🏃‍♀️ What a run❗️ I ran 53 MILES in 48 HOURS with the 4x4x48 GOGGINS CHALLENGE❗️

The equivalent of 2 marathons❗️ Yes I ran more than the challenge required BECAUSE I CAN. I always go ONE MORE. I always challenge myself. I always push myself, and that’s what this challenge was about.

This was my way of celebrating how far I have come in the past 3 years of healing from burnout (not quite done) and how amazing the body is. The body is SMART – you have to learn to listen to it even if it NEEDS and WANTS something different than what YOU want. Your wants and your body’s wants WILL ALIGN when you honor your body FIRST. I didn’t want to give up running but I eventually did in order to heal my body. I got running back after 14 months when my body was ready to run again, able to handle it, and 75% healed.

This challenge had its highs and challenges and I thoroughly enjoyed the 48 hours – YES I will be doing it again! With that being said, I put together the resources below to help YOU succeed with this challenge.

It’s my mission to take my mistakes, the lessons I’ve learned and the things I’ve done correctly to shorten your learning curve – to help you succeed faster, to prevent you from making the same mistakes and/or to help you get out of similar situations FASTER than I did.

Watch Jaci's 4x4x48 Challenge

If you are interested in the play-by-play of these 48 hours, you can watch this Instagram Highlight of my first round of the 4x4x48 Goggins Challenge.

Watch Jaci's 4x4x48 Challenge

Q&A, tips and advice on how to complete the 4x4x48 David Goggins Challenge successfully!

It’s a challenge created by David Goggins. You run 4 miles every 4 hours for 48 hours, totaling 48 miles. If you are unable to run or you aren’t a runner you can exercise for 45-60 minutes of each 4 hour leg.

  1. Sleep is essential. Get as much as possible.
  2. Nutrition and hydration are key. They will make or break the challenge for you.
  3. Time management and planning – plan out everything and what you will do in between each run.
  1. Prioritize sleep.
  2. Plan out everything – when you run, what and when you will eat, what you will do in between runs, where you will run, when you will sleep, etc. You need to eliminate all decision fatigue – you need all mental capacity for this challenge.
  3. Have your laundry done ahead of time.
  4. Have your meals/food prepped ahead of time.
  5. Write down your runs so you don’t miss one.
  6. Set alarms ahead of time.
  7. Change into dry clothes right after your run.
  8. Make sure you keep up with fueling and hydration – you need electrolytes, it will catch up to you. You won’t think you are losing that much because your runs are short but it spans across the entire day.
  9. Don’t shower after every run.
  10. Write down your run times and distances – at night and during the second day your mental capacity will be less.
  11. Don’t fall into the trap of “it’s only 4 miles” and not fuel or hydrate properly. It’s 4 miles six times a day for two days – that’s almost 2 marathons. Think about what you consume before, during and after a marathon to adequately fuel yourself and recover. It adds up, you need to look at the challenge as a whole instead of “it’s only a 4 mile run.”

I had a lot of food prepped and then listened to my body. I still ate full meals and snacks. I had something to eat before every meal – yes even at 2am I had a muffin. I also refueled and hydrated after every run – yes even at 2am, I had Hydrate or LiquidIV and protein.

I had my normal preworkout/run muffins before my 6am run and postrun shake with creatine and banana afterwards.

Postworkout meal/3rd breakfast before my 10am run and some protein afterwards.

Lunch around 12:30/1pm, ran at 2pm. Snack after my run.

Supper around 5pm, ran at 6pm. Protein shake afterwards.

Little snack before my 10pm run and then protein afterwards.

It sounds like a lot – it is and it isn’t, ha! Remember this isn’t “just a 4 mile run,” this is 4 miles EVERY 4 hours for 48 hours! You are running 48 miles, you need to fuel and hydrate your body FOR PERFORMANCE.

It was during tax season and I couldn’t risk making any mistakes (mistakes that would be caused due to mental fatigue from the challenge) with the work I was doing. Sleep is also my number one priority and I didn’t have 6 hours to devote to warming up and running PLUS time to shower and get ready to go back to the office while also getting adequate sleep.

