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Amelia Boone: Obstacles To Ultras
Amelia Boone is the most accomplished obstacle course racer on the planet. Now she's running ultra marathons. What does it take to make that transition? What do success and failure look like to someone so dominant in one sport and very good in another? What motivates and drives Amelia's passion for endurance sports? We learn about all these topics and more in today's conversation, which is an in-person interview near her home California.
|Jan 09, 2019|
Speed Training for Ultras?
Train for speed when you're training for ultra-marathons...wuh? Should ultra runners train for speed? Short answer: yes! And, that's the topic of this edition of Coaches' Corner with David Roche, Ian Sharman, Krissy Moehl, and Shawn Bearden.
Watch the discussion on our YouTube channel: https://youtu.be/loH878kbRbQ
Each coach can be reached through their respective websites:
Krissy Moehl http://KrissyMoehl.com
David Roche https://SWAPRunning.com
Ian Sharman https://SharmanUltra.com
Shawn Bearden https://ScienceOfUltra.com
|Dec 26, 2018|
Matters of the Foot with Missy Thompson, PhD
We've learned about foot strike patterns but never quite like this. What's the role of sensory feedback and shoe cushioning on foot strike and on your running patterns? Today we get deeper insights into these issues so you can make more informed decisions about your shoe choices and running mechanics with Missy Thompson, PhD.
Connect with her:
|Dec 20, 2018|
RISE for Mental Training
How do you handle adversity in the moment? Do you have a mental training practice? You know that ultra-marathon running is as much mental as it is physical. RISE to train your mind as well as you train your body.
|Dec 03, 2018|
Is Cross-training Essential for Runners?
Runners need to run. Ultra-marathon runner need to run a lot. But could you be more effective spending some of that time cross-training?
If you’re looking for a coach, or just have questions, you can reach:
David Roche at https://SWAPrunning.com
Ian Sharman at http://www.sharmanultra.com
Krissy Moehl at http://krissymoehl.com
Shawn Bearden at https://ScienceOfUltra.com
If you want to submit a True/False statement for us to discuss on a future episode of Coaches’ Corner, send it to firstname.lastname@example.org
|Nov 14, 2018|
Luke Nelson and Tor de Geants
My guest today is Luke Nelson. He's a physician assistant, race director, husband, father, and public lands activist. He’s been on the podium at many of the top ultras, set course records, and has set numerous FKTs of mountain linkups and traverses. Prior to getting fully into mountain running, in 2012 he was the U.S. Ski Mountaineering National Champion. He’s active on Instargram and you can follow him @slukenelson He’s and ambassador for Patagonia and also runs for La Sportiva, GU, Zeal Optics, Jaybird, Suunto. And, in August of 2018, he placed 8th at the legendary Tor de Geants. Our conversation today is mostly about his preparation and experience in that race but we get into a lot more as well. He’s also a friend and neighbor of mine, so we recorded the episode when he joined me at my house. If you’d like to support the podcast and keep it advertisement-free, go to https://scienceofultra.com/support. If you want to take your training to the next level, and you’re interested in hiring me to be your coach, go to https://scienceofultra.com/coaching
|Oct 19, 2018|
Are Injuries Preventable?
True or False: Injuries are usually predictable and preventable. Coaches David Roche, Ian Sharman, Krissy Moehl, and Shawn Bearden discuss their answers in our ongoing series, Coaches' Corner.
David Roche SWAPrunning.com
Ian Sharman SharmanUltra.com
Krissy Moehl KrissyMoehl.com
Shawn Bearden ScienceOfUltra.com
|Oct 10, 2018|
Megan Roche, MD part 2 of 2
Part 2 (of 2) in this extraordinary interview with Dr. Megan Roche. We talk about everything from research to coaching to dysfunctional eating to experiencing joy in a lifestyle of running. Megan Roche is a medical doctor, coach, scientist, book author, and exceptional trail runner.
|Oct 05, 2018|
Megan Roche, MD
Megan Roche is a medical doctor, extraordinary trail runner, coach, scientist, and book author. This episode is the first in a two-part interview. We talk about everything from research to coaching to joy in running.
|Sep 20, 2018|
Coaches' Corner: Performance Metrics
True or False: Performance metrics are important for optimizing outcomes
|Sep 11, 2018|
Nutrition Basics with Nancy Clark, RD
The title says it all. Everything you should know about the foundations of a good diet from one of today's leading practitioners, nutritionist Nancy Clark, RD.
|Aug 16, 2018|
Coaches' Corner: Volume or Intensity
This is the first episode of Coaches’ Corner, a new and ongoing series with several of the top trail running coaches in the world, Krissy Moehl, David Roche, Ian Sharman, and me. Each of these episodes is intended to highlight a specific topic relevant to all trail runners. We start in the form of a T/F statement, get a one-word answer from each coach, and then discuss the nuances that make the real answer less clear. Ultimately, the purpose is to provide you with information that you can apply to your own training. These are also published on our YouTube channel at YouTube.com/ScienceOfUltra The T/F statement for today's episode is: There’s a minimum volume of running required before adding any structured workouts (such as intervals or hills) becomes more useful than simply adding more volume
|Aug 08, 2018|
When To Walk And Other Insights with Athlete-Scientist Nicola Giovanelli, PhD
When to walk vs run on inclines, how can poles help, use water in your weighted vest...practical gems from this top athlete and applied scientist.
