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Walking During Races: How to Maximize the Technique

Jul 5, 2012 | 4 Comments

Walking during races? For ultrarunners, it’s often a necessity. For new runners, it’s the preferred method to build endurance. For serious road runners, it’s considered a mortal sin. But it’s rarely something we practice.

Jeff Galloway has made a living coaching runners to use a run-walk strategy when racing… and it really works! The idea is simple- by interspersing walking breaks with periods of running, you can run faster and cut time off your finishes. Galloway […]

Gluttony Training: The Other Side of the Fasting Training Coin

Jul 3, 2012 | 3 Comments

Yesterday I wrote about fasting as a method of training. Learning to eat before and during the run is another useful training technique.

Before I get to the details, I should note this training really only applies to ultrarunners. Most people should be able to run anything up to about 18-20 miles without any food. Even a marathon would require very little food, if any at all. Once you pass that marathon threshold, food becomes increasingly […]

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 […]

What Five Months of Running in the Mountains Has Taught Me

May 22, 2012 | 16 Comments

This last winter, we  spent about five months in New Mexico, Arizona, California, and Colorado. During that time, Shelly and I have  run in mountains almost exclusively. That experience has been a tremendous learning opportunity.  Here are a few lessons I’ve learned:

Running efficiency is incredibly important, especially running uphill. Short, quick, relaxed steps make it MUCH easier to climb several miles up a mountain.
When running downhill, slightly shifting my weight backward a little bit makes a huge difference. My downhill […]

Maffetone Versus Crossfit Endurance: Which Is Better

Dec 26, 2011 | 17 Comments

If you participate in any of the barefoot and minimalist forums (Runner’s World, Barefoot Runners Society, Ted’s Google Group) you’ve probably come across a thread about the Maffetone method.  This sudden upsurge of interest in Maffetone interests me, especially because it comes on the heels of a burst of interest in high-intensity interval training (Crossfit Endurance is a popular version.)

First, a quick primer on the Maffetone method and CFE.  Phil Maffetone is a dude that, […]

Ultramarathon Training: What I Did for Western States

Jun 28, 2011 | 51 Comments

I’m getting quite a few questions about my training for Western States… mostly from the people that were aware of my lackadaisical approach I took.   The race performance did not seem even remotely possible given my apparent training regimen.  Some (Shacky) even accused me of sandbagging.  🙂

For my three previous 100 milers, I took various approaches.

For the first Burning River attempt in ’08, I followed Crossfit and Crossfit Endurance religiously.  I meticulously planned every detail […]

Anorexia, Evolution, and Ultra Training

May 6, 2011 | 16 Comments

I’m in the process of doing periodic fasting as a training method for running a 100 mile race near the end of June.  It is a training method I’ve used in the past with great success.

The Theory

I will go about my normal training routine without eating anywhere from 12 to 48 hours before beginning exercise.  In most cases, the training involves intermediate runs of 10-20 miles.  The fasting creates a dramatic shortage of glycogen.  […]

Run/Walk Strategies During Ultramarathons: Do They Work? Is THIS a Better Solution?

Apr 25, 2011 | 13 Comments

It’s been awhile since I posted an ultrarunning article.  This one was inspired by a 34 mile training run with Jesse Scott.  We’re training for the Mind the Ducks 12 12 Hour ultra in Rochester, NY on May 14th.  To help prepare us trail runners prepare for half a day on asphalt, we did this run on a paved bike path.

At about mile 20, Jesse decided to mix things up a bit by adding the […]