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My solution to over-training: Racing flat, fast, and short

By Andrew Skurka / July 6, 2018 /

For my Outside blog I recently wrote about the unexpected benefits of running flat, fast, and short this spring, a break from my more usual up/down, slow, and long. Read: How to Avoid Overtraining I was not suffering from over-training syndrome, which is a debilitating physical breakdown that seems to have no cure. But if…

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

By Andrew Skurka / January 9, 2018 /

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…

Science of Ultra Podcast: Five must-listen-to episodes

By Andrew Skurka / December 4, 2017 /

Last week I sat down for an interview with Dr. Shawn Bearden of Science of Ultra. Lace up, pop in your ear buds, and stream it via iTunes, Google Play, IHeart Radio, or Stitcher during your next hour-long run. Or listen to it here: I’ve known Shawn since 2014, when he joined me on a guided…

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

By Andrew Skurka / August 27, 2017 /

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 /

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 /

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…

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

By Andrew Skurka / April 8, 2017 /

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 /

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 /

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…

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

By Andrew Skurka / October 7, 2015 /

  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,…