Articles by Pam Smith

How Not to Pack a Drop Bag

It seems to me that ultrarunners pack all of their insecurities into a drop bag. Running really long distances through rugged terrain at all hours of the day can be daunting, and as such, drop bags can get unwieldy. It’s...

Seeing the Forest for the Trees

This is the time of the year when most people have shaken off the winter cobwebs and are starting to get into the thick of training. Not many people become an ultrarunner if they don’t like running, and as such, I think...

Add Mileage, Prevent Injury

Dear Pam,“I have only been running 18 to 20 miles and am looking to complete my first marathon. I am intrigued to run farther and faster. I have been injury-free up until last year, but I am currently working through pla...

Should You Run While Injured?

I’m sitting here writing with my right butt cheek propped up on an ice pack. It’s been three days since I last ran, and I am itching to get back at it. It doesn’t help that last week I finally decided to commit to two ra...

Sport Supplements in Ultras

Last month’s column was dedicated to vitamin supplements and their possible benefits. But there are hundreds of other WADA legal substances sold with promises of improving athletic performance. (WADA banned substances sh...

Vitamin Supplements

Ultrarunners are obsessive people particularly when it comes to health. We are all cognizant of the stresses those extra miles can wreak on our health and we like to do what we can to mitigate the negative effects. One o...

Back-to-Back Long Training Runs: Friend or Foe?

Gearing up for a longer ultra, such as a 100k or a 100-miler requires a dedicated training plan with particular focus on getting more miles and more time on feet. One way to accomplish this is with back-to-back long runs...

Direct Access Laboratory Testing Services

Recently a friend sent me a frantic e-mail: “I got my Inside Tracker report and I am basically the most unhealthy individual ever. I am surprised I am able to get out of bed based on the results.” This wasn’t a first for...

Bladders vs. Bottles

As the temperatures rise through the summer months, so does the ultrarunner’s needs for fluid replacement. Figuring out how much you need to drink requires a bit of research, some educated guesses and a lot of experiment...

Is Cross Training Right for You?

Ultrarunners are a group with an intense love of running. It’s such a strong attraction that ultrarunners are willing to give up half days, normal meals, social engagements and even sleep to keep running. But training to...

Will Glycogen-depleted Runs Improve Your Performance?

If you spend any amount of time talking about ultrarunning nutrition, you are almost certain to hear the term “fat adapted.” The general idea is that a “fat adapted” athlete will be very efficient at burning fat and thus...

Are High-Cushioned Shoes Right for You?

There’s nothing like spring weather to get you excited about buying a new pair of kicks, but with so many options out there, which ones are right for you? The 2009 publication of Born to Run spurred a minimalist trend...

Should You Hire a Coach?

Hi and Happy New Year! I am excited to be joining the UltraRunning Magazine team for 2018. In this column, I plan to dissect some general questions in ultrarunning while applying my basic philosophy that no issue is just...