Get the latest information, recommendations and advice on Ultra Running Insights' Blog. Explore these interesting articles providing you with tips on how to opt your training, finding the right equipment, discovering time-saving and creative recipes and answering all your questions on race preparation, injury prevention as well as talking about how to sustain the important balance as an ultra runner.
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Still feeling thrilled about Guy´s outstanding and amazing performance at Trans Gaspesia in Canada awarded with winning his age group (35-39).
I am left with not much to say except to take my hat off to this super ambitious, driven and passionate ultra runner whose sheer willpower helped him finish a race that is known as ONE OF the toughest multi-stage ultra marathon on the planet. Needless to say, only 13 out of 20 runners actually made it.
When Guy first approached me about being his coach for three months and after I had taken a look at his running background I knew this was going to be challenging. Guy has an amazing attitude towards life and always finds an opportunity in something that other people would take as a setback.
Even some niggles and minor injuries would not hold him back in his pursuit to make it to the start and finish no matter what. We adjusted his training plan in a way that would support his strengths and divert to cross training for a week.
A strong-willed ultra runner by nature he developed the skills that would make him even stronger. Never once tired ( except during the taper phase!) or drained Guy managed the training loads in an unbelievably strong manner given that he´s also a full-time employee.
It goes to show again that ambitious ultra marathon running is possible - on a high level and higher! Real people with real lives.
This was just the beginning of Guy´s newly-born passion for multi-stage races. His race report will follow...
I´m super excited about sharing some insightful news with you via twitter now. I found twitter to be the most serious choice.
I like twitter´s system as a way of communicating with you in addition to the blog and articles on the website.
It´s meant to complement the major part as opposed to spoiling it with clutter like it´s often the case on facebook.
MsUltrarunner goes twitter...follow me!
I will provide messages that are value-added to you. And that always relate to ultra running, of course.
There will be tweets about my current training, tips, recommendations for equipment like trail shoes or some new foods I have tried that make it on the list of must-have for your next race or...I´ll tweet about inspiring people, books, daily life (basically anything that can lighten up your day providing momentum).
So stay tuned for my tweetables and start following me...
Today´s question points at the connection between building speed in your running training and staying in the aerobic zone at the same time.
These are actually two different pairs of shoes - literally. It´s impossible to improve your speed if you just hang in your comfy zone. Feeling those muscles burn and building up some lactate is what ultimately promotes improved speed endurance.
Ambition drives and speed endurance training is a staple part in any ultra runner´s agenda if you want to achieve outstanding results and aim to finish your race strongly.
This means to leave that comfy zone and give your muscles a whole lot of work to do. No shuffling, jogging or kidding yourself. Shift up a gear or two, choose a hill, a flight of stairs or even flat terrain for this type of running training.
What type of running training do you do to build speed? Leave your comments below the video.
Are you more of a loner or someone who loves to team up with a training buddy to chat to during running training? On some occasions this can be a good choice. Comes race day, though, and you´re out there on your own.
Watch me talk about when it makes sense to run with a training partner or even train with a group.
Read some comments here:
Shail writes: I personally never enjoyed running with anyone.
For the last five years, I have been experimenting on running with Meditating Mind. So, no place for running with anyone! However, I love motivating my fellow and junior runners but without compromising on my principle of running alone!
Ian writes: Training alone will give me a sense of peace of mind whilst chatting with someone else is a waste a of a lot of energy to me.
Discover the adventurous world of ultrarunning following effective training methods to succeed in ultramarathon races.Learn how to access your mental strength to fulfil your goals.
Discover how to put theory into practice and know what training really works to succeed
For the pure fun of it, I have recorded a short selfie-VIDEO with my iphone camera showing you a snippet of my training.
Whenever I have a super-busy day ahead I decide to head out for a short 8-9 K run first thing in the morning, often before 6 am.
Often people tell me that they had to skip a session due to unexpected work changes, for example. This causes stress and can be avoided to a certain degree when you try to schedule your run first thing.
It´s the tranquility, calmness and crisp air at this time of the day out there in the woods I embrace each time.
I come back happy and contented with my efforts. It´s funny that often when I´m over the initial tiredness after a few minutes I´m reminded to do something meaningful.
So I integrate some hill reps or shorter tempo sections basically anything that contributes to my goal of consistently improving my speed endurance.
Feel free to leave a comment below the TRAINING VIDEO and let me know what it takes for you to motivate yourself to head out for an early morning run.
I look forward to be reading your thoughts and feedback.
P.S. Please mind the disrupted end - still working on the cutting edge ;)
Short races are an important part of ultra marathon training. Stepping out of the comfy zone is not a bad idea from time to time.
On short notice, I got notified to fill in for another runner at the German B2Run Germany Company Championship, a race series that takes place in different cities throughout Germany.
6 K is not exactly ultra far but good enough to turn into a hard tempo run under race conditions.
I finished with the fastest time out of nearly 1600 female runners in 23:19 minutes.
It´s been some time since I last raced such a short distance so I was curious to find out what was in it for me.
I warmed up for 2.5 K and had a Vega Protein Shake about 3 hours prior to the run.
Unfortunately I got caught in the second block of starters and lost time zigzagging my way out of the crowd for the first 3 K.
