March 2021

Features

Don’t F*ck It Up

Jumping up to the famed buckle distance can be daunting for anyone. Despite the famous words of Karl “Speedgoat” Meltzer, 100 miles is actually pretty far and for most of us, takes a lot of time to finish. But to do s...

Growing as a Runner

After a year of severely reduced racing opportunities, 2021 is a chance for a fresh slate. Routines have been upended, kids are schooling at home, and there’s still plenty of time before we get back to normal. Yet, th...

Psychobiological Model of Fatigue

Ultrarunners are motivated athletes. We meticulously track miles, time, intensity, amount of vertical gain, calories consumed on the run and a host of other variables that we find meaningful to performance. Most of th...

So You Want to be an Ultrarunner?

Spring is on the horizon. Hope is resurfacing with the lengthening days, warmer temperatures and distribution of vaccines. And with that, new dreams and goals emerge like the bulbs pushing up out of the ground – goals...

Easy Like Spring Training

If you’re like many runners, you likely took it a bit easy over the winter, as well as throughout much of 2020. Now it’s time to get back outside and get yourself in shape for upcoming races. But where to start? Grad...

Let Me Repeat That for You

One of the problems with science is that studies are not always easy to reproduce. This is especially true in the field of exercise science where funding is limited, techniques may vary from lab to lab and the subject...

Reflections From Our Time Away

I don’t have to remind anyone that 2020 was a complete disaster. If the year 2020 was a race, it would find a way to show up as both a DNS and a DNF in our online results. Luckily, we have a second chance to get it ri...

Running After COVID-19

In early January 2021, a year (give or take) into the COVID-19 pandemic, the vaccination process is just beginning. I received my first dose of the Moderna vaccine two weeks ago (and other than a slightly elevated hea...

Finding Purpose

For Kyla Maher, the process of discovering her future has been about finding out who she is and something more – about how she can help others find a stronger sense of who they are and the community they wish to belon...

Faces Across America

To cross the continent on foot is a transcendental experience. There is no other way to fully grasp the sheer size or stunning scope of the land. There is infinite time during those eight million steps to really see t...

Spring Running Bra Review

As critical as a good bra is for comfort and function during a long run, it can also be exceedingly difficult to find just the right style without all the bounce. Our testers have put a new crop of spring tops through...

Fastest Known Times of the Year

Fastest Known Times (FKT) can easily be undertaken while maintaining a distance of six feet (or six miles, in some cases). Not only can runners skip the hassle of lotteries for the privilege of entering...

The Unsung Heroes of Ultrarunning

My wife, Mel, and I have a tradition for our Sunday morning runs. We run to the gas station 5.5 miles away, buy a snack, sit out on the curb for a few minutes and then we run 5.5 miles back home. I always head straigh...

Fit to Continue

On paper, a 20:41 100-mile finish time would be the obvious performance choice over a 21:57 result at the same race. Both of these efforts led to second place showings, at the 1988 and 1987 Western States 100, respect...

Training Versus Maintaining

If you’re like me, you typically choose several “A” races throughout the year. Once those have been earmarked, you then build specific training blocks to arrive at these races in peak condition. Of course, you might a...

Know Your Motivators

As I worked with a client to develop a training block for the first four months of this year, she considered a 50k in March and said, “I’m just going to run it for fun.” I hear that phrase all the time, and I underst...

Embracing Transition

“To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow.”   – Audrey Hepburn To do anything today is to believe in a tomorrow – we book appointments, arrange to catch up with friends and train for races because we believe that...

I Am an Ultrarunner Van Phan

Age: 49 (50 in March) Where do you live currently? Lakewood, WA Where did you grow up? Bellevue, WA Occupation: Physician Assistant (my Asian mom still asks me when I will become a doctor) Family (kids, spouse, p...

Feature Races

Project Carbon X 2

After a wildly successful event in 2019 in Sacramento, California, that saw Jim Walmsley break the 50-mile world best in 4 hours, 50 minutes and 8 seconds, it seemed only natural that Project Car...

The Falls 100

The race directors seemed pleased as punch about the prospect of putting runners through the wringer. This Kentucky course promises below-freezing temperatures at night, rugged and rocky trails, numerous steep climbs...

Guana River

A pristine and beautiful venue for a trail race is Ponte Vedra Beach in northeast Florida. The trail system utilized for the Guana River 50K Trail Race is the GTM (Guana Tolomato Matanzas) Research Reserve, one of 29...

Long Haul 100

Tucked away in Land O’Lakes, Florida, the Long Haul 100 is one of the best kept secrets in the ultrarunning world. Hosted mid-January each year, the race is a blast of positivity, largely in part due to the co-race di...

Tunnel Hill 100

The Tunnel Hill course has proven to be very fast. USATF-sanctioned, the course is certified and carries the IAU Silver Label for road, and the IAU Trail Label. Besides Zach Bitter’s world best off-road mark, the even...

Jim Walmsley leaves it all on the course as he approaches the finish line of the Project Carbon X 2 100K in Arizona. He finished in 6:09:26, missing the world record by just 12 seconds. Photo courtesy HOKA ONE ONE