Articles by Dean Karnazes

Ultra Grit

Every ultrarunner knows there will come a point when things get tough. Just as smooth seas do not make a skilled sailor, smooth roads do not make a good runner. It is during these defining moments that we build our runni...

The Naked Truth

What do running, public nudity and democracy have in common? More than you might think. To understand why, let us step back in history to the original Olympic Games of Greece. Early Olympic athletes competed in attire...

First Is Always Best

We always remember our first time, and that’s true of our first ultra, too. We have a certain measure of innocence when we experience something new; a journey into uncharted territory heightens our senses and makes us ac...

I’ll Drink to That

This issue of UltraRunning is filled with valuable insights and advice about how to deal with heat during extreme exertion. Important stuff, because pound for pound, humans are among the most needy when it comes to our b...

Life as Training

The ancient Greeks believed that strength was the soul manifested through the body. A strong body spoke of a soul that was pure. They would spend their days training and conditioning, for sports and athletic performance,...

What Makes a Champion?

Why do some people consistently excel while others fall by the wayside? What are the qualities that make a champion? It’s a question that’s been intensely examined throughout the ages, perhaps more so than any other topi...

Should You Use a Coach?

It’s a common question today, one asked not just by elite athletes but by “everyday” runners as well. So, what’s the right answer? Truthfully, it all depends. Whether or not to work with a running coach is largely a p...

Unsung Heroes

Every time we sign up to run an ultramarathon, we have a race director to thank. These are the men and women who work tirelessly behind the scenes to make sure that all the elements necessary to make the race happen are...

Funnest Known Time

First, let me say that I hope my mother isn’t reading this story. She’s an English teacher and would be quick to point out the fact that there’s no such word as “funnest.” But perhaps it’s just as well, since the purpose...

Cross-Training for Ultras

We hear a lot about the benefits of cross-training these days. It can help improve overall fitness, reduce injuries, hasten recovery and boost performance. Combining running with exercises from other disciplines, such as...

Seconds Matter

Ultramarathon races take hours, days. What’s a few lost seconds, right? Wrong. Seconds really do matter. Let me share with you a little story that illustrates this point. The race wasn’t a traditional ultramarathon, b...

Ace Your Next Race: Calming Pre-race Jitters

Nothing can derail a good effort more than the psychological stress of pre-race anxiety. No matter how much training, no matter how much preparation you’ve done, if you’re overly nervous at the start of a race, the physi...

Low-Tech Hydration

The gear review in this issue of UltraRunning is dedicated to the latest innovations in hydration, so I thought I’d take a contrarian approach and share with you what is perhaps the worst design in the world for dispensi...

The Heat is On

Having just finished an hour-and-a-half session of Bikram yoga, now seems like a good time to write a column about dealing with the heat. Many runners don’t like it when temperatures rise, but as my high school cross-cou...

Techpocalypse Now

I just returned from the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, where I glimpsed into the future. And there ain’t nothin’ left to hide. The number of training sensors, monitors, probes and trackers is revealing (or e...

Inspiration Never Rusts

The word inspiration has almost become cliché these days. It’s so overused the true meaning has been diluted and cheapened. Yet there’s no denying that the words others say to us can have the power to, well, inspire....