|Jul 26, 2018|
Trail Runner Biomechanics
Marlene Giandolini, PhD and Sebastien Pavailler, PhD are biomechanists who work for Salomon. Today, they bring us insights from their research and the applied intersection of biomechanics, trail running, and shoe design. We discuss everything from trail runner kinematics to shoe drop to foot swelling. So much valuable and new information in this one!
|Jul 12, 2018|
Downhill Running and Field Studies of Ultra Runners with Gianluca Vernillo, PhD
Gianluca Vernillo, PhD is one of the world's leading scientists studying mountain ultra trail runners. Today he brings a vast amount of science and practical insight from his years of studying the uphill, downhill, and other physiologic features of extreme endurance running in the world's toughest mountain courses.
|Jun 28, 2018|
Intervals Like A Pro with Stephen Seiler PhD
How do the best endurance athletes partition their training? Most of understand what it is to go out for an easy run, but what about intervals. How do the best in the world do it? And, what does the science show about how you should design your interval workouts? What should you do for work duration, rest duration, total work, frequency, and effort level? These are the principle issues we discuss in this episode. And, we wrap up with parting advice from Dr. Seiler that you must hear if you're going to become your ultra best.
|May 24, 2018|
Athlete Spotlight with Dylan Bowman
Professional runner Dylan Bowman invited me into his home to discuss his running. We cover topics ranging from his development and early years, to his motivations and mindset, to racing strategy and more.
|May 10, 2018|
Training on Low Glycogen
Interested in training on low glycogen levels? Doing it by running in the morning, without breakfast? If so, you may not be doing what you intend. In this episode, I explain why...and provide an actionable and reliable approach to do it right.
|Apr 19, 2018|
Avoiding the Mediocrity of the Middle
Have you heard this before…keep your easy days easy and your hard days hard? Well, is there a physiologic basis for not spending much time training in the middle? Is there a downside to training in the middle? Tempo runs are supposed to be important, aren’t they, and they’re in the middle? Exercise bio-energeticists, such as myself, describe three zones or domains of exercise intensity based on the ratio of oxygen consumption to work rate and the sustainability of the intensity. These three domains are termed: moderate, heavy, and severe. In this episode, you’ll learn some of the physiologic bases for why you should train mostly in the moderate domain, some in the severe domain and little to none in the middle (the heavy domain).
|Mar 28, 2018|
Running Insights with Author Alex Hutchinson
Alex Hutchinson is a prolific science-based writer who covers all facets of running. In this interview, we dig into the insights he's developed over the years and talk about his new book: Endure: Mind, Body, and the Curiously Elastic Limits of Human Performance.
|Mar 08, 2018|
Amino Acids and Supplements with Philip Atherton PhD
Amino acids, the leucine trigger, and branched chain amino acids. What do you need, should you supplement, do they aid performance...all these question answered and much more.
|Feb 22, 2018|
An overview of recovery strategies with Dr. Shona Halson, Senior Recovery Physiologist at the Australian Institute of Sport.
|Feb 08, 2018|
Best Wrap-ups From The First 25
Today’s episode is a special compilation of advice from some of the brightest and most insightful minds in the world of sports physiology. I ask many of my guests for their insight and wisdom into the biggest mistakes and the most grounded advice from their years of experience in respective fields. This special episode of Science Of Ultra is a curation of the practical wisdom in those answers from the first 25 episodes.
|Jan 25, 2018|
63 SOUP Bites 3
Listener questions answered!
|Dec 14, 2017|
62 Athlete Spotlight with Andrew Skurka
Backpacking legend, Andrew Skurka, is also an outstanding ultra runner. Today, we learn about the psychology, mindset, and perspectives it takes to become one of the most accomplished adventurers in the world.
|Nov 29, 2017|
61 Respiratory Muscle Fatigue and Training with Darlene Reid, PhD
So, you've been running for 4...6...10...18...24...hours. Yes, your legs are tired. But, what about your respiratory muscles? Are they suited to breathing heavily for that long? Do they fatigue? Does greater effort to breath in a long ultra translate into higher ratings of perceived exertion? Check out my interview with Darlene Reid, PhD to learn the answers to those questions and how you can train your respiratory muscle to become your ultra best!
|Nov 16, 2017|
60 Neurological Fatigue in Ultramarathons with Guillaume Millet PhD
Guillaume Millet, Ph.D. is the world's leading expert on neuromuscular fatigue in ultramarathons. We explore the many facets of fatigue and bring his years of field research to you in practical and applied terms that you can use to help become your ultra best.
