Author Archives: Karl Hoagland
An ultrarunning adage says that after you start the sport, you improve for seven consecutive years. Your body and mind need that much time to figure it all out and go from “just” completing the distances to racing them at peak levels. For me, this has held very true—2010 was my seventh year, and that’s when I had by far my best races at all distances, with personal bests in all six of them.
Running Times published an article earlier this year entitled “Is 100 Miles The New Marathon?” That made me smile—so the rest of the running world has finally found our crazy little corner of the running world? Then I considered the absurdity of the notion and the flat out mega-difference between these distances and races. But
Of all the important relationships in life, my relationship with the trails is one of the most complex and profound of all. Some days running the trail is like a magic carpet ride—every step easy and flowing and I’m one with the world. At times like this the trail allows me to connect with nature, know myself and be truly present. But other times the trail is a punishing taskmaster, with every rut, root, rock and impediment a massive hurdle.
When I was facing a huge life decision, my mom encouraged me to choose my destiny over my fate. I really didn’t know what she was talking about and when I looked the words up in the dictionary they were basically synonymous. More research revealed that the differences are subtle, but huge.
A recent Wall Street Journal article looked at the use of marijuana to mitigate the challenges of ultrarunning and enhance performance. The point was that THC is a banned performance-enhancing drug, so to use it during competition is cheating. Of course it is. Thank you, Rupert Murdoch.
Training is the real litmus test for ultrarunners, because you simply can’t do this sport without putting in tons of miles over several months. Progress is measured in slow increments, and you won’t really know if all the effort is paying off until months later at the finish line of a big race. Real ultrarunners