The fly-in software rocks! says Sean Burch about the CONTACT Augmented software that he will be using when reporting about his run across Nepal.
The American is well known for his super-fast ascents on high mountains and is about to cross Nepal on foot from border-to-border (India to Tibet) on the Great Himalaya Trail. He will be doing over 500,000 feet of climbing and running at altitudes over 20,000 ft. Sean plans to run and climb 10-15 hours a day to complete the trail in 60 days. He says the average time for doing this trail is 157 days.
ExWebs Correne Coetzer caught up with Sean in Kathmandu where he explains about his Hyperfitness Living training program that involves mental, physical and nutritional preparation, his high altitude training and his excitement about using CONTACT Augmented while sending live dispatches on the run from Nepal.
ExplorersWeb: You are going to run and climb during this Nepal crossing. Apart from your everyday physical training routine, what did you do to prepare yourself physically for this?
Sean: I train by doing a fitness program called 'Hyperfitness Living'. I wrote a book about it, Hyperfitness (published by Penguin Avery). Essentially it's a mental, physical, and nutritional program on how to be your best to achieve any goal you set your mind to. It's a full body, functional, real-life strength fitness program that has over 500 exercises to stimulate the mind and body.
ExplorersWeb: You are going to be at 20,000+ feet, how do you prepare for the altitude at home?
Sean: I do a lot of hyperfitness exercises that involve interval and steady-state activities with very limited rest in between sets and exercises. I also spend an hour a day 3 weeks leading up to my departure on a hypoxicator machine to raise my red cell blood-count.
ExplorersWeb: Have you ever got altitude sickness?
Sean: Yes, when Dan Mazur and I were climbing Shishapangma in Tibet. We reached the summit at close to 9 pm. On the way down back to our high camp my lungs started gurgling something fierce. I was also extremely hypoxic on my way down from Everest because I wasn't using supplementary oxygen.
ExplorersWeb: You climbed/ran Kilimanjaro in 5 hours 28 min 48 sec. How much did you acclimatize?
Sean: I climbed the peak beforehand, and then spent two days on the crater right below the summit running around the rim. I also jumped rope on the summit during the sunrises and sunsets for 20-30 minutes.
ExplorersWeb: Altitude sickness can hit anybody at any time. Why do you think your body can handle altitude well?
Sean: Well, I've been fortunate so far, but you never know... Ill keep my fingers crossed.
ExplorersWeb: Getting physical therapy / A.R.T. / Graston is important to you. Why?
Sean: A.R.T. and Graston are two areas that are extremely important for any athlete to perform physically at their best. It has helped me stay injury free for years.
Unfortunately, there are a lot of "certified" therapists of the two, but they don't apply the techniques on a regular continual basis. My suggestion if you are a weekend warrior, triathlete, mountaineer, etc. is to find one immediately... but make sure they practice one or both techniques specifically full-time.
It literally has changed my life when it comes to physical endeavors.
A.R.T or active release technique is a soft tissue system that treats problems with muscles, tendons, ligaments, fascia, and nerves.
Graston uses steel instruments that lets clinicians to effectively break down scar tissue restrictions... it treats soft tissue fibrosis or chronic inflammation.
ExplorersWeb: Your support team is 9 Nepalese people. How will they support you? Will some of them run/climb with you?
Sean: They will be with me throughout the journey, and will leap-frog me during the day on yaks, mules, zolpa, etc.. and when I arrive at our set point that evening have everything set up for the team to eat, sleep, etc.
Then we repeat the process every day for 60 days... at least that's the goal. We will also use local porters in the various districts along the route to help carry gear and supplies.
ExplorersWeb: What will you eat to fuel your body?
Sean: This is a very important part of the journey... the fuel runs the body, and if you put crap in to your body, don't expect to get the results you expect... at least not as you get older.
I'll try and consume as much local and organic products as well. For mental fitness nutrition I brought Ka! Organic Superfood, and for organic energy bars and whole food powders I brought amazing grass products.
ExplorersWeb: Will you carry a daypack? If yes, what will be in it?
