Features

The Beat in 1981

In 1981, the music scene in New York City was a melting pot of reggae, jazz, disco, hardcore and much more, with hip hop and rap beginning to bubble just beneath the surface. Back then we could hold music in our hands wi...

Mastering the Multi-Day Race

Dear Ann, I tend to feel the worst while running through the night during a 100-mile race, and then bounce back when the sun comes up. This is why I thought I’d be good at multi-day runs, so I signed up for a 48-hour rac...

Training on the Flats

It’s no mystery that ultramarathons in North America are heavily skewed towards the trails. After all, there is something powerful about being out in nature, away from asphalt and concrete. However, that doesn’t mean tha...

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...

Simple Tools for Training

Running workouts should be hard, but designing them should not. All too often, athletes who design their own training plans over-complicate the structure. They think recovery between intervals needs to be magic and that...

The Power of Pool Running

Pool running is an activity that many injured runners love to hate. It’s indoors, smells of chlorine and lacks adventure. Persuading friends to ditch a Sunday trail run and head to the pool is a tough sell. However, I pr...

Eating with Zach Bitter

When most people in the ultrarunning community hear the name Zach Bitter they think of the high fat, low carbohydrate lifestyle he promotes due to the impact it’s had on his training and performance. But this label doesn...

Mud Running

March is a time of the year when the snow is melting, birds are tweeting (old-school style) and the sun is shining a bit brighter. A combination of warm sun and melting snow creates one of our furry running buddies favor...

The Best Cross Training

The concept of exercise specificity is extremely important for sports performance. Specificity is the idea that you get the most benefit for a sport by doing that particular sport. If you want to be a better trail runner...

Your First 100-Miler

24 Hours of Adrenalin was a popular mountain bike race that consisted of riding a technical course all day and night until 24 hours had elapsed. I’ll never forget a biker grinding to a halt near the timing table in the m...

Even Coaches Need a Coach

Over the past 20 years, I have coached numerous high school and college teams. For the past five years, I have provided personal coaching for ultrarunners working towards their next races. While I am embarrassed to admit...

Cycling 101

Cycling has always been a key component of my own training, and I utilize it often in the training plans of my running and multisport athletes. If you’re looking for active recovery, high-cadence neuromuscular stimulatio...

How to Finish Your Own Barkley

Over the past 30 years, I have been privileged to witness some absolutely astounding performances at the Barkley Marathons. Every finish has been the result of a nearly perfect race, by a supremely prepared athlete. With...

Devon Yanko

Devon Yanko was racing for victory at the Leadville 100 on Aug. 19, 2017. Each mile that day was about stepping outside her competitive cocoon. She would later write in her blog, “I savored the moment. I ran this race in...

Compression Sleeves

The topic of wearing compression apparel during activity can be somewhat polarizing in the endurance community. While some runners swear by it, the hard evidence for performance gains is generally anecdotal. However, the...

10 Stages of Running an Ultra

It is difficult to explain to a non-runner what it’s like to run an ultramarathon. How can you possibly put into words the excitement, the highs, the lows, the torture and the triumph of such an audacious pursuit? Here’s...

The Five Percent Solution

If you’ve never heard of the Five Percent Solution, don’t be alarmed. I just made it up. But the idea wasn’t born simply out of thin air, it’s an offshoot of the popular One Percent Better movement (okay, cult) that’s sw...

Falling Back in Love with Ultrarunning

Lying in bed unable to sleep one night, I thought about running goals for the upcoming year and struggled with feelings of self-doubt and ambivalence. I’d blown my long-run plan for the weekend but didn’t really want to...

Another Kind of Vertical Gain

Contrary to popular belief, climbing is significantly more about deliberate footwork, body position, maximizing leg power and economy of motion than it is about brute upper body strength. Much of what is often recommende...

I Am An Ultrarunner: Ian Torrance

Age: 46Where do you live currently? Flagstaff, AZWhere did you grow up? Gaithersburg, MDOccupation: Running coach, wildland restoration specialist, race directorFamily (kids, spouse, pets)? Emily, my wife, and four furry...

Feature Races

Desert Solstice

I often wonder if the daily users of the Central High School Track in Phoenix, Arizona, realize the hallowed ground on which their feet are moving. Four of the world’s best marks have been set on its surface (Zach Bitter...

Franklin Mountains Trail Run

The Skyrunner Series returned to the United States in 2018 with five featured events: The Broken Arrow Skyrace in Squaw Valley, California, Audi Power of Four in Aspen, Colorado, The Rut in Big Sky, Montana and Indian Cr...

Heartland

It’s 5:55 a.m. and I’m sitting in a pickup at the start line trying to stay warm. One of my crew members, Brandi Lane, hops in and asks how I’m feeling. “Scared to death,” I answer. This isn’t my first or even second att...

Mines of Spain

It’s somewhere around 3 a.m. on a flooded creek bank in Dubuque, Iowa. A runner limps towards the edge and stands face-to-face with a water crossing that on almost any other day of the year would not be there. The dark a...

Hellgate

I find myself more and more inextricably tied to the challenge and beauty of running in the mountains. Whether climbing gravel roads, traversing single track or just exploring, mountains become the ultimate test for the...

Race Reports

Frozen Gnome

Frozen Gnome 50k is always an unpredictable way to start the year. Two years ago, it was below 0 degrees (wind chill of -20 degrees) and the course was covered in snow and ice. Last year was rather dry but windy, and the...

Sanders Saunter

Each November, the Lawrence Trail Hawks running club of Lawrence, Kansas, hosts a 50k, 25k and 10k trail run as a fundraiser for a different local charity. The event, Sanders Saunter, has the feeling of a family reunion:...

St. Croix Winter Ultra

Winters can get long and cold in Minnesota. We keep running anyway. Multiple wool layers, sheet metal screws in our shoes, and applying Warm Skin and Aquaphor to our exposed skin make this possible. We still crave a good...

Stone Mill

The Stone Mill 50 mile trail race traverses 47 miles of single track (there are three road miles) managed by Montgomery County Parks, State of Maryland and the National Parks Service. The Stone Mill itself is part of the...

Surf the Murph

’Tis the season to don costumes and eat treats at the annual surfing festivities, otherwise known as Surf the Murph trail races. This was the year to pack your personal kite in your costume and propel yourself in the mig...

Tunnel Hill

November 10, 2018, began as a typical day in sleepy Vienna, Illinois. The sun rose but gave little warmth, leaving a gaggle of raw-boned ultrarunners shivering with excitement. They checked their nutrition and fluids, sn...

March 2019

A runner passes through the Horseshoe Bluff area, an old quarry on the shore of the Mississippi River, during the Mines of Spain 100 in Dubuque, Iowa. Photo: Kristi Mayo/Mile 90 Photography