“teach me to run where I need to, through straining roots, among rock, my nerve-trees billowing up
in the unlocked animal blood
on fire with the genius of instinct.” –Rod Taylor
I design holistic, personalized training programs to prepare individuals for ultra-distance mountain and trail running events. My goal is to maximize your potential as a runner and your experience on the trails and in the mountains. Each program is fully customized to meet individual needs, motivations and aspirations in the sport.
I believe that the key to successful ultrarunning training and racing primarily lies in developing the right mindset to undertake the various challenges that arise. Four principles make up the foundation of my training philosophy.
Start with an idea. Something to strive for, to pursue. A race, a project, a desire to engage more deeply with Nature or simply to get faster and stronger. A vision helps define the broad strokes of the path ahead. It keeps you focused, grounds the daily routine and emphasizes the importance of a long-term approach.
There is no substitute for practice. The more you practice, the better you become. With time, you develop a relationship with the trail, an acute sense of how to work with it, to learn from it. You hone your skills, follow your instinct and become more deeply aware of how to move and think. Discipline, patience, understanding are all qualities that emerge from practice.
The driving force behind both vision and practice should be inspiration. Whether it’s a beautiful landscape, a dream, a friend or mentor, an idea, something must lift you up, keep you motivated. Cultivating that sense of wonder, of awe, is paramount to a full, rich experience.
Balance holds all three of the other principles together. Think too big and you’ll become disillusioned. Too small and you will limit your potential. Practice blindly and you will drive yourself into the ground, risk overtraining, injury or burnout. Focus too much on others’ achievements or ideas and you will forget to create your own.
There are three parts to the training programs I develop:
- I start with getting to know you, your background and your goals.
- I design a training schedule tailored to your particular race or event.
- I complement your schedule with extra sessions helping you gain better understanding and knowledge of particular training topics.
Athlete Assessment (initial phone conversation and questionnaire)
Before getting started with the specifics of the training program, I carry out an in-depth evaluation of your running and athletic background, injury history, diet, knowledge of running-related gear and experience in the backcountry. I also assess your short and long term goals and aspirations in the sport. This evaluation provides the foundation for building a sound and effective training plan.
Customized Training Schedule (interactive google spreadsheet)
Following the athlete’s assessment, I develop a fully customized training schedule. This schedule outlines the different training sessions leading up to your goal race or event. It is refined and adapted weekly (sometimes daily) based on your feedback. I take into account schedule constraints outside of running and how you respond to the training. The more input I get from you, the better I can adjust and optimize the training plan towards success in your goal race or event.
Personalized Training Modules (email and phone conversations)
Each training schedule is complemented by a series of personalized training modules, adding depth to the framework and helping you become a well-rounded, self-sufficient trail and mountain ultrarunner. The specific topics addressed are entirely determined by your individual goals, needs, skill-set or particular interests.
Here are some examples of the topics that I cover:
- Running form and technique: Principles of efficient running movement, uphill and downhill running, tackling technical terrain.
- Mental training: Visualization techniques, managing highs and lows, race strategy, goal setting, finding flow
- Nutrition: Pre/post/during a run or race. Advice on different energy foods, sports drinks, supplements and hydration.
- Gear Advice: Mountain and trail running shoe specifics, packs, bottle carriers, watches, poles, navigation tools.
- Safety: Essential survival gear for wilderness travel, awareness of common dangers (hypothermia, hyponatremia, etc.), injury prevention
Rates and Procedure
- Contact me to schedule a free initial phone conversation and to request an Athlete Assessment questionnaire
- The minimum length of a training program is three months
- The program rates include: a training schedule for your target race or event, unlimited email communication and up to four one hour phone sessions per month.
- My rates are: $150/month (with a minimum of a three month commitment), $825 for six months (paid in full at the beginning of the program), $1650 for the year (paid in full at the beginning of the program)
- New for 2014: one hour phone consultations on training topics or race preparation. $60/hour (paid in full prior to conversation)
A few highlights
West Coast Trail – unsupported – 11:40
Wonderland Trail unsupported FKT Attempt – Mt. Rainier National Park
Speedgoat 50KM – 6:12:15 – 3rd
Hardrock 100 – 29:38:00 – 6th
San Juan Solstice 50M – 9:13:03 – 1st
Gate Dirty Thirty 50KM – 4:49:59 – 1st
Chuckanut 50KM – 3:54:43 – 6th
North Face Endurance Challenge – San Francisco 50M – 9th – 7:24:34
Ultra-Trail Du Mont-Blanc 166KM – 20th – 26:07:16
White River 50M – 9th – 7:40:43
Where’s Waldo 100KM – 3rd – 10:11:22
Mt Hood PCT 50M – 3rd – 7:08:24
Siskiyou Out Back 50KM – 10th – 4:33:47
Copper Canyon 47M – 1st – 6:24:00
Where’s Waldo 100KM – 16th – 12:30:02 (first official ultra)
Trans-America Self-supported bike trip – 4200 miles – 6 weeks
Annapurna Circuit - 185 miles – Fastpacking – 6 days