Lessons from Ultrarunning

Corbet’s Couloir & the Jackson Hole Tram, last week

My Thread on Jason’s book, Training Essentials for Ultrarunning, got some traction.

So, similar to Steve’s book, I thought I’d share my personal take on the topic.

Before triathlon, I was an ultra hiker and mountaineer. It was a great way to prepare my body for the demands of running.


Frequency is the Foundation

If we want to improve at something then we need to do it often.

Often, like, most every day.

Whatever protocol you choose, it needs to allow enjoyment most every day.

What this implies, for my return to running, is getting my body to a point where I can run 5k most days.


Choose Goals where you have an Emotional Attachment

This helps in expected, and unexpected, ways.

Expected – helping us show grit, getting us past inevitable setbacks, helping us endure the challenges of the process.

Unexpected… when we care about outcome, REALLY CARE, then we might be able to overcome our habits of self-sabotage.

I love amateur sport for driving positive personal change.

Why?

Because our habits are not as ingrained as elsewhere in our lives.

I’m currently rolling a daily mobility streak that’s the longest of the last decade. My desire to improve my fitness motivated positive change.

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Consistency via Removal

Pay attention to every choice that screws up tomorrow (‘s training). In my early days it was late-nights and alcohol.

As you build a habit of removing these minor obstacles, you might find larger issues to work with. Triggers that lead to “freak outs” (see Do Hard Things by Steve Magness, and my article).

The stress of racing, the grind of training… quite often these will surface other patterns we can work with.

I discovered a lot about myself on my endurance journey. I’m free to change the habits that hold me back.


Don’t let Goals cover Poor Choices

I write about sugar consumption sitting on the frontier between “training for health” vs “training for performance”.

That’s true but it’s only part of the story.

We often use “performance” to justify our choices.

It could be performance but it might also be something else.

Many times, high-performance has been an excuse for a disordered relationship with food and exercise.

Whatever I have going on…

Better to own it.


Gain a Technical Understanding of:

  • Personal sweat rate
  • Sodium needs
  • Gastric emptying

Many athletes have well-earned pride in their mental toughness.

Do not be in a rush to get to the difficult bits!

Understanding the points above, and training your personal “solution”, will avoid many unforced errors.

By the way… most my unforced errors track back to choosing a pace that’s not appropriate to the session, or conditions.

Put another way… nutrition problems are usually pacing errors in disguise.

Sunday Summary 31 July 2022

Top Five Threads

  1. Doing Hard Things based on Steve’s Book
  2. Jason’s Book: Training Essentials – lots of tips (for all) in thread
  3. Steady State LT1 Treadmill Test (3.4mph @ 15%) – sample tips
  4. Mark asks, “Do you let yourself feel superb?”
  5. 8 year build showing gains for my son

Workouts & Working Out

High-Performance Habits