Adventure Operations Group (AOG) is a veteran owned company dedicated to the pursuit of adventurer. AOG's Training Programs and Adventures will take you "Beyond Normal Limits". AOG leads epic adventures, instructional programs, leadership training and assessments for individuals and organizations. Our programs are unique and emphasize mental focus, individual skills, leadership and personal achievement. We specialize in Human Performance Training. Working with AOG is the best way to achieve "next level" results for your corporate group or to enhance your personal capabilities. Contact AOG today to learn how we can get you or your team "Beyond Normal Limits".


Friday, October 11, 2013

AOG Q&A with Travis Rolph of Mayflower Research & Consulting

At AOG our mission is to train for “beyond normal limits” mindset and performance.  Drawing inspiration and influence from the Special Operations community, as well as other elite performers and outdoor athletes, we lead individuals and teams to accomplish more than they imagine possible by applying “SOF Focus”.  The principles of SOF focus are grounded in the truths of Special Operations Warriors and in the mindset of constant preparation and improving capabilities that all elite performers possess. 

AOG recently caught up with Travis Rolph, retired 5th SFG Green Beret, owner of Mayflower Research & Consulting and modern day adventurer, to hear about his most recent mission, competing in the Grand to Grand Ultra race.  The Grand to Grand ultra is a 7 day stage race that covers approximately 169 miles over an epic course. 

What was your motivation for this mission?  "To see if I could do it" and “ I needed a 7 day break with no cell phones”.  
Travis also said that the preparation process itself was a huge factor in his decision to run this race.  The discipline and focus required to get ready for such a big race was something he looked forward to.  Each day he forced himself to stop working at a set time and to put in the training miles necessary to prepare his body for running long distances day after day.  
Prior to training for the Grand to Grand Ultra, one of the most epic stage races in the United States, Travis had never run a sanctioned race longer than a 10K. 
What was the most critical component of your training plan?  

“The most important physical component was focusing on back to back high mileage days”. 
Travis, like many of us follows a balanced training plan of cardio/strength/agility.  For the G2G however, he backed off of everything except long distance conditioning and cardio. 

“The most important mental component was food planning”.  
Participants in the race had to carry all of their food for the entire 7 days.  There was a 2000 calorie per day minimum established by the race rules.  Travis made his own food for the race, and ate more than 2000 calories/day.
What was the biggest challenge of the race? 
“Dryness of the weather”- Living and training in the Southeastern US, Travis was accustomed to running in high heat, but also high humidity.  The dryness of the weather in Arizona fundamentally changed the way his clothes and gear interacted with his body, causing unanticipated challenges due to blisters and chafing. 
“Choice of shoes”- As a Green Beret Travis was no stranger to moving through sand in desert environments, but his choice of shoes for this race, (semi porous running shoes) proved to be less than optimal for the deep, fine sand. The shoes collected sand worse than he anticipated causing complications from severe blisters.  On the longest leg of the course, he stopped nine times in one day to dumb sand out. 
Mayflower gear is some of the best in the business.  As someone who knows the importance of good gear for our Special Operations Forces, do you think that gear plays a role in an individual’s mindset?  In other words, do you think that individual’s perform at a higher level knowing they have the best gear? 
 “Combat is a stressor, running 30 miles a day is a stressor and in each case there are numerous sub stressors.  When you can remove stressors, you perform better.  Good kit allows you to focus on the mission”.  
How would you describe the mental advantage that SOF Operators have over others when dealing with everyday challenges and obstacles? 
“We’re all A type’s who accept challenges and jump in with both feet.  We’re all highly confident, analytical problem solvers”.  SOF types know how to work smarter not harder and think their way through problems.  Multi-Tasking with the ability to prioritize the important from the not important is critical.  “What does the outcome need to be”?  “What are the steps to get there”?  The type of training we do, and the way we do it, contributes to the SOF Analytical mindset, (or what we at AOG call SOF Focus).   Once you know the required outcome, and identify the steps to get there, you rely on your training and mindset to push through to the end.        
Congratulations to Travis for completing one of the most epic and challenging ultra foot races in the world!  Great job on your first ultra! Travis embodies the true spirit of AOG and is an inspiration to all of us to keep pushing "Beyond Normal Limits".  De Oppresso Liber.
Travis's next adventure may be another ultra marathon to validate some gear changes.  He's also working on a special project.  We're unable to reveal any details at this time, but look for updates from Travis and Soldier Systems in the near future and stay tuned for a possible future joint Op between Travis and AOG.