Browsing: Featured

Featured
Hard Lessons for a Leadville Trail 100 Rookie

I’ve always told our kids that our true character comes through in how you deal with life’s setbacks, rather than how you respond when things are going great. I, unfortunately, had the opportunity to “practice what I preach” in Leadville this past August. I learned in no uncertain terms that the only place where success comes before work is in the dictionary. On a beautiful sunny day in the Colorado Rockies the Leadville Trail 100 chewed me up and spit me out. Period.

Featured
Kevin Skiles 2014 UTMB Race Report

So here I am, six thousand feet up on a French mountain beginning to hallucinate hard. The sun went down six hours ago while I was on a different mountain peak. That was the second sunset I had seen in this race and it was sixteen miles behind me, twenty kilometers behind me, six hours behind me, several thousand feet of climbing behind me –several thousand feet of climbing ahead and many miles/km to go.

Commentary
When Is It Time to Say Goodbye?

Don’t know why I’m struggling with this one. I need to get a grip. Remind myself. It’s not like I’m putting the family cat down. And how would I know what that’s like anyway? We don’t even have a cat. I’m talking about a pair of shoes here. And wondering, when is it time to say goodbye?

Featured
Race Preview: Brazos Bend 100

The Brazos Bend 100 is on the fast track to becoming the fastest trail in Texas and is located just 25 miles south of Houston on Brazos Bend State Park. The Brazos Bend 100 will offer a variety of distances including a 100 miler, 50 miler, 26.2 marathon, 13.1 half marathon and 100 miler 4 person relay as well.

Featured
What A Mother!

Over the years there have been an increasing number of families attending the Western States Endurance Run. I thought it might be enlightening – and perhaps a bit entertaining – to hear the perspective of a family member, so I solicited the help of dear ol’ mom. What you’re about to read is her take on the inaugural Western States “experience.”

Featured
Compression And Ultrarunning

Manufacturers make all sorts of claims about the benefits of compression apparel, including improved strength and agility, increased oxygen delivery, decreased lactic acid buildup, more efficient cardiovascular performance … just to name a few. The research behind some of these claims is tricky, and has historically delivered mixed results on the question of whether compression gear functions fully as advertised.

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By the Shores of Gitche Gumee

I could see the plank was tilted. I could see the slip marks in the black mud on the end of the board. I could see the footprints next to the plank where other runners had stepped to avoid the danger. I was telling myself, “Don’t put your foot on the board.” But I put my foot there anyway…

Featured
Ask Ann: Blisters

It’s always tragic when a BIG run gets taken down by a LITTLE culprit! Such is the case with blisters. While blisters can feel like a mystery, there are four solid basics to avoiding blisters that you should know about.

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A Marathon Speed Session

You know those times when you innocently say something and are met by a really odd look, and then you realize that you’re not talking to an ultrarunner? Well, that was the case when I was talking to a local newspaper journalist recently and referred to running the Vancouver marathon as “a good, middle distance effort.” Well what else do we ultrarunners call a mere 26.2-mile jaunt other than “middle distance”?

Commentary
For The Challenge

It is the number one answer to the number one question we get as ultrarunners… “Why do you do it?”

“For the challenge!”

The answer sounds so glib that it might come across as a throwaway line.

But the truth is, there are many nuances to the challenge of running ultras.

Featured
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.

Commentary
On Injuries And Aging

If we avoid injury for many years, at some point, time and age catch up to us, and a decade later, something gives out. For me, this was my left ankle, and the real culprit was excessive abuse in my teens and 20s at other sports. But ultimately after a few DNFs and pain with every step I opted for surgery on April 23, 2013, a day I’ll never forget.

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Race Preview: Big Cedar Endurance Run

Located at the highest point in Dallas, Prayer Mountain, the Big Cedar Wilderness offers runners a 100% single track running experience. 100 milers will run four 25 mile loops, 50 milers run two loops, and 50k runners run one 25 mile loop and a shorter 6 mile loop.

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Pilates For Runners

I have many clients who are runners and they come to me with similar stories: my lower back hurts, I tire easily, I’ve hit a wall in my training, my endurance isn’t what it used to be. Whatever the reason, I can’t wait to get them on the Pilates program to discover what their bodies are truly capable of when pounding the pavement and beyond.

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Training With Weight Vests

One thing I’m frequently asked about is how I incorporate weight vests into training, since it’s a tool I use for myself and for those I coach. It was especially key to my attempt at the 2013 Grand Slam of Ultrarunning, where I ran 100-milers close together and had to get the most out of training while focusing on recovery.

Commentary
The Road to the Starting Line

For the uninitiated, for those who marvel at the idea that 50 or 100 miles of continuous running is possible, the phrase “I could never do that” is often an instant, almost involuntary reaction. “I could never do that” precedes a second common reaction, “I can barely run a 5k.” Despite how frequently I hear this reaction, it still gives me pause and makes me wonder: Why, after all, are people so fixated on finishing an ultramarathon, when the road to the starting line is where most of the journey takes place?

Featured
Getting to Know YOU

Ultrarunning is an endurance sport and as such it requires you to push yourself up to your limits. As you approach these limits and work to overcome them, you will find yourself facing similar physical and mental challenges over and over. Ultrarunning is testing you to see if you are learning from your mistakes, if you are equipping yourself to better deal with these challenges.

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