4 x 4 x 48 challenge 2021

I’m no Goggins fan buoy but I have read his book and heard him on the Joe Rogan podcast. He has strong ultra running credentials e.g. Badwater several times, and his 4x4x48 challenge is acknowledged as more of a challenge of discipline not ultra running. Not wanting to misrepresent it here…

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Nice nod to his naval background :upside_down_face:

I’ve had a look at a summary of his military Bio. If nothing, it shows he persists and is determined, so genuine kudos to him for that! In the UK Forces, you’d never get all the chances he got to pass; normally two bites and you’re done. In his 11 years service, he must have done pretty much half that on training courses or waiting to get back on one.

There’s a real fire inside these kind of people, but fuelling it comes at a cost.


My mate from work did it over the weekend. He started at 8pm Friday and ran every 4 hours by the clock, so the overnight runs were at midnight and 4am. Said it was just like going to bed a bit late then getting up a bit early. Also said he had a really good weekend and got loads done because the runs were only 30 minutes at a time, not 2 hours then knacked.

I still don’t get it but 48 miles in a weekend is a decent volume. I think he has some ultra in view.


I wonder how well this would equate to training him for an Ultra. The 4 mile runs if done gently won’t smash the legs or tax the system. I kind of feel he’d need to do 20+ miles two days on the trot to get that kind of super-compensation he needs.

Both would be useful i’d say. The 2 x 20 is for sure needed to prepare the physiology, but if you’re doing a long ultra, then many people underestimate the mental fatigue aspect i.e. running through the night .

A good few of my mates, all very strong runners, have completely wilted in the night sections of some of the races we’ve done. So if you can do the 2 x 20 in the middle of the night, even better!!! :rofl:

They should try finding their way in darkness to a checkpoint, to collect a concrete filled box to carry for the rest of the event.

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i did this last week. i was working from home so used the 30-35 min runs as a break from my laptop.
it was pretty straightforward for me. i pre selected about 8 different routes some on road some trails to keep it interesting.
only change i will make for next time is to eat small amounts of food through the day/s as i found that by eating my regular 3 large meals a day the food hadnt digested properly prior to a run so it felt like running on a full stomach.
getting up twice in the night was actually good fun!


The daddy of this type of thing is Robert Barclay Allerdice - he walked 1000 miles in 1000 hours, 1 mile every hour in 1809.

I recall ed_m posting somewhere (FB?) about the first woman to do it but forget the details


If it’s not on strava… :wink:


Only that they did this for some reason for london mara 2003


In 1802 he walked 64 miles (103km) in 10 hours - that’s not bad going by anyone’s standards :open_mouth:

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The Backyard Ultra format is the modern equivalent. Run a 4.167 mile loop on the hour every hour until you drop. Winner is last (wo)man standing. Record is 75 loops!

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Someone definitely posted about a lady doing something like this in Victorian skirts … could have sworn it was you but I’m often wrong :slight_smile:

I read a book about him but tbh it’s mostly about betting and boxing. Remarkable man though.

The modern equivalent for ultra & sleep deprivation are probably things like the Vendee Globe. I still can’t get my head round the fact that Ellen MacArthur never slept for longer than 4 hours for 95 days when she came 2nd all those years ago.

1000 hours is only 41-42 days but obviously sports science was in it’s infancy 200 years ago :wink:


Here you go, Emma Sharp in 1864.

“It is reported that her food was drugged and people attempted to trip her to prevent her from finishing, for the last two days she carried a pistol to protect herself.”


ah yes… that rings a bell :smiley:

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I did this this weekend. Started ar 7pm on Thursday.

It has kicked my arse! My little toes are more blister than toe. My left hip is sore. And I’m VERY sleepy.

I think of you’re fit this isn’t a big deal, if you’re running a lot the volume isn’t insane. You’ll want either lots of shorts or a fast drying option… that all got a bit awkward/smelly.

I struggled with getting cold on the night runs, and then not being able to get to sleep.

I am not very fit. This is the biggest running volume I’ve put together in a week in ages. My feet swelled up and I think that’s what’s lead to the blisters. And I only own one wind proof smock that I worry will never smell right again!

I wouldn’t rush to do this again, it sucked. And if I was fit enough for it I don’t think it would yield anything other than curiosity.

I had some expectation that I’d have some kind of running epiphany. It wasn’t forthcoming. It never seems to be.

Am I glad I’ve done it? Sure.

Now if anyone has recommendations about how to deal with little toe blisters I’m listening!


:joy:, sorry but that’s a great little report.

Good on you though for smashing that out in a whim. I love crazy challenges like that.

Sorry, no advice on the blister front though. Maybe those plasters and just time I guess.



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