What the.. is a Carbathlon?

Ania Bureacenco, Coaching Program Manager

25 April 2019

No, we don’t count Carbs while doing a Triathlon. Well.. maybe some do.

Carbathlon is a tradition that started a few years back, right around the time Predictable Revenue + Carburetor (our internal sales automation tool) merged. You can probably take a wild guess on the “Carbathlon” name now.

Why would anyone want to do something like this?

“We believe that sleep, nutrition, and exercise are key to being a healthy and high performing human (source). As founders of a company that employed more than a few people, we wanted to find ways of building this learning into our culture. In the early days, we noticed that more than a few of the team members were very competitive and played competitive sports at a young age. The idea was to leverage our team’s competitive streak to inspire a little extra activity in their days.” – Collin Stewart, the founder of Carbathlon and Predictable Revenue.

So, what the.. is a Carbathlon, you ask?

Everyone at Predictable Revenue competes in teams for activity points for one month. At the end of the month the losing team makes lunch for the winners, and of course the title and bragging rights of being Top Carbers. Let’s just say that some of us get a little bit competitive. Just a little.

We don’t do it every month, and to be frank, we haven’t done Carbathlon in over a year, but now that spring has sprung and a bunch of us started setting new health goals, it seemed to be the perfect timing to rekindle the activity battle. Oh, and as a bonus, Predictable Revenue covers half of a summer activity any of us sign up for, up to $100. This could be a triathlon, marathon, volleyball team, you name it.

Intrigued? Possibly do Carbathlon with your team next month? Here are the basic rules:

Appoint the newbies.

Two newest members of the company are to be leaders of Carbathlon for the two respective teams.

Athlete or cheerleader?

Choose if you want to be an “athlete” or a “cheerleader”. This option gives cheerleaders an opportunity to still be part of the team, and not necessarily count the activity points if they don’t feel comfortable with it. Cheerleaders can still partake in team activities; their points just won’t count towards the winning totals. They’re pretty much the designated shit-talkers of the teams.

Divide and conquer.

Divide athletes and cheerleaders evenly onto the two teams. You may also want to divide different team types. For example, we have a team in Cancun, which we made sure to divide evenly as well. We trust you to figure this out.

Then, a few days before kickoff, we host a meeting for the (newbie) leaders where they rock-paper-scissors who goes first, and then go ahead and pick one team member at a time.  

Start tracking.

For one month, athletes track activities using various apps. The most common one we use is Strava (free app available on any smartphone), where you can track GPS activities for distance and elevation, as well as enter manual activities. Some of our team members have FitBits, Garmins, Apple Watches, and other, which they’re welcome to track through as well. Whatever the tool/app, we sync up all the points into a Google Sheet we created.

All activities are worth certain points. We track running, cycling, swimming, walking (has to be purposeful, min. 1 km), gym/class time, inline skating, elevation… and anything else the team comes up with. Here’s what an individual and a group sheet looks like for us:

But wait, there’s more!

Yes, just like an infomercial, Carbathlon is a gift that just keeps on giving. You get DOUBLE points for any activities you do with co-workers. Any co-workers. They don’t have to be from the same team; we want to encourage everyone to be active together.

Over the years, we’ve made a bunch of modifications to Carbathlon. We went back and forth on points a lot. We also kept adding new activities and implementing team sports days. We also usually do different prizes. Lots of ways to do this. This is a base you can use, and for the rest the world’s your oyster.

Currently one of our engineers is even building out a Carbathlon App in his free time. It’s looking great so far, and we’re excited to move away from Google Sheets soon. Who knows, maybe we’ll even share it with you soon :). Here’s a sneak peek:

So, what do you think? Want to challenge us for a cross-company Carbathlon next month? 😎

Thoughts from the team on Carbathlon:

“I love Carbathlon! The team-spirit and competition motivated me that much that I ended up working out nearly three times as much and spending more time with my co-workers. It really made me feel fitter and gave me a lot of energy during the day.” – Julia, Marketing, new Carbathloner, Cancun.

“It’s the best outlet that bridges our team’s competitiveness and passion for physical self-improvement.” – Felix, Finance Ops, one of the longest-running Carbathloners, Vancouver.