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Showing posts from June, 2012

Rob Apple is going for a triple 100K vacation in Europe

Here's a shot of my buddy Rob Apple (right) along with old master man at a recent edition of the Rattlesnake 50K in West Virginia.

Rob is all things ultra. This guy is wispy light, training on his Bud Light and tuna fish diet.  I realize he races 1-2 ultras most every weekend, holding the mantra "speed kills" as his most relevant marching order.

But now it's time for the big show.  Rob is headed overseas and is participating in the following major events:


120 km in Italy (Dolomites mountains)
110 km in Switzerland (Alps)
100 km in Italy (Alps)

How's that for a triple slam?  Rob sets the bar high for master competitors.  He keeps a fun attitude about racing, but is serious about his preparation and the ever-more-reachable goal: 1000 ultras before his career is complete.

Rob we'll be waiting from afar, looking forward to your updates and race reports!

Science says I can go 26 hours for a 100-miler

I teach at Appalachian State University and there's an academic/sport rock star on our campus.

Dr. David Nieman is a top researcher and is often quoted in major publications like the New York Times (check out http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/06/20/can-athletes-perform-well-on-a-vegan-diet/)

Nieman was also highly involved with research related to the Western States 100 mile endurance run. I contacted Dr. Nieman regarding weight vs. performance and he was kind enough to send me a summary of his Western States work.  Check out the following, inclusive of a wild formula to predict one's finishing time for 100 mile racing!


In general, the data indicate that these runners (age range, 19 to 69 years) were deeply committed to training for and competing in ultra-marathons. A stepwise, multiple regression model showed that the 160-km WSER race time (h) could be predicted by this equation: 12.57 + (0.126 x age) + (2.56 x gender) + (0.285 x BMI) – (0.01931 x km/week) (R2 = 0.23) (male g…

94 degree run sucked metabolic energy out of my body

I'm running in the deep south and got out a bit late this morning...which meant I headed into some hot, humid conditions.

I have surmised that heat running is learning to be comfortable with discomfort.  You never find a sweet spot, instead slow down, adapt and suffer.  I had a few nice wooded sections but in addition many open roads where the sun punched me again and again.

What I like about heat running are the benefits. It makes your mind tough, you know you're a bad dude when you can take the punishment.  I was listening to a podcast with Dr. Mark Cucuzella on Trail Runner Nation; the doc was reviewing his run at this year's Boston Marathon where temps soared and runners dropped like swatted flies.  Cucuzella stated that when we run in heat, our bodies are drawing down on our metabolic energy.  That tells me that metabolic = metabolism and I'm cooking extra calories out of my body while I suffer.

That leads to the photo above. You can check out the good boy food in…

Brooks Summon: Low price point jogger performs

(Disclaimer: I am a Brooks athlete. I received product and promotional pricing for the 2012 racing season).

I've been a Brooks Sports ambassador for about 20 years and I take that relationship seriously. One aspect of my role is to know the Brooks product line and that means using a variety of items.  You might see me in anything from the minimalist PureGrit to the full-on Beast. Runners come in many shapes and sizes and each model has a purpose.

I love to shop the sales at the www.brooksrunning.com site and spotted the Summon 2's for a steal at $55. Put a pair in queue and broke them out this week as part of my running arsenal.

Brooks states that,

"The Summon 2 calls to all new and young runners—or anyone who appreciates affordable performance. Built-in stability and smooth heel-to-toe transition make this lightweight neutral shoe a decidedly attractive choice. Heed the call."


Not everyone who runs wants to, or is capable of, popping $100+ for a pair of shoes.  Brook…

Brooks Adrenaline GTS: No more tongue creep!

(Disclaimer: I am a Brooks promotional athlete.  I received Brooks products and discounts for the 2012 racing season)

I like to wring max miles out of my running shoes, but it was time to transition into some new models.  I recently broke out a pair of Adrenaline GTS and to date have logged about 80 miles.

According to Brooks,

"The new Adrenaline GTS 11 brings together the shoe's revered fit and feel -- enhanced with a dynamic arch saddle and better conforming materials -- and the custom cushioning and dynamic responsiveness of industry-leading Brooks DNA technology. A match made in heaven is how we think of this noteworthy union. We’re not alone: Runner’s World awarded the Adrenaline GTS 11 "Best Update" in their Winter 2010 Shoe Guide in their December 2010 issue, on newsstands November 9.  One of our wear testers said "I loved the addition of the DNA. They felt so much more cushioned and stable than the 10s. After putting the Adrenaline 10s back on because I …

I lost weight and cannibalized my body

Here's master man in a jovial mood while on tour in Greece.  Life was good as I ate my way back from an all time low of 152 pounds. As with all my international jaunts, I let my guard down and imbibed with ice cream and bakery.  I did some running but nothing like the base I like to carry.  The scale screamed 164 when I returned to the USA.

I was certain that age + weight = slow motion running at ultra events.  Light should = fast so I capped my daily intake at 2000 calories and trained my butt off...literally.

But the truth is that the weight loss trashed my strength.  I was light but so sluggish I'm certain I was leaving a trail of slime everywhere I went.  Just didn't have the snap and the effort was wearing me out.

I'm now somewhere in the middle, running 10 miles a day and eating good/bad depending on my mood. It's time to regroup and determine how to proceed for the remainder of the summer. Jurek's book has me jazzed on my "live" food with a hig…

Scott Jurek ate vegan, won ultras...then got divorced

(Disclaimer:  I am a Brooks-supported athlete; as part of that relationship, I was provided a complimentary copy of "Eat & Run")

I was recently on a few flights making my way home to Wisconsin and en route was able to plow through Scott Jurek's new book "Eat & Run: My Unlikely Journey to Ultramarathon Greatness."

It's a fast, enjoyable read. I've been around the ultra scene for a long time and have known some of the greats, i.e. ultra champ Eric Clifton. So it's always interesting to see how the world looks from another icon's point of view.

My thoughts in no particular order:

1) I've been vegetarian/borderline vegan for 12 years and have always been concerned with protein intake.  Jurek advocates for the protein he naturally induces through his plant-based diet.  Maybe that is enough. Maybe it's not necessary to bang down 100+ grams of protein supplement every day. Good info and good advice.

2) I'm buying on big time to Scot…

Time to pull the pin on Santorini

The runs and fun times overseas are coming to an end.  Had some final hikes and runs around the island of Santorini - here's a shot of Red Beach, a big destination point among those who like water, fun and sun.

It's been a great few months in the life of master man.  Ran a check on my Garmin data since I got the watch last Christmas; 108 running events for 1,075 miles, 10 minute/mile average and 132,965 calories burned.

It's back to Boone, then Wisconsin, then Alabama for June. I'm on the move and it's been a wild ride. More to come soon once I get back onto my 10-mile loops in each location.