My targeted time was around 24, 25 minutes so I ran fast for the first 2 K before easing up running at a more controlled pace.
I didn´t track my kilometre splits as I wanted to see how my pace awareness has evolved lately.
Whether you´re competing in a long or short distance race it´s always the mental triggers that make you win or lose.
I always visualize certain images that pop up in my mind. This time I saw my wonderful horse Lorca before my inner eyes and I got carried away by the liberating feeling of galloping away with her on the lonely trails.
That was truly my image of power and pure passion.
It was such an uplifting feeling that helped me to stay in control but still putting in enough effort, specially on the last 2 K where I passed one runner after another.
What a rewarding feeling to enjoy a stadium finish with so many people watching.
What an absolutely amazing result for Mr. Rob Hughes at the Zurich marathon last weekend. Age doesn´t matter when it comes to setting new personal bests - at 47!
It takes a lot to run under 4 hours for most people and even for the ambitious cracking the magic 3-hour wall is a goal that only few will ever accomplish.
Comes race day - a lot can go wrong. Or as in Rob´s case, it all came together and nothing was left to chance.
What is his secret to achieve such an outstanding result??
First and foremost, he says, the key was to be totally REALISTIC. The goal was to run 3 hours. And that´s what the training was geared to:
Consistency, injury risk prevention, developing pace awareness, cross train on the bike and rowing machine. The longest run would be two hours and the shortest one hour.
Rob is a great proponent of building consistency in your training which, I think, looking back was part of my successful ultra marathon finishes.
He also came up with an interesting change to his usual approach in training: Instead of resting after two consecutive days of long runs, he trained quite hard the day after and calls it tempo tired, serious out-of-the-comfort-zone training.
During the race, he consumed one Powergel every 45 mins. around the 10,20,30 and 40K mark and took a few cups of water at the aid stations.
He says that mentally the marathon didn´t take much out of him because he was well in control as he knew that the training was geared towards the pace he ran at the marathon.
This approach can help you, too, in your next (ultra) marathon as the secret remains to always stay true to yourself!
I disagree a little bit with your assessment that the Salomon XA provides excellent grip on wet, slippery trails. I have not had the best experience under
Just yesterday I was interviewed by Caity McCardell, founder of Run Barefoot Girl. We covered just about every topic considering what matters in ultra marathon training and racing.
In her podcast, we also talked about the contents of my new ebooks and the training methods that helped me achieve any ultra marathon goal and why you can benefit.
We further explored which diet seems to work best, the take on ultra running and alcohol and why mental strength can boost your ambitions.
You can listen to the podcast right here.
I have ran 2 marathons, last one this year was a very rugged, a difficult trail race (5:37). Ran a recent 50k, (6:55:11) which is rated the most difficult
These days, it seems usual running is not enough anymore. Many are turning to ultrarunning, which requires more stamina and muscle-strength. But why
I am not saying I am a super sports or athletic person but I have found something that really works wonderfully for me. It is called Factor 4 Weight
How a short-term escape changed my life forever
The Ultra Marathon Training Guide For Peak Performance
Swiss ultra runner Markus Inauen ran his first 100 K race in July and finished well above his expectations given that the weather conditions were anything but ideal on race day.
Never mind, nothing can really come in the way of Markus´ determined mind. Here´s his report, albeit in German.
Der Start war um 0500 Uhr und es begann bereits heller zu werden, so dass ich und die meisten der Läufer ohne Stirnlampe loslaufen konnten. Die grosse Scheidegg war dann auch unser erstes Ziel, jedoch bereits mit ein paar hundert Höhenmeter, so dass es auch ohne Sonne ziemlich warm wurde.
Mein Motto war, nur nicht zu schnell loslaufen und die Energie gut einteilen. Etwas Erholung gab es dann Richtung First, wo Daniela bereits mit einer neuen Ladung UCAN, VEGA Sport Gel und Lifebars auf mich wartete. Dann folgte ein Loop runter nach Bort und wieder hoch nach First. Ich fühlte mich wie eine Bergziege die letzten Kilometer.
Die zweite Ladung Nahrung war dann auch bereits wieder vorbereitet und zusätzlich gab es dann noch ein paar Presslinge MAP (Master Amino Pattern).
Etwas Eiweiss, was sehr gut verwertet wird und den Oberschenkelmuskeln hilft. Weiter auf das Faulhorn, was ja extrem anstrengend war, denn die Sonne kannte ja keine Gnade.
Auf dem Faulhorn gab es leider keine Flaschenfüllung, so mussten wir uns mit etwas zu wenig Flüssigkeit zur Schynigen Platten durchkämpfen. Der Abstieg, war ein Lauf über Schneefelder, Leitern und Felsen, was ziemlich zehrend war und Energie verbraucht hat. Die kleinen knackigen Anstiege bremsten immer wieder etwas ab.
In der Mitte einen kleinen Verpflegungsposten seitens der Organisation wäre ein Segen gewesen.
