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Preparing for Trouble: Don’t Die on the Trail

Oct 15, 2012 | 2 Comments

This recent story caught my eye yesterday: East Coast Hikers Missing in Glacier National Park.

The hikers are presumably lost somewhere in a large, rugged area. Search and rescue has few clues.The winter weather could give this story a tragic ending.

In my still-in-progress trail running book, I included a section about how search and rescue works and what to do if lost. The book is still probably at least two months away from completion, […]

Complaining About Races: Don’t be a Little Bitch

Oct 13, 2012 | 13 Comments

Jay Danek, a Facebook friend and fellow ultrarunner, recently wrote a post about complaining to race directors. I liked the way Jay handled the situation, which included jumping to a conclusion before cooling off. Hats off, Jay.

Over the last few years, I’ve noticed an increase in the amount of complaining in races. Here are a few examples:

Lady at Western States in ’11 was bitching to an aid station worker because they didn’t have enough flavors […]

Uphill Running Technique

Oct 12, 2012 | 19 Comments

Unless you do all your running in Florida, you probably encounter the occasional hill. How should you approach the hill? Should you modify your technique? Does it depend on the surface? Are there other important variables? Let’s find out.

The Basics

The single biggest mistake people make when running uphill is an elongated stride. People take steps that are too big. The longer the step you take, the more energy you’ll expend over that distance. It’s more efficient […]

Skora Form Review

Oct 11, 2012 | 7 Comments

I’m always excited to test a first shoe from new companies. Skora was founded by David Sypniewski a few years ago. He solicited a lot of feedback when designing his first lineup, which I appreciated. At the time, the minimalist market was quite bare. [see what I did there]

Anyway, David had a great vision. He understood an important fundamental- the shoe shouldn’t interfere with your running form. The idea is widely accepted in minimalist circles, but was quite revolutionary […]

The Value of a Pacer in Ultramarathons

Oct 10, 2012 | One Comment

A pacer is a runner that runs with you during an ultramarathon.In most cases, pacers are allowed to join you in the later stages of a race. While many shorter ultras allow pacers, they’re most commonly found in 100 milers.

Pacers serve as a guide, motivator, coach, entertainer, and cheerleader. A pacer does so much more than simply set the running pace. A good pacer keeps you on the course. They remind you to eat and drink. […]

The 100 Miler Bucket List: Seeking Challenges

Oct 9, 2012 | 13 Comments

Sometimes people ask why I run ultras. While there are a lot of reasons, the challenge is a major draw. Specifically, I love the challenges presented by 100 milers. Every race is wrought with potential problems that need to be solved on the fly.

Top of the foot hurts? Better re-lace my shoes.

Quads are starting to burn? I have to adjust my gait.

After 30 packets of Gu, I feel like I’m going to […]

Grindstone 100 Recap

Oct 7, 2012 | 18 Comments

Well, I managed to finish Grindstone this weekend. The race was tough as Hell, but it was as close to perfect as I’ve gotten since Western States last year. I finished in 29:06 or so (42nd out of 108 finishers). I was a little shocked to finish as high as I did, especially considering Karl Meltzer won the race with a blistering 17:13. I was able to apply many of the lessons I’ve been experimenting with since last […]

Last Minute Grindstone Preparation, Clinic in North Carolina!

Oct 4, 2012 | 3 Comments

I’ll be starting the Grindstone 100 miler tomorrow evening at 6pm in Swoope, Virginia. It’ll be my second attempt at the race after DNFing last year. My preparation has improved dramatically. Last year, my training went something like this:

I ran Western States toward the end of June. My lone run over 12 miles was a road marathon the week before Grindstone (Freedom’s Run in West Virginia). My average weekly mileage rarely surpassed 20 miles.
I didn’t run any technical […]