Alex Knob Trail, New Zealand

During our honeymoon across New Zealand and, after almost 2.000km of driving, we stopped over in the Franz Josef Glacier. It’s amazingly sad to stare how the Glacier is getting smaller year by year, mostly because of the climate change. Still, it’s quite impressive to see such a natural phenomenon and stare for some minutes realizing how small we are.

After walking across the natural park, we headed up to the town and enjoyed some bribes, with a burger and some French fries to share. During the dinner, we were researching for the next day hiking route and eventually decided for the Alex Knob.

Day D arrives and we are ready to go.
After grinding some coffee beans with the manual grinder (what a great investment!) I prepare a French press and pour the coffee over a titanium mug from Snowpeak that Nicki has giving to me as a present. The process of the coffee preparation is a habit I’ve, a routine that I love to do every morning.

I’m driving at 6.30am from the base camp. I’m a really bad sleeper, I recognize that. As soon as I’m excited due to an upcoming activity, my body travels to my childhood and I only hope that the night goes fast.
We hit the starting point before 7.00am, ensuring that we are kicking the trail off and avoiding traffic.

We’re discussing in front of the billboard with the Alex Knob trail details, where is written that we will need around 8h to complete the hike. As we know by experience that they overexaggerate the timings and we, as usual, are planning to run as much as possible, the forecast is dropping down from something around 4h30’ to 5h.

The day was grey and a bit rainy, which on the one hand make the weather delicious and perfect to run with one layer. The opposite side of the coin is that the lookouts are covered with fog, and we can’t see anything below us.

In terms of describing the trail, I would say is a great track to enjoy a combination of running and hiking. The route has many parts runnable, and it’s not getting super step until the last kilometers. The trails are well maintained, which make you comfortable and safe during the whole thing.
The length is around 17km, with an altitude of 1.200m and took us around 3h25’ .
The price is, basically,  the 2 lookouts you’ll find during your way up (when clear weather), the forest track where you have to pass under trees and little climbs and finally the lookout to the Franz Josef Glacier (that we were not able to see at all due to the conditions).

To sum up, a great morning to explore outdoors, take a moderate physical activity and breathe fresh air.

Our very last tip about it: Prepare beforehand some picnic and park the camper/car at the entrance of the park, just in one side of the river. Take your breakfast/lunch there and enjoy the views!

Cheers,
Dani Juan

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#nodaysoff – month 1

Hi guys,
After feeling inspired at the beginning of the year by tracksmith and his commitment to #nodaysoff, I decided to set this up as a 2017 goal.
You can join, track, use, copy, modify or suggest whatever you want in my strava.

In a nutshell, the aim is to do a kind of training (I modified it approach slightly) everyday or to say it differently, to smash 365 sessions in a row. Strike.

Before describing some of my sensations, one of the key learnings is how powerful is to be engaged with a goal. Those days that your legs are screaming for a break or you simply don’t feel like to crunch some kcal out, being commit to something is a natural booster.

During the first months, I’ve achieved a 100% effectivity.
I’ve experienced some days that I was quite tired, due to the Ironman Vietnam preparation, others that I was traveling either for job or leisure and a last bunch when I was postponing during the day and it was so difficult to overcome.
And this is exactly the key: To find something that is keeping you motivated

I’m not going to lie…I use to be badly keening on doing sports, thus is part of my life and I can’t separate. The days that I’ve described above were 2-3 maximum. But I think you get the idea, right?
Set up a goal, commit with something meaningful for you, partner with a friend, you girlfriend or a community and unleash your best.

Looking forward to smash the next 11 months =)

Cheers,
Dani Juan

How to score without a plan

Hi guys,
I always say that there is no off-season: There are periods where you will train more and others that you’ll do less, but to keep your body active and fit is a habit, rather than a seasonal thing. img_5597

When I’m not following a plan or preparing a race (that seems this is the trend in the last year), I sometimes can feel demotivated or not keening at all in getting some training done.
And if you know me, not doing sports and/or practicing my habits, may have a negative impact on my daily basis performance: personal, learning, social, job etc.

How I overcome this?
How I train without a plan?
It’s only about training or there are other parts that I want to push myself?

Normally, I set up short objectives, no longer than 1 week.
For instance, let me sum up the last weeks goals to give you a clear picture of what I mean:

  • Training: Running 70k in week 1 and 80k in week 2
  • Social: Join at least 1 activity with a group. img_5530
    Football game last Friday
  • Nutrition: Avoid sweets during working hours
  • Hydration: Don’t exceed 2,5 litres/day
  • Mind: Doing during 10 days 10′ meditation
  • Extra: Go 3 levels up in duolingo in one week

One of the things that are working for me, is to set up goals that are ambitious but achievable at the same time.
The idea behind is to be able to score and even go further.

Last but not least, short term objectives doesn’t need to be easy, so don’t forget to reward yourself and celebrateimg_5560
Cheers,
Dani Juan

Meditation from scratch

Hi guys,
It’s been a while since I had written in my list “things to try” a meditation routine.
Tired of delaying this topic much more, I have researched about it and having some ideas of how to do Meditation without knowing nothing about it. Or Meditation for dummies, feel free to called it.

