From climbing mountains to running marathons, a job at GearJunkie requires a solid level of fitness. Our ‘How I Stay Fit’ series profiles editors and contributors on our staff for a peek at their fitness habits and idiosyncrasies working out and adventuring in the outdoors.
The Power of Four ski mountaineering race. Climbing Mount Elbert in the winter. The Leadville 100. These are just a few fond/painful memories from nearly a decade of editing GearJunkie.com.
The fact is, this is no ordinary editing job. My first assignment was competing in a winter mountain bike race when I hadn’t ridden a bike in years. From that brutal thrashing, I learned a solid truth: I’d better stay in shape, always.
That said, neither I nor the rest of our staff are elite athletes. This is how we stay fit to be ready for the unexpected challenges our job throws our way. As average athletes, we hope these tips will also help you with your personal fitness journey.
Editor-In-Chief Sean McCoy: Ultramarathons, Skiing, Mountain Hunting
Fitness motto: Make workouts fun, and you’ll always want to train.
Personal stats: 5’8″, 150 pounds, 44 years old.
Favorite sports: Trail running, downhill/backcountry skiing.
Work highlights: Finisher of the Leadville 100, Never Summer 100, Grand Canyon 100, Trans Rockies Run, Vail Mountain games ski-mo race, climbed Mount Elbert in winter.
Weekly routine: Fast 3-mile morning runs 3 days a week year-round, augmented by specific event training for marathons and ultramarathons. Lift weights 2 days a week in 45-minute blocks. Mountain bike and trail run after work year-round, usually 1-2 hours twice a week.
On weekends, tackle real-world fitness goals with big-mountain hunting, mountaineering, backcountry skiing, and racing, pushing my limits and returning me to the workweek sore and tired.
How I keep it fun: I think a lot of people forget that everyday activities contribute to an overall fitness level. So even when I’m playing with my dog, I wear comfortable shoes so I can sprint with her and get a workout for myself, too.
And, of course, some of my favorite pastimes like hiking, skiing, and even upland bird hunting (which often means 15 miles of hiking through the brush in a day) add to my base fitness routine. Couple that with challenging workouts, and the variety keeps me motivated and inspired.
Recent fail: Fitness doesn’t equate to skill, and it can be easy, and punishing, to forget. On a recent trip to Cuyuna County for some Minnesota mountain biking, I got humbled — hard — when I popped a little too aggressively off a drop, got sideways in the air, and Superman-slid across the sharp, rocky trail. That one left a mark all the way down my side.
A personal tip for average ultrarunners: When training for the Leadville 100, I started doing yoga regularly and found it really augmented my running. I think of it and weight lifting as catalysts for running, in that they make your running workouts more effective and help you avoid injury.