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Notes for next time: Pacing, training, course beta + more || Silverheels 100

By Andrew Skurka / August 11, 2016 / 4 Comments

“Notes for next time” has become a regular feature on this site, following major hikes and races. Its usefulness to readers is unclear to me, but I plan to keep it up anyway — I reference them often enough prior to future big hikes and races to make the effort worthwhile. Let’s get started. Links…

Intended pacing strategy for Silverheels 100

By Andrew Skurka / August 5, 2016 / 2 Comments

The Silverheels 100 starting gun fires tomorrow morning at 4 AM, and I will be there. With a field of only about 40 and without an obvious ringer, this appears to be the lowest pressure and least competitive ultra that I have done. Furthermore, I’m no longer intimidated by the distance, the weather forecast is…

UTMB dreams and qualifying nightmares

By Andrew Skurka / July 12, 2016 / 11 Comments

The qualifying requirements for Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc (UTMB), Europe’s marquee 102-mile ultra marathon, are unique and complex — and, some might say, brazen. They also underwent significant changes for the 2015 season. To help avoid disappointment or mid-season race shuffling (as I just went through), I thought I would provide an overview, and some insight…

San Juan Solstice 50M || Notes for next time

By Andrew Skurka / July 1, 2016 / 0 Comments

It’d been seven years since I last ran the San Juan Solstice 50M, and wish I’d kept a record like this one: Training After the Colorado Marathon, I increased my mileage and — much more significantly — my weekly vertical. Before the taper, I put in three consecutive weeks with 80+ miles and 15k+ climbing. I did not…

Sold on spring marathons

By Andrew Skurka / May 17, 2016 / 0 Comments

Somewhat reluctantly, I registered for the Colorado Marathon in early-January. If it had not been means to a Boston qualifier, it probably would not have been on my radar. Months of training on flat bike trails, country roads, and high school tracks? No thanks. Or so I thought. Now, two weeks removed from the race,…

Colorado Marathon: Smooth Move, Pacing & more Notes for Next Time

By Andrew Skurka / May 2, 2016 / 3 Comments

Previous “Notes for Next Time” posts (like this one and this one) have proven helpful to me, and popular with you. Why make the same mistakes twice, or risk forgetting something that could help us achieve better results on a second attempt? Here are my takeaways from last weekend’s Colorado Marathon: Training Tempo efforts offer the…

Fun in 2016: What I have planned

By Andrew Skurka / March 26, 2016 / 3 Comments

It’s almost April, yet just recently has my 2016 play calendar taken shape. Normally my schedule is dialed by now, but I have more flexibility this year since I’m not guiding trips or actively speaking. The extra time was useful — it gave me an opportunity to reflect on 2015, and to ponder my long-term commitment to 2017 projects that necessitate action…

An unofficial Racer’s Guide to Vulcano Ultra Trail

By Andrew Skurka / December 16, 2015 / 0 Comments

This is my final post about Vulcano Ultra Trail. I’ve already written a race report and created a travel guide. In this post, I’d like to share more details about the race. Do I recommend Vulcano Ultra Trail? Not every ultra marathon matches the interests, skills, and strengths of every runner. For example, pure runners who dabble…

Travel Guide & Tips for Chile & Vulcano Ultra Trail

By Andrew Skurka / December 15, 2015 / 0 Comments

A considerable amount of logistical preparation is involved with any international trip to Chile and any ultra marathon. Vulcano Ultra Trail was both, which made it an especially big effort. With this travel guide, I hope to make VUT logistically easier for you. It’s based primarily on my experience in Chile, with some additional input from…

Optimal pacing for an ultra marathon | Q&A w/Bob Shebest

By Andrew Skurka / October 7, 2015 / 9 Comments

  What is the optimal pacing strategy for an ultra marathon, especially for a mountainous trail course? Since Run Rabbit Run 100 last month, this question has been of great interest to me: by being more conscious of it than other elites, I think I finished better than I should have given my talent, fitness,…