Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Monument Valley Ultra

When I first found out about this race, I knew I had to do it, but my reservations were that I had not run in that type of environment before.  So, I set out to devote almost the entire year of 2017 as my "run in the desert" year.  I started out planning to run the Big Bend Ultra in January, which I thought would be a good "prep" race for Monument Valley, as the Big Bend is noted as a high desert environment.  Most of my training during this period was done on hills, trails, sand (what little there is here in my area), and Stairmaster training.  I even worked the upper body with weights along the way...nothing too heavy.

As the Big Bend Ultra ended, and the training for Monument Valley became eminent, I knew I had to step up my progress, as there was a monumental climb up Mitchell Mesa that looked daunting.  I ran over 50 miles per week to get ready, and worked the Stairmaster twice a week.

As I arrived at the Navajo Tribal Park at Monument Valley, on the Arizona/Utah border, I was in awe of the beauty of the place.  I was camping, so I set up my tent overlooking the "Mittens," which is a beautiful rock formation.  It was pretty windy already, and I wondered if it was going to affect the race on Saturday.  I actually hiked around the valley for awhile looking at what I was going to be up against.  I looked at Mitchell Mesa and really began to wonder what I had gotten myself in for.  The mesa was huge, overlooking the entire valley.  I began to doubt if my training was going to get me through this race.

As race day approached, it was a chilly 35 degrees as I made my way to the starting line.  As the race director was giving his race information, he announced that they were changing the direction of the race.  We would be running the Mitchell Mesa loop first, followed by the Arches Loop, and then the final loop to the finish.  I wasn't sure what to make of this, but it turned out that I was really glad they did that.

We started the race after Navajo blessings, and we started running downhill on the Valley drive road to the first aid station that was 3.5 miles away.  After that, we set out on a very sandy road and single track trail that led us up to the Mitchell Mesa climb.  The closer we got to the mesa, the more daunting it looked, towering above us as the narrow trail followed a zigzag pattern up the sides of the mesa.  By the time I got there, the elite runners were already on their way down the mountain, so we were meeting them as we began to climb.  It was close quarters as runners and climbers maneuvered their way up and down the mountain.  I began to climb, and my legs reacted well.  I was glad I had spent so much time training on hills and the Stairmaster machine.  My breathing was ok, and I was trying not to look at how far I had to climb, but it was inevitable.  Big mistake, as it turned out.  I could see runners and climbers half way up and they looked like ants up there, which put the whole climb in perspective.  It was extremely difficult, and the trail was rocky, strewn with loose rocks, gravel, and huge boulders.  In some areas, the trail was narrow, and skirted a path around the mesa that was near a huge drop off the edge.  I was pretty nervous on those narrow ridges, but I kept climbing until I reached the top.  By the time I reached the top level, I was exhilarated.  The view from the very top was unlike anything I had ever experienced.  The entire sacred Navajo valley lay before us like a museum of rock formations and towering mesas.  I stayed for awhile, as did everybody else, just gazing across the valley.  Then, it was time to head down the mesa, which filled me with a little dread, as I began the descent.  There were times when I kicked rocks and almost lost my balance, but I managed to get down pretty well.  As I was heading down, I was talking to a lady from California, and we both agreed that being stubborn was a huge trait for a trail runner...we simply were to0 stubborn not to keep forging ahead.  In other words, we didn't come this far to fail!

As we reached the aid station, we were at the 13.5 mile marker, and we headed out on the Arches Loop, which was another 10 mile loop that was nothing but sand.  The trail was single track for awhile and sandy roads, gullies, and all of it in deep sand, which made hiking or running very difficult.  The sand was so deep that we had to take our shoes off every so often to shake out the sand.  I was wearing gaiters, but it didn't stop the sand from filling up my shoes periodically.  This was a very difficult section, and by the time I was finished, I realized that had they not changed the direction of the course, we would have to had traverse this 10 mile loop of sand before the major climb up Mitchell Mesa.  At that point, I was glad we hit the mesa first.  As I was running this section, I met and ran with several Navajos that were running the race.  They were telling me how spiritual of a run this was for them.  The valley was sacred, and they felt deeply honored to be there.  This loop also took us through the main section of Monument Valley with some great climbs, and some great views of the rock formations throughout the area.  After another ten miles, we came back to the aid station, and I had to sit and eat something.  I was feeling hungry and weak.  I ate some Navajo fry bread and some bananas before I took off on the last section.