Weiter ging es dann Richtung Schynige, wo ich wieder die leeren Speicher auffüllen konnte und mich an den Energieriegel aus Nüssen und Feigen erfreute. Auch eine Portion UCAN war dann wieder eine Abwechslung. Der Weg nach Burglauenen war dann wieder mit Wurzeln, schmalen Pfaden und Kuhweiden gespickt. Wobei es auch hier immer wieder kurze Aufstiege gab.
In Burglauenen war dann Daniela wieder bestens vorbereitet, so dass ich mich nach einer kurzen Pause weiter Richtung Wengen machte. In Wengen fand zur gleichen Zeit ein Dorfrennen statt, so dass ich mich auf einmal auf dieser Strecke befand, wo nach dem Ziel dieser Dorfveranstaltung unser Verpflegungsposten war.
Dies war etwas seltsam, denn wir liefen durch ein Ziel, was nicht für uns war! Dann folgte für mich der härteste Abschnitt, der Weg auf den Männlichen. Einige Läufer mussten sich kurz hinsetzen, damit sie sich ein wenig erholen konnten.
Für mich hiess es aber durchbeissen, denn Daniela wollte nicht allzu lange auf dem Männlichen warten. Es wäre aber nicht der Eiger Ultra Trail, wenn wir nicht einen Umweg laufen mussten.
So hatten wir wieder ein paar Höhenmeter in den Beinen, bis wir dann auf der Wengenenalp ankamen und es von dort über den "Hundschopf" zur kleinen Scheidegg ging. Als wir Richtung kleine Scheidegg schauten, war es dann auch vorbei mit Sonnenschein.
Ein Gewitter war im Anmarsch. Auf der Scheidegg gerade noch im Verpflegungszelt angekommen, gab es einen Wolkenbruch und es regnete, hagelte, donnerte und blitzte - Weltuntergangsstimmung.
Plötzlich kam die Meldung, dass wir das Zelt nicht verlassen dürfen und das Rennen unterbrochen sei. Die Zeit lief aber weiter!!
Nach 40 Minuten durften wir dann in einer etwas anderen Streckenführung nach Alpiglen laufen. Der Regen war so heftig, dass die kurze Strecke unter dem Eiger geschlossen wurde. In den 40 Minuten habe ich versucht die Muskulatur auf Betriebstemperatur zu halten.
Den Wiederanlauf hatte ich aber gut hingekriegt, so dass sich die Beine fit fühlten. Dann ging es nur noch runter nach Grindelwald, wo wir dann den letzten Aufstieg zur Pfingstegg unter die Füsse nahmen.
Zum Glück konnte ich diesen Abschnitt noch bei Tageslicht laufen, denn im Wald, wo der Boden durchweicht war, musste ich mich dann nicht mehr so konzentrieren. Auf der Pfingstegg stand dann auch Daniela wieder mit der letzten Portion Nahrung bereit.
Die letzten sechs Kilometer waren wie ein Rausch. Für die letzten paar hundert Meter durchs Dorf konnte ich auch noch ein paar versteckte Reserven freisetzen, so dass ich mit wirklich hohem Tempo an den Zuschauern vorbei raste und mich auch im Ziel noch wirklich gut fühlte.
Der Speaker kommentierte dies, dass es verblüffend sei, wie fröhlich und gut gelaunt manche Läufer nach 100km durchs Ziel laufen!
Ich konnte ihm ja nicht sagen, dass es eine sehr lange Vorbereitung war mit super Unterstützung von Anna!
Während des ganzen Rennens hatte ich nie ein Tief, hatte immer genügend Energie, die Beine fühlten sich super an und ich konnte das Rennen geniessen. Auch die Füsse sind noch ansehnlich.
Für mich war es die Erfahrung, ein langes Rennen zu beenden, die Energie und Kraft so einzuteilen, das ich jederzeit mit dem Tempo spielen konnte.
I´m proudly announcing that three amazing ultra runners have accomplished their goals and even went beyond what they had expected.
Congratulations to you - Joao, Nick and Markus! Three men, three goals and three successful finishes.
First it was Joao´s turn at the Comrades marathon finishing better than his original target time.
Next came Nick who had a second attempt at the NYC 100 mi. with the goal to finish stronger than before. For 12 weeks, he worked hard on his mental strategies and crossed the finish line in under 30 hours.
Markus prepared himself for nearly 7 months and came in the Top 40 of the Eiger Ultra Trail. His training diary truly reads like a fairy tale. No setbacks during any parts of his training occurred and he was in peak performance state before and during the race.
The three race reports are written and ready to be launched this week.
I am a 12-time Ironman finisher who wants to branch out into Ultra running. I am attempting my first 50K in November. I want to continue cycling 100
I have been a serious runner for a while now and have begun scaling back on the running gear. At first, I bought socks, watches, shoes, shirts, pants,
I love that my shoes have a robust tread and grip well even on ice and snow which we have a lot of in Alaska. The toe box is protected and water resistant.
Founded in 1997 to exemplify the endless possibilities of the human spirit, the Self-Transcendence 3100 Mile Race is held every year on a concrete footpath
I was really touched when I looked at the beautiful pictures that Joao, one of the ultrarunners I've been coaching long-term, sent me. All pictures tell a story. Last weekend, he did his long back-to-back runs on the trails surrounding Lake Fureso about 20 kilometres outside Kopenhagen in Denmark.
