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Thermoregulation and Running: A Cool Idea

Jul 14, 2012 | 29 Comments

The Evil Moisture Wicking Clothing?

In a previous post, I theorized about the role a moisture-wicking shirt played in three crappy runs over the last seven months or so. After reading your comments and doing a little research, my “ah-ha’ moment wasn’t quite so revolutionary. The conclusion is pretty obvious:

Moisture wicking clothing does more harm than good for runners in hot weather.

The reasoning is simple- the mechanism of drawing moisture away from the skin thwarts Read More...

Overheating Because of Moisture-Wicking Fabric: Could This Have Caused the Bighorn Catastrophe?

Jul 12, 2012 | 26 Comments

Timothy Noakes, author of the book Lore of Running, has released a new book about the problem of over-hydration in endurance events. Waterlogged has created quite a stir among one of my favorite communities. I haven’t read the book yet, but have read enough commentary to get the gist of Noakes’ central theme- we drink too much in races. His recommendation- drink to thirst.

[Check out this summary from Joe Uhan over at irunfar.com]

Read More...

Training on an Empty Stomach: A Low Heartrate Alternative?

Jul 2, 2012 | 24 Comments

Many of my ultra friends have started experimenting with low heart rate training. The technique is based on the idea that we can train our body to run faster while remaining in an aerobic zone (burning fat versus carbs as a primary fuel). Many people have had success with the method. I’ve played around with the idea, but found the long, slow running to be too boring. It took the fun out of running.

For years, I’ve Read More...

Solving the Hydration Riddle: Lesson Repeated Until I Learn

Jun 21, 2012 | 11 Comments

Ah, hydration and ultramarathons. It used to be an issue that caused exactly zero problems. When I lived in the Midwest, I never unintentionally became dehydrated in a run. Ever.

I would occasionally do a “dehydration run” where I would purposely consume too little water so I could learn what the physical symptoms felt like. These runs were always done on a small loop with easy access to water, so the danger was low. I didn’t have Read More...

Quick Bighorn 100 Miler Recap

Jun 17, 2012 | 4 Comments

I finished the Bighorn Mountain Wild and Scenic Trail Run 100 miler yesterday. The race certainly lives up to its name. I’ll post a more detailed report in the near future, but here’s a rough recap.

Bighorn was definitely the most difficult 100 I’ve run to date. The combination of mountain weather and terrain made it significantly more difficult than the Midwest ultras I’ve run. This was also my first 100 miler without a crew or pacer. Read More...

Preparation and Strategy for the Bighorn 100

Jun 14, 2012 | 6 Comments

Tomorrow at 11:00 am I’ll start the Bighorn 100 miler in Dayton, Wyoming. The preparation and strategy for this race is the culmination of my experiences in the previous five 100 milers I’ve attempted. The race is a fairly difficult ultra. Ultrarunning Magazine rates it as a “4-4″ for terrain and surface (Western States is a “4-3″) and realendurance.com gives it a score of 112% based on normalized finish times (Western States is the baseline at Read More...

When Running Hurts: Discriminating Between Good Pain and Bad Pain

Jun 13, 2012 | 14 Comments

Barefoot runners are repeatedly told to avoid pain at all costs. PAIN IS BAD! It’s a signal we’re doing something wrong or we’re doing too much too soon.

Ultrarunners live with pain. Any seriously long run hurts. If we’re going really fast, really long, or traversing really gnarly terrain, it hurts even more. [Edit- Rob Youngren commented below and suggested this is more like "discomfort" than "pain." I like this distinction,]

What happens when these worlds Read More...

The Long Fartlek: Another Option for Ultramarathon Training

Jun 10, 2012 | 11 Comments

Over the years, my ultramarathon training has evolved from the common long, slow run to high intensity interval training to a weird hybrid between the two. I’ve tried running slow, running fast, intervals, tempo runs, and speed walking. After spending about eight years experimenting with all kinds of training methods, I’ve found the one method that appears to elicit the greatest benefit: the long fartlek.

Before I dive into the details of my training, it may be Read More...