The last section was the ten mile loop to the finish, and was filled with some major climbs, more sand, and some pretty rocky outcrops with a lot of ups and downs to traverse.  This was where I began to feel a lot of fatigue.  My back was beginning to ache, and my toes were hurting because of so much sand in my shoes and socks that it was pushing up against my toes causing pain.  I reached the next aid station, and began the last two miles of the race, when all of a sudden a major sand storm hit us.  The sand was so thick it burned the eyes, nose, and throat.  The wind was strong, and the visibility was poor.  I was thankful that I only had a few more miles to go. 

As I ran into the finish line, I was thrilled that I had been involved in a major adventure I would never forget.  I learned a lot about myself, as well.  Even though I have run many ultra events, and many more that were a lot farther in distance, (I have run several 50 milers, a lot of 50k's marathons, 100k's, 24-hour races, and even a 100 mile race), this was the toughest race I have ever encountered.  The climb up Mitchell Mesa, on one hand, filled me full of fear and doubt, but on the other hand, I completed it, and that filled me with an exhilaration I will never forget. The beauty of the valley, the camaraderie I had with complete strangers, the sacredness of the Navajo Tribal lands, and the satisfaction that goes along with completing something that challenges you to the very soul, all made for one memorable race I will never forget.

If you decide to run this race, take it from me:  1. Train, and train hard.  2. run hills  3. strengthen your legs, calves, and hips, and 4.  practice running in deep sand if you can.

I do recommend this race to any ultra runner, but you need to be prepared.  This is a desert race in a very rugged and harsh environment.  But, it is something you will never forget!

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Rocky 50k, Huntsville State Park

With the Snowdrop 55-hour race behind me, and my 100-mile finish still fresh on my mind, it was time for the Rocky 50, in Huntsville.  I have run this course several times, including the old Sunmart 50 mile event, and another 50 mile race, plus two other 100 mile races there at the State Park.  It's a great area, and Tejas Trails always puts on great races.

The 5:45 a.m. start came early, and I took off rather slowly as I navigated across a tough section of roots.  My headlamp was needed early on, and as the trails slowly opened up, we reached the jeep road, which was packed with large rocks.  The Park workers had delivered these rocks earlier for a project, and I have to admit, they were really tough to run across.  The course stretched on and the first loop contained a good amount of hills, although it is called "flat," but the hills really seem to break things up a bit.  The trail also contains some deep sand, which wasn't too difficult to trek through in my Altra Lone Peak trail shoes.  However, as we started out on the second loop, my feet were starting to hurt as we made our way twice more over those rocks.  Actually, on the second loop, everything seemed harder.  The hills seemed higher, the sand felt deeper, the rocks felt harder, and the weather got hotter. 

I took my time through the last section of the course. With only 4 miles left, I slowed down, trying to make sure I did not fall.  Even so, that last section seemed really long.  But as I crossed the finish line, the race director (Chris McWatters) was waiting there and shook my hand.  I felt tired, but I also felt great. 

I obviously highly recommend this race as I do all the Tejas Trail events.  They are first class all the way, and thanks to all the volunteers at the aid stations, who go out of their way to keep runners on their feet and moving forward.  Thanks to everybody for another great running event.  My time was slow at 8 hours and 35 minutes, but my goal was just to enjoy another day on the trails, and that's what I did.

Monday, January 4, 2016

Snowdrop 55-Hour Ultra Race

The Snowdrop 55-hour ultra race is held in Sugar Land, Texas, and is a benefit for Texas Children's Hospital and for children with cancer.  I first heard about this race while running the Rocky Raccoon 100 mile race last February, and it sounded like the perfect challenge.  It was so ironic, that when I was in Oklahoma at the 24-hour race, I met Kevin Kline and his wife and friends who all were representing the Snowdrop race.  I was anxious to run the race, and actually spent the last 24 weeks training for this race, along with my friend Gary Garson. 


