Ultra Advice From a Master

While I haven’t posted a race report for LHU yet, I’ve corresponded with some ultra buddies about it. My summary […]

By on June 12, 2007 | Comments

While I haven’t posted a race report for LHU yet, I’ve corresponded with some ultra buddies about it. My summary is I ran conservatively, ate a ton, didn’t give in, sprung back to life, and ended up with a great race relative to my current fitness level. My friend, clubmate, mentor, pacer, pacee, compatriot, and all-around hero, Scotty Mills succinctly summarized the lessons learned from/reinforced by my run this weekend for a couple of our buddies running Western $tates in a couple weekends. While this list was crafted for W$, I feel the advice is apt for all ultramarathons, particularly those over 50 miles. Without further adieu, here’s Scotty’s words of wisdom:

1) Never give up. Never Surrender.

2) When things get really bad…..take care of your body with food and meds and get back out there. You can have an incredible turnaround in a relatively short period of time.

3) Put you head down and run like hell in the last 10 (20?) miles…..pain will be secondary to your improving time and you will eat up real estate at the end.

4) Go out relatively conservative (and smartly) early on.

5) No matter how bad you feel…..you can turn it around and do your best toward the end. “It never ever always gets worse”

6) Don’t over train AND taper well….your base is well established and you will be better off rested than running a lot up to the race even though you may think you are not in the best of shape. Muscle memory is there for those who have run a lot over the years.

Thanks for the advise, Scotty.

For your entertainment, click here to read Scotty’s account of our 70 mile suffer fest run at W$ last year. You can check out a picture of us finishing together on page 23 of this year’s W$ program.

Bryon Powell

Bryon Powell is the Founding Editor of iRunFar. He’s been writing about trail running, ultrarunning, and running gear for more than 15 years. Aside from iRunFar, he’s authored the books Relentless Forward Progress: A Guide to Running Ultramarathons and Where the Road Ends: A Guide to Trail Running, been a contributing editor at Trail Runner magazine, written for publications including Outside, Sierra, and Running Times, and coached ultrarunners of all abilities. Based in Silverton, Colorado, Bryon is an avid trail runner and ultrarunner who competes in events from the Hardrock 100 Mile just out his front door to races long and short around the world, that is, when he’s not fly fishing or tending to his garden.