Sean: Yes I will. I'll have my energy bars and powders, jacket, gloves, hats, some camera gear, and 'wired' technology.
ExplorersWeb: It is a long way and you want to do it very fast. What will keep you going and what will keep you pushing yourself?
Sean: It's all mental... every goal you set for yourself, you first must be mentally prepared - before and during. Hopefully, my mental training and will pay off and make my body perform like I want it to.
ExplorersWeb: How big role does mind training play in your accomplishments and how do you train your mind?
Sean: It's everything. If I go in for this journey with any doubt that I can't do it, I will most certainly fail. You can't have any doubts.
If you don't end up achieving your goal, yet you have given it your best performance mentally and physically, there will be no regrets. And that's important.
It's all about the learning process... these adventures help you grow as a person and hopefully be a better human being, to yourself and others in society.
I train mentally through meditation, physical exercise, and using organic nutrition supplements.
ExplorersWeb: How do you feel at the moment?
Sean: Mentally I feel great, physically, I could have exercised longer these past 2 months. I was still exercising every day, but I was spending so much time on the logistics of the trip, working with sponsors, etc.
ExplorersWeb: You will be very live during your expedition with your dispatches by using the new CONTACT Augmented on the route...
Sean: Yes. I am extremely excited about that... Tom [Sjogren from HumanEdgeTech] and his team have been very supportive. The fly-in software rocks! Hopefully all my equipment will live up to the expectations in those remote hidden Himalaya regions.
American Sean Burch lives the Washington D.C. area. His favorite foods are shashimi and venison. The last book he read is Tears in the Darkness - about the Bataan death march and his favorite movies are Spinal Tap and Best in Show.
Sean follows a Hyperfitness Living mental, physical, and nutritional program and has achieved the following:
- World Record: Fastest Winter Ascent of Mt. Fuji, Japan: 4:05:42
- World Record: 63 Summits of Unclimbed Peaks in 23 Days, Solo, Tibet
- Guinness World Record: Fastest Ascent of Mt. Kilimanjaro: 5:28:48
- Guinness World Record: Fastest Time for Northern Most Marathon (First Marathon and wearing snowshoes)
- First Place: North Pole Marathon
- Mt. Everest (29,035ft): Summit, Solo, and almost completely without bottled oxygen
- Guinness World Record: Jump Rope at Altitude 26,181ft.
- USA Record Speed Ascent, Aconcagua (22,841ft.): Solo, Argentina, Highest Peak in Southern and Western Hemisphere
- First in World: 14 1st Ascents, 2 Solo 1st Ascents Previously Unmapped and Unexplored Mountain Areas within Arctic Circle in East Greenland
- Shishapangma (26,552ft.): Summit, 13th Highest Mountain in the World, Tibet, No Bottled Oxygen
- First in World: 3 1st Ascents, St. Elias Range, Alaska
Sean is a freelance writer, who wrote the highly received fitness/wellness book,
Hyperfitness, 12 Weeks to Conquering Your Inner Everest and Getting into the Best Shape of Your Life (click here) (Published by Penguin Group USA) and DVD video supplements. The book is also available at Amazon.com and other Internet bookstores.
Sean is a motivational specialist for companies around the world as well as an award winning fitness master trainer and design consultant www.HyperfitnessLiving.com
He will be raising funds and awareness for the Nepal Trust Organization www.nepaltrust.org, and the Love Hope Strength foundation www.lovehopestrength.org/site. The non-profit Nepal Trust organizations current project works in Nepal are in primary healthcare, renewable energy, education, sustainable tourism and heritage preservation. The Love Hope Strength Foundation in the U.S. campaigns to save lives for those with cancer.
Another focus is his eagerness to bring attention to the very remote 'Hidden Himalaya' of Nepal, where Sean will be:
1) documenting historic and very famous Buddhist monasteries (many previously unseen by Westerners), and their cultural diversities; and
2) joining school children in the U.S. with children in makeshift schools in remote Himalayan villages.
Sean Burch is going to be the first to use the new CONTACT Augmented in addition to CONTACT5 to report during the 60 days on the Nepal trail.
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