parkinson’s. I’m glad to have raised money for their charity through the 4/4/48 challenge!

For more information on the benefits of running to raise money for charity, check out the following post:

Why not just run a half-marathon or a marathon?

I’ve done tonnes of half-marathons and marathons. I wanted to try something different that would really challenge me and get me outside of my comfort zone. I was not disappointed. Also, I found the challenge gathered 10 times more fundraising attention than typical races I’d done before which meant I raised more money for my charity.

As David Goggins once said, one of the reasons people doing these kinds of unique and challenging events can raise so much money for charity is because people respond to suffering.

If you are putting yourself out there and are truly going to be sacrificing your comfort during a challenge, people are more likely to respect your efforts and donate to your cause. It sounds unbelievable, but it’s true in most cases.

I had difficulty reaching my fundraising target for the Brighton Half Marathon but within a week of announcing the 4/4/48 challenge I almost raised a third of my target with little to no promotion.

People respond to obscure, difficult challenges like the 4/4/48 run. It’s a brilliant way to raise money and attention for a charity whilst challenging yourself at the same time.

The fundraising: The good, the bad and the naysayers

In the Kent Messenger, my county newspaper

Leading up to the challenge I promoted it to friends, family and work colleagues. I used social media, word of mouth, emails, text messages, posting in Facebook groups and so on. I even managed to get a side column in my county’s newspaper, the Kent Messenger.

I am over the moon to have exceeded my target; my circle were incredibly generous with their donations and I am grateful to them for that.

Lots of people were supportive and said I was doing a great thing to raise funds for Parkinson’s UK. These were the people who cheered me on through the challenge, sending me supportive messages and who followed my efforts on Strava and other social media platforms. I’m truly grateful for their support!

On the other side of the spectrum, I had a few naysayers. People that said I was mad, stupid, crazy and at risk of ‘doing myself some damage.’ Then there were the people who constantly questioned how I could prove that I completed the challenge. I explained Strava to them and they soon stopped questioning me.

Don’t listen to the naysayers

This was the negative side of promoting my fundraising, but it didn’t get me down at all. The naysayers will exist in every wake of my life, your life, and everyone else’s life.

No matter what you set your eyes on to achieve, there will be people who can’t stand ambition. These are the people who knock you down, tell you to stop and that you’re being unrealistic. Don’t listen to the naysayers. Let them get on with their life and don’t stoop to their level.

Skip to 2:36 in the Arnold Schwarzenegger video below. He explains the importance of not listening to the naysayers. That’s exactly what I did, and I accomplished my goal. I’d advise anybody to do the same thing; don’t listen to the naysayers!

For more advice on dealing with running naysayers, check out the following post:

What watch did I use? Garmin Forerunner 735 XT 


I used my trusty Garmin Forerunnner 735XT to track each run during the challenge. This lightweight multi-sport watch is one of the best purchases I have made as a runner. Needless to say, it was crucial to tracking my progress during this challenge.

Before, I tracked all runs using Strava on my phone and thought that was all I needed. Boy, was I wrong. As soon as I embraced the technology of my watches, my running game totally changed and I became faster and trained much smarter.

I consider my Garmin my running companion and don’t know where I’d be without it. It made the 4/4/48 challenge run as smoothly as it possibly could.

Some benefits of the 735XT include accurately tracking workouts, recording your heart rate, how many calories you burn, steps taken, stride length and is even waterproof. A fantastic watch for the challenge and any other sporting scenario.

If you’re interested in the Garmin Forerunner 735 XT, it is available on Amazon.

For more information on running GPS watches, check out the following articles:

Which shoes did I wear? ASICS Gel-Phoenix 9

Whilst I’ve always been a loyal ASICS wearer, the Gel-Phoenix 9 shoes were relatively new at the time I started my challenge. They had recently replaced my worn out Gel-Phoenix 8s and I was still wearing them in. This made me a bit nervous as I didn’t want to run the risk of getting blisters or developing foot pain during the 48 hour ordeal.

However, this was not the case and the shoes supported me excellently throughout the run. The speva mid-sole is extra thick and cushioned my ankles, knees and legs from the pounding motion of road running.