I began training for this event in June, a full 24-weeks of running a maximum of 70 miles per week.  I was training as if this was a 100-mile race.  We (Gary and I) completed back to back long runs, as well, every weekend.  The maximum was a Saturday 24 mile run, followed by a Sunday 20 mile run.  Some speed work was completed in the form of fartleks and tempo runs. 


Keeping the calories up was a major problem, as I would burn many more calories than I took in.  I tried to "up" my protein intake, while using carbs as a form of energy, along with Tailwind products to hydrate and supply electrolytes on my long runs.  Tailwind is the best product out there for long distance running.  Thankfully, more and more ultra races are going to this product instead of things like Gatorade.  I also used VF Fuel gel to supplement calories during long runs.


I went through several pairs of shoes just training for this event, but eventually went to Altra's Zero Drop shoes, along with Hokas, which I rotated as I was training each day, and rotated them during the race, as well.

The Course

The Snowdrop course was a 3/4 mile dirt/gravel track.  we needed to run 134 laps in order to hit 100 miles for the run.  We actually set up our tents alongside the trail, in what is lovingly termed tent city.  We had sleeping bags, chairs, lanterns, etc...in case we needed to stop and hang out at our tent and rest.  I did very little of that, but it was there in case I did.

The Race

This was an amazing event, with one huge aid stations equipped with almost anything you would need to run a hundred plus miles.  I was fascinated with all the donuts, as Dunkin Donuts was one of the sponsors.  They had anything and everything a runner needed to keep going.  There were several elites running.  Joe Fejes was there and won with 250 miles. 

I ran the first 50 miles in just over 14 hours, but by mile 60, I was hurting.  I got cramps in my thighs, and in my feet and had to sit out in my tent for an hour before the throbbing was gone.  Then, at mile 90, I got blisters.  I went into the med tent and the medical team fixed me up so I could keep going. 

I crossed the finish line with exactly 100 miles, in 39 hours, and 38 minutes.  I finished with almost 16 hours to spare.  I thought about continuing on and running more mileage, but with a 50k race coming up, I did not want to make the blisters worse. 

This is a race that all ultra runners should experience.  The race director was first class, and Kevin Kline was always encouraging and motivating.  They even furnished three meals a day during the race, along with free beer and Champagne as the race was held during the New Year's holiday. 


This was one of the most beautiful races I have ever participated in.  The race was an "experience" that I will never forget.  As Pam Reed was known to say once, "I find peace in extreme events." I can related to her quote, as I found much solace in seeing and talking to friends, watching elite runners pass me by on a regular basis, or watching everybody reach for their goals.  If you are looking for an "experience," not just another race, this is where you belong

Friday, December 18, 2015

Looking to the New Year: 50k's in Texas

Hello Fellow Runners,

Well, the end of the year is coming up.  Time to reflect on the year and make plans for next year.  Questions always arise, such as: did I accomplish all my goals? what are the goals for the next year? As usual, I had some successes along with some failures.  Anyone who has concentrated on running ultras has probably experienced a DNF along the way.  My DNF at the Rocky Raccoon (I broke two toes on the roots along the trail) was my biggest disappointment of the year, but it spurred me to ramp up my training and have a good year of running.  My biggest success was my 100k finish at the Oklahoma City "24-The Hard Way" 24-hour race, despite getting blisters.  My end of the year race will be the upcoming Snowdrop 55-hour race in Sugar Land, Texas.  My goal is to go over 100 miles. I should be close to 2,000 miles for the year, as the race in Sugar Land concludes, and I topped out at 70 miles a week while following Bryon Powell's training program for the 100 mile race.

My new year schedule is heavy on 50K races.  In fact, that is what this blog was supposed to be about, originally.  So, it is my goal to run all the 50k races in the state of Texas this year and review them on this blog.  Later, (probably next year), I will also hit a few 50k's in Kansas, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Oklahoma. Along the way, I will share training strategies, results, trail reviews, equipment reviews, and race reports, as well as hydration and nutrition information.

