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Interview with Ursack CEO: Yosemite food regs, lobbying, & new products

By Andrew Skurka / September 20, 2016 /

Among bear-resistant food containers certified by the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee (IGBC), the Ursack S29.3 AllWhite is easily my favorite. It weighs just 8 oz, or 80 percent less than my BearVault BV500, which has the same volume. It’s also $10 less. And, Unlike plastic or carbon fiber canisters, it’s soft-sided and collapsible, and as comfortable to…

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…

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…

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…

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…

John Muir Trail early-season 2017: What was it like? || Part 4: Mosquitoes & final thoughts

By Samuel Chaneles / July 24, 2017 /

Q | Did you encounter any mosquitoes? At what elevation and times of day? Thankfully, we encountered mosquitoes only a few times, and only once or twice were they bad enough that we put on our headnets. That said, those mosquitoes we encountered swarmed aggressively (that that’s coming from someone who grew up in South…

John Muir Trail early-season 2017: What was it like? || Part 1: Snow coverage, navigation & snowshoes

By Samuel Chaneles / August 3, 2017 /

Q | Describe your your prior backpacking experience — generally, in the High Sierra, and in early-season conditions. A | Since I was young, family vacations have revolved around outdoor activities (hiking, skiing, fishing, etc.). My true “backpacking” experience began in the summer of 2016 when I went on an 11-day expedition to Alaska as…

John Muir Trail early-season 2017: What was it like? || Part 2: Passes, axes & crampons

By Samuel Chaneles / August 3, 2017 /

Q | Did you carry an axe or crampons? Did you use them? Would you recommend them? We both had Hillsound Trail PRO Crampons and a Black Diamond Raven Pro Ice Axe, and we did use them in the mornings when conditions were suitable. Most mornings we were on the trail by 5:30 a.m.to take advantage of…

John Muir Trail early-season 2017: What was it like? || Part 3: River fords

By Samuel Chaneles / August 5, 2017 /

Q | What techniques and equipment did you use in safely getting across? Our general protocol for creek crossings was: a) Look for a log or a rock to hop across to avoid getting our feet wet. Often times this method worked for smaller creek crossings, yet for the bigger fords it almost always failed.…

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…