Trail Talk by Rock Creek Runner

Trail and Ultra Running Made Easy
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Trail Talk by Rock Creek Runner



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Apr 13, 2017

Looking back, there are a number of things I wish I had known going into my first trail run. Lessons or advice that would have saved me a lot of time, energy, and frustration.

Here are the top four.

Mar 31, 2017

Today's episode is split into three parts, (1) a look at my recent 32-mile Art Loeb run, (2) the value of self-evaluation, and (3) a new 7-day spring challenge. Will you join me?

Mar 16, 2017

Words are powerful.

They can rally crowds, inspire greatness, and get you out of a terrible funk halfway through a run.

Several years ago, while out on a 30-mile training run, I found myself repeating the phrase,

"You can do anything for 10 minutes."

I had roughly 10 minutes to go before arriving at my car where food and water were waiting, and as terrible as I felt in that moment, I knew I could push through for another ten minutes.

That mantra has gone on to get me through many rough patches over the years. Moments when negative thoughts and doubt were so overwhelming that all I could do was focus on the next ten minutes. Then the ten minutes after that, and the ten minutes after that.

Running mantras have been such an important part of my training and racing that a few years ago I collected a set of short stories from other runners featuring their mantras. It's called The Power of a Running Mantra and can be downloaded in the show notes.

And in today's episode, I share my story from that eBook, along with a few tips for creating a mantra of your own.

Because you never know when a short phrase could be the difference of you crossing the finish line and not.

Mar 2, 2017

Last weekend I ran my first race of the year, and my first race as a father, which meant my training has been ... let's just say less than ideal.

How did it go? Not that bad actually, and in today's episode I discuss why I think I was able to pull it off.

Feb 10, 2017

Sometimes a race just doesn't go as planned. That's the hard reality of training for and racing an ultramarathon.

And it's what you do with those failures and setbacks that make or break you as a runner.

In today's episode I share a clip from a recent interview with Rock Creek Runner Community Member Karen Clarke on her setback at the 2016 Leadville 100, and what she turned that disappointment into strength.

Jan 25, 2017

Tired of the increasing entry fees? Didn't get into your dream race's lottery?

No worries, run a self-supported adventure instead.

Today I talk about why I'm moving some races off my calendar this year and instead focusing on epic adventures. And of course, I share my tips for how to plan your own.

Dec 13, 2016

Today's episode pretty much goes against everything I've ever said on Trail Talk. It's an interview with Sid Garza-Hillman, race director of the Mendocino Coast 50K and recent North Face Endurance Challenge San Francisco 50K finisher.

We talk about his approach to training for and racing in San Francisco, and how it freed up time, energy, and head space to do other things.

Nov 28, 2016

At the end of each episode of Trail Talk, I invite listeners to submit questions or topics. Usually I respond quickly on Twitter or email to any questions, but sometimes they're topics I believe most runners could benefit from discussing.

Today I pick two recent questions that fit that mold, and answer them on the latest episode.

They're questions on running shoe replacement and rotation, and everyday nutrition for runners. Both common concerns for runners of all abilities.

Nov 17, 2016
Running form ... incredibly important for efficiency, injury prevention, and endurance, but difficult to measure and evaluate on your own.

In today's episode I chat with Coach Greg McMillan and Rebecca Shultz, the Product Researcher and Designer, and Biomechanist at Lumo BodyTech, about their running form philosophies, the Lumo Run, and how you can become a more efficient runner.

Interested in the Lumo Run? Use code ROCKCREEK10 for 10% off.

Nov 3, 2016

A few months ago I got a tweet from a listener asking, "About to start training for my first stage race. What tips do you have for training and racing for multiple days?"

Not confident enough to answer it without running a multi-day stage race myself, I've asked Heather Gannoe of Relentless Forward Commotion to join me.

In today's episode, Heather shares her Transrockies Run story, and breaks down how to train for, race, and recover during a multi-day stage race.

Oct 20, 2016

Winter is coming. The dreaded dark, cold, damp days of winter.

After a summer of long miles and race goals, your body and mind start to crave a break from running. Add travel, holidays, and cold to the mix, and most of us fall out of our running routines and out of shape.

But, of course, it doesn’t have to be that way.

Today I share my strategy for getting through difficult months when training feels like a chore, and coming out the other side primed and ready to jump back in.

Here's what we talk about in today's episode:

  • My training slump. What gives?
  • The type of training to maintain throughout winter
  • Why you should try something different
  • The one training strategy I always recommend
  • Running in the cold
Oct 6, 2016

Last week we heard Paul Gwynn Garrity's transition from never running to training for the Table Rock 50K, his first ultramarathon.

This week I've asked Paul back on to recap his race. To share what went right, what went wrong, and what he'd do differently next time.

