Posted in Training

The Grind

As I was perusing Instagram a couple of weeks ago, I stumbled across an “interesting”  workout from The workout was developed by Brakken Kraker and posted by Robert Killian’s (both are coaches at  They call it “the Grind”. I call it insane.


It might be brutal or it might just be crazy, but it is a workout I need to incorporate into my training at some point during the upcoming season

After following the link to the workout, I went over to to see the coaching programs lead by Rober Killian and Brakken Kraker. When I saw the sign up for two free weeks, I thought, “What have I got to lose?” and decided to give it a whirl.

So I logged in, got set up and looked over the plan for my next couple of weeks.  The initial two week period is called “takeoff” and the main focus of the Takeoff plan is 5 test sessions which Brakken and Killian use as part of the baseline to set up your program and to use a barometer for gauging future progress.  These efforts are:

  • A 15 minute 15% max distance uphill treadmill run;
  • A 300 rep circuit workout to gauge muscular endurance;
  • A increasing speed threshold test on a treadmill;
  • A 60 minute uphill treadmill run to see how many vertical feet you can climb; and
  • A final 5k time trial. (I haven’t done that one yet)

Since I am just coming off of an injury and have not been running with much intensity these efforts were challenging to say the least. But, I actually performed better than expected on most of them.If you want to see my results and many others for a comparison head over to and join the Takeoff 2 week program.

After the first week of the program you get to schedule a video chat with either Brakken or Killian to discuss the results of your tests, your goals, the structure of the training programs (the two coaches have different methods) and seeing how all of these can be melded together into a plan that best fits your objectives. After spending a little more than 30 minutes chatting with Brakken, I thought that this really sounded like an interesting program and one that would definitely assist me in my upcoming season. But I also realized that when comparing his program to Killian’s program, that the Killian approach would probably serve me better. The entire time we were talking it was a great experience, just sharing information and talking about things that were related to and not related to OCR. And most importantly, there was no pressure to join I totally enjoyed the chat and totally respect the low key manner they are using to build their coaching business. I imagine they are destined for a successful future.

In the end after hanging up the call and pondering my options, I came to the following conclusion. As a 53 year old guy who finishes somewhere between 1st and 15th in his age group at races, spending money on a coach isn’t really something I need to do. But more importantly, following a structured training program might make my season less fun (this has happened many times in other sports) and at this point, having fun is the main reason I race and train. However, with that said, do I believe I would be better under the Leaderboardfit program? Yes I do, but my nagging question is:  For what ever gains I achieve, large or small is it worth losing my enjoyment of this wonderful sport? I am not sure.

I am never going to be a star, but, for someone who is looking to take their OCR racing to the next level and is in the market for a high quality, interactive training program, I would definitely give these guys a try.

Best of luck to the team at  I wish you the best!


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