Over the past decade, David Goggins has become one of the most recognized names in the fitness industry. Known for a no nonsense approach to fitness and taking on the toughest challenges in the world. He has even created his own fitness challenge that continues to grow in popularity, with the David Goggins 4x4x48 Challenge.
Below we’ll break down what the challenge is, the rules, strategy, nutrition, and training tips. To make sure you’re prepared if you decide to take on this mental and physical challenge.
The David Goggins 4x4x48 Challenge
What is the David Goggins 4x4x48 Challenge?
The David Goggins 4x4x48 Challenge rules are easy. Just run 4 miles, every 4 hours, for 48 hours. Simple right? Most people start this challenge at 8pm on a Friday.
When: Whenever you want! Most people start this challenge at 8pm on a Friday.
Official Date: David Goggins does the challenge every year in March, here is the Goggins Challenge official website. He encourages others to do it at the same time as him to raise money and awareness for various charities.
The 4x4x48 Challenge was created by motivational speaker and fitness influencer David Goggins. It was created as a way to challenge both your body and your mind. This challenge is as much mental as it is physical.
Strategy & Tips
- Set a couple alarms for every block. I used my watch and my phone, allowing myself 15-20 minutes notice to get up and ready.
- Pace yourself in the beginning. A lot of people go out fast which can lead to burning out later into the challenge. So pick a comfortable pace and stick with it. This will pay off in the long run.
- Run slower to keep your heart rate lower at night, when you are planning on sleeping. People tend to think the opposite. Speed up and give yourself more time to sleep. But you’ll spend more time getting your heart rate down rather than just slowing your pace 1.5 minutes per mile (6 minutes total).
- Have your nutrition planned out. This is a long challenge and the nutrition choices you make in the beginning will have a major effect on you in the end. So stick with your game plan as long as you can.
- Plan on taking naps during the day. Catching an hour here and there during the day will go a long way to keeping you changed for the short intervals at night. And if you can have a dark room setup for this, even better.
- Have a reflective running vest and head lamp (and/or waist lamp) for your night runs. You want to be as reflective and lit up as possible for cars. Especially on the second night when you are starting to get tired.
- Invest in some body glide for your feet and other important parts. It’s going to be a lot of running, stopping, and starting. And some good chafing cream will go a long way to making the challenge more enjoyable.
- Get some friends or family to help. Having a crew to get you food and water will save you a lot of time, movement, and brain power late in the challenge. Have them set up a table with 2 rounds (8 hours) of stuff out for you. Any changes of clothes etc. This way they can sleep but still be incredibly helpful.
- Do it with someone! If you can’t do the challenge on the official date, then find yourself another crazy person and get them to do the challenge with you. Misery loves company and it will make the hours go by a lot faster.
- Celebrate your accomplishment. This is a huge challenge and something to celebrate if you are able to finish it.
- Everyone’s nutritional needs and what works for them will be different.
- Except for water, everyone needs water. Make sure you stay well hydrated. Monitor how much you are taking in throughout. And try to keep your urine as clear as possible (meaning you are hydrated) throughout the 48 hours.
- Second to water, salt will be an important part of your nutrition intake. You can get salt in the form of salt pills or through the food you’re eating. Just take this into account when planning your nutrition.
- Make sure you test your nutrition while training so you know what works with your system. And in correlation with the other stuff you are taking in.
- If your stomach starts to have trouble keeping food down, try instant mash potatoes. An ultra running classic for when things get tough.
- Be very careful about using caffeine. And if you do, it’s recommended you save it for the last 2-3 running blocks.
- Build up our weekly mileage slowly and safely until you are ready. A good idea for a challenge is to build up to a weekly total of 45 miles. If you need to build your mileage, increasing by 10% per week is considered the safe amount.
- Add in back to back long running days of 10 miles+ or more. The idea is to get your legs tired and then do some long miles on them the next day.
- Double and triple days. A great way to train for this challenge is to run 5-6 miles in the morning, afternoon, and evening. All in one day. This will help train your muscles and mind for the constant stopping and starting.
- Make sure to test your nutrition while training. There is only one way to know how your body is going to digest something while under extreme conditions.