|Nov 01, 2017|
59 Neuromuscular control and fatigue with Roger Enoka PhD
Dr. Roger Enoka is the world’s leading expert on the neuromuscular determinants of movement in health and disease. Today we talk about the physiology of controlling muscle force, new paradigms for viewing fatigue, muscle cramps, and aging. He also answers the question, “why is running fast downhill beneficial for a runners development?”.
|Oct 13, 2017|
58 Tendons and Sinews with Keith Baar, PhD
The structures that transmit force from muscle cells to bone are critical components of your running health and economy in addition to a common site of injury. Today we learn all about tendons and sinews from the world's leading expert on this topic.
|Sep 21, 2017|
57 SOUP Bites 2
Answers to listener questions.
|Aug 31, 2017|
56 SOUP Bites 1
In this first installment of the SOUP Bites series, I answer your questions. Today we cover questions on heat acclimatization for altitude performance, veganism, building hiking into training even if you live in a flat area, respiratory discomfort after endurance exercise, foam rolling, weight lifting, mental fogginess after endurance events, body weight, and taking time off for niggling injuries.
|Jul 26, 2017|
55 Critical Power/Speed with David Poole, PhD
A deep scientific discussion of the concept of critical power/critical speed as the 'fatigue threshold' with an emphasis on how it may apply to ultra-endurance training and performance.
|Jul 12, 2017|
54 Shoes and Biomechanics with John Mercer PhD
Today we touch on a variety of topics in biomechanics, from shoe cushioning to children's shoes to pool running...and more...
|Jun 28, 2017|
53 SOUP Bites
Introduction of a new episode category: SOUP Bites. You have specific questions. In SOUP Bites, you'll get specific answers!
|Jun 07, 2017|
52 Questioning Training Dogma with John Kiely, PhD
A thought-provoking analysis of training dogma, practices, and approaches from one of the world's leading experts on program development.
|May 24, 2017|
51 Coach's Corner with David Roche
One of the highest profile and most sought after coaches in ultra marathon running, David Roche delivers novel approaches to training athletes that may help you as much as they've helped his runners.
|May 10, 2017|
50 Performance Predictors with Beat Knechtle MD
An overview of the best predictors of ultra endurance performance from the world's leading expert. The data may surprise you...
|Apr 26, 2017|
49 Recovery Science with Jonathan Peake, PhD
Soup to nuts on our current understanding of recovery from one of the scientific leaders in the field. Dr. Peake is a colleague of Dr. Neubauer, who was on last episode (#48), discussing the immune system in recovery. Today we broaden the discussion and talk about the other knowns and unknowns on the topic.
|Apr 12, 2017|
48 Recovery and the immune system with Oliver Neubauer PhD
Think the immune system just helps to keep us from getting sick or recover from illness? Think again...
|Mar 29, 2017|
47 Healthy Running with Doc Andrew Murray
Dr. Andrew Murray is a Scottish ultra-distance runner, family medicine practitioner, and author of 'Running Your Best: Some Science and Medicine' and 'Running Beyond Limits: The Adventures of an Ultra Marathon Runner'. Today we sit down for a chat about best practices in staying healthy and making physical activity part of your life for better training gains.
|Mar 15, 2017|
46 Genetics with Claude Bouchard PhD
Legendary geneticist Claude Bouchard, PhD joined me for a pragmatic discussion. In discussion of genetics, the focus is often on the genetic outliers and extremes of potential. While that's always fun, today's discussion is focused on what we know that is relevant to you. Dr. Bouchard is THE living legend in the field of the genetic underpinnings of responses to exercise; his group literally invented the field that seeks to understand variability in exercise responses to training at the genetic level.
|Mar 01, 2017|
45 Ultra Mindset with Travis Macy
Author of 'The Ultra Mindset', Travis Macy, sits down with us to discuss the book and share his insights into mental side of our sport.
|Feb 15, 2017|
44 Developing Your Hydration Strategy with Bob Kenefick PhD
This week I interviewed Bob Kenefick PhD and we outline a strategy for you to develop your approach to staying properly hydrated - actionable info! And - I'm running the World Marathon Challenge, 7 marathons 7 continents 7 days, with your partnership. I'm running to raise awareness and end the stigma around depression. Beyond the expenses of the challenge, all funds raised go to the International Foundation for Research and Education on Depression (iFred.org). Help give me a voice and send me around the world spreading the message to bring depression into the light! GoFundMe.com/world-marathons-for-depression
|Feb 01, 2017|
43 Athlete Spotlight with Mike Wardian
In this week’s episode, I sat down with Mike Wardian. He's one of the most prolific runners on planet Earth. As this episode airs, he’s traveling the world to complete seven marathons on seven continents in seven days. He’s a font of information on how to be successful while making running a lifestyle. And, yes, he actually has a ‘regular job’. How does he do it? Listen and learn.
|Jan 18, 2017|
42 Optimizing Protein Intake with Luc van Loon, PhD
Everything you need to know for optimal protein nutrition to maximize your training and adaption. Dr. van Loon joins us from the Netherlands where he leads a large and outstanding research group. He's the world's leading expert on this topic. How much, when, what about sex differences, what about aging, right after training, what about over night...we cover it all!