The breathable mesh left my feet feeling well ventilated and the reflective strips gave me peace of mind during 4 mile runs at night (10:00 PM & 2:00 PM). I’d highly recommend them to anybody and will most likely be getting another pair when my current ones wear out.

If you’re interested in the Gel-Phoenix 9 ASICS shoes, they are available on Amazon.

How did I get on with the 4/4/48 running challenge?

Run number 1
Time – 6:00 PM
Total miles – 4 miles
Average pace per mile – 7:51
Average heart rate – 152 BPM
Calories burnt – 436
Elevation gain – 246 ft
Soundtrack – The Arctic Monkeys
My rating out of 10 – 8/10

Off to a steady start…
Looking optimistic for my first 4 mile run


Physically, the first run felt pretty good and I had no issues. It just felt like a ‘normal’ everyday run and I didn’t push myself. Being an early morning runner, it felt strange working out at this time due to the high volume of people and traffic on the road.

I’m used to running in the early hours of solitude and quiet so this was extremely busy for me. Still, it was an enjoyable start and I gave it a decent 8/10. After the run I ate 3/4 of a pizza for fuel, Johnny Brownlee’s go-to meal the night before race day.

Run number 2
Time – 10:00 PM
Total miles – 8
Average pace per mile – 7:57
Average heart rate – 172 BPM
Calories burnt – 519
Elevation gain – 290 ft
Soundtrack – The Stone Roses 
My rating out of 10 – 8/10

Running past people partying on a Friday night

Again, this run felt pretty good and I didn’t push myself too hard. I decided to start the challenge off a bit slower than my usual pace to ensure I had enough energy for the later runs, which would undoubtedly be more difficult due to fatigue.

I live in the middle of a town centre so I passed lots of people partying on their Friday night, kicking the weekend off with a bang.  I didn’t mind though as I had my own party going on in my ears; The Best of The Stone Roses. A top band with great tunes to run to. Give them a try some time.

After this run I had a big cup of coffee, an apple, a banana and some cashew nuts. They sorted me right out.

Run number 3
Time – 2:00 AM
Total miles – 12 miles
Average pace per mile – 8:01
Average heart rate – 153 BPM
Calories burnt – 443
Elevation gain – 298 ft
Soundtrack – The Rolling Stones
My rating out of 10 – 7/10

No sleep yet

It’s strange experience when you’re running past drunk night revellers returning from a night out at 2 in the morning, but I just rolled with it. It’s all part of the fun, after all.

This early morning run was particularly wet, so I put on my Karrimor sports jacket to waterproof myself. It worked for a while before a brief torrential downpour left me looking like I’d just gotten out the bath. Wet, cold and a bit tired, I ploughed on through the 4 miles and completed run number 3 after almost 33 minutes.


Run number 4
Time – 6:00 AM
Total miles – 16 miles
Average pace per mile – 7:57
Average heart rate – 156 BPM
Calories burnt – 455
Elevation gain – 245 ft
Soundtrack – Tame Impala
My rating out of 10 – 6/10

Little bit tired, but we solider on!

After a couple of hours sleep, I clocked up my next 4 miles in the freezing cold and wind with the occasional flurry of rain. I felt a bit lethargic and my body was waking up, so it wasn’t the funnest of runs in the world. I didn’t let it get me down though. I knew there’d be highs and lows throughout the challenge, so I just sucked it up and kept going.

Admittedly, I was quite tired at the start of this segment and it was difficult to get out of my bed. Then, I remembered my two objectives; developing myself and raising money for charity. A quick reminder of my purpose for doing the challenge was enough to shake me out of bed, into my shoes and out into the morning.

My pre-run nutrition consisted of a cereal bar for quick energy and a glass of water to re-hydrate after a brief sleep. I rewarded myself with a strong cup of coffee after completing. Yes, coffee is an addiction of mine!

Bonus run – parkrun, Maidstone
Time – 9:00 AM
Total miles – 19 miles
Average pace per mile – 7:30
Average heart rate – 140 BPM
Calories burnt – 272
Elevation gain – 70 ft
Soundtrack – The Last Shadow Puppets
My rating out of 10 – 8/10


It was Maidstone parkrun’s 6th birthday, which explains the medal!

