Dopey Challenge Training Program | Physical Therapy for everyBODY
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Dopey Challenge Training Program

Dopey Challenge

The Challenge: Complete the Dopey Challenge by running through Walt Disney World

  • 5K on Thursday
  • 10K on Friday
  • Half Marathon on Saturday
  • Marathon on Sunday

The Reward: 6 awesome metals and bragging rights for the rest of your life!


Can you envision the accomplishment of completing 48.6 miles in 4 days?

Are you looking forward to enjoying running through all 4 Disney parks in Florida while stopping for pictures with all the Disney characters?

Perhaps you are looking to conquer the part of your brain that says “I can’t do this”!

Whatever your reason for taking on this crazy long race, you have decided to embark on the Dopey Challenge at Walt Disney World. Congratulations! You are Dopey. Because, hey, if you are signing up for this crazy long race then you MUST be Dopey to even register.

Now that you have committed it’s time to start logging those miles and getting your body ready for the challenge. And, with so many free and paid training plans out there – how do you choose the right training plan for you?


Start From Where You Are

The first step in deciding on a training program is to take an honest assessment of where you currently are and what your goal is for how you want to complete the Dopey Challenge.

And honest assessment of where you currently are starts with looking at your level of exercise over the past couple of months. And, I mean really honest. What have you actually completed over the past couple of months?

Now, I realize that life and injury can play a role in your level of exercise for the past couple of months. Those factors do need to be considered as you actually figure out your base level of fitness. If you are usually a 4 time a week runner but haven’t been able to do that for several months because of an injury then you need to accept that it will take you awhile to get back to tolerating your previous level of exercise.

What is your goal for completing the Dopey Challenge? Do you want to cross the finish line of the marathon with a margarita in your hand (that’s mine!)? Perhaps you want to get a PR during one of the races. Or you may say that crossing the finish line for 4 consecutive days is your goal. Whatever it is you need to know it before you find a training plan.


Decide How You Want to Complete This Race

Every BODY has a different way they want to complete this race. Run Disney is well known for the run/walk training that is promoted by Jeff Galloway. You will find many people out on the course implementing this run/walk program.

Some people want more of a “run until I find a character I want a picture with and then stop for a photo op” technique. In this case I would recommend more of a regular running program and you can enjoy the rest breaks offered by the characters during the Dopey Challenge.

You may be a purist who is excited to run through all the parks during the marathon and are planning to run every single mile. Then you should look for a plan that is going to offer you the level of training you can do to complete that safely. Your training program should be high mileage with some weeks of 4 consecutive days of running to prepare you for the Dopey Challenge.


Find Your Training Plan

Okay, you have taken an honest assessment of where you are, decided on your goals of running this race, and determined the type of training plan you want.

It’s time to dig in and do the research to find the right training program for you!

If you plan to perform a run/walk race then there is none better than Jeff Galloway in my book. I have heard numerous reports of people successfully completing the Dopey Challenge with this plan.

Now, if you are looking for more of a “run until I see a character stop” or straight up “run to the finish line” then I would recommend a different training program. I will include a downloadable PDF to the PT4EB Dopey Training Plan below for you to consider.

However, a word of caution before you jump straight to it. This training program is starting from a solid half marathon base (remember that honest assessment we did before?). Dr. Amy has run 1-2 half marathons per year for 15 years. Which means she has a solid half marathon base to start training from.

This plan is designed for a runner with a solid base. You can see that because the first long run is 10 miles which is a “typical” long run for Dr. Amy which means this is what she has done every single week for 15 years.

If that’s not your base or the thought of an 11 mile run right of the bat sends you into a panic, then this plan is not for you. You would need to keep searching for a plan that starts where you are at. Never fear, there are lot’s of great programs out there.


Other Training Tips

In addition to the miles you are going to log there are many other factors that you need to consider in preparing to complete the Dopey Challenge.


Are You Overwhelmed?

Our goal on this blog is to offer support and advice to help you live life on your terms. We do that by educating people on how to take care of their bodies and recover from injury so they can live the life they want to. If you are feeling overwhelmed by all this planning and would like to set up a virtual consultation with Dr. Amy to talk more specifically about your body and your training, then click this link and send us and email.

Now, onto the Dopey Challenge training program. We wish you all the success in your training so you can have a magical race.


Dr. Amy Konvalin

Dr. Amy Konvalin

Struggling with pain and dysfunction can impact every part of our lives — it drains our energy, distracts us from our goals, and keeps us from the people and activities we love. As an Orthopedic Clinical Specialist, Dr. Amy Konvalin understands how frustrating those limitations can be — and she knows how to help get you back to the life you want to live! Beginning with a focused evaluation, Dr. Amy works to determine the root causes of your pain, as well as understanding how it affects the way you move through your world. Dysfunctional patterns of movement often grow worse with time and cause further damage if left untreated — so it’s important to address these issues as soon as possible. Dr. Amy knows there is no one-size-fits-all plan for success, and she partners with patients to identify their unique treatment goals and personal values. Using these goals as a guide, Amy uses her doctorate training in manual (hands-on) therapy and exercise prescription to treat patients with a wide variety of medical challenges and histories throughout the Maple Valley, Black Diamond and Covington areas. Dr. Amy is also a wife to a Boeing superstar/former C-130 navigator. While they lived in Germany, Dr. Amy was able to volunteer with the US Army to treat military personnel and civilians on base. She has two beautiful teenage ballerinas who keep her on her toes and educate her on all things ballet! Bailey, the princess pup, is her running partner and her napping partner. In the spare moments in between, Amy enjoys reading, yoga, wine with friends, Pilates, and walking on the beach.
Dr. Amy Konvalin

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