|Dec 06, 2016|
41 Biomechanics and Injury with Richard Willy PhD PT
Everything you need to know about the fundamentals of biomechanics as they relate to injury in runners. Lots of actionable info in this one!
|Nov 22, 2016|
40 Biomechanics and Energetics with Rodger Kram, PhD
We dive into Dr. Kram's research on biomechanics and energy utilization, running economy, and the things you need to pay attention to as well as what you don't.
|Nov 08, 2016|
39 Athlete Spotlight: Stephanie Howe Violett, PhD
A comprehensive conversation with elite ultra runner Stephanie Howe Violett, PhD where we talk about her year of injuries, her approaches to injury recovery and to training, and her expertise (PhD) in sports nutrition.
|Oct 25, 2016|
38 What is training?
What do you mean when you use the word 'training'? Today, we start a project, together, to create a training framework.
|Oct 11, 2016|
37 GI Distress at the Western States 100 with Kristin Stuempfle, PhD
Recent research findings from research at the Western States Endurance Run on gastrointestinal distress.
|Sep 27, 2016|
36 Event Recovery with Natalie Badowski Wu, MD
Findings from recent research on recovery practices and their effectiveness for ultra marathon finishers.
|Sep 13, 2016|
35 Adrenal Fatigue, Really?
The myth of adrenal fatigue.
|Aug 30, 2016|
34 Athlete Spotlight with Magdalena Boulet
Western States champion (2015), Magdalena Boulet, joins me for an amazing episode. Learn all the ins and outs of her training, racing approaches, nutrition strategies, and much more!
|Aug 16, 2016|
33 Coach's Corner: Coaching Roundtable
Roundtable discussion with three coaches (Paul Lind, Andrew Simmons, Ty Draney) recorded on location, including audience questions.
|Aug 02, 2016|
32 Coach's Corner with Ian Torrence
Ian Torrence has complete nearly 200 ultra distance events and has won approximately 25% of them. He has important advice to give regarding longevity in the sport and approaches to DNFing that you need to hear if you want to be successful in this sport for years to come.
|Jul 19, 2016|
31 High Intensity Interval Training with Martin Gibala, PhD
You are an endurance runner. So, what's the point in doing high intensity interval training (HIIT)? Whether you are new to endurance running or a seasoned veteran, you will benefit from HIIT. We explore how, what, when, and why in this episode.
|Jul 05, 2016|
30 Heat Acclimation with Chris Minson, PhD
Learn how to prepare for performance in the heat and how heat acclimation can actually improve your performance in moderate temperatures.
|Jun 21, 2016|
29 Altitude Physiology with Ben Levine, MD
Ben Levine, MD is among the legends of exercise cardiology and altitude physiology in sport performance. It is an honor to have him join the Ultra Clan for this amazing interview, packed with heaps of evidence-based, applicable, relevant, and actionable knowledge.
|Jun 07, 2016|
28 Athlete Spotlight with Mathew Laye, PhD
Today, I shine the spotlight on Mathew Laye, PhD. He is a scientist, coach, and athlete. As winner of the Rocky Raccoon 100 miler, along with his scientific and coaching background, he brings a rare mix of all three areas of expertise in ultra marathon training and racing to the show.
|May 24, 2016|
27 Heart Health with Larry Creswell, MD and Aaron Baggish, MD
A double episode. Interviews with cardiologists Larry Creswell M.D. and Aaron Baggish M.D. They are at the forefront of heart health in endurance athletes. Is ultra marathon running okay for your heart? Listen and learn.
|May 10, 2016|
26 Athlete Spotlight: Terri Schneider
My guest today has had a life of endurance, persistence, adventure and exploration that we can all learn from. My guest is Terri Schneider. She was a professional triathlete for nine years, has raced multi-day eco-adventures around the planet, and is an ultra marathon veteran. We explore her life of endurance pursuits through the lens of her recent book, Dirty Inspirations: Lessons from the trenches of extreme endurance sports.
|Apr 26, 2016|
25 Running Economy with Andrew Kilding, PhD and Kyle Barnes, PhD
This week, we explore the ins and outs of economical running. Learn what you can do to improve yours and to what extent it will make a difference in your performance.
|Apr 12, 2016|
24 High Pressure Psychology with Michael Gervais, PhD
My guest today is Michael Gervais, PhD. He has been described as an industry visionary. Dr. Gervais is a licensed psychologist who focuses most of his time on people at the "top of their game", including the NFL's Seattle Seahawks, NBA players, Olympians, military personnel and corporate leaders. While spending years in the trenches of high-stakes circumstances, he has developed clarity for the tools that allow people to pursue their potential.
|Mar 29, 2016|
23 Foot Care with John VonHof
My guest today is John VonHof. He literally wrote the book on foot care for the athlete, Fixing Your Feet. You can learn more from him on his website, http://www.fixingyourfeet.com
Today we dig into all the essential components of good foot care, from shoe fitting to blister care. We wrap up by defining the essential features of a good minimalist foot care kit for your next run or adventure.
