David Goggins (born February 17, 1975) is an American ultramarathon runner, ultra-distance cyclist, triathlete, public speaker, and author.
When training for an Ultra, David Goggins wakes up at 3am, runs 10-15 miles at 4am, and cycles 25 miles to work at 6am.
After researching his morning schedule, one thing is clear – this man is a beast. He wakes up at 3 am, then decides whether to go for a run or go straight into his stretching routine.
Goggins stretches for around two hours each day, and he claims to have only missed two days in the last six years. On the JRE podcast, he explained to Joe Rogan how he never used to stretch until he started experiencing imbalances in his body.
In an interview with Lex Fridman, he talked about the importance of not hitting the snooze button in life. His mentality revolves around completion, and by refraining from hitting the snooze button, you get your first win of the day.
He runs every morning, but he says he varies when he takes his run, depending on his mood. He describes how he sometimes walks past his running shoes three or four times during the morning, staring at them at each pass while he convinces himself to start.
Typically he runs 10 to 15 miles in the morning, depending on whether or not he’s training for an event. That effort would already be a tough workout for most mere mortals, but he then straps on his backpack and cycles 25 miles to work.
By 11 am, the fitness bug bites again and he’ll take a mid-morning run, typically around 5 miles in length, just to get the blood moving before lunch. Why not?
Goggins is a practitioner of intermittent fasting (IF), which he believes helps him manage his energy levels efficiently. (With IF, you stay in a fasted state and only eat for an eight to twelve hour window each day.)
Although he wakes up at 3 am, he doesn’t break his fast until after his mid-morning run. Typically, he’ll wolf down some blueberries with steel-cut oats for breakfast, and then he only eats one other meal in the evening.
He meets his calorie needs, but after his experience with Shake Shack blowing him up to 300lbs, he only eats clean and never eats junk food.
While his daily routine involves enough exercise to maim an Olympic Athlete, he still manages to listen to his body. Sundays are his day off, reserved for rest and recovery from the stress he puts on himself during the week.
The afternoon at the office sees him preparing motivational speeches, writing, and managing his successful business. He is an in-demand speaker and a world-class athlete.
His workday usually finishes around 4 pm, when he cycles the 25 mile-long journey home. After riding home, you might think he’s done, but that’s when he laces up his shoes and hits the road again for another 5 to 6 mile run.
After the evening run, it’s time to prepare the evening meal. Goggins follows a clean diet, but he says he eats carbs, fat, and protein, with no food aversions or special diets.
After eating, he settles down to read and spend some quality time with his wife, Aleeza, before turning in when he feels tired, typically around 10 pm.
According to steelsupplements.com:
- 3:00 – 4:00 AM: Wake Up
- 4:00 AM: Run 10-15 miles
- 6:00 AM: Bike 25 miles to work
- Approximately 11:00 AM: Run during lunch
- After Work (varies): Bike home
- After arriving home maybe another 3-6 mile run
This is a rough breakdown of his routine which he’s offered in the past, but let’s break it down further and add in some of the missing pieces.
The importance of stretching is a major part of the Goggins routine. At the peak, he was stretching for up to 6 hours a day. On average, he keeps up a stretching routine daily (as in, he’s only missed a couple of days since he began), which consists of 2 to 3 hours in the morning.
His weightlifting routine consists of about 90 minutes a day, focusing more so on endurance rather than the heavy weights of strength training. He believes that a strong back and core strength are the root of good endurance, which is where the majority of his strength training comes into play.
All in all, his routine is absolutely gargantuan. A 3 a.m. wakeup call is enough to make anyone shudder, not to mention the 150 miles of cardio he does in a single week. And the point here isn’t necessarily to be Goggins. But it is important to understand how far the human body is able to be pushed, and have a firm grasp on the framework which makes top-performers tick.
And it’s not even like Goggins enjoys this himself. He’s mentioned in the past that he hates to work out, specifically running, swimming, and biking. Yet he does this every single day, and he’s one of the best at it. And he doesn’t do it for the acclaim, according to his book, but rather to push his body to the max to see what it’s capable of doing.