He captivated the stunning landscape which has an almost untouchable, mystical feel to it and is a proof of how persistent the winter weather has been up in Northern Europe. Beyond that it's the personal story of what it takes to reach the next goal, the Comrades marathon at the start of June.
The journey may hold surprises, the path is scattered with consistent training runs and surely there are always those magical moments when you're not looking and decide to pause for a while staring out into nature and knowing why you're out there running!
Do you ever stop along your way to see what's beside you? Can you remember the last magical moment when you were running?
I'm back again with a few updates and want to share some of the great moments and opportunities I've had in the recent past. I'm going to break the blogs up into bite-sized chunks to digest.
The past year has been one of uncompromising, consistent training for me. I try my best to fit my training into my agenda. I never have to find the time for training as running belongs to my daily life like the air that I breathe.
A short 45-minute run can be as purposeful as a 2-3 hour run. Sometimes it is just a matter of deciding whether to run early or late in the day.
With a highly time-demanding job I've also learnt to go with the flow regarding my running training and not to expect the impossible.
Instead of worrying about miles and minutes I have a good idea of what my particular goals are for the week and resist to be disappointed if not everything goes to plan.
Despite not having stepped out of the comfort zone too often I've built a good base for the summer and hopefully being able to race again in fall.
Talking about consistency I want to mention an interesting encounter with Alexander Huber , the world's best free-solo climber whom I had the chance to meet and greet in person at a business event in Munich.
I've been a follower of the Huber brothers' adventures for years - inspirational, courageous and breathtaking in many ways.
Alexander talked about his motivation, ambitions and goals in a capturing speech.
Afterwards I caught up with him curious to find out what still drives him after all the years of consistent training, the decades he's been there travelling the world with his brother to seek new adventures and discover unknown places, always going for the next big challenge and just never stopping.
I asked him whether he ever wants to take things a little easier after all his successes, the countless records him and his brother broke.
'What's still in it for you, what exactly keeps you going, Alex?'
He looked me straight in the eyes with that passionate glance and burning desire immanent in those who still feel that burning passion and ambition for what they love doing.
And with no surprise he answered:
'As long as I can still find pleasure and greatest joy climbing the rocks nearby my house where I live always finding new routes and improving my technique I know I'm doing perfectly ok. I love the travelling, the challenges worldwide – it's a great aspect of my sport as well as meeting so many like-minded people. Though, for as long as I live, I will be happiest climbing around the places I know the best since never one day equals another.'
Sometimes the fulfillment of our sport is found right in front of our doorstep!
These shoes are light and very soft to run on all kinds of trails - down and up hill, nice grip on all surfaces. What I like the most is that this shoe
I am currently training for my first 50 mile race. I have also recently started limiting my wheat and dairy intake which works well in my daily life but
I'm excited to announce that Don, Scott and Faith from Trail Runner Nation got in touch with me to record a podcast on the mental aspects of the sport via Skype.
The title is catching as, of course, it's meant to be the mind that will either screw you up in a race or bring out the best you can be - providing you've learnt to apply a few techniques that make you a much stronger ultrarunner.
In the 30-minute interview, we talk about my first experiences with battling the mind in the desert race back in 2008 and how it's possible for anyone to develop individual techniques and focus more on training the mind so it won't play tricks on you.
It was such a fun experience and the talk could have continued on for hours. There are more podcasts planned in future going into detail about the life balancing act and ultrarunning.
All you need to do is to click on the link and listen. It might be you'll fly like an eagle in your next race.
In order to keep a long story short, I've decided to divide this blog post into individual sections for easier readability in a clutter-free, simple style and with the goal to keep you interested.
First off, though, I'm thrilled to see the numbers of visitors still increasing whenever I take a random glimpse at my statistics, more out of curiosity.
I genuinely honour each of you who regularly stumbles upon this website and even better, returns for tips and help. There are still many topics I want to write about buzzing around in my head but I've gone through a pretty ruthless phase of working hard on my time management these past since February.
Let me start from the beginning...
Job: It was about time for me to think of a job that would secure me a regular income, one that would be fun, where I'd get to meet many people each day, working in a team and contribute and love what I do. After a short process of sending off applications, getting invited to assessments, waiting in a line for a 'yes' or 'no' from various airlines I was parallely working out a masterplan on how to organise the job life with my family life.
For once in a long time I put my running ambitions aside and got immense support from my family and friends to help me make my job goals possible. In the end, I was even able to choose the company I wanted to work for after weighing up the pros and cons.
It took me a good three or four months to adapt to the workload and intensity, specially physically, flying all across Europe many days each week and luckily, always being able to return home.
I feel lucky right now and happy that I can be present for the kids as I always have a fair amount of days off allowing time at home and attend to my social life. It's a highly energetic job, every flight is different and I love meeting hundreds of new faces each day.
I never thought of myself as excelling in a team as much as I do. Still, I value the quality time and life at home and never take any issues from work home with me.
The airliner world is exciting and fascinating. I've felt passionate about flying since my early childhood and part of it runs in the family.
Funny to talk to my long-lost cousin again after 20 years not even realising he's working for the same company. I've noticed that, after all, it's a small world, fast-moving and diversified.
