When he was concerned that he might be kept out of competition for a year on his track team at college, YouTuber Zach Levet decided to up his training. He set himself the goal of running more than 10 miles a day, averaging 70 miles per week for over 14 weeks. Eventually, he hit 1,000 miles; or as he puts it, the equivalent of the distance from Portland, Oregon to San Diego, California.
Over the course of the challenge, he lost 2 pounds, and went down to 4.8 percent body fat, but as he was already an experienced runner, there wasn't a drastic physical transformation. However, he did begin to notice some results in his performance.
"Somewhat surprisingly, my body didn't change much, it stayed similar, but the biggest changes came cardiovascularly," he says. "My best 5k time is 15:38... when I ran a 10k, I did end up running 32:01, which is basically just doubling my time, which if you do a straight up conversion, you're not going to get a double time. I was kind of shocked by that result, and obviously there's no clear translation of mileage to time, but it does show that when you put in the time and the effort, you get out what you put in."
Just as significant were the mental changes that occurred during the challenge.
"Running allows me to take a step back and enjoy the world around me," he says, "and when your life is so hectic, which college does to many people and did to me, I kind of got caught up in my life, and I need moments to step back, and I wouldn't have those without running... When you're running 8 to 10 hours a week, you have a lot of time on your own to think and allow for your mind to wander, and that's super special and it's changed the way I view the world and appreciate my life. It gives all these miles so much value."
"When things got tough, I just let go," he continues. "I surrendered to the pain, and experienced the moment. I wasn't thinking about how much it was hurting, I wasn't thinking about dropping off the pace, I just surrendered to it, and then continued to push through it. This has carried over into races, and the way I live my life."
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