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.
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.
As we often say about ultra running: this is a big experiment of... one! There are so many parameters involved when running distances beyond the marathon, it's impossible to set rules working for everyone or every occasion. Even if you've raced more than 100 ultra marathons, you still learn every time as the stars never align the same way.
Last year, my friend Josh Sun told me he was rolling out a brand-spankin’ new 100 mile race in the beautiful trails of Mines of Spain, located in Dubuque, Iowa, right along the Mississippi River. The race is called Mines of Spain 100 and if you think Iowa is all flat, this race will prove ... Read moreWhat I Learned as a First-Time Aid Station Captain
For a long time I wanted to be a runner. It seemed freeing. There was a man in my hometown who was a marathon runner. I watched him take off for his run daily, and admired him when I was a child. I grew up as a complainer, and although I loved the outdoors and ... Read moreFalling in Love with Running
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.
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.
The best races in the world tend to share some of the same qualities – great courses, memorable experiences, and personal challenges. We seek these experiences out in the hopes of finding the self-satisfaction that accomplishing a great feat brings us.
A few months ago, I read a compelling article by Erin Strout (1) entitled “Why We Need More Female Coaches” in which she argues for the important role of women in elite running, particularly in the track and field and road racing scene. As a female coach in the Mountain Ultra Trail (MUT) world, I ... Read moreSupporting Women in MUT Coaching
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.
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.
Runner’s knee (clinically called patellofemoral pain syndrome, or PFPS) is extremely common in all types of runners, particularly those who are new to running or ramping up their training schedule.
I hope we can all agree on the importance of honesty or, in yogic terms, satya (truthfulness) in how we live our lives. As we usher in a new year, many of us may also be thinking about this in terms of living authentically with our truths: What does it look like to live exactly ... Read moreHonesty.
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.
Legos are an inspirational toy. No doubt they have sparked the imagination of countless future engineers, architects, construction workers, astronauts, superheroes and unicorns. The Lego Movie had us both declaring that everything was indeed awesome, while at the same time questioning our core assumptions about what a hero looks like and whether paying for overpriced ... Read moreThe Joy of Legos
Winter seemed as good a time as any to commence training for a fast marathon, while living in Anchorage, Alaska. With temps averaging between -6 to 10 degrees Fahrenheit during the daylight hours of 10am-3pm, it was perhaps a more prudent time to cozy up to an off-season or to reintroduce the treadmill back into ... Read moreSolace of Running Cold
Today we are really excited to introduce a new addition to the site. It was spearheaded by TSer Sandi Nypaver, an avid trail runner and pursuer of change and betterment within our sport. Like TS, Sandi also noticed the lack of information, education and resources for women in trail running, so she wanted to help do ... Read moreFemale Running Coach Directory
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.
Day 2 and 3 at the Lanzarote Training Camp have been full-on. Shane Benzie of Running Reborn has been looking at everyones run technique and providing guidance for improvement in group and one-to-one sessions – Shane has been a huge …
Trail running is one of the best ways to stave off the effects of aging. It keeps our cardiovascular systems young, our brains healthy and it even keeps cartilage intact. And yet, according to the Arthritis Foundation, over half of us will experience some age-related joint degeneration, like osteoarthritis, during our lives.
Racing on technical trails is fundamentally different than racing on roads. Uneven footing, steep hills and tight turns are seldom seen in road races but are frequent challenges in trail races. The more you can practice these types of challenges, even if you don’t have adequate access to trails, the more equipped you’ll be on race day.
A winter run is made possible once you make the laborious decision to exchange that pleasant, warm bed, car, office, or trailhead bathroom, for the cold. Given this, it is only natural that we often present ourselves to winter completely and hopelessly overdressed.
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.”
Modes of Ambulation Included in the category of ‘mountain running’ are skate skiing, cross country skiing, randonee (AKA alpine touring or AT skiing), trail running, speed mountaineering, and fell running. Trail and fell running are best executed on a runner-supportable surface of snow that is either fresh and shallow, old and icy, or possessing a ... Read moreRunning in the Snow
Technology makes it easier than ever to log a myriad of running metrics: weekly mileage, average pace per mile, mean heart rate, maximum heart rate and more. There’s no shortage of numbers to track and training targets to aim for. Given our unprecedented access to data, it stands to reason that you’d know your body better than ever. But do you really?
"You and me, we don't even have a choice. See, we're born with this killer instinct that you can't just turn off and on like some radio. We always have to be in the middle of the action 'cause we're the warriors. And without some challenge, without some damn war to fight, then the warrior might as well be dead."
Bad form results from misalignments or imbalances that restrict joints, which can lead to discomfort and even injury. These misalignments are often rooted in everyday habits—hunching over your keyboard, shortening your hip flexors by sitting at a desk all day.
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.
Two-time 100km world champion and Western States 100 record holder, Ellie Greenwood joins regular guest Ian Sharman to talk about what has changed in their Ultrarunning since they began: Gear Nutrition Training Bonus topic: what race would you gift a running friend this Christmas and why? Sharman Ultra – Endurance Coaching