|Mar 15, 2016|
22 Athlete Spotlight: Max King
My guest this week is Max King. He won the 2011 World Mountain Running Championships and the 2014 IAU 100 km World Championship. He’s won numerous national titles at distances ranging from half marathons to ultra marathons and he was named U.S. national mountain runner of the year in 2011. He is a back-to-back winner of the Warrior Dash world championship, winning in 2014 and 2015. Also, in 2014 he tackled his first 100 mile race, the legendary and extremely competitive Western States 100 mile Endurance Run where he finished 4th.
|Mar 01, 2016|
21 Psychological Fatigue with Sam Marcora, PhD and Alister McCormick, PhD
An incredible episode on psychological fatigue. Is fatigue in ultra endurance performance mostly in your mind? What can you do to stay psychologically motivated to keep going? Listen and learn on today's episode with the pioneering experts on this topic.
|Feb 16, 2016|
20 Barefoot Running with Daniel Lieberman, PhD
My guest today is Daniel Lieberman, PhD
Dr. Lieberman is Professor and Chair of the Department of Human Evolutionary Biology, and the Edwin M. Lerner II Professor of Biological Sciences at Harvard University. He was educated at Harvard and Cambridge. He studies how and why the human body is the way it is, and the relevance of human evolution to contemporary health. His major research foci include the evolution of long distance walking and running abilities as well as the effects of shoes on locomotor biomechanics and injury; he also studies the evolution of the highly unusual human head. His work has been funded by the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, and many other groups and foundations. He has ongoing fieldwork projects in Kenya and Mexico. In addition to over 130 peer-reviewed research articles, he’s published several books including "The Evolution of the Human Head (Harvard University Press, 2011), and “The Story of the Human Body” (Pantheon, 2013). If you’ve read the book “Born to Run”, then you’re already familiar with his work because that title was actually the title of a cover in the journal Nature that featured his research well before the book of the same title; and my guest is a major figure in the book itself.
In this episode, we explore the evolution of running, the biomechanics of barefoot running, and what shoe cushioning is and does for (and to) us. We make the distinction among barefoot, minimalist, and cushioned shoes and learn about the interesting effect of barefoot running, and possibly minimalist shoe running, on normalizing foot arches.
As always, we wrap up with some actionable answers to fundamental questions in barefoot running when I ask Dr. Lieberman,
|Feb 02, 2016|
19 Fat Adaptation with Louise Burke, PhD
My guest today is Louise Burke, PhD
Dr. Burke is Head of Discipline in Sports Nutrition for the Australian Institute of Sport. She is also Chair in Sports Nutrition, Mary MacKillop Institute for Health Research, Australian Catholic University. She served as Team dietitian for the Australian Olympic team for the past 5 Olympics ( specifacally in: 1996, 2000, 2004, 2008 and 2012). Her long list of peer-reviewed publications have been cited nearly 4,000 times. She is the author of the books Practical Sports Nutrition and Clinical Sports Nutrition. She is one of the top sports nutrition experts on the planet and she is a world leading expert on today’s topic of fat adaptation in endurance sport training and performance.
How much hype and hyperbole have you heard on the topic of fat adaptation in endurance performance? How often have you wanted the rigorous answers to specific questions on whether the science truly bears out this approach? Within the ultra marathon community, the idea of adapting substrate sources to prefer fat is a very popular topic. The idea is that a higher percentage use of fat will spare glycogen and thereby improve performance in an endurance event. Basically, the intent is to delay running out of internal stores of carbohydrate because it may be challenging to ingest and absorb carbohydrates at a rate that can keep up with use in an ultra marathon.
Today, Dr. Burke helps us understand the history of this topic and cuts straight to the unbiased exploration of the currently available data. Note that this idea has been around for a long time and it’s current popularity is a renaissance of previous waves of enthusiasm. What’s the real skinny on fat adaptation? This episode covers it all, including best practice guidelines for your top performance.
Our wrap-up action items today are the answers to:
|Jan 19, 2016|
18 Fatigue with Michael Joyner, MD
My guest today is Michael Joyner, MD. He would need no introduction in the field of exercise physiology. Dr. Joyner is an integrative physiologist, scientist, and evidence-based Anesthesiologist at the Mayo Clinic. His specific areas of expertise include autonomic control of circulation, muscle and skin blood flow, exercise, oxygen transport and metabolic regulation in humans. Additionally, much of his lab’s work in these areas includes the study of aging. This work has been continuously funded by the NIH since the early 1990s. The list of his awards and honors is lengthy; suffice it to say that he has received many of the highest awards in the fields of physiology, medicine, and exercise. Most scientists would feel they had a worthy career with 2 or 3 seminal papers on a subject. My guest today has a list of seminal publications longer than many scientists complete lists. Dr. Joyner published over 350 scientific papers, and many books and book chapters; with many thousands of citations. Simply put, Dr. Joyner is one of the most influential figures in modern exercise science, from molecules & mechanisms to health advocacy. He is also an avid runner.
