Bergpad – The Mountain Run

About 3 times a week at 7am, the students at the academy would start our mornings with a 4k mountain trail run. We called it “bergpad”, which is Afrikaans for “mountain”. Since it took about 25 minutes to walk to the mountain, this meant waking up around 6am in order to give our bodies enough time to wake up and run our hardest every time. Evan articulated our thoughts perfectly in response to almost getting a day off when he said, “Hendrik, I didn’t come all the way to South Africa to sleep!”

The beginner’s standard for the trail was running a sub-20 minute time. We always tried to better our time, no matter what our personal record was.

Variations of the bergpad run include
‣   Running it backwards (greater altitude climb than descent)
‣   Running it as a team of 5 with a super heavy tackle bag
‣   Running it as a whole team instead of individually

Lessons learned
‣   
Waking up at 6am is easier when you’re accountable to a team
‣   
I can run without music, to the tune of my own thoughts
  If I wanted to see improvement, it was important to push myself every single time
‣   
Starting the day with a run is enlightening and makes any day feel like it will be full of accomplishment from the get go – I love those exercise endorphins!
‣   
Teamwork is gold.

What this means for YOU
‣   You can do it! There is no shame in running less than 5k for a “long” training run
‣   If you don’t have accountability buddies I highly recommend finding one, even if it simply means texting a friend to say “I’m going for a run!” so that you’ll be less likely to back out

Additional features coming soon
‣   Data visualization of my personal bergpad times and splits

Stay tuned for more!

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