More running in between the challenge runs? Absolutely! I have been an avid attender of Maidstone’s parkrun event every Saturday morning for a few years now and didn’t want to miss out, even if it meant adding another 3 miles to my total weekend count.

Usually I start at the front, pace myself sensibly and end with a time of 19:30. However, as I was in the midst of the 4/4/48 challenge I decided to take a laid back approach. I started next to my brother, in the middle of the 300 strong pack, and stayed with him for the entire 5K.

It made a nice change to running in a race atmosphere, with other runners. The 4/4/48 challenge can get lonely at times and you need the determined mindset to motivate yourself through any rough patches.

Participating was a lovely break from the solo efforts of the challenge and reminded me why I love the running community. Everyone is just so passionate about this incredible sport which gave me some inspiration to keep pushing ahead with the challenge.

Run number 5
Time – 10:00 AM
Total miles – 23 miles
Average pace per mile – 7:32
Average heart rate – 165 BPM
Calories burnt – 470
Elevation gain – 246 ft
Soundtrack – The Who
My rating out of 10 – 9/10

Upping the pace a bit

In all honesty, my performance during this run surprised me. I felt tired all morning from my couple of hours sleep, but this run felt really comfortable. Within a few minutes of starting my fatigue disappeared and I found myself putting my foot down on the accelerator. Of course, I didn’t go overboard and risk draining all my energy but I felt comfortable going a bit faster for run number 5. Decent!

After this race, I made some time to have a good breakfast to fuel me up for the work ahead. 3 fried eggs, 2 slices of whole grain toast, some cashew nuts, a banana and of course a cup of coffee. Now is that a great breakfast or is that a great breakfast?

Run number 6 
Time – 2:00 PM
Total miles – 27 miles
Average pace per mile – 7:52
Average heart rate – 150 BPM
Calories burnt – 433
Elevation gain – 251 ft
Soundtrack – The Smiths
My rating out of 10 – 7/10

In the hours leading up to it, I knew this segment would be challenging as I started to experience the effects of sleep deprivation.

Simple tasks like responding to emails, reading and even conversing with friends & family required more of my focus than usual and I started feeling lethargic. I didn’t moan about it though. Moaning about sleep deprivation when your current situation doesn’t allow you to sleep will only make it worse. Instead I kept a positive mindset and reminded myself that I had a job to do.

Despite being a bit nervous, run number 6 was okay and afterwards I was happy to be almost half way through the challenge.

After the 4 miles my nutrition consisted of a tin of mackerel, a slice of bread and some water. Then, it was off to bed for a couple of hours of much-needed shut eye.

Run number 7 
Time – 6:00 PM
Total miles – 31 miles
Average pace per mile – 7:42
Average heart rate – 158
Calories burnt – 450
Elevation gain – 253 ft
Soundtrack – The Jam
My rating out of 10 – 9/10

Feeling much better after a power nap!

After getting a couple of hours sleep I woke up and ready to go for run number 7, 24 hours after I had started the challenge. I felt 3 times better after my power nap and was excited to continue the run. I had a quick coffee and banana, and I was out the front door and back into the challenge.

I spent this run bouncing along the streets with The Jam, one of my favourite bands, blaring in my ears. One of my top tips for this challenge is to listen to something you love to keep you going, it helped me lots. Over the 48 hours you could listen to some favourite bands, podcasts and maybe even an audio book or two.

Upon arriving home, I had a lovely Chilli Con Carne which was much-needed!

Run number 8 
Time – 10:00 PM
Total miles – 35 miles
Average pace per mile – 8:28
Average heart rate – 144
Calories burnt – 411
Elevation gain – 294 ft
Soundtrack – Oasis
My rating out of 10 – 6/10


Slowing down a bit…

This was the hardest run so far. It was harder for me to maintain my standard pace so far of around 7:55 miles per minute and it became increasingly difficult to keep putting one foot in front of the other.

