MF: What’s the current Challenge record?
MM: The World record run for the male division is 1:19 minutes. Most of the fastest males today run the challenge in 1:39.
MF: What does a typical firefighter training plan look like?
MM: Most competitors have a fitness program that ranges from high intensity interval circuit training to running courses similar to the challenge to build a strong aerobic foundation. A lot of departments require their firefighters to work out one hour per shift. Competitors can log as many as 10 hours per week in the gym doing high intensity training, like Olympic lifts, as well as 8-12 hours a week on a simulated course.
MF: What do they have to eat to keep up with the calories they’re burning?
MM: A lot of competitors like us choose a high-protein diet. We try to keep our fat, sugar and sodium intakes low due to the fact that we supplement our workouts and challenges with pre-workout drinks, like 5-Hour Energy or Gatorade. As for post-workout, most will intake a 50/50 mix of protein (think meat or nuts) or quick-burning carb (think pasta or bread).