Yes! I cannot underscore how important sleep is during this challenge. I planned my run times out so I got the most amount of sleep possible at night. I made sure to go to bed extra early Monday evening before the start of the challenge. My first run was at 2am Tuesday morning. Then I went back to bed between my 2am and 6am run. It was still dark when I got done with my 6am run. I could have gone back to bed then but mornings are my favorite so I didn’t. I got 9 hours that night. I then slept some before my 10pm run on Tuesday evening. Then in between my 10pm & 2am runs and between my 2am & 6am runs on Wednesday. I’ve heard of others napping throughout the day so that is also an option.

No, because I was nervous about missing my alarm! So I jumped right out of bed for my 2am run alarm. I woke up before my 6am run alarm. I would have had a much harder time if I hadn’t gotten as much sleep as I did. When I planned out my times I planned it out so I would get as much sleep as possible at night.

I love a different challenge! I love challenging myself in ways I never have, doing things I’ve never done – both physically and mentally. I also like doing things that others won’t do. I wasn’t able to do it two years ago because I wasn’t running. People have walked the challenge or done other exercise for the challenge (based on time), but with healing my body from burnout, I needed to prioritize sleep and putting my body under that much stress was not an option at the time – it would have set me back in the healing process.

I didn’t train specifically for the challenge but I had a great base of strength and mileage. I’ve been training for half marathons all summer and lift weights 5 times a week.

You definitely can’t just do the challenge without direct or indirect training. You need to be strength training and have a good aerobic base with adequate weekly mileage. Yes, running a marathon is different, but think about the mileage you need to have to successfully complete a marathon injury free. I also had a good fueling and hydration plan.

The classic answer for running – it depends. If you think about training for a marathon, some runners do better with lower mileage while others do better with higher mileage. It also depends on what you are doing for strength training and cross training, and HOW MUCH you are doing. My weekly mileage varied a lot because I had a lot of races throughout the summer – I was always recovering for a race or tapering for a race with a little increase in between. Leading up to the challenge my weekly mileage averaged 37mi/week for the 10 weeks prior but ranged from 29 miles (race week) to 43 miles – typically training for a half marathon. I had two 5ks, 2 half marathons and a duathlon in these 10 weeks.

Because I like to challenge myself at anything I do and do ONE MORE. 48 miles is almost 50 miles and then I realized 50 miles is almost 2 marathons, so my goal was to add on some mileage to hit the 2 marathon mileage mark (52.4 miles). But I stopped it there because I could have said 2 marathon is almost 55 miles, etc.

My goal was to keep them all easy effort runs. Six 4 mile runs is very different than running a marathon. A marathon is more intense and run at a faster pace in a shorter amount of time, but with this challenge you have 24 hours with life in between runs – then you have to do it again the next day for 24 hours. You’re dealing with nutrition and time on your feet for the entire day with this challenge.

My Noxgear Tracer2 light vest, a headlamp, and pepper spray. I had my phone with on every run and I carried with a holster belt.

No, just myself! Which added to the mental challenge.

I would bring my handheld with on every 10am, 2pm and 6pm run (if it’s hot the next time I do it). I haven’t sweat that much in a long time and didn’t anticipate to lose that many electrolytes. I also didn’t really thing about how much short runs throughout the day would add up in the overall bigger picture of 48 hours. Two days later I felt like I was still trying to catch up. I’m also not used to running at these times of day – I usually only run between 5am and 8am. I would also find someone to run with me at 10pm and 2am so I don’t get in my head and don’t have to run laps around my neighborhood. If you know me I don’t ever run on the track because I don’t like running short circles… but my circle was 0.35mi around so it wasn’t much better – but it was dark so I didn’t really notice. I was too focused on listening to my surroundings and looking around for safety.

I would also recruit a friend to run with me at 10pm and 2am.

Yes! I’m already thinking of ways to challenge myself with it next time! I’m thinking I should run every run with negative splits or every run’s average pace should get progressively faster.

This is a loaded question – figuring out what times you will run AND what time of year you will run. You need to consider the time of year for weather and for sunrise/sunset times. You also need to consider these for clothing/laundry purposes and for safety purposes.