Some hints that had steered me to try Meditation:

  1. I was realizing that I find quite easy to work against objectives, goals or projects.
    — However, when it was about to keep the mind blank, it was such a challenge
  2. The same as in training. Even when I’m tired, I can focus in doing a session and hit (with a better or worse performance) the objective of the practice.
    –Trying to relax afterwards in some quality minutes doing some stretching or just breathing is usually not possible. I’m already thinking in the next task.
  3. Feeling bad if I’m in the bed awake. My body (steer by my head) makes me leap out of the bed and start doing stuff. We’re talking 5.30 to 6.00am, even on the weekends.
    I was putting quite an effort to stay in the bed on Sunday’s, but I failed over and over.

For those reasons and others and, confiming this pattern with Nicki, I realized I’ve not as much control as I thought on my mind.

Back to the research point, I was reading some advice of how meditation can help you to focus during the day and also how can improve your daily productivity.
Credits to one of my recurrent learning/hacking sources, Tim Ferriss

So I’m trying for 10 days an app called Headspace to experience whether Meditation can actually help to feel better, keep you more focused and rise your productivity or, rather, is something that is not suiting me.

Any recommendation guys?

Day 1 accomplished, with 10′ this morning after my running session and I’ve to admit I felt better the whole day. Placebo?

Cheers,
Dani Juan

Grand Canyon – Bright Angel trail running

Hi guys,
I was delaying this post for a while, but better late than ever.
As you may know, I was doing an amazing trip along the West Coast of USA last summer with Nicki, and we made it count!img_3126
I would love to share with you our different adventures, because it could be quite helpful if you are planning a similar trip in the future.

In our first week, we planned a full National parks and long trail running adventures, kicking off with the Bright Angel Trail, located in the South Rim of the Grand Canyon.
We did 25km in around 4h (link to strava), having a snack in the middle and being quite conservative, thus we had jetlag, 2 weeks and a bunch of km ahead. But you can save easily 30′ to 1h in a running pace. Here my tips:

  1. Hit the park before the sunrise. 
    –> We landed in Las Vegas, slept in Williams AZ and drove the day after at 3.45 am. You’ll have something around 1h30′ from there to the trail starting point.
    Watch out the deers on your way, though.
  2. I strongly recommend to start going down before the dawn, enjoying the darkness and embracing the day while running. 
    –> If not, you always can take a sit, turn on your camera and enjoy!
  3. The whole trail is feasible in one day (rim to rim), but only if your shape is quite good
    –> We only did 3/4 of the trail, because we were a bit scared about the thousands of recommendations that “you should not do the whole trail in one single day”. We didn’t regret eventually, but we arrived at the top at 10.30…
  4. Start your climbing before 9.00 am, to avoid traffic and hot weather
    –> After a snack in the Indian Gardens, we started climbing. Good pace, non stop and only finding people in the most hilly part (that for the records, is in the final part, so don’t give everything you’ve in the beginning).
  5. Prepare water (but not as crazy as the recommendations!) and some snacks. 
    –> With a water bottle of 750 cl each one, some trail mix nuts and a sandwich, you’ve more than enough. Take in consideration that you can find tabs to refill your bottles along the trail
  6. Take a look of the water and dress up properly.
    –> In our case was quite fair. Fresh negative temperature before the sunrise and it went up until 30º or so, but again, bear in mind we were in the summit at 10.30 am
  7. Know your level and plan the route before hand. Don’t underestimate the trail and the Canyon.
    –> We both are used to do long runnings, hiking in the alps and daily trainings, so don’t mirror our experience with yours if it’s not the case.
    Also, we planned the whole trail days before the start, forecasting our checkpoint/time to ensure we were as the plan.

*If you want to check the map and the route, here my strava mapping

Last but not least, for those that are used to hiking in the Alps, this experience is totally different. The effort is coming in the last part, thus you go all the way down without spending so much energy, so the “measure” is different as in the European mountains.

Drop you some pictures here 🙂
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Enjoy! It’s unique!

Disclaimer: Please don’t be bold and know your shape. We put into the training log between 15h – 20h a week on average. Know your limits and respect the challenge 

Cheers,
Dani

The importance of having a sport goal for growing in your career

Hi guys,
We all heard over and over about the importance to setting up goals in a short, mid and long term, both in your work and your life.

But there is one goal that should be set up in the first place: Sport
Why sport should be priority number one? 

To achieve any kind of business or personal goal, we need a blend made by:
Energy, motivation, attitude, achievable targets, dedication, perseverance or luck.

Is anything popping up in your head that have such an ingredients? Sure, it’s called Sports.
Having a Sport Goal, such a running distance, a summit conquest or a pure aesthetic objective, will directly boost your body, giving you a leverage to smash anything that is in your business/personal pipeline.

So, how to be more efficient and able to achieve all your goals without getting burn out?
Mark a Sport meeting in your calendar, involve a friend to rise the commitment bar, take a leap out of the daily routines, and buckle up for the rest of your milestones, you’ll be boosted!

And if this is not working, at least your body will be grateful for the healthy journey =)

Cheers,
Dani Juan

#Dosomethingnew

Hi guys,

When was the last time you did something for the first time
In ma case, it was last Saturday.
I decided that I was a while doing nothing new, so I decided to ride my bike with only a swimwear.
I rode to a Lake, jump into the water andspinned back. In total, it was around 10k in the IMG_1911bike and a dip in the water, with a bunch of skeptical sights by the people around (which makes a lot of sense though)

Even if this could be seen as a stupid thing, actually to do something unexpected and new will boost your body, activate your senses and the most important, make you feel like a kid, smiling and being happy.

Try something new. Surprise yourself. Don’t be too serious. Bite life.

Cheers,
Dani Juan