Running: For the entire 12 months I've been practically injury-free. The odd niggle sometimes bothered me and I took it as a reminder to be a little more aware and careful.
In late winter and throughout spring I averaged 4-5 runs per week and 90% of those were geared to improve my speed, more for the fun of it than working towards an ultramarathon race.
I did mainly hill intervals, long tempo runs on flat terrain and pyramids.
I was often too tired to go out for long runs and chose to spend more time with my kids instead.
I feel quite fit at the moment, light on my feet and happy whenever I can free up the time to head out. Often to my surprise, I can just follow my nose and be totally happy and balanced. I turn nothing into rocket science and simply tap on the resources I can make available from experience.
Running continues to be my essence, my soul food like the air that I breathe. Each run is special as my mind wonders and thoughts come and go before eventually there is only flow cruising along on the tracks of the forest. With autumn in the air now it's even more intense when being surrounded by the cool, magical cool winds and whilst the leaves slowly drop on the ground.
Fun facts: In search of a new pair of trail running shoes I decided to try a different pair of Salomon's. The XR Crossmax is a reliable shoe on normal to slightly rugged terrain.
In the beginning they worked a little against my feet or vice versa but after about a week of running in the Crossmax I'm very pleased. It's versatile and good on tarmac, trails and softer surfaces.
It's an all-in-one shoe with good cushioning and ideal for runners doing higher-mileage training. For racing, I'd choose a lighter shoe.
The summer held many highlights in store. At the start of June, I took my daughters on our first hiking trip to the Alps. It was amazing to guide them along narrow single trails, pass a herd of capricorns, crossing snow fields, picking flowers and spending the nights in an alpine hut.
A truly bonding experience with no distractions and cut off from mobile phone and computer networks only carrying the bare neccessities with us.
Two months later we flew to Greece for a few days relaxing by the sea and equipped with books enjoying the hot temperatures and indulging in delicious Greek food.
Aside my running I have discovered another passion that I can't quite turn into a regular hobby – yet...but I'm working on it. It's pure adrenaline flying in a helicopter being locked up in a small capsule and having to trust the pilot's skills.
I've had the privilege to fly in a helicopter a few times and am addicted already. I've learnt a tiny fraction of the most basic basics and plan to get the license as a long-term goal.
Lastly, aside many challenges this year I consciously create moments of fun and connect with people.
Just recently I sat in a cafe when an older lady joined the seat next to me and suddenly started to talk and share her worldly wisdoms with me, some true pearls about decision-making in life.
I saw myself reflecting in a mirror and some of my questions were answered without having asked the lady a single question.
It was a magic moment of recognising profound truths and I experienced another magic moment yesterday when I bumped into a Moroccan woman.
It's meeting the right people at the right time!
It's often in the attitude that something can feel too hard to handle and next, by changing the perspective and allowing new input it all gets easier. And sometimes there is only black or white with no shades in between.
I know this post turned out a bit longer than I had planned again. I guess I'm no good at keeping long stories short.
Keep on running and smiling!
Congratulations to Markus from Switzerland!
He successfully finished the famous K78 in Davos last weekend.
He feels blessed to have finished in such a respectable time given the tough weather conditions and that he faced some problems on the last climb up Sertigpass but managed to stay mentally very strong. This is what he says in reflection:
'It all came together on race day for me. I went into the race with best intentions and knowing that I had worked really hard for 3 months. I had optimised my race nutrition, adapted my training and knew exactly what to expect on the course. I'm so happy I never gave up and embraced the overwhelming feeling of the last hundreds of metres when I eventually crossed the line in a little over 8 hours. That's when I realised why I came here to race again.'
Markus first contacted me three months ago and from the beginning I knew it would be a unique challenge to coach such an ambitious runner and athlete like him.
His training was designed in accordance with his full-time job and other commitments. Markus put in countless hours of core strength exercises in addition to the running training.
During the last eight weeks prior to the race he noticed an improvement in his speed endurance and overall strength, specially running the hills.
Two training camps in the mountains helped to simulate the race conditions and added to the quality of his training as he always knew exactly how far he could push himself. Throughout, he kept an exemplary attitude towards the sport - always committed, passionate and smiling.
Congratulations again, Markus!
Running is probably the oldest exercise. Even before people coined the term exercise, people already ran to get faster to where they want to be. You
It's time for yet another success story.
Dominic has finished The North Face Bear Mountain 50K Challenge in a respectable time and, of course, with a smile on his face.
I've been guiding Dominic on his ultramarathon journey for a few months and luckily there is no end in sight!!
Dominic started running ten years ago and has already completed a few ultras. The challenge was to come up with a plan for him that suits his busy work life and routine in general.
His priority was start pursuing his goal based on consistent training.
He approved the first plan and has since followed his monthly training schedules.
What is so impressive about Dominic is that he developed a fine sense for improvisation during the extreme winter in New York and somehow managed to get his long runs in.
A minor setback a few weeks prior to the race wouldn't let him down as he's just a born optimist.
Months of hard work, willingness and passion for running paid off and for a change, a triathlon is on his agenda next before embarking on a new ultra marathon in summer.