Here is the rundown on some of the 50k's I'll be running in the new year:

1. Rocky Raccoon 50K race in Huntsville, Texas, Feb. 13th. 
2. Crazy Desert Trail Race Half Marathon (Warm up for getting back on the trails), March 12th.
3. Brazos Bend 50K race in Needville, Texas April 16th.
4. Whispering Pines 50K, Tyler State Park, in Tyler, Texas; May 14th.
5. Summer Solstice 6-Hour race, Abilene, Texas; June 20th
6. Wild Hare 50k race; Bluff Creek Ranch, Warda, Texas; November 19th

I'm looking forward to a great year of running trails.  Emphasis on training will be on the following:

1. Cross Training: strength training, core training
2. hill running
3. hill repeats
4. one-mile intervals
5. 50-60 miles per week
6. tempo runs/fartleks
7. Back to back long runs
8. more training on trails

So, I hope everybody has a great new year, and that you will set some amazing goals, run some amazing races, and have some amazing training!  See you on the trails!

Jerry W. Hollingsworth

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Rocky Raccoon 100 Mile Race

Well, after almost a year of hard work and training, I attempted the Rocky Raccoon 100 mile race again after 4 years. Two of those last years I was injured with a major peroneal problem in my left calf. I was finally able to train free over the last few months, and it was nice to be able to train hard for once.

The race was spectacular, and at 6:00 in the morning, 450 of us lined up in the dark, and we took off into the trails with headlamps blazing. It was a site to see, and hear, as everyone was yelling and screaming as we hit the first section of rooted trails. I took it pretty easy over this section, not wanting to trip and fall. There were people in front and back of me, and they were all running fast. When the crowd finally thinned a bit, I slowed down and took it easy. The trail wound down around and over some rolling hills past the first aid station and then deeper into the woods as we made our way to the Damnation aid station. Once there, we would venture out onto the back section of the course, which was open and a little wider for a few miles before turning into a rooted, twisting and turning section which is where I first hit a massive root and went down. I hit so hard that my shoulder was flaring in pain. I managed to get to my feet and took off again, but I was pretty shaken up and became very leery of those roots. Naturally, I slowed down and by the time I got back to the end of the first 20 mile loop, I knew my time was not good. I came across the start/finish in 5:40, and spent too much time eating and drinking, leaving the aid station way longer than planned.

I took off on the 40 mile loop feeling tired and my feet were already aching from running over the deep sand, and I had already stubbed my toe several times on roots. I was already way too slow by the time I got back to the Damnation aid station, and finished the second loop very tired, sore, and mentally and physically exhausted. The only thing that kept me going was that I knew I was going to pick up one of my pacers at the end of the 40 mile loop. We actually had walkie talkies that would enable my pacers to know where I was, but I was late coming in, and David and Gary were a bit worried. But, I finally reached them as I was making my way around the last rooted section. I had hit my toe against another root and I could feel the blood trickling down into my socks. Every time I hit a root with my damaged toe, it sent shockwaves of pain through my whole body. Good thing I had toe bumpers on my trail shoes....

As I came around for the 60 mile loop, David met me down the trail and as I came across the start/finish, him and Gary helped me change socks, and put on rain gear, as the forecast called for rain. I started out on the 60 mile loop with David pacing me with a pretty good pace. I started to feel good again, but it did not last long. I was feeling faint and had to sit down for a while before continuing on toward Damnation station. I hit another stump or two with my toe, which was my signal to throw in the towel. We reached the aid station and I knew I was not going to be able to continue and still be healthy. Made it just short of the 50 mile mark. Altogether on my feet for 16 straight hours, and nothing but aid station food, which for once did not settle well for me during the race. Not sure why. RR100 aid stations are the best, but I could not eat enough for some reason.

All in all, though, it wasn't the damaged toe that cost me the race, it was just fatigue. I was not able to keep moving. Probably had to do more with lack of sleep. I was unable to sleep the night before the race, and the night before that was not good, either. Then, up at 4:00 to prepare for a 6:00 start and the kitchen at the hotel had no food other than bananas and some fruit they left out. I ended up eating a microwave breakfast sandwich and an energy bar....not exactly the way I wanted to fuel before a major event.

I was more disappointed that I had dragged a crew and pacers out on a dreary, cold weekend and they did all they could to assist me in this effort, but it was over way too soon.

Well, things happen, and in a 100 mile race, almost anything can bring you down, and I knew that going in. I knew the roots were there, as I have run this course several times.

