Last month, we introduced you to Gym Source’s own Jan Schole (manager of our showroom in Westport, CT), who is training to compete in the Laugavegur Ultra Marathon in Iceland on July 18, 2015. Preparing for a grueling competition like the Laugavegur—taking place in the Icelandic wilds—requires serious dedication and focus. No stranger to tough training, Jan is rising to the challenge.
But with the race less than two months away, Jan has been seriously impacted by a complication—he was diagnosed with plantar fasciitis in December. “In terms of my running, I’m not where I’d like to be at all,” Jan explains. “April and May were very painful months. There have been some days I could barely walk. I should be running 20 mile by this time, and I had signed up for a test marathon in Poughkeepsie NY. Unfortunately, I’m not going to make that deadline.”
Jan’s podiatrist advised him to stop running for a few weeks between April and May. To keep his endurance and fitness level up, he’s been training on the Cybex Arc Trainer 2-3 times per week. “I do 5 minute intervals at incline 10 and 20, at medium- and high-resistance levels to build stamina and keep my legs strong,” he explains. “And I do outdoor and indoor cycling. Another machine I use often is PowerPlate for stretching my legs and strengthening my core. Besides that, I do kettlebell and medicine ball workouts—not to mention that I spend lots of time on the leg press.”
Despite Jan’s training curveball, he’s setting his sights high. The race traverses rough, barren terrain—and there are two cut-off distances. “I love a good challenge, and this is one that excites me. I need to make the 22KM mark (13.67 miles) in 4 hours and 38KM (23.6 miles) at 6 hours,” he says. “Before plantar fasciitis hit me, I had set myself a finish race time of between 5.5 to 6 hours. So if I need to scale down my race expectations so be it; I will enjoy myself and do the best I can.”
He’ll have to, since the stakes are high. “In any of my previous races, it’s pretty easy to say ‘I give up!’—not that I ever have—since they take place in urban, populated areas,” he explains. “But if I don’t make the cut-off times for this race, I’ll be stranded in the middle nowhere of Iceland! So, it gives me more determination to make those cut off times with my foot condition.”
Jan plans to travel to the race with his wife and daughter, who have put together an adventurous itinerary with trips to the Polar circle, national parks and ice diving. We’ll catch up with Jan again soon as he continues to train!
**We’d like to extend a special shout-out to the Kilometers Running Store in Ridgefield, CT, which has been providing Jan with running shoes, gear, and additional training guidance.**