Spotlight360: Adam Stein

By Wellness360 Magazine

Adam is the father of two awesome kids. He currently works at Lowe’s managing the overnight stocking crew, which means he “sleeps” during the day. When he’s not sleeping, he’s either training, studying to get his electrical certification or shuttling his kids around to their various activities.

How long have you been running?

I started running when my old boss signed me up for a 5K our company had sponsored back in 2008. I hadn’t really run any type of distance before this, in fact I didn’t even have running shoes and ran in flat bottomed sneakers. From that point, I was hooked.

What made you decide to run the 100-miler?

I tend to try to sign up for an event once a year where completion isn’t always a given and training for it is the only way to succeed and finish the race or event. The race I am training for now is the Cloudsplitter 100.

What do you like most about running long distances?

It sounds cheesy, but I like the ability to be inside my own head. Only on extreme distances will I even consider listening to music to pass the time. When running trails and enjoying nature, you learn a lot about yourself and have had some really deep thoughts that normally get overshadowed by everyday life.

What is the hardest part of it?

Being consistent in training. I downloaded a guide that told me what distances I should run and when, but with kids, job and everything else that goes along with being an adult, keeping to the plan wasn’t possible. In the end, it’s going to be relying on the training I did and digging deep when things get hard.

What advice would you give others who want to get into distance running?

JUST RUN!! Start with a good base and build on that. There are other factors for distance running that need to be taken into account such as hydration and nutrition. Make sure that you have water and food when going out for the long runs as well as a plan to eat and drink (and not only when you’re hungry or thirsty). Oh and find a pair of comfortable shoes.

What is the longest distance you’ve run thus far?

I think around 57 miles, I’m not sure because my watch died on that run. It was at a local “race” called the San Felasco Fiasco (it lived up to its name). You were given a set of points in the park and had to hit each one in order. You were only given the first 50K and had to complete it and then head to the start where you would get the next set of points as long as you found everything on the first list. To date this race has been held three times annually and only had one person, Thomas Kipp, who successfully finished it in the time allotted.

What other types of races have you done?

I was introduced to the exercise community by the workout group RMC which was founded many years ago by Andy Farina. They are a group of individuals that enjoy (just like myself) pushing themselves to new levels. Because of them, I have participated in obstacle races, GORUCKS, triathlons, half marathons and ultramarathons as well as countless workouts that challenged one’s limits.

What’s your favorite race so far?

Obstacle Racing was the event that I was first introduced to when I joined the workout community and to this day are still my favorite races to run. The reason for this is that they have the ability to challenge all aspects of one’s physical fitness. In fact, one race had an obstacle where you had to remember a sequence of numbers to be repeated later on.

One race that stands out to this day was called Battlefrog Extreme. The participant had 8 hours to complete as many laps as possible. As the day went on, fatigue set in and after a couple laps even an easy obstacle became difficult and sometimes impossible.

What does your training schedule look like for this 100-miler?

The right way to train for a 100 is to progressively increase your mileage each week with a long run once a week followed by a semi-long run the next day and several short runs throughout the week. My training however has been running when I can, trying not to skip the long runs. On race day it will be a combination of training and mental grit and remembering why I am pushing my body to such limits.

What other types of exercise do you enjoy?

My favorite exercises are running, body weight exercises and rucking. Each one gives a different result and provides a different challenge to the body and mind.

Do you have any plans for other races?

I try to take my plans one year at a time and not think about what race is next but always am searching for one that challenges more than the last one.

One race that I did not do as well as I liked was World’s Toughest Mudder, a 24 hour obstacle race where you try to complete as many loops as possible. Each loop is 5 miles. Myself and several other people that went to this event together were set to do 10 laps (50 miles).

The event moves around the country and this year it was held in Atlanta. Everything was good leading up to the event, but an unexpected cold front swept in and we started the race at 12 p.m. with the temps in the fifties and as the sun went down, so did the temperature. Many of the obstacles started to ice over, this led to several of the obstacles being shut down as they weren’t safe to traverse. One by one, we all dropped and by around 11 p.m., everyone had stopped for the night with between 3 and 5 laps run. In the morning, we all put back on our stiff and frozen gear and finished our last lap and claimed our title as World’s Toughest Mudderers. To this day it feels like we could have pushed further and not stopped for the night. In the future I will probably run this race again.

Do you train alone or with others?

I guess it all depends. I have always loved group workouts and helping encourage others to push a little harder and dig a little deeper. The ability to encourage others has always been a big reason to work out with other people. That being said, sometimes it’s nice to go out and work out at your own pace. I find that I do a lot of running solo.

Do you follow a specific diet or eating pattern?

No comment! I’m actually really bad in that area and with a busy life find that convenience takes precedence before any planned nutrition. When I am actually running a race, I do have a strict eating plan, which is to drink water regularly, sip Gatorade once every 5-10 minutes and eat a protein bar or Honey Stinger Waffle every hour. When on the course it’s too easy to forget to eat so having it timed prevents you from neglecting that area.

How do you live a wellness360 life (balanced/well rounded/happy)?

Not sure that I’m the right one to answer this question! I would say that I try to find happiness in the little things and try not to get mad when things don’t work out as planned. As for the well-rounded, in this day and age it’s hard, we have many objects pulling us in different directions. We as a society are all overworked, overtired and overstressed. The best way that I counteract that is living my life the only way I know how!

Please feel free to add anything else you would like!

I hope this helps someone considering getting into an endurance sport. I feel that we tend to shy away from physically tough things, when in fact we are all tougher than we know. The body is an amazing thing, we just have to challenge it to see what we are capable of.

UPDATE: Adam completed the 100-mile race he was training for (the Cloudsplitter 100 in Virginia) in just over 35 hours!! Way to go, Adam!

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