Springtime for Ultrarunners

Karl Hoagland

For ultrarunners spring is a time for training and preparing for all of the audaciously long and arduous things we do on trails, roads and tracks.  It is a time for putting in the work so we can meet our goals at upcoming races – whether those goals are completion of new distances, new events or covering 100 miles at a new speed. Spring is when we break the monotony of base building (50 to 100 mile weeks of slow miles) by signing up for a few ‘shorter’ races we call organized training runs. Plus all the other things we do to strengthen and prepare our bodies to overcome the challenges we’ve committed to taking on in the heart of the season: core strengthening, stretching, new nutrition regimens, yoga, pilates, weight lifting, plyometrics, speed work, body work, and all that other stuff.

But this time of putting in the work can also be one of the best seasons of the ultrarunner. The camaraderie and friendships during these days are deeply forged, there is nothing like shared toil and effort to bond people together. The anticipation and usually obsessive discussion of what’s to come serves as fuel to keep us pushing through the training.

One of our dearest friends and ultrarunning inspirations, Tim Fitzpatrick, captures the joy of this season when, during training runs on the mountain and in the canyons, he uncontrollably blurts out “we’re doing it, we’re doing it!” These times are the ones that stay with us and may in fact be the best of all. Remember to enjoy and embrace the ‘work’ and cherish your friends while you’re doing it this spring.

In this issue we have organized the magazine into four sections:

  1. Nutrition, Training and Racing,
  2. Ultra History, Data and Lore,
  3. At the Races and
  4. The Ultra Life.

Our goal with these sections is to be helpful, interesting, informative and entertaining.

The theme woven throughout our April issue is training and preparing for your next A race ultra – whatever that means for you.  Our columnists have prepared great content based on their experience, research and expertise. Sunny Blende provides a review of five great cookbooks targeting the endurance athlete. Ellie Greenwood breaks down and prioritizes all the extra stuff necessary for preparing to race an ultra. Ian Sharman explains how we incorporate races into our training regimen, while Rob Krar shares the secrets of his UROY circuit routine, the Equalizer.  And be sure not to miss our comprehensive review of GPS and heart rate monitors, a great tool for training, one which Ann Trason explains in her Ask Ann column.

In Ultra History, Data and Lore Joe Uhan uncovers a secret to ultra success and longevity, while Dr. Marty Hoffman reviews high points from the ULTRA tracking study.

At The Races this issue includes reports, photos and interviews from several feature races, plus great reports on many winter classics.

The Ultra Life is packed with fun and interesting pieces, including Dean’s entertaining movie review and closing with the Rocket’s Rants.  We hope you enjoy this issue and please provide us with your suggestions and constructive feedback so we can improve.

At this time I want to thank Tia Bodington for all of her great work and contributions to UltraRunning magazine and the sport over the past seven years as managing editor.  Like any great ultra runner, Tia has shared and taught me the ins and outs of the ultra that is putting a magazine together. Likewise, Tia is embracing and taking on big new opportunities and challenges by pursuing her dream to get an advanced degree and live (and play) abroad. Please join me in thanking Tia and wishing her happiness and success.

Enjoy the Spring!



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Karl Hoagland has been the Publisher of UltraRunning Magazine since June, 2013. Hoagland is a former investment banker and hotel entrepreneur, having worked at Goldman Sachs, Montgomery Securities and Larkspur Hotels & Restaurants after graduating from Brown University in 1987. Since running the Quad Dipsea in 2003 Hoagland has been obsessed with ultrarunning and everything about it, especially the community and new friendships he’s made. Karl especially likes to take on challenges and strive for improvement. Ultrarunning is the perfect platform for such endeavors, and his big goals are to encourage others and help the sport grow.

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