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.
From multiday adventure races to 50-mile ultraruns and Himalayan treks, I’ve built a career on adventure — and staying fit enough to be in the game.
Since 2002, when I launched “The Gear Junkie” as a syndicated newspaper column, fitness has been a focus.
I’ve completed more than 100 endurance events and raced competitively in the sport of adventure racing for years, culminating in a National Championship title in 2012.
Today, I coach my daughter’s NICA high-school mountain bike team and continue to climb, bike, run, and ski as a source of energy and passion. And all this has the added bonus, of course, of testing the latest gear for the outdoors.
Founder & Publisher Stephen Regenold
Fitness motto: Make it a habit, and you’ll see results.
Personal stats: 6’1″, 175 pounds, 42 years old.
Home state: Minnesota.
Favorite sports: Mountain biking, trail running, nordic skiing, climbing, orienteering.
Career highlights: Arrowhead 135 Ultramarathon; TNF 50-Mile Trail Championships; Patagonian Expedition Race (2010, 2011); the IRONMAN; Primal Quest Adventure Race (2006); New York City Marathon (2018).
Weekly routine: Bike commuting for base fitness. Running (varies on time of year and event I’m training for). Bouldering (two to three times per week). I have a NordicTrack 2950 in my basement and run on the treadmill when I need a quick session. I also use the iFit “virtual coach” feature; see my coverage here. Recently, I started working with a trainer from 3CLICK Fitness at Performance Running, which is a boutique gym in Minneapolis focused only on runners.
How I keep it fun: Mix up urban workouts by getting off the beaten path.
At GearJunkie a couple of years ago, we developed an “adventure run” route that goes for about 5 miles in a loop from the office.
It’s a run route with sections of trail, pavement, and some urban woods. Along the way, the route climbs multiple fences, has runners hop off a 6-foot embankment wall, and features two requisite short swims.
Recent fail: In the end I was fine, but the New York City Marathon last year was a near-epic fail. The long story is here. The quick version is that I ran the marathon very shortly after recovering from a back injury, and I was on the edge of dropping out at various points throughout the course.
A similar thing happened to me years ago when I participated in the IRONMAN. I essentially swam/biked/ran the entire 140.6-mile course with the flu. It was a dumb and painful decision, but I was committed to finishing the event — no matter how long it took to get to the finish line.
Fitness goals for 2020: Get strong! I’ve made endurance my main fitness training go-to for too long, and I’m noticing cracks in that fitness strategy as I get older. I’ve consciously begun working a strength program into my week, and I’m also bouldering more — not just for fun, but as cross-training, too.