Later in the interview, you get a glimpse into his knowledge base in the history of running and runners. He rattles off runners and other elite athletes, their ages, and times of performance over many decades. This breadth and depth of knowledge allows him to bring to you amazing insights and many thoughtful ideas….including a haiku!
You can connect with Dr. Joyner at:
His website on Human Limits of Performance
Dr. Joyner answers many questions, including:
We develop a list of the expected common or primary predicted sources of fatigue/exhaustion in ultra events.
We wrap up with two action questions.
|Jan 05, 2016|
17 Athlete Spotlight: Jennifer Pharr Davis
My guest today is Jennifer Pharr Davis. She is an author, speaker, and a National Geographic Adventurer of the Year.
Jennifer is among the most well known of American long distance hikers. She holds the record for the women’s FKT for a thru-hike of the Appalachian trail; a record which was the overall outright record for several years and fell by only 3 hrs 12 minutes in the summer of 2015. She has hiked over 12,000 miles on six different continents, including thru-hikes on the Pacific Crest Trail, the Appalachian Trail (three times), the Colorado Trail, the Long Trail in Vermont, the Bibbulmun Track in Australia, and numerous trails in Europe and South America, including the Tour du Mont Blanc, which ultra marathon runners will be familiar with.
Connect with Jennifer:
She answered many questions on this in depth interview, including:
You hiked that AT in 2005, 2008, and the overall record setting year 2011. Your first women’s record of the trail in 2008 was a bit over 57 days; in 2011 you destroyed that record and did the trail in a bit over 46 days. How did that enormous improvement come about?
Would you describe the demands of a long-distance thru-hike? Granted that weather can have a big impact, what does a ‘typical’ day look like for a long distance thru hiker?
Are you ever running/jogging during a thru-hike or is it all hiking?
Tell us about your training for a thru-hike. In your experience, would a 3-4+ week thru-hike be good training for ultra marathons of 100 miles or longer?
How do you handle sleep deprivation, or functioning on little sleep, for weeks on end? Tell us about your nutrition for a thru-hike.
Tell us about your foot care on a thru-hike.
You wrote an article recently for the New York Times for which you explored the topic of sex differences, or lack thereof, in ultra distance events. Tell us about that.
Tell us about the psychological demands of a major thru-hike.
As an exceptional, experienced, and accomplished ultra-endurance athlete, you have surely had some very dark moments (mentally).
We wrapped up with some advice for ultra marathon runners interested in tackling a thru-hike.
|Dec 29, 2015|
16 GI Distress with Patrick Wilson, PhD
My guest today is Patrick Wilson, PhD and RD. He is Assistant Professor of exercise science in the Human Movement Sciences Department at Old Dominion University, in Norfolk, VA, where he also directs the Human Performance Laboratory. He earned a Ph.D. in Kinesiology from the University of Minnesota, where he also received training in the areas of public health and epidemiology. He completed his post-doctoral research training at the Nebraska Athletic Performance Laboratory, specializing in sport nutrition applications for collegiate athletes. And, he is also credentialed as a registered dietitian.
He has authored numerous peer-reviewed publications covering a wide variety of sport nutrition-related topics. He has conducted both laboratory- and field-based research examining the effects of nutrition on endurance exercise performance, including the effects of carbohydrate composition on gastrointestinal distress and performance during prolonged running. His studies have included marathon runners, ultra-endurance runners, and Ironman competitors.
In this episode, we cover all the angles on gastrointestinal (GI) distress as it applies to ultra runners. You learn the major factors that influence GI distress and how to maximize your chances of keeping your GI tract happy.
In the wrap-up, he answers two key questions.
1. What is the biggest mistake athletes make regarding food/drink intake and GI distress?
2. What take-home recommendation would you give for athletes to reduce their chances of developing GI distress in ultra events?
|Dec 22, 2015|
15 Athlete Spotlight: William Sichel
William is a 62 year old British and Scottish international athlete and has set 160 ultra distance running records (from 30 miles on the track to 3100 miles/ 5000 kms on the road) at World, British and Scottish level including age-group records.
Since 1994 William has competed in 92 ultra marathons at home and abroad – winning 16 of them. He has also represented Great Britain 11 times and Scotland 7 times.
William has three grandchildren and has been self-employed all his life.
Since 1982 William has lived in the remote Orkney Islands, off the north coast of Scotland, 750 miles north of London.
In this episode we learn all about the training William follows to compete and succeed in extreme ultra endurance events.
|Dec 15, 2015|
13 Carbohydrate for Ultra Athletes with Asker Jeukendrup, PhD
Science of Ultra Episode 13 Carbohydrates for ultra marathon training and racing
My guest today is Asker Jeukendrup, PhD. He is a leading sports nutritionist and exercise physiologist who spent most of his career at the University of Birmingham (UK), where he was a Professor of Exercise Metabolism and Director of Research. He worked the last 4 years for PepsiCo as Global Senior Director of the Gatorade Sports Science Institute Based in Barrington IL (US). He is currently running a consulting business “Mysportscience” and is a visiting professor at Loughborough University. During his career he authored over 200 research papers and book chapters, many of which have helped to change the sports nutrition landscape. He is also the author of 8 books. He is the former editor of the European Journal of Sport Science and Associate editor of the Journal of Sports Sciences. During his career he worked with many elite athletes and teams including several World and Olympic champions. He also practices what he preaches and is competing in Ironman distance triathlons as well as other endurance events. To date he has completed 21 Ironman races including 6 times at the Ironman world Championship in Hawaii.