This 4 mile stretch reminded me the challenge was very much a mental game, so I stayed positive by thinking of all those who had sponsored me and not wanting to let them or Parkinson’s UK down. I pushed through the pain and clocked up the 4 miles to complete run number 8.

As soon as I returned home I went straight to bed for a quick two hour recovery nap.

Run number 9
Time – 2:00 AM
Total miles – 39 miles
Average pace per mile – 8:24
Average heart rate – 146
Calories burnt – 425
Elevation gain – 296 ft
Soundtrack – Arctic Monkeys 
My rating out of 10 –  8/10

Another 2:00 AM twilight run

at 1:00 AM, I awoke to the heavy ringing of my heavy duty metal alarm clock for run number 9. I was more asleep than awake at this point so a glass of water and some basic stretches helped to wake me up, ready for some mileage. Waking up 45 minutes – 1 hour before each 4 mile segment was a good idea because it meant I could fully wake my body up and get blood flowing for the activity coming up.

As expected, the streets were dead and void of life, except the occasional fox looking for an easy meal in people’s food bins. Though I started the run in a lethargic state, it didn’t take me long to feel fully awake and get into a good rhythm of movement.

I felt that my choice of music was particularly on point for this run. I listened to The Arctic Monkeys 2018 album ‘Tranquillity Base Hotel + Casino‘ which complimented the dark, eerie setting of the night.  The album is brilliant and has elements of Gothic, space & lounge pop, and psychedelic rock within it. Needless to say, it was an enjoyable listen given the empty streets and piercing glow of the moon. ‘Science Fiction’ in particular is a tune that worked well with the surroundings.

Run number 10
Time – 6:00 AM
Total miles – 43 miles
Average pace per mile – 7:52
Average heart rate – 159
Calories burnt – 474
Elevation gain – 252 ft
Soundtrack – Slaves
My rating out of 10 – 8/10

Torrential hailstones to start run number 10!
Enjoying run number 10 🙂

I expected this to be one of the hardest runs, being directly after a couple of hours sleep. However, I awoke with a healthy amount of energy and felt excited to get up and go. I had a quick coffee before slipping the shoes on and heading out the front door for run number 10.

The first mile was relatively uneventful and ordinary. I noticed a dark cloud above which almost looked black, and expected a torrential downpour of rain at any second. When it finally came, it wasn’t rain but instead hailstones which flew down from the sky and started pummelling me. It lasted about 5 minutes and by mile 2 it had more or less stopped. It’s not everyday that happens!

I was pleased to run this a quicker than the last two segments, which I felt were a bit too slow for my liking.

Run number 11
Time – 10:00 AM
Total miles – 47 miles
Average pace per mile – 7:40
Average heart rate – 446
Calories burnt – 156
Elevation gain – 245 ft
Soundtrack – Wings
My rating out of 10 – 9/10

The second quickest 4 mile segment of the entire challenge, run number 11 felt good and I genuinely enjoyed it. Though my feet and right ankle were a little painful at this point, the pain subsided half a mile into this effort and I soon got into a consistent flow.

I found a lot of energy through my choice of music, Wings. Wings were Paul McCartney’s band after the best band of all time (my opinion) The Beatles broke up and listening to a string of their hits helped fuel me through this run.

After this run I ate sardines on toast, a banana and had some walnuts, before managing to catch a 1.5 hour power nap.

Run number 12
Time – 2:00 PM
Total miles – 51 miles
Average pace per mile – 7:40
Average heart rate – 146 BPM
Calories burnt – 407
Soundtrack – Dreamboats and Petticoats Compilation Album
My rating out of 10 – 7/10

The penultimate run was pretty uneventful and felt like more effort compared to the other runs. Still, I managed to pace the 4 miles decently and completed the segment in under 32 minutes.

Though the day had started with black skies and being pelted with hailstones during the earlier morning run (6:00 AM), it grew into a pleasant Spring afternoon. The breeze was a welcome relief through some panting and sweating.

I finished the 4 miles and, once again, got into my comfortable clothes to wait for the final run in the 4/4/48 challenge. Almost there!