Like any first ultramarathon, his race had it's moments, and we'll hear the lessons he learned throughout the process.

Sep 22, 2016

Less than two years ago -- at a family Christmas gathering -- I was approached by my cousin's husband Paul.

"I want to train for a half marathon," he said.

Music to my ears. I responded with the usual questions ... What does your running look like now? Have you trained for races in the past?

He wasn't. He hadn't.

But I could tell he was serious about chasing this goal.

Since that conversation Paul hit the half marathon goal, ran a sub-four hour marathon, and is now just days away from attempting his first ultramarathon -- the Table Rock 50K.

In less than two years Paul has gone from barely being able to run a mile to training for his first ultramarathon.

Today's episode of Trail Talk is different. Instead of my standard quick tip, I've asked Paul to share his transformation to becoming a runner.

And the lessons, struggles, and achievements that came along the way.

Here's what we talk about in today's episode:

  • Why health and longevity is an important motivator
  • Becoming a runner ... when you never liked running
  • Paul's accountability struggle
  • Training for your first ultramarathon (and learning to love trails)
  • Perfecting your mid-run fueling strategy
Sep 1, 2016

Continuing along with the season of speedier ultramarathons, this week we talk about finishing strong and fast during your next big race.

Finishing strong means running smart for the first half, and training well for a tough second half.

Both of which I discuss in today's episode:

Aug 17, 2016

Aid stations are your lifeline during an ultramarathon. They're where you restock, refuel, and rejuvenate your mind, body, and spirit.

But if you're not careful, they can also be a major time suck.

In today's episode I discuss how to be move through aid stations efficiently to become a speedier runner during your next ultramarathon.

Aug 4, 2016

Have you ever found yourself just a few weeks out from a race without having done the full training?

I know I have.

So what do you do? You could sit it out ... or you could cram. Just like like you did before tests in college.

In today's episode I talk about when it's acceptable to cram for a race, and how to go about it without injuring yourself.

Jul 21, 2016

And we're back with the first episode to Season 4! This season is all about speed, speed, and more speed.

Being a speedy runner is about more than just learning how to run quickly, and in today's episode, you'll find out just what I mean ... 

Jul 7, 2016

"What do you eat during a race?"

That's a question I get all the time, but the answer is never straight forward.

In an attempt to give a basic understanding of my approach to mid-race nutrition, I share my strategy for fueling a marathon, 50K, 50-Mile, 100K, and 100-Mile ultramarathon.

Jun 18, 2016

Ask a runner what they fear most and chances are it will be injury. Injuries can derail training and bust up a race goal before you even toe the line.

Who wants that? But for some reason the majority of runners aren't doing what they can to protect themselves against injury.

Today's episode is all about injuries, or more specifically, using strength training as a tool to help prevent injuries. I reach out to coach Jeff Gaudette of Runners Connect for his thoughts on incorporating a strength routine into your training.



SUMMER SOLSTICE SPECIAL: Now through Monday, June 20th the Next Level Runner program is available for 47% off the normal price. Learn more at

Jun 1, 2016

Sometimes the best way to learn about racing is to run a race, and after the recent Thunder Rock 100 miler, I have plenty of advice to share.

In this episodes I share what went right, what went wrong, and wrap up season 3 with stories from the trail.

Quick Note: There are audio issues in this episode. Sorry about that! I promise to have it fixed for the next one.

May 10, 2016

10 days! That's how long I have before my next 100 mile attempt. With race day fueling and nutrition on the brain, I decided to reach back to an older interview with elite ultrarunner Stephanie Marie Howe, which I recorded for the Trail Runner's System. In this interview we discuss everything race fueling, from what to eat and how often, to managing an upset stomach.

May 3, 2016

Today I tap into a lesson learned from studying abroad, of allthings, and get down and dirty on how to survive the dreaded RacingDip.

You know, that low point each race when you swear off everracing again...

Apr 26, 2016

Last weekend I ran the Mendocino Coast 50k in California, and had the rare opportunity to get a behind the scenes look at what goes in to putting on such a long race. In today's episode I sit down with the hilarious race director Sid Garza-Hillman, and pick his brain about what it's like to put on a race, what he's learned throughout the process, and how it has changed him as a runner.

Apr 14, 2016

In my opinion, the race starts well before runners take off from the line. The preparations you make during the days leading up to the race have a direct effect on your race day performance. In today's episode, I give you 5 tips to nail your next race week.

Apr 6, 2016

Welcome to Season 3 of Trail Talk! This season is all about racing: Racing strategies, nutrition, pacing, and so much more.

In today's episode, we kick things off by talking about luck. More specifically, how to create your own luck, so you aren't leaving it up to chance.

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