Up the Mountain | Week 19 | Kris Gethin's Man of Iron

In this adventurous episode, Kris battles both illness and unbelievable physical challenges. The hardest day hike in the U.S.? Yeah, he runs it.
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“I feel like I am starting to get toward my limit. I can see it in the distance. I could never see it before.” These are surprising words from Kris Gethin, but this week is packed with them.

He starts the week with a hacking cough, noting that he’s over 220 pounds on the scale. Then he hears praise on his half-Ironman results from none other Dave Scott, one of the true legends of Ironman competition—along with a command to “keep packing on the muscle.”

How will Kris respond to the mixed messages the universe is giving him? Surprisingly, he does limit himself—slightly—during the week, but only so he can truly leap into the weekend. He and his hybrid-athlete coach Alex Viada tackle one of the hardest trails in the United States by foot, followed by a swim, then a bike ride that leaves even the Man of Iron nervous beforehand.

“Ready to do this?” Alex asks. “I guess so. I don’t have a choice, do I?” Kris replies. That says it all, doesn’t it?

Training and Nutrition Tips:
With an optional swim in the middle of the week, Kris takes a conservative approach: A single lap when he probably could have done three. “I don’t normally say I’m going to save myself for that, but I am,” he says of the big workout coming up. With the volume in the program these days, that’s a wise choice.
With all the training he does, it can be easy to forget that Kris has a job. Well he does—a hard one! Here’s his professional advice: “It starts from the moment you wake up. If you’re thinking of an alternative other than getting up, you’re failing. Just get up and get shit done, man,” he says.
What does your pleasure reading look like? Kris’ is seriously goal-oriented. Take note. Does your entertainment distract you, or enhance you?
Don’t forget, Kris’ accomplishments don’t just happen because he’s got more willpower than most humans. It’s also because he prioritizes recovery like almost no one else!
Descending the mountain in San Jacinto, Kris says, “It was a success. And we’re going to do it all again tomorrow. Because that’s what we do.” That’s exactly the mindset you need to succeed as a hybrid athlete.
The week ends on a high note, in the form of a solid hour-long open-water swim. “The most I’ve ever done in that amount of time,” Kris says. Take your small victories, and relish them! All progress counts.


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