I love winter running and am not afraid of the cold but I’m not so sure I’ll do it in the middle of our Minnesota winter – too much clothing, laundry and time spent getting dressed, warming up and getting undressed again. I liked doing it in the fall because it wasn’t humid or extremely hot, yet I didn’t have a ton of laundry – I was still able to wear a tank and shorts or capris (at night). So, consider what your seasons are like – if you live down south, winter is probably the best time for you to do it. If you get extreme winters like me (wind chills of 40-50 degrees below zero) winter may not be the best time.

As far as time of day goes for doing your first run, I spent a lot of time figuring this out and writing down different scenarios.

I preferred getting adequate sleep leading up to my first run. I’ve heard of people starting at 8pm or 10pm (or even 6pm) and starting tired/being drained after being up for a full day. Starting at 2am allowed me to go to bed early and sleep until 1:40am. Then I could go back to bed between my 2am and 6am runs. I considered sunrise and sunset times when planning out my run times so that I would finish a run at sunrise and sunset. Then I only had two runs in the middle of the night. It depends on the time of year, but if you ran at 8pm in the dark you would also have a dark run at 12am and 4am. I thrive on sunlight, especially when we have less of it starting in the fall, so maximizing sleep while also running in the light as much as possible was important for me. I also worked around a vet appointment and meetings/calls.

After all my planning and scenarios, running at 2am, 6am, 10am, 2pm, 6pm and 10pm worked best for me, and I did enjoy these times.

My fatigue varied from run to run.

My legs felt tired on my third run (at 10am) – I ran on a trail with hills so I think that contributed to the fatigue. I also had to take Eve (our 1YO puppy) to the vet in between #2 and #3 so I never really sat down. I was very thirsty and fatigued on my forth run (2pm) – it was in the middle of the afternoon, hot and sunny, and I ran on the trail again to avoid traffic. I should have brought water/electrolytes with but I didn’t think about it. My legs felt tired at the end of the first day but I felt better than expected.

Oddly enough, I felt better on day two! My runs were on average 30sec/mi faster on the second day than they were on the first day!

The inner battle with yourself. Getting in my head on those night runs. After my forth run (at 2pm) I started thinking “I should have done the 24hr challenge where you run 5 miles every 4 hours for 24 hours.” I value sleep a lot after my burnout healing journey and I was not looking forward to running at night. And then when I was running laps during my sixth run at 10pm I started questioning if I wanted to do a second day – this is the mental fatigue setting in. But that run went better than expected and when I finished I got a rush, similar to the rush and high I get after crossing the finish line of a marathon.

After I got some sleep and woke up for my seventh run at 2am, I was ready to go. I was on day two and was going to finish this challenge!

For the most part, yes! I absolutely loved when I chose to do the challenge – it just so happened to be at the peak of our fall colors so every run was spent looking at the colors (except obviously those in the dark). Again, on a normal day I don’t enjoy/look forward to running in the afternoon or evening. I like setting the tone of my day with a run and the feeling of accomplishment that comes from being done with my morning routine, weight lifting and run before most people are up for the day. I also feel like I should be at my desk working if I run after 8am – it’s environment-based and something I am working through because now I DO have the freedom to set my own schedule as a self-employed coach. I think this challenge helped me work on this.

My 10am, 2pm and 6pm runs were sunny and hot, so they were slower in order to maintain an easy effort.

Running at 2am was different than running at 10pm. More lights are still on in houses at 10pm and more cars are on the roads. 2am was VERY quiet and almost eerie. I ran laps around my neighborhood for my 2am runs – because I was paying close attention to listening to my surroundings, I was running tense. Next time I’ll recruit some friends to run with at 10pm and 2am.

Yes! I wrote down a routine so I didn’t have to think about it. Then I would do more if I felt like I needed it since fatigue varied from run to run. You can read more about warming up here.

I did high knees, butt kicks, toe walks, heel walks, side shuffle, hip/leg swings, the knee drive drill, the pawback drill, and calf raises.

No! I don’t usually listen to anything when running, sometimes I’ll listen to a podcast, but not usually. And I actually set the intention before the challenge that I wouldn’t listen to anything on any runs. I wanted to take in the experience and add to the mental challenge by staying fully present with the run and listening to my body. Mindful running has played a HUGE role in my return to running post burnout so I wanted to keep it that way during this challenge. And for safety purposes I wanted to be able to hear everything around me.

Yes! Let’s chat about your goals with the challenge, what your current training/running looks like, and what your timeline looks like! Please fill out this form!