It wasn't just the finish or the time. It's more that I got there basically injury-free after all the setbacks of the last few years, and that's what I would highlight more than anything.
Run on, Dom!
Congratulations to my mother Anna Maria and her two friends Marisa and Sabine! The three ladies recently finished the Trail Petit Ballon, a mountainous ultramarathon taking place in the French Vosges.
'Trail du petit ballon' in fantastic times and with a smile on their faces. Three inspiring journeys and three stories. The race takes place between 200 and 1300m altitude over a distance of 47 km in altitude 2100m. The track has the shape of an 8 whose center is located at Osenbach which the Circuit des Grands Crus is the first loop. The second loop will lead the "trailers" at the top of Petit Ballon. The climbs take place on roads rather large, raids on beautiful mountain trails ... maybe with snow!
The course is challenging in many ways. Only two weeks before the start the three ladies took part in a training run taking place on the race course. Due to bad weather and a split-second of not concentrating my mother slipped on the wet trails on a downhill section and pretty much injured herself from head to toe.
And with only a week to go she also had to battle a cold. As her coach, I advised her to decide at the last minute whether it would be worth it or rather look for another race. Needless to say that she did make it to the start in good health and demonstrating once more that ambition drives!
She sat out running at a steady pace and taking her time on the uphills securing a solid finish even passing her two friends near the end.
Sabine and Marisa also showed great stamina throughout the entire race. In reflection they admitted that ultramarathon racing differs so much from running a classic road marathon. They loved the diversified training schedule, specially the pyramid training and concluded that it suited their needs perfectly.
My mother, an experienced 'Grande Dame' of endurance running for over 25 years, took her training with enough sincerity whilst sometimes compromising on a speed session and continuing the long runs with serenity.
The images here tell more than words can say - individual journeys following the same goal!
Do you know where your next journey is going to take you?
Hi, I am not saying I am a super sports or athletic person but I have found something that really works wonderfully for me. It is called Factor 4 Weight
What a fantastic result for Jayne Angilley at last weekend's Gloucester 50K race crossing the line as 1st lady.
It was an undulating course and there was quite a bit of wind at times. Reading other runners reports made me realise that it was not a pb course! My time was 4.27, and I would have liked 4.15 but all of the above would have made for slower times anyway. Still a pb for me I guess as I have not done a 50k before!
I've only known Jayne, an experienced (ultra) marathoner, for 6(!) weeks. She signed up for a one-month coaching in December with the clear intention to establish a training routine that would allow her to work towards her goals, and her first one being the 50K.
The key was to provide a training plan that generates continuous interest and motivation as well as increasing the weekly mileage step by step.
During her race preparations she also adjusted her daily nutritional habits and specifically her race nutrition.
Jayne is already planning to run an ultramarathon every six weeks until summer, an extraordinary ambassador in the sport, dedicated, keen and striving to go further and further.
My wrap-up for 2011 is ready. There have been many eventful times in my life last year. Amongst securing emotional stability for my daughters, I was drifting in and out of the questions whether I would attempt re-entering the ultrarunning scene.
As for life in general, 2011 can be summed up as a year of parting from everything and everyone that didn't match my needs and where the future outlook would have meant to compromise more and more.
Some of those decisions came very easily and some needed time to mature in order to take massive action. If I place a sticker on last year, then it would say 'clarity, massive action, letting go'.
January-May: At the start of 2011 I was suddenly confronted with staying or leaving a then fairly close person who within seconds, was on the edge of life. I stayed for the time being.
Right before I wanted to sit down and start planning the ultramarathon season, I tripped over pretty badly and injured my left ankle. Forced rest and light, mindless training dominated the following months until May.
During my first-ever trip alone with my kids in April I realised how easy life felt away from the stamped down paths and sensed a strong urge to break free once again. I felt like being tied up in a bottleneck.
Looking back, there always tends to be something in the air in advance to seeing a new opportunity arise.
It was during a trip to the mountains in May that I decided to attempt a long trail run again. And I was finally running pain-free. That day I also realised that life would continue on with no one else but Christoph.
I was catapulted out of that bottleneck and landed safely with both feet on the ground: metaphorically speaking on a bright open space, entirely barrier-free.
Everything made sense to me!
June-December: I finalised my race plans and signed up for the Chiemgauer 100K ultra at the end of July. A boot training camp with my friend Armin eight weeks prior showed me where I needed to focus my training on.
A decent amount of trail runs in the Alps as well as shorter sessions helped to build speed endurance and got me fit right on time. I still feel the sense of achievement when I think back to the race, a long day out in the mud, rain and cold in mid-summer.
The race finish empowered me to pull through with the major decisions that followed and helped me to keep up my credentials as an ultrarunning coach.
The timing for my move out of Switzerland to Germany was ideal as it allowed the children a smooth transition into their new school right after the summer holidays in September.
It was the first time that I handled a move all by myself downsizing from a spacious house into a charming old 19th century flat with creaky floorboards and high ceilings.
It truly feels like a snuggly, cosy home to be in, parks, forests and the city centre all around.
The growths and shifts that have happened in the communication departments have been very rewarding.
