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Houston Marathon training: Re-finding purpose & speed || David Roche interview

By Andrew Skurka / January 9, 2018 / 4 Comments

Prior to my big races last year — Boston, Bighorn, and UTMB — I interviewed David Roche, who has coached me for 12+ months now. They were opportunities to discuss the rationale behind each training block and to reflect on the results they generated, with the hope of providing readers with some value. Read the…

Training program for UTMB, my 2017 apex race || Interview with David Roche

By Andrew Skurka / August 27, 2017 / 10 Comments

How have I trained for Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc (UTMB), the world’s premier ultra marathon? As part of an ongoing series, I interviewed again my coach, David Roche, transcript below. But to fully understand the context of this training, it may be necessary to read similar interviews prior to my two other big races…

New FKT: Pawnee-Buchanan Loop || Take note, UTMB

By Andrew Skurka / August 16, 2017 / 2 Comments

The Pawnee-Buchanan Loop has become a classic among ultra runners and backpackers. It’s about 27 miles long, includes two 12,000-foot passes over the Continental Divide, and the starting trailhead is a 60-minute drive from my front door. (Side note: To spice up this loop, use the Pfiffner Traverse to connect Buchanan and Cascade Creeks, rather…

Strength AND speed: 100-mile ultra training philosophy || Interview with David Roche

By Andrew Skurka / June 10, 2017 / 1 Comment

On Friday I toe the line for my second race of the year, the Bighorn 100 in Wyoming’s Bighorn Mountains. Like the Boston Marathon, Bighorn is an endurance running event. But the races are different animals in nearly all other respects. Most notably, Bighorn has 100 miles of singletrack and jeep roads, features 20,000 vertical feet of climbing, and reaches a…

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…

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…

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.…

A 526-word summary: The complete training cycle for road, trail & ultra running

By Andrew Skurka / April 8, 2017 / 8 Comments

Recently I have posted two excellent interviews with running coach David Roche: From Ultra(slow) to 2:3X Marathoner, and Dialing it in: Taper training for the Boston Marathon They’re long and rich, but not quick reads. To maximize their value, you might actually have to read them more than once. So for those just wanting an executive…

Dialing it in: Taper training for the Boston Marathon || Interview with David Roche

By Andrew Skurka / April 7, 2017 / 6 Comments

Last month I posted a comprehensive interview with running coach extraordinaire David Roche. If you have not read it already, you should — it is valuable context for this interview, in addition to having standalone value. Days after publishing it, I entered the last stage of my training for the Boston Marathon, which is April 17, a week from…

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…