Run number 13
Time – 10:00 AM
Total miles – 55 miles
Average pace per mile – 7:22
Average heart rate – 159 BPM
Calories burnt – 448
Soundtrack – Neil Sedaka
My rating out of 10 – 9/10

Challenge completed!
Over the moon to have raised over £500 for Parkinson’s UK through this challenge

I felt slightly out of the game before starting the last run, so expected it to be my slowest time of all the runs. To my surprise, it was the fastest run and the only sub 30 minute run of the entire challenge. Talk about a way to finish it!

I felt much better after I started and found I had some stamina to make a decent go of it, so I put my foot on the pedal and pushed myself. It was the last run after all so I had nothing to save my energy for.

After my Garmin vibrated to signal the 4 miles were done, I knew I’d been successful. I jumped straight into the shower (much needed), had a bite to eat before thanking all my friends and family who supported me throughout the process.

It’s been an incredibly unique, challenging and difficult experience. It’s an experience I’m glad to have had.


Data table for my 4/4/48 Running Effort


Final thoughts on the challenge

48 hours and 30 minutes after starting, I completed the challenge successfully. As 4 miles is a relatively short distance, I found this more difficult on a mental level than physical.

Putting your shoes on and heading out the front door at 2:00 AM when you’re tired and have fatigued legs is just one example of the head games you need to overcome throughout the process. If you’re able to stick with it and keep a positive mindset, you’ll conquer this challenge and become not only a better runner but a better person too.

It’s a good challenge for ultra-runners to take on as the few hours recovery between each run minimises the risk of injury. You gain the physical benefits of running 2 marathons in 2 days without the typical risk of injury.

Overall, it was a tough challenge to overcome and completing it gave me a lot of value. Time and energy well spent.

What benefits did I get from the 4/4/48 running challenge?

 1. I built my mental toughness

I believe running builds mental toughness and doing the 4/4/48 challenge has helped to build mine.

As you know, life isn’t always easy. It’ can be difficult and throw obstacles in our path. Unless you have mental toughness, you will crumble under pressure when something goes wrong. Dan Peña, the 50 billion dollar man, calls it being a snowflake. It’s not a good place to be.

The 4/4/48 challenge is a huge challenge and overcoming its obstacles builds mental toughness.  After successful completion you now have a powerful mental reference of a time you overcame the odds and achieved something tough.

As a result you will have more resilience and will power to deal with the negative situations in your life. Be it financial, relationships, family or in business, you can draw on the strength built during this challenge to solve your issues head on.

For more information on running and mental toughness, check out the following post:

2. It gave me a massive sense of achievement

Even though my feet were beat up, I was knackered and in huge discomfort, finishing the 4/4/48 challenge gave me a huge sense of achievement.

Someone once told me convenience, comfort and having an easy life is the biggest lie we believe which will make us happy. Instead, he told me we’re actually the happiest when we’re being challenged and overcoming obstacles. This is because we’re getting better and growing as a person through these experiences.

Think about it. What will bring you more satisfaction, watching Netflix on your sofa all day or overcoming a challenge in your business, fitness or creative life which changes your life forever? 9.9/10 people would say overcoming a challenge would bring more satisfaction.

The 4/4/48 running challenge is often viewed as a crazy by most people who learn of it. This means those who complete it get more satisfaction after overcoming the seemingly difficult or near ‘impossible’ challenge. This was definitely the case in my experience.

3. It gave me a chance to escape my day to day routine

Whilst I agree that great modern-day thinkers like Jordan B Peterson argue that routines are essential for our well being as a species, I also believe routines can be too comforting and confining.

If you’re stuck in a routine, it probably means you do the same thing each day, everyday. Maybe you wake up, get ready for work, go to work, come home, have dinner, watch TV and go to bed. The next day, you wake up and do it all over again. It’s like your life is one giant replay button on a remote control.

Whilst a basic routine is needed for stability and security in our lives, a routine which involves too much comfort can be negative. Maybe you are coasting through your tasks at work. Perhaps you’re taking your spouse for granted. You may have even lost your passion for adventure. Overly comfortable routines can cause us to stagnate and stop progressing.