Sarcasm kills – communication and transparency rules! Following this principle has improved all my relationships and my work as a coach, too.
Becoming aware of such patterns and changing them for the better in your immediate environment makes life a lot easier and joyful.
Coaching: Admittedly it took me a while to make the step and offer a selection of online ultramarathon coachings services.
The first person that signed up after the first announcement about nine months ago is still with me and plans to prepare for Comrades. I tweaked and refined the services offered in order to maintain the individualised coaching experience. I'm learning and keen to become better and better with each new client at understanding their needs.
My plan this year is to keep up with the demand and continue with the coaching.
I'm also looking to get involved in voluntary work and become a mentor for teenagers that need help with their German, homework or simply someone they can listen to. Small steps can help in a big way and instead of donating to organisations I think that direct feedback from needy people pays off quicker. It's the visible results that have a big impact.
Another real dream of mine that I've always wanted to fulfil was to write a book. With respects to my website it made sense to offer an e-product that is available for download right after completing the order.
The process is a matter of literally two minutes and the product is ready for access. Once I had tweaked over the topic I was going to write about, it was an easy task with a precise plan and following through.
Still, books aren't written and formatted over night. Many hours went into the book writing during the day and often until late at night. I'm happy with the result and so far have not received any complaints from people that have purchased the book. Thanks.
Facebook & TV: I feel inclined to describe the effects that Facebook and the television have had on my life in 2011.
I used to watch TV regularly, often daily. When I lived on my own with the kids I put the TV out of our sight which had the effect that we forgot it was there. My evenings were filled with reading, talking to people, working on the website etc. that I simply didn't watch the news or any of the – honestly said – mindless shows.
The TV has not even been plugged in since we live in our new flat and it's so liberating to have eliminated daily discussions about who can watch what show at what time – phew!
My experience is that I don't miss out on anything; there are superb online news websites where I can check out the latest happenings. All those hours that many people spend sitting in front of the TV each day, is so much passive time.
I honestly don't know when I could fit it in. There are always other things I'd rather do before I'd decide to go back to a telly routine getting bored and lazy.
Facebook has two sides to it: I use it mainly to read updates from ultrarunners that post meaningful stuff but most often, it's too much annoying nonsense from so-called friends that's being spread throughout so that it lets me lose interest quickly.
There are some truly clever people out there using facebook as a means to contribute rather than just wanting to be heard. As this is still the minority of people, I spend no more than ten minutes per day, if, scrolling through.
And I rigidly resist to post any pictures of my children anywhere on the net proclaiming that these days, a little bit of self-protection instead of full exposure is good.
Facebook is good if you're being very selective and the ultrarunning community is evolving at rapid speed so that I can see the benefit long-term.
Bottom line: Less distractions, more quality in life.
Often, it's those extra minutes spent in front of the TV or on facebook that can be used more effectively. Everyone knows this yet changing a pattern never comes that easy.
I keep getting questions about exactly this issue on a regular basis: I have no time. How do I fit it all in?
How about trying to do a set of core exercises next before logging in! This easily adds up to many hours each week, hours during which you could be building additional strength as an ultrarunner.
Lastly, I want to thank my closest family and friends for their continued support. I would also like to express my appreciation for the ultrarunners I had the opportunity to coach and get to know their backgrounds, goals and motivations. It's been very rewarding work.
Still savouring in the vivid memories of the recent trip to Russia - St.Petersburg - I want to share more pictures of my run with Helga and her husband Sergey.
While we were running Christoph took a walk by Toksovo lake, a popular location for surfing, swimming and sailing in summer, capturing the magical light and atmosphere.
Even though it was past noon at the time, it wasn't until an hour later that the sun shone through.
I also discovered a new way to prepare a wholesome meal made from buckwheat that's not only filling but contains many nutrients like iron, potassium and protein.
Kasha is a very traditional Russian meal, usually served as a main course or side dish with meat or fish.
Buckwheat is rather filling and can also be an option for a nutritious breakfast alternatively to toast or muesli.
Instead of onions and mushrooms, simply add raisins and ground cinnamon.
Place mushrooms over buckwheat, add water, bring to boil, then simmer for 10 mins. Cut onions and sweat in oil, then add hard-boiled eggs and onions to buckwheat, stir gently and enjoy!
I received an email from a passionate runner last week asking me to help spreading the word about his ambitious film project. Since I'm always curious and open about what other ultra athletes are doing when they're not racing, I'm totally supportive and keen to help Barry turn his vision into reality.
If you're, too, interested in what 'The toughest ultra on earth' is all about, take a look at the campaign and be astonished:
Here is also a presentation of the film-maker himself:
My name is Barry Walton ~ I am an avid athlete as well as a film maker working on a new film of the making of - arguably - the toughest ultra on earth.
Two years ago in 2010, I started following the making of the toughest/highest race in the world and have been working for 2 years now to build this piece.
Over that time I have researched, traveled to India, filmed, and am now in the midst of editing, structuring, and working to get this finalized and up to a professional level for viewing and festivals.
To help I have started a Kickstarter fund raising campaign with plans to raise $5000 in 40-days (or we don't get any of it). The goal here is to help with recreations, further interviews, and editing.
