• Tanner Kern

Three Life Takeaways I got from the 4x4x48 Challenge

Updated: Apr 13

Well...


It definitely wasn't pretty, but I went the distance. I am officially a finisher of the 4x4x48 Challenge created by David Goggins. I started at 8:00am on Tuesday and proceeded to run 4 miles, every 4 hours, for 48 hours averaging an 8:40 pace per mile. My last run came this morning at 4:00am and just to my luck...it coincided with a massive rain storm. This challenge was NO JOKE. 48 miles over 48 hours with little to no sleep was an absolute grind that not only tested me physically, but mentally as well.


When you run 12 times over 48 hours at all different points of day and night, it gives you a lot of time to think. Some thoughts I faced were happy while others were dark. Some moments of the challenge were peaceful and others were painful. I experienced a rollercoaster of emotions over the past two days, but I wouldn't have traded this experience for anything in the world because I am a better person now for enduring the difficulties that began Tuesday at 8:00am.

With that being said, I took three major concepts from the 4x4x48 Challenge that anyone can apply in their everyday life.


1) FOCUS ON THE TASK AT HAND - One major problem I faced was thinking about all the runs I had in front of me instead of the miles I was currently running. My first night into the challenge after my 8:00pm run, I was laying in bed attempting to sleep thinking about my 4:00am run before it was even time to get outside and hammer out my midnight miles. This became really overwhelming and affected my performance as well as my sleep. As I progressed into the second day, I began to just think about what I was doing in the moment and really tried to focus on being mindful. If I was currently running that consumed my entire focus and this applied to my rest as well. If I was attempting to sleep, I tried to put running out of my mind because that was not the task at hand. I really believed this dialed in focus gave me the strength to power through the challenge as the difficulty level increased.


2) YOU ALWAYS HAVE MORE LEFT IN THE TANK - If you know anything about Goggins, you're familiar with the 40% rule which is similar to this takeaway. Goggins believes that when you feel like you've hit the wall that you can't surpass, you're only at 40% of your max potential. Running 4 miles, every 4 hours, for 48 hours is pretty damn tiring. No matter how strong of a runner you are, this challenge will get to you in some capacity. There were points when I thought I had nothing left in my legs and there were points when I believed I was too tired, but as I am writing this after completing the challenge, these thoughts were clearly just thoughts...not reality. There is always more left in the engine so when I got tired I kept using the mantra, "one more step" and those steps led to miles and those miles led to completed runs. When you attempt to fight fatigue, you can come out victorious. You just gotta keep getting up when you get knocked down and continue throwing punches. This challenge made me a true believer that there is always more to give both physically and mentally in any situation we encounter.


3) NEVER BACK DOWN FROM AN UNCOMFORTABLE SITUATION - I took on this challenge because I needed to shake things up and dive face first into discomfort. The usual 50-60 mile training week started becoming normalized and while I was challenging myself, I was craving something different. It took me so long to stand up to the 4x4x48 Challenge though because I knew it was going to suck and let me tell you...I wasn't wrong. Despite this, I am a better person for taking the pain and riding the rollercoaster of emotions over the past 48 hours. We don't grow in comfort. Comfort doesn't challenge us to overcome anything. All comfort does is allow us to coast throughout our lives. We all need comfort, but we don't need it every second of our entire lives. By taking on this discomforting situation, I can look back on what I learned and know that I'm tough enough to endure the next curveball life throws at me.


The takeaways in this blog are in no way an attempt to make you go outside and run 48 miles when you've never run a day in your life, but it is trying to convince you to not stray from a challenge. We all have untapped potential that is waiting to come out of us...we just need to give this potential an opportunity.


So with that being said 4x4x48 Challenge, I can't thank you enough.


*If you attempt the 4x4x48 Challenge or any other difficult situation, I'd love to hear about it! Comment below, write me an email, or connect with me on social media.

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Tanner Kern is a 22 year old coach, runner, and blogger from Connecticut. He is the host of The Tanner Kern Podcast and creator of "It's a Process: A Blog About Life, Running, and Everything in Between."

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