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Pace Chart Tutorial || Step 1: Landmarks & course data

By Andrew Skurka / June 14, 2017 / 0 Comments

Unless you have created a pace chart for an ultra marathon before or found a template online, the process begins with a blank spreadsheet. Personally, I use Google Sheets, a free platform that is easily shareable and that I can access from all of my devices (e.g. desktop, Chromebook, smartphone). Critical data I start by importing…

Tutorial: Create a pace chart for an ultra marathon

By Andrew Skurka / June 13, 2017 / 1 Comment

During every ultra marathon, I carry with me a homemade pace chart that looks something like this: My process and end-result continually evolve, due to past learnings and to the particularities of the next race. But I feel confident now in sharing a framework for creating a pace chart for an ultra marathon. Ultras versus…

Who is racing Bighorn 2017? Help with crowdsourced entry list.

By Andrew Skurka / May 23, 2017 / 3 Comments

We’re less than a month out from the Bighorn Trail Run — which includes a 100-, 50-, 32-, and 18-miler — and I’ve been unable to find an entry list. One has not been made available on the race website or by Its Your Race, the event management platform. And an email inquiry in March to…

Data dump: Boston Marathon course GPX & vertical profile; plus pacing, heart rate & workout details

By Andrew Skurka / April 27, 2017 / 5 Comments

My Boston Marathon coverage finishes with a data dump. It’s mostly for my purposes, so I can quickly access and compare the information in the future; but there are a few resources that will be useful for any Boston participant. Boston Marathon course GPX file During the race I wore a Suunto Ambit GPS sport…

GPS sport watch settings for road running races & the Boston Marathon

By Andrew Skurka / April 24, 2017 / 8 Comments

A GPS sport watch like the Suunto Ambit3 Peak and Garmin Fenix 5 offers pace, distance, heart rate and other data on a current, average, cumulative, and lap basis. I consider my GPS watch an indispensable tool for training and racing, especially in longer events like marathons and trail ultras, when early on I need…

Boston Marathon || Notes for next time: Tips, advice & reflections on training, pacing, spectating & more

By Andrew Skurka / April 24, 2017 / 5 Comments

I thought Boston would be a one-and-done affair. I’m not so sure now. For the  next time, here are some tips, advice, and reflections that will be useful for first-timers and veterans alike: General Until race day, I didn’t fully grasp the scale of the event. The numbers help convey this: Nearly 30,000 runners participate. At…

Risk vs. Reward: Pacing conundrum for Boston Marathon & endurance events generally

By Andrew Skurka / April 11, 2017 / 12 Comments

At this point in the training cycle, within a week of my first big race of 2017, I have as clear an understanding of my  current fitness as I will get. While the taper does include some workouts, they are less telling than near-max efforts weeks and months ago. So this is an appropriate point to settle…

Fastest I’ve been in 16 years || Boston Marathon: One week out

By Andrew Skurka / April 9, 2017 / 10 Comments

The 121st Boston Marathon is now just a week out, on #MarathonMonday, April 17! Live tracking The Elite Men and Wave One (mine) start at 10 AM. You won’t see me on TV in Galen Rupp’s slipstream, but if you want to track my progress you can sign up for text or email updates. I’m bib #703.…

From ultra(slow) runner to 2:3X marathoner || Training methodology, with coach David Roche

By Andrew Skurka / March 11, 2017 / 6 Comments

For the last three years I have perhaps been more serious about running than about backpacking. It’s a function of lifestyle and age: running 10-20 hours per week is more compatible with marriage than thru-hiking would be, and at nearly 36-years-old I have only a few years left in which to run really fast lifetime PR’s. I took…

Race calendar 2017: Boston, Bighorn, and Blanc

By Andrew Skurka / January 25, 2017 / 7 Comments

In March I will turn 36 years-old. Sadly, for a male long-distance runner I am thought to be at the end of my physical prime, if not already beyond it. Sure, many older runners do phenomenal things. For example, last year 85-year Ed Whitlock ran a sub-4:00 marathon, and 44-year-old Jeff Browning was the second-ranked ultra runner in the…