You can connect with Dr. Jeukendrup:
Here are some of the questions Dr. Jeukendrup answers:
We wrap up with a couple of focused action items:
1) What are the 2-3 biggest mistakes or misconceptions that you see endurance athletes make regarding carbohydrate and fueling for performance?
2) What advice do you have for runners wanting to dial in their carbohydrate strategies (maximizing calories, best sources for them, etc.) for training and racing?
|Dec 01, 2015|
12 Athlete Spotlight: Cody Lind
My guest today is Cody Lind. He's sponsored by Scott and, at age 20, is a rising start in the ultra marathon community. He set five course records and placed second in the U.S. Sky Running Series.
We talk about his training, racing, and his perspectives on running. From big weekly mileage to big weekly vertical, Cody trains hard. Learn about his special connection to the Western States 100 mile Endurance Run and what it takes for even a gifted runner to do well in Sky Running in the U.S.
|Nov 24, 2015|
11 Protein for Endurance Athletes with Stuart Phillips, PhD
My guest today is Stuart Phillips, Ph.D. He obtained his Ph.D. from the University of Waterloo in Human Physiology. He joined McMaster University in 1999 as an Assistant Professor and is currently a full Professor in the Department of Kinesiology and Medicine. He is also the inaugural Director of the McMaster Centre for Nutrition, Exercise, and Health Research. His research is focused on the impact of nutrition and exercise on human protein turnover, specifically in muscle. He is also interested in how exercise and protein impact body composition, strength, and function in aging. His research is funded by the Canadian Institutes for Health Research, the National Science and Engineering Council of Canada, the US Department of Agriculture, and the Canadian Foundation for Innovation. He has authored more than 190 research papers and several newspaper and magazine articles.
In this episode, we learn:
And, as always, we what up with an advice question:
|Nov 17, 2015|
10 Lactate with Bruce Gladden, PhD
It is defensible to say that no molecule has as much controversy and misunderstanding in all of exercise physiology and sports than lactate.
We start with the basics:
We wrap up with two questions as take-home points:
1. What is the biggest misunderstanding that endurance athletes have about lactate / lactic acid? And, what is correct?
2. What advice does Dr. Gladden give to an ultra marathon athlete interested in their LT to apply to their training for ultra marathons?
|Nov 10, 2015|
9 Athlete Spotlight: Luke Nelson
My guest today is Luke Nelson. This episode was recorded on location at the Pocatello Running Co. in Pocatello, Idaho, USA. Luke is the race director for the Scout Mountain Ultra Trail race in Pocatello (held in early June each year). He is a Physician Assistant with a full time job. He is the 2012 US Ski Mountaineering Champion. He won El Vaquero Loco seven years in a row and he is a winner of the Big Horn 100. He’s an Ambassador for La Sportive, Patagonia, and Ultraspire. He’s sponsored by First Endurance and Smith.
Luke tells us all about his training, his experiences over the past year, his approach and experience to the mental side of our sport, and what 2016 has in store. He is a phenomenal athlete and an exceptionally kind and generous person, committed to promoting and preserving wild places. You’re going to love this episode.
|Nov 03, 2015|
8 Coach's Corner with Jason Koop
My guest today is Jason Koop
Jason Koop is back…and he answers some very direct questions, like:
Plus, Jason answers two high impact questions…are you ready?
|Oct 27, 2015|
7 Hydration Physiology: Application
My guests today are veterans of Science of Ultra; they joined me in Episode 4.LISTEN TO THAT EPISODE (#4) FIRST IF YOU HAVEN’T ALREADY. Today we continue our series with them on all things sweating, hydration, electrolytes, and fluid balance.
Up first is Team Leader of the Thermal and Mountain Medicine Division at the US. Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine (aka USARIEM). In addition to his doctorate in exercise physiology, he is also a registered dietician. My first guest is Dr. Sam Cheuvront. My second guest is Principal Investigator in the Thermal and Mountain Medicine Division at USARIEM. He served as the president of the New England Chapter of the American College of Sports Medicine. And, he is an ultra marathon runner himself. So, he knows first hand what it takes to achieve in our sport. My second guest is Dr. Robert Kenefick. Collectively, my guests have published over 200 peer-reviewed papers, book chapters, and reviews. They are two of the world’s leading scientists in hydration and fluid homeostasis, especially during exercise.
They work for the U.S. Army. So, we must provide the disclaimer that "The views and/or opinions of Dr.'s Kenefick and Cheuvront are theirs personally and do not reflect the views or opinions of the U.S. Army or DoD."
In the first part of this series, episode 4, we focused on the physiology of fluid and electrolyte balance. That episode is packed with fundamental physiology and what we talk about in this episode builds on what we covered in episode 4. So, you’ll benefit most from this episode if you’ve listened to that episode.
