Tag: Beginner

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...

Other First-Timers Sound Off

Particularly for a green ultrarunner or one who’s tackling a new distance, there’s a natural tendency to get to the starting line, look around and think, “Wow, all of the these other runners look like experienced veteran...

Bake the Cake

A woman contacted me in early January seeking advice for her first 50k in April. She had already registered for it and brimmed with excitement about going the distance and crossing the finish. She had about 14 weeks to t...

Choosing Your First 100-Mile Race

Have you strung together a good number of 50k and 50-mile finishes? Do you feel like you are a reasonably capable ultrarunner? Sure you may not be fast and you might not post podium results, but you’re confident running...

Enjoy the Training

When you first signed up to be an ultrarunner, you know, at your local ultrarunning recruitment center at the mall, I hope you paid attention to the fine print on the contract. It said in no uncertain terms, “You are now...

What’s Next?

What’s next? After taking the time to celebrate, refresh and regroup, the next ultra goal will start to tingle at the back of your brain. Your legs may feel a bit jumpy in anticipation to get into another training cycle....

Celebrate the Accomplishment

All too often we finish a race, the sweat on our brow hasn’t had a chance to dry and someone asks “So, what’s next?” Ultrarunners are goal-oriented people and it’s not uncommon to have the entire year of races planned. E...

Dress for Success: The Basics

When you dress for success in business, it is all about appearance and image. Looking the part is half the battle. When you dress for success in ultrarunning, image and appearance mean virtually squat. Clothes do not mak...

Maintaining the Spark

The desire to know the unknown is a huge motivator. I like this sentence from my book Running Your First Ultra (page 34) because it captures what initially motivates runners to sign up for a race, train for and attemp...

My First Attempt at 100 Miles

Arriving in Houston, Texas, a little more than a day before the race, I was hopeful. The hotel was charming and very hospitable. The weather was unseasonable cool but ideal for racing. The town square of Sugar Land prove...

Taking on My First 50k

Dear Ann, We have never met before but I read your column in UltraRunning Magazine and enjoy your words and value your advice. I have a question. I would like 2017 to be the year of my first 50k – I feel ready. I just...

Embrace the Suck

Some military phrases seem like they fit ultrarunning like a hand in a glove. Take the Marine Corp’s quote, “Pain is good; extreme pain is extremely good!” Can you beat that for summing up the right attitude to have head...

Training for Your First Ultra

Moving in to a new year there is a common theme among humans to set goals and start with fire to achieve them. Gyms are usually packed, yoga classes overflow with students and the trails feel busier those first couple of...

Three Keys to Success

I love ultrarunning on trails. It’s how I was raised. Adopted by a tawny, muscular and lean tribe, I grew up with long dirty miles and recovery drinks shaping my norm. When I met Scott Jurek after his first Western State...

Make Your Long Training Run an Adventure

No matter what ultra distance you’re tackling, the long training run is going to be the heart and soul of your preparation. Developing stamina, conditioning the muscles, dialing in eating and drinking, testing out clothe...

Ebb and Flow: Ride the Ultra Tide!

“Ebb and flow” is an expression that the Oxford Dictionary of English Idioms defines as “a recurrent or rhythmical pattern of coming and going, or decline and regrowth.” I love this definition and think that it describes...

Lessons from Your First Ultra

Some of the hardest lessons are learnt during the first attempt at a given distance. The more experience you build up before taking on a new challenge, the better it’s likely to go, but there are always unexpected diffic...

Ready… Set… Chill Out!

Is it a race or is it a trail run when we toe the line at an ultra event? Or does that seem like a dumb question? An ultra is obviously a race, right? Well, even ultrarunning’s most iconic event, the Western States 100,...

Training to Tame Big Climbs

For your average ultrarunner, the bedrock training technique is the familiar LSD, or Long Slow Distance, workout. You give up one of your precious weekend days to go really long, stay on your feet for hours, dial in the...

Mid-Packer Training Tips

Disclaimer: I am not a coach – unless I consider myself my own client – so keep in mind that just because something worked for me does not mean that it will work for everyone. My method of self-training has developed thr...