I did see some amazing runners. Ian Sharman won with a spectacular showing. He looked like a beast flying over those roots with what appeared to be little effort, winning easily over a strong field. And...the female American record was set by Nicole Studer, from Dallas. What an amazing performance from her.

What made this a great run, despite the hardships was the harmony between runners, good friends, and an excellent and well-run event. Always a pleasure to run, no matter what happens!

Monday, March 24, 2014

The 100-Mile Mystique

Today, I announced that once again, I would be training for the 100 mile race held in Huntsville, Texas in January. Once again my wife looked at me with raised eyebrows. I could read her body language, and it was not one of admiration. Howver, she knows me, and she knows that arguing about it will not change my mind, nor cause me to reconsider. Yes, I want to run it. What is the mystique, you ask? Not sure, but maybe this blog will help me understand it myself.

For me, I believe it is all about two things: (1) the training, and (2) the challenge.
For an ultra runner, there's no greater challenge to set a goal, train, and then attempt the feat in which you have placed yourself. It's the same thing for most runners. You have this conversation in your head, you plan it out, you try to imagine the possibilities of succesfully accomplishing your goal, and then you do the ultimate: you sign up. That's where the fun begins.

As far as I know, there are no pre-packaged Hal Higdon training programs to follow. Not many people have run a hundred mile race, so there's not the usual chatter at the water cooler, listening to someone's tale about how they suffered through their latest 100-mile race. There are some individual blogs and training articles addressing the event, but they are as different as day and night. Some people advocate 120 mile weeks, some advocate running three times a day, while others say do massive back to back long runs.

Largely, it is up to the runner to discover the best plan for themselves, and sometimes, that includes a trial run. Most people fail their first time out, and then, through all the experiences of the training process, and the failed attempt, you learn.

So, for me, I have learned what kind of training works best for me, and I'm constantly trying to improve in certain areas. Train too hard and you might injure yourself. Train too lightly, and you won't have the strength and endurance to finish. There are also a number of other challenges that must be overcome: (1) proper hydration: how much to drink, what to drink, and how to carry it with you...for the next 24-30 hours.
(2) Food: what to eat, how many calories to consume to keep energy levels up for the event. Some of the big questions are: what will my stomach endure,or won't endure.
(3) The weather: how to deal with rain, wind, snow, heat, cold, for a period of 24-30 hours of running in the elements.
(4) the Mental side: how to cope with long hours or running, the pain, the loneliness of running at night, and other factors.
(5) strength and fitness: will my body endure the punishment of pounding the ground for the duration of the race?

There are many other concerns and factors that need to be learned in order to complete this race, so there lies the challenge, and the mystique. How far can one go? What are the limits? How do I train to accomplish this taks? Those are the questions that I ask myself as I gear up for another run at the 100 mile distance.

Although it is a constant challenge and learning experience, I revel in the process, and can't wait to hit that trail again. The training starts today, and I'm looking forward to it.

See you on the trails,

Dr. Jerry Hollingsworth

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Ultra Running: Should runners go there...?

Running is an interesting and healthy sport for just about anybody, providing they train correctly and follow recommended methods. One of the recent trends in distance running today is ultra running. Technically, anything over 26 miles and 385 yards is considered an ultra. One of the entry endurance races for ultra runners is the 50K, or 31 miles. Then, there are fairly standard events at the 50 mile distance, 100k (62.14 miles), and 100 miles. There are also 24 hour, 48 hour and 72 hour running events usually held on tracks, trails, or enclosed areas in parks and other places. One hundred mile races are becoming extremely popular in the U.S. with more events being held each year. Should runners decide to begin running ultras, there are a few strategies, and some information they must be familiar with before embarking on such an adventure. Running the 50k is a great place to start for beginning ultra runners, and a main focus of this blog over the next couple of seasons, so lets take a look at how to get ready for a 50K race:

50k races are extremely popular, and most people can train for these races by following a good, steady marathon training schedule. Hal Higdon's marathon training programs are an excellent model to follow and are available online. The only exception would be to run a little farther for your long run when training for a 50k. As Alberto Salazar puts it, "running a 50k is only another 5 miles, but they are very tough miles." If you can imagine hitting the wall at 20 miles during a marathon, your training must be such that you will be able to endure another 11 miles. You