I believe the 4/4/48 challenge can benefit individuals (myself included) with routines that are just too comfortable. It totally shakes up your day to day living with the disruption of having to run 4 miles, every 4 hours, for 48 hours. No matter how you’re feeling or how bad the weather is.

If you are in a comfortable routine that is destroying your passion for life, give the 4/4/48 challenge a try.

4. Fulfilment after raising money for charity

Raising over £500 for Parkinson’s UK, my charity of choice, was an incredible feeling and gave me true fulfilment. Knowing my fundraising efforts generated cash for research and care to individuals in need made the challenge all worth it.

Happiness doesn’t result from what we get, but from what we give.’ Ben Carson

Surprisingly, I gained marketing experience through my fundraising campaign. I secured an article in my county newspaper (scroll up), regularly posted on social media channels, created an email campaign at my job, spread the message through word of mouth and so on.

Should you do the 4/4/48 running challenge?

I believe runners can gain lots of value from doing the 4/4/48 running challenge.

If you relate to any of the following statements, this challenge could be for you: 

  • You want to break out of an overly comfortable routine which is stunting your growth
  • You want to build physical endurance quickly without the risk of an overuse injury, maybe for a marathon or ultra-marathon
  • You want to achieve a difficult challenge and get a sense of accomplishment
  • You want to raise funds for charity in a unique way which will generate lots more attention than ‘normal’ events
  • You want to push beyond your limits and see what you’re truly capable of

If these statements resonate with you, running the 4/4/48 challenge might be just what you need.

Here’s a few of my top tips for acing the challenge and avoiding some issues along the way: 

  • Invest in a heavy duty alarm clock – Don’t run the risk of oversleeping and missing a 4 mile time segment. That would mean failing the challenge. Imagine getting to run number 10/13 and you over sleep, failing the challenge in the process. Get yourself a heavy duty alarm clock, set it an hour before you need to set off, and get some shut eye.
  • Eat & drink plenty – I underestimated how many calories I would burn through this challenge and as a result I got extremely hungry during the later runs, which wasn’t fun. Also, I didn’t drink enough so I constantly woke up with an uncomfortable dry mouth. Both rookie mistakes which you can learn from and avoid in your run! Stock up on and consume plenty of healthy food, and make hydration a priority.
  • Have great in-ear entertainment – Listening to some favourite artists, great podcasts or engaging audio-books can keep your mind engaged and positive during each run.The challenge can get a bit lonely and it can be easy for your mind to wander into negative thoughts like how tired you are, how much your feet hurt, how cold it is etc. The last thing you want is to focus on negative thoughts, so having some great in-ear entertainment in the form of artists, podcasts or audio books is extremely beneficial.
  • Do the challenge on a weekend – The challenge can make you very tired, resulting in a less productive version of you which wouldn’t be suitable for working.  This is why I recommend doing the run over a free weekend where you have no important work or other commitments which require you to be in your best, most productive state.I underestimated how tired the challenge would make me, and after my 5th run I started to feel the effects of sleep deprivation. It was harder to focus on simple tasks, difficult to converse with people and I felt incredibly lethargic. You wouldn’t want to be working in your job or business in this state during the week, so make sure you do the 4/4/48 challenge on a free weekend with no commitments.
  • Have good people around you – Something which helped me out massively during this challenge was support from friends and family, particularly my brother Jack. After each run family members asked me how it went and how I was feeling (except the 2:00 AM runs, understandably!) and it was a good opportunity to voice thoughts and feelings during each stage of the challenge. What’s more, my family (and friends on social media) were all cheering me on which helped me keep going during the difficult moments.
  • Shower after every 4 runs as a minimum – Due to the frequency of 4 miles runs, you’re naturally going to get sweaty and dirty quickly. I’d recommended showering at least every 4 runs for a sense of cleanliness and to promote good hygiene.It’s not very nice for you (or those around you) if you haven’t showered after, say,  8 of the runs (32 miles) in a row. Not only are you going to ‘feel dirty’, you’re going to be demonstrating poor hygiene and will probably smell awful which isn’t nice for the people around you! Not ideal.

If you’re sold on doing the 4/4/48 challenge, what are you waiting for? Just do it! 


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