Author Joe Uhan

Joe Uhan is a physical therapist, coach and ultrarunner in Eugene, Oregon. He is a Minnesota native and has been a competitive runner for over 18 years. He has a Master's Degree in Kinesiology, a Doctorate in Physical Therapy, and is a USATF Level II Certified Coach. Joe ran his first ultra at Autumn Leaves 50/50 in October 2010, was the bronze medalist at the 2012 USATF 100K Trail Championships, and finished 9th overall at the 2012 Western States 100. Joe works at Eugene Physical Therapy in Eugene, Oregon.

archives
Finding Balance with Ultrarunning

People get into the sport of ultrarunning for various reasons. Some to escape: the roads, the crowds, the noise and the stresses of everyday life. Others, to explore: nature, new places and the limits of both body and mind.

To our delight, what we find out is those limits lie far beyond our wildest dreams. “I went somewhere I never thought possible” is a common refrain of any 100-mile finisher.

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Running Form & Efficiency Hip Drive

Throughout 2016, we have analyzed the fundamentals of efficient running mechanics and how the demands of the ultra distance impact our run. Last month, we discussed arm swing. This month, we address the powertrain – the hips.

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Oh, the Things I Know

When I began this column two years ago, the intent was to bring the historic roots of ultras to today’s newest ultrarunning readers. Driven by the value of sustainability, the notion was to help new runners avoid re-inventing the wheel: to learn the lessons without having to experience, first-hand, the painful mistakes that befell our predecessors.

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Ultra Aggression

Sure, runners can get snarky in the heat of the moment—at race officials or at their own crew and pacers when things don’t go their way. But this has more to do with the stress of the event, and having their needs (however illogical or self-entitled they may be) properly met.

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Modeling Values in the Ultrarunning Community

Ultrarunning is growing. Growth is good, but growth can be painful. With the rapid growth of trail ultrarunning, there is a confluence of forces: on the lands that support us; on race directors who balance the needs of the trails, the volunteers and the runner; and on the runners themselves to commit, train, prepare for and ultimately execute what everyone tells them will be a Zen-like, transformational experience.

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Cutting-Edge Research

A novel new addition to race week at this year’s Western States Endurance Run was the first-ever Medicine & Science in Ultra-Endurance Sports Conference. Medical research is one of the three pillars of the Western States Foundation Mission, and the formulation of a research conference in conjunction with the race has been in the works for several years.

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Road Warriors

At first glance, the North American all-time fastest road ultramarathon list looks like a time capsule: names and times from decades past, seemingly frozen in time. The bulk of those fastest- ever road and track performances were all logged over 20 years ago. In fact, the most recent entry onto the USA Top Ten list for the 50-mile distance was etched in 1990.

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Volunteerism & Running Longevity

Besides self-improvement, embedded in my philosophy as an ultrarunner, therapist and coach is sustainability: what can we do today that will ensure we can do what we love, tomorrow? And the next several thousand tomorrows?