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Overlooking the North Fork of Bull Lake Creek, one of the prettiest views on the Wind River High Route. My next objective is in view: Blaurock Pass, the low spot on the ridge with the clouds above it. It's a 2,000-foot off-trail climb, mostly on scree and talus.

A backpacker’s training plan for a 100-mile ultra marathon

On Friday I’m racing Run Rabbit Run 100 in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. The official distance for this ultra marathon is 102.7 miles, though the consensus among participants is more like 107. There is 20,000+ vertical feet of climbing and elevations are often around 10,000 feet. It will be my longest race of the year, and my first 100-mile race since […]

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In the medical tent after finsihing the Leadville 100 in 2008. I'd destroyed myself in the process of finishing 2nd in 18:17: I couldn't sit up on my own, and I had to be loaded into my car on a gurney and carried into the house where we are staying. Makes you wonder: Why am I going to do this to myself again?

My 2015 ultra running race schedule: Strategy & considerations

A non-running subject to start. Join me on Thursday, February 19 at 11am PST for a live online event about backpacking shelters. We’ll be discussing pros & cons of double- and single-wall tents, tarps, hammocks, and bivies. Register here: http://sierradesigns.yourbrandlive.com/c/2015tents This year excites me, a lot. It’s the first since 2010 in which I have both the desire […]

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At the finish with old friend Jeremy Humphrey and his wife Brandi. Jeremy finished a few minutes and places ahead of me.

TNF 50 Mile Race Report: Reflections on pacing, nutrition, training, and a lot more

It almost certainly will not be another four years until I race again. But overtime my recollection of The North Face 50 Mile Championship will change: I’ll forget the finer details, and my reflections will be influenced by future developments and conversations. So my race report is meant to be as instructive to me as […]

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pace-graph-2013-race

Pace charts for TNF 50. And how everyone starts too fast.

The two weeks before a big race can be challenging in the enforced inactivity. Between mid-October and mid-November I ran about 14 hours per week on average, but during my taper for The North Face Endurance Challenge 50 Mile Championship this weekend I’m running less than half that, creating a lot of free time. However, I have found it […]

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Example of a runner's metabolic efficiency at various intensity levels (pace)

Metabolic Efficiency Testing: Explanation and motivations

Tomorrow I am having tested my “metabolic efficiency” by Dina Griffin of eNRG Performance in Denver. In this post I will explain the concept and its relevance for backpackers and runners. In a second post, I’ll share my results. What is Metabolic Efficiency? Our bodies rely primarily on two sources of energy: Carbohydrates Fat Carbohydrates are most quickly […]

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