In this episode, we’re focusing on: FLUID BALANCE AND THERMOREGULATION WHILE PLANNING FOR PERFORMANCE
Quick background: We sweat to put water on the surface of our skin, which evaporates to the environment. The transition from liquid to gas requires a large amount of energy; sweating cools us because that energy comes in the form of heat, which is drawn from our skin. Sweat that drips off of us, does not provide that cooling benefit. Either way, that fluid loss eventually impacts all three body fluid compartments, which are 1) blood plasma, 2) intracellular (inside cells), and 3) interstitial (outside cells but not including blood).
Listen and learn the answers to these questions:
Then we move into specific preparation for performance
Dr. Kenefick is an ultra runner and a leading expert on this topic, plus he has access to all resources for measurement and testing. He must never have any problem with fluid and hydration...right?
LINK TO FLUID REPLACEMENT IN EXERCISE POSITION STAND OF THE AMERICAN COLLEGE OF SPORTS MEDICINE (ACSM)
Many people have the idea that, while running, ‘if they are continuing to urinate and it isn’t very dark, then they are probably OK’. We’ve established that watching urine color - DURING exercise - is not a reliable method for monitoring hydration status. So, “How can I monitor myself for appropriate fluid replacement and maintenance during an ultra marathon (or during a long training)?”
Our wrap up, big money question today...WHAT’S THE ANSWER?
|Oct 20, 2015|
6 Tapering with Scott Trappe, PhD
My guest today is Scott Trappe, PhD
Dr. Trappe is the Director of the Human Performance Laboratory and John and Janice Fisher Endowed Chair in Exercise Science at Ball State University. He received his undergraduate training at the University of Northern Iowa where he was captain of the swim team. He worked for US Swimming at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs while obtaining his M.S. at the University of Colorado. His PhD training was with Dr. David Costill at Ball State University followed by post-doctoral training in muscle physiology with Dr. Robert Fitts at Marquette University. For the past 20 years, he has been working with NASA to help optimize the exercise prescription for astronauts. His work has also been supported by the NIH. Concurrent to the work with NASA, he’s conducted exercise training studies in older adults, aging athletes and various college and elite athletes. Using a whole body to gene approach, he and his colleagues have gained a better understanding of muscle plasticity. He is an expert in the area of adaptations to training and to disuse - or detraining. And, he joins us today to talk about that plasticity, specifically in the area of balancing training with detraining as it may apply to tapering.
In today’s episode Dr. Trappe and I talk about training adaptations, then detraining, then put those together to come to some conclusions about the tapering period where we try to balance these.
The questions I posed to Dr. Trappe include:
Balancing Training Adaptation with Detraining
We wrap up with two specific questions:
Should ultra runners use standup desks at work?
LISTEN AND LEARN THE ANSWERS TO THESE PLUS SO MUCH MORE...
|Oct 13, 2015|
5 Variety & Avoid Injury, Coach's Corner with Ian Sharman
My guest today Ian Sharman
He is part of a small group in the ultra community - he is both a successful coach with his own coaching company and he’s an elite ultra marathon runner. In 2013 he set the record holder for the fastest Grand Slam of Ultra Running. Since Jan 2014 he has won 6 ultra marathons. AND, he has also earned a top-10 finish all 6 times he has run the Western States 100. So far, in 2015, he has won both Rocky Racoon (which he also won in 2011) and the Leadville 100 (which he also won in 2013).
I dig into Ian’s approaches and philosophies in coaching to learn:
He also answers questions like:
We wrap up with two specific questions for the Ultra Clan
AND MUCH MORE…
|Oct 06, 2015|
4 Hydration Physiology: The Basics
My guests today are Dr. Sam Cheuvront and Dr. Robert Kenefick
My guests work for the U.S. Army. So, we must provide the disclaimer that "The views and/or opinions of Dr.'s Kenefick and Cheuvront are theirs personally and do not reflect the views or opinions of the U.S. Army or DoD."
Part 1: BASIC PHYSIOLOGY - FLUID & ELECTROLYTE BALANCE
This episode is the first in a two part series on fluids, hydration, and electrolyte physiology pertaining to ultra marathon running. We’re starting with the basics and progressing to specific application.
In this episode, you'll learn the answers to:
AND MUCH MORE...
|Sep 29, 2015|
3 Intervals and more intervals, coach’s corner with Jason Koop
My guest today is Jason Koop
In this episode we learn about
Plus, Jason gives you four pieces of advice that you can implement TODAY to improve your training and racing!
AND SO MUCH MORE...
|Sep 24, 2015|
2 Research At The Western States Endurance Runs with Marty Hoffman, M.D.
My guest today is Marty Hoffman, M.D.
In today’s episode:
AND SO MUCH MORE...
|Sep 24, 2015|
1 Introduction And Genesis Of Science Of Ultra
This is the introduction episode, where I tell you about myself and the origin of Science of Ultra, a podcast for ultra marathon runners.
|Sep 23, 2015|