Happy New Year to everyone! May all your ultrarunning visions and dreams come true.
On New Year's eve, I stood alongside the Newa river in St. Petersburg facing the admiralty from which the most fantastic fireworks I've ever seen, went off.
2012 started with a huge party with thousands of Russians on the main road through the city centre. Strangely enough, it was a safe place to be, a calm and peaceful atmosphere with everyone out on the streets having a ball.
In total, we spent five days in a city that never sleeps, memorable, adventurous days of exploring and discovering the beauty, shine, glory and magnificence not only found in historical buildings such as the Amber Room, the Eremitage and Catherine's Palace.
It was also the countless encounters with the real people that made this trip so special: the old Soviet history that can still be sensed in places, the welcoming feeling, the hospitality and warmth from Russians, running over bridges and alongside the Newa river, indulging in the traditional cuisine enjoying blinis, kasha, soups, salads and other tasty foods.
Showing a little initiative to talk Russian, even just single words and a simple 'please' and 'thank you' and you're welcomed with open arms.
For me it was a matter of getting by, being able to re-awaken my Russian and reading the words while Christoph perfected his already fluent Russian. I remember running in the darkness at 9.30 am with such strong sea winds that nearly blew me off the side of the road.
Another highlight was to meet up with two marathon runners, Sergej and his wife Helga, who took us to Toksovo, a small town outside St.Petersburg and training base for many top Russian biathletes. Both Sergej and Helga started running last year in April and are currently training for their first marathon.
The 12K turned into a long run up and down the snow-covered trails and continued with a spontaneous invite to the Popov's apartment being served smoked cheese strips, sausage and berry juice. They also showed us around their area before we headed back into the city centre together to end the day chatting over cups of coffee.
It was a truly memorable and effortless journey. More than just a collection of stories of people and places.
Where are you going next?
Q: I have run a 72 mile 24 hr run, 2-50 mi, 1- 100k. I have been playing with running at 70% of my heart rate. I ran 19.5 miles yesterday and my Garmin
After a week of complete rest from running I feel like I've run a marathon after an easy run in the forest today.
Exceptions always prove the rule!
As I'm usually healthy and barely ill, I was more than suprised at how long my immune system took to recover from a heavy cold. Never mind, I took this 'down-time' as an opportunity to gain clarity over my goals for 2012.
My training has been going extremely well since September. I've had the most consistent months of running training I can remember continuing to thrive in this beautiful area. Whether it's a steep six-kilometre uphill climb, a flat fast-paced tempo run in the park or training on any of the other countless trails in the nearby forests - it is simply energising to be and live here.
My running times prove to be faster than ever and when I do use the km-tracker on my Garmin I'm almost surprised to be running sub-4 kilometres with ease.
During the long uphill running sessions it's always - without exception - the case that if I'm totally focused and in the moment, the sense of achievement doubles and triples. Mental techniques help to stretch out of your zone.
And no exception proves the rule in this case.
My first race is a 55K ultramarathon in January and I expect to see many familiar faces from previous races. It will be a different experience to run in snow for hours! My further race schedule remains tentative before I definitely commit to longer races.
In case you're still looking for ways to improve your running, your nutrition or simply need some general guidelines about ultramarathon training, then get a copy of my eBook. It's filled with helpful tools and information including bonuses such as training plans for beginners and advanced ultrarunners. The current price will only stay until January 8, 2012. Just click here to get your copy now!
If you're looking for ways to go beyond a marathon and achieve your ultramarathon goal. And if you search for solutions to combine dedicated training with work and family without losing...
My first eBook How to Train For an Ultramarathon Without Losing Your Life Balance is online and available for download here!
First, I want to thank all subscribers who filled out my survey.
Without your help and effort to take the time and answer a list of questions, this book would still only be a blurred vision.
The recurrent themes of the questions you asked based on what you needed specific help with were:
I didn't hesitate for a second to create and deliver a product with solutions to all your needs concerning ultramarathon training.
After weeks, days, hours and minutes of visualising, researching, planning, writing, sweating , tweaking, modifying and perfecting the eBook you can download your copy NOW.
I've literally spent all hours trying to include all aspects that matter to you and find solutions that allow you train most time-efficiently.
Check out the contents of the book and get your copy. You're only a click away from receiving this must-read serving you as a daily guideline and reference to your ultramarathon training.
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Enjoy your book and be as fast as the wind in your next ultramarathon!
This morning the UPS van turned up right in front of my window as I was typing another chapter for my first eBook that will be released before Christmas.
A minute later, I opened the door and accepted a rather big parcel...with a brand-new pair of Salomon's XT-Wings S-Lab 4 embedded in it.
Thank you, Rainer Schlump, from Salomon Germany for your support!
It's just the perfect shoe for my feet given that it took me years to find a shoe that handles any terrain - and works for me instead of causing tired and sore feet.
Whether I do a tempo run, combine tarmac with off-road running, rocky trails, soft grounds - it responds to any terrain with perfect grip and most importantly, enough agility.
I was reminiscing on my 100K race today and concluded once again that I couldn't have had a better shoe to master 14 hours on technically demanding terrain.
100% comfort, 100% fun! Can't wait for my next training run out on the trails!