Most Recent Posts for Trail Tips

Before reading on, open Instagram on your phone. If you don’t have Instagram, congrats, you have clearly made some good mental-health decisions.

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Late in races, ultramarathon champion Camille Herron is known to drink a beer or two. She usually goes on to incredible performances, reshaping what we think is possible.

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In the movie Miss Congeniality, a beauty-contest judge played by William Shatner asks Ms. Rhode Island to describe her perfect date.

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Trail Tips training

First, a disclaimer (starting the article with some sexy talk for all the lawyers in the house). There is no single way to train for a longer ultramarathon. Each person can succeed through a bunch of different approaches, and this one may not be right for you.

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Last week, I opened an athlete’s training log to a harrowing entry. It was bad, with two of the most scary symptoms for an athlete: persistent tiredness on uphills and a heavy, foggy brain. What was it? Gosh, hopefully not the start of overtraining syndrome, or mono, or some severe illness. We couldn’t just hope it would pass any longer.

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Trail Tips training

Every week or two, I’ll open an athlete’s training log and its seems like a blood-curdling scream leaps off the page.

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Trail Tips training

Jim Walmsley absolutely destroyed the competition and the course record at the 2018 Western States 100. Rather than kicking back and enjoying the win, however, Walmsley, 29, a professional trail runner based in Flagstaff, Arizona, needed to quickly return to training for the Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc (UTMB) just two months later. While he started out strong in UTMB, he eventually took a DNF, his legs drained of all energy.

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Trail Tips training how to recover from an ultra how to recover from an ultramarathon mario fraioli recovering from 100 miles recovering from an ultra tim tollefson training for 100-milers ultrarunning recovery

Road marathon training is fascinating because athletes at the top level are exploring the outer limits of their potential. There are no shortcuts to top performance. In training, a top marathoner needs to go all-in.

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One of the more disconcerting realities of the human condition is that even the most uplifting, joyous daily moments have a tendency to become mundane over time. Relationships can start at a rolling boil before going to a simmer and cooling to room temperature. Your favorite meal may become a chore if you eat it every day. And if you aren’t safe, your passion can become another box to check on a to-do list.

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Trail Tips training

Winter brings about a wonderful set of outside options for having fun with your dog. Running, hiking, snowshoeing and skiing are fun activities for our hounds and provide new mental and physical challenges that help them become more heathy, confident, balanced, calm dogs.

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As I’m writing this article, it’s raining in California. A higher number of athletes than I expected rested from running today.

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Trail Tips training

When I was 11 years old, I did my first few running races. They were the types of local events where a county commissioner would come out to the start, call everyone crazy for running when not being actively chased, and fire a gun into the air. Given where I grew up, I wouldn’t be surprised if it was real gun and an unlucky goose was served as the post-race meal.

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Trail Tips training

You’re probably aware of the dreaded “gray area” of running training. Traditionally, the gray area is that spooky zone where you’re not going hard enough to elicit the desired adaptations, and not going easy enough to build aerobic endurance and recover. It’s where the crap hits the fan, the cats and dogs live together, the mass hysteria unfolds.

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Trail Tips training david roche lactate threshold running easy running workouts trail running workouts trail workouts

I was running a remote section of the Cold Spring trail last summer, deeper into Los Padres National Forest (just outside Santa Barbara, California) than I’d ever ventured, when an unmistakable slither undulated laterally across the singletrack at the very bottom of my peripheral vision.

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Injuries and Treatment Trail Tips poisonous snakes running and snakes snake safety staying safe with snakes on the trail trail guide for snakes trail running snakes

There is a man in my neighborhood in Boulder who walks his two golden labs every morning. No big deal, right? That’s just good dog ownership. But here’s the thing that makes him the talk of the cul de sac: no matter what, he’s wearing shorts. Whether it’s rain or shine or snow or probably zombie apocalypse, he lets his shins breathe, as if he’s a nudist from ankle to knee.

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Trail Tips training

Imagine a workout on your training plan: 20-minute easy running warm-up with a couple of strides to loosen up, 20-minute tempo run, 20-minute easy-running cool down.

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Trail Tips training

Strength work is like flossing. We know we should do it, but … let’s be real. Most of us floss or do strength for a few weeks before letting it fall by the wayside.

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Trail Tips training

There’s often a debate in sports about what constitutes an “elite” athlete. In football, it’s a meme to talk about whether Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco is elite. In running, there are hundreds of comment threads dedicated to elite versus sub-elite versus non-elite times. I imagine most coaches get tons of emails from athletes with a disclaimer at the start: “I am not an elite athlete.”

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Trail Tips training athlete work ethic david roche elite athlete mindset elite athlete training plan how to be an elite athlete how to get faster Zach Ornelas

If you’ve watched the Tour de France in the last decade, you’ve probably noticed some riders staring at their handlebars on the biggest climbs, looking at a little screen as if they are in the middle of a Netflix binge. Most of the time, they are looking at the readout on their power meters.

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People can get the wrong impression when you say you run ultras. They might say something like, “That’s incredible! I had no idea you were an Olympic-caliber athlete.”

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Running requires much of one’s feet. While running, feet act as a shock absorber as they contact the ground, a solid base on which to momentarily stand and then a rigid lever as they push off and propel themselves forward. The 26 bones, and over 100 muscles, tendons and ligaments deserve a little time and TLC. Giving them that love can help to decrease the chances of injury.

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The treadmill is often a necessary evil, like road running or wearing pants. Sometimes, it’s about the conditions, with ice and cold outside or darkness that makes it unsafe to … Continue reading "Getting the Most from Your Treadmill Workout"

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We’ve all set goals for the year, be they new distances, PRs or big peaks. Now comes the hard part: putting in the miles, logging workouts and setting yourself up … Continue reading "Pro Tips for Your 2018 Training"

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culture Destinations Trail Tips training chris harrington Courtney Dauwalter how to trail run performance tips for running pro tips tips for running

On Tuesday, November 13, the North Face Endurance Challenge 50 Miler outside San Francisco, California was cancelled due to smoke from the devastating wildfires ravaging the state. The race organizers … Continue reading "Should You Run in Smoky Air? Probably Not."

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Champions don’t do extraordinary things. They do ordinary things… They follow the habits they’ve learned. —Charles Duhigg, The Power of Habit As a trail runner, you can do little things  every … Continue reading "Power of Habit"

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Trail Tips training

We’ve all set goals for the year, be they new distances, PRs or big peaks. Now comes the hard part: putting in the miles, logging workouts and setting yourself up … Continue reading "Pro Tips for Your 2018 Training"

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culture Destinations Trail Tips training chris harrington Courtney Dauwalter how to trail run performance tips for running pro tips tips for running

Do you remember the Presidential Physical Fitness Test from grade school? If you’re reading this in the U.S., there’s a good chance it brings back memories of having to do … Continue reading "Is Stretching Good or Bad?"

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Trail Tips training best stretches for running how to stretch for running running stretches stretching and running stretching to warm up for running trail running and stretching trail running stretches

Life isn’t easy with two perfect eyes. Wonder doesn’t have two perfect eyes. His left eye has no vision; his right is mostly blind–just enough for a sliver of shadows … Continue reading "4 Lessons from a Blind Superdog"

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Trail Tips training blind dog runner blind runner dogs of running trail running dog trail running dogs wonder dog

Running uphill can be pretty darn horrible. The social-media accounts of professional runners (or even normal people with very short memories) may claim that running up steep grades is “awesome” … Continue reading "Tips for Uphill Running"

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Let’s start with a thought exercise. Remember: the brain burns a lot of calories, so make sure you have some chocolate ice cream handy to replenish your glycogen stores afterward. … Continue reading "The Body Doesn’t Know Miles, It Knows Stress"

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Trail Tips training david roche running and stress running training stress impacts Trail Running trail running and stress

Develop Trail-Specific Endurance and Resilience With a solid foundation, you already have most of what you need to reach your trail-running potential. Now, it’s about refining your strengths to endure … Continue reading "Developing Trail-Specific Resiliency"

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I recently recorded a podcast with Ian Sharman, Krissy Moehl and Shawn Bearden called Coaches’ Corner. It was enlightening—partially because they all have encyclopedic knowledge of training theory, and partially … Continue reading "A Fast Trail Race Might Not Require Much Speed At All"

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Pacing oneself is really, really hard. I think that difficulty stems from how different the psychological approach to pacing is from the rest of life. Usually, life rewards joyous enthusiasm, … Continue reading "The Art of Pacing Yourself"

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Trail Tips training david roche how to train megan roche Race Strategy running training self pacing trail running strategy trail running trainin trail running training

The day before the U.S. Mountain Running Championships in 2014, I was a naïve baby deer about to run full speed onto a six-lane highway. I thought trail running was … Continue reading "When (and How) to Power Hike"

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Trail Tips Workouts

We’ve all set goals for the year, be they new distances, PRs or big peaks. Now comes the hard part: putting in the miles, logging workouts and setting yourself up … Continue reading "Pro Tips for Your 2018 Training"

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culture Destinations Trail Tips training

One of the hardest parts of mental-health challenges is feeling alone in your own struggle, as beautifully described in this May 2018 article in Nature. Yeah, on some level, you … Continue reading "Understanding the Post-Race Blues"

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Trail Tips training david roche Motivation post-race post-race blues trail race Trail Runner Trail Running

Have you ever signed up for a race, only to find yourself struggling to stick with your training plan? That’s the situation in which I found myself several years ago after registering for a notoriously … Continue reading "Getting Out of Your Own Way"

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Trail Tips training Elinor Fish goal training mindful running race training trail running training