This post comes from Brooks, who is introducing this new segment to 2 Fat Nerds. 

An interview with November’s AFP Leaderboard – Top AFP Earner – Dave Firth BardImage

B: What were your original goals and intentions in setting up the AFP challenge this month?

D: My dad set a really high bar in October and I wanted to see if I could beat that in November. But I also wanted to beat my personal best which I set back in July which was 1288 AFP.

B: Did you find those goals and outcomes changed as the month progressed?

D: I don’t think they changed, but they definitely provided me with consistent benchmarks that I had to constantly check against and plan out my weeks, so that I could make that I was getting the average of 40 something AFP per day, which is very difficult.

B: Was there a lot of banter back and forth between you and your Dad during the challenge?

D: Most of the banter was just the constant entry of workouts back and forth. There were some little things that would happen on the chatter feed. But mostly it was just a constant volley of workouts being entered and that really contributed to keeping my energy level high throughout the whole month and always providing the next motivator to go out and get stuff done.

B: How much would you say that his (Scott’s) performance affected you throughout the month?

D: At the end of the day, the monthly AFP leaderboard is only so important. It’s really important to keep yourself motivated and focused on your own goals. Everyone is different in what they want out of 2 Fat Nerds and the process is very different. But, I would be lying if I didn’t say that having competition and being able to look and compare yourself helps. When you need some kind of external motivation, being able to look at the leaderboard and see ‘Oh, A. Scott just ran like frickin 10 miles today’. That definitely helps.

B: What helped you to achieve your goals?

D: Definitely planning, looking at my calendar on a weekly basis and trying to figure out when I would fit things in, especially when I was traveling for work or when I was overscheduled in my evenings, I really had to look ahead a few days and say, “Alright, when am I going to focus and fit this in?”. So, it too a little bit of planning. Also, I motivated myself on the mornings when I knew I needed to get up and go for a run by setting an alarm on my phone yelling at myself to get out of bed and go for a run.

B: What about days when you REALLY didn’t want to get out there, how did you push yourself to get out there? Or were there any?

D: There a few days when I really didn’t want to go out. I think I missed a total of four days in the entire month and three of those were during a work trip or leading up to it. There were some days that were very challenging, it was cold or the only time I could fit it in was early morning. And that’s always harder to get going because I’m not a morning person, but definitely recording that voice recording for my alarm helped.

B: How do you make working out a priority from a time management standpoint?

D: You just have to schedule it in, you have to break down your day and say, “when am I going to steal half an hour?’” Sometimes you have to be very creative, if you have a lunch break, take a walk instead of sitting and eating at your desk, if you are traveling, figure out when you are going to exercise when you are traveling. The hardest days usually come down to planning and setting yourself up for success. Always have a gym bag ready to go so you don’t give yourself an excuse not to workout.

B: Will you be shooting for the first place position again anytime soon?

D: We’ll see how December goes, I’ll have my hands full just trying to do the daily challenge for December, which is at least a half hour a day every single day and trying to see who can get the longest chain with that. I don’t know if I’m going to be able to sustain this amount of effort through the winter. The idea of doing it in November was that this is the time of year when most people slow down and I didn’t have anything on the calendar, race-wise, to train for, so I wanted to really focus on pouring it on for that month. So I want to sustain the same amount of effort for the winter and looking ahead for the spring, I’ve set some pretty specific training goals starting in late February and looking ahead to March for the 5k in April to try and improve my time. We’ll see where the race schedule goes from there in terms of training benchmarks, but hopefully through December and January I can keep a pretty high level, but I don’t know about the top spot.

B: Other than the 5k times, are there any other goals you want to share with us?

D: Well, I definitely want to improve my 5k time, I’m planning on running the Boilermaker next year. That’s a 9 mile run so that would be the longest race I’ve run. The farthest I’ve ever run is 7 miles so I can push for that. And I really, really enjoyed the triathlon in August so I’d like to sign up for a couple of triathlons in 2014. I don’t know about Old Forge because the course wasn’t so great, but I think I’d like to try to sprint distance which was a little bit shorter than what we did. If there’s an Olympic distance somewhere that we can get to that falls at the right time of the year that isn’t too expensive, that is something I would be interested in pursuing because that’s not much more than what we did. I think that’s my stretch goal, an Olympic distance triathlon.

B: Any tips for people starting out or people wanting to step it up?

D: Take it one days at a time, that’s all there is to it. Focus on tomorrow, what does my day look like and when am I going to make time for this. Don’t get frustrated. When I started out, I didn’t make any grand sweeping declarations like “I’m going to change my life starting tomorrow”, I really eased into it and really it took me more than a year from I started to when I was training regularly. So just start and then take it one day at a time. Personal fitness is a very gradual process, you really just have to slug it out.

B: How has 2FNS affected you?

D: I think participating in 2FNS has done everything, I really wouldn’t have gotten into running or exercising at all without 2FNS. I think it is really hard to overstate the importance of the movement and the club and the competition that 2FNS bring to our lives. It’s really become part of my routine in a way that I didn’t expect when I started and it’s meant a lot to me to be a part of it.

B: The increased fitness level, what has it done for you in the rest of your life?

D: It definitely helped me remember that there’s a physical aspect of my life that needs to be nurtured whereas I really hadn’t been worrying about that before. 2FNS has really helped me integrate that aspect into my life and it’s been very rewarding.