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Trail Talk by Rock Creek Runner

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Bite sized trail and ultra running advice, training tips, and trail stories for runners of all abilities. Come away from every episode with practical advice you can start using immediately.

Bite sized trail and ultra running advice, training tips, and trail stories for runners of all abilities. Come away from every episode with practical advice you can start using immediately.
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Bite sized trail and ultra running advice, training tips, and trail stories for runners of all abilities. Come away from every episode with practical advice you can start using immediately.




The 3 Stages of an Ultramarathon (And Why an Ultra Might Not Be For You) -- How to Run an Ultra, Part 4

From my experience, there are three stages to every ultramarathon, one of which is why so many runners don't finish. Here's what to expect.


Training the Mind: The Mental Side of Training for and Running an Ultramarathon

They say that running an ultramarathon is 90% mental, so what does it actually take? To me, the mental game starts before you even sign up for the race. Here are my tips for staying mentally focused and strong throughout training and race day, so you can toe the starting line with confidence. (This is part 3 of a multi-part How to Run Your First Ultramarathon series.)


Ultrmarathon Training: What it Really Looks Like (How to Run an Ultra, Part 2)

Want to run an ultramarathon? Here's what to expect when you start training, and the main differences between training for a marathon and training for an ultra. This is part two of the How to Run and Ultramarathon series. Check out part one in the last episode!


How to Run an Ultramarathon Part 1: Choosing Your Race

Want to run an ultramarathon? It starts with selecting the right race for your goals, inspirations, and abilities. In part one of this four part How to Run and Ultramarathon series, we'll explore the types of races out there, and how to make sure you choose the right one for you.


New Series, Updates, and What I've Been Up To

Where have I been and what happened to Trail Talk? Here's your answer. Plus, a new mini-series starting next week! Woo!


How to Run a "Training" Race

Most plans for endurance events include training or practice races of a shorter distance ahead of your main goal race. In my opinion, these are the most important runs on your schedule. But how do you attack a race... that isn't a goal race? That's what we cover in today's episode of Trail Talk.


No Time to Run (Plus, Who You Are)

I have no time to run. Or at least that's the excuse I tried to pull on my wife the other day. In today's episode I share her response, and what it means for us as runners. Plus, results from the RCR Pack survey.


Confession: I Ran Just 24.5 Miles in the Past 4 Weeks

Real talk with Doug Hay. What to do when running is no longer fun.


Evaluating My Training: What I Learned from the Past 5 Months of Running

Back in January I wrote a post called "How I'm Training for a 100K Ultramarathon with a Newborn," where I outlined five strategies that would keep me on track while significantly reducing time spent on the trail. So, did it work? In today's episode I evaluate the past five months of training, and share what worked, what didn't, and how I'll move forward.


Bill Sycalik on Running a Marathon in all 59 US National Parks

Can you imagine visiting all 59 US national parks in the span of just over a year? Now how about running a full marathon in each one of them? When I first heard about Bill Sycalik's Running the Parks project, where he will run 59 marathons in 59 national parks, I knew he was the kind of guy I'd want to talk to. Bill set off last June to run in each national park in the United States. Eleven months later and he's already checked off 41 marathons. In today's episode of Trail...


4 Things I Wish I Knew Before My First Trail Run

Looking back, there are a number of things I wish I had known going into my first trail run. Lessons or advice that would have saved me a lot of time, energy, and frustration. Here are the top four.


What I Carried on a 32 Mile Adventure, Evaluation, and the Spring Summits Challenge

Today's episode is split into three parts, (1) a look at my recent 32-mile Art Loeb run, (2) the value of self-evaluation, and (3) a new 7-day spring challenge. Will you join me?


My Secret Tool: The Running Mantra

Words are powerful. They can rally crowds, inspire greatness, and get you out of a terrible funk halfway through a run. Several years ago, while out on a 30-mile training run, I found myself repeating the phrase, "You can do anything for 10 minutes." I had roughly 10 minutes to go before arriving at my car where food and water were waiting, and as terrible as I felt in that moment, I knew I could push through for another ten minutes. That mantra has gone on to get me through many...


Racing on Little Training: How to Salvage Your Race

Last weekend I ran my first race of the year, and my first race as a father, which meant my training has been ... let's just say less than ideal. How did it go? Not that bad actually, and in today's episode I discuss why I think I was able to pull it off.


When Running Failures Turn Into Lessons

Sometimes a race just doesn't go as planned. That's the hard reality of training for and racing an ultramarathon. And it's what you do with those failures and setbacks that make or break you as a runner. In today's episode I share a clip from a recent interview with Rock Creek Runner Community Member Karen Clarke on her setback at the 2016 Leadville 100, and what she turned that disappointment into strength.


Why Your Next Big Run Should be a Self-Supported Adventure (Not a Race)

Tired of the increasing entry fees? Didn't get into your dream race's lottery? No worries, run a self-supported adventure instead. Today I talk about why I'm moving some races off my calendar this year and instead focusing on epic adventures. And of course, I share my tips for how to plan your own.


The No Plan Approach to Ultramarathon Training with Sid Garza-Hillman (But does it work?)

Today's episode pretty much goes against everything I've ever said on Trail Talk. It's an interview with Sid Garza-Hillman, race director of the Mendocino Coast 50K and recent North Face Endurance Challenge San Francisco 50K finisher. We talk about his approach to training for and racing in San Francisco, and how it freed up time, energy, and head space to do other things.


Trail Q&A: Running Shoes and Everyday Nutrition

At the end of each episode of Trail Talk, I invite listeners to submit questions or topics. Usually I respond quickly on Twitter or email to any questions, but sometimes they're topics I believe most runners could benefit from discussing. Today I pick two recent questions that fit that mold, and answer them on the latest episode. They're questions on running shoe replacement and rotation, and everyday nutrition for runners. Both common concerns for runners of all abilities.


Coach Greg McMillan and Rebecca Shultz on Running Form and the Lumo Run

Running form ... incredibly important for efficiency, injury prevention, and endurance, but difficult to measure and evaluate on your own. In today's episode I chat with Coach Greg McMillan and Rebecca Shultz, the Product Researcher and Designer, and Biomechanist at Lumo BodyTech, about their running form philosophies, the Lumo Run, and how you can become a more efficient runner. Interested in the Lumo Run? Use code ROCKCREEK10 for 10% off.


How to Train for and Race a Multi-Day Stage Race with Heather Hart

A few months ago I got a tweet from a listener asking, "About to start training for my first stage race. What tips do you have for training and racing for multiple days?" Not confident enough to answer it without running a multi-day stage race myself, I've asked Heather Gannoe of Relentless Forward Commotion to join me. In today's episode, Heather shares her Transrockies Run story, and breaks down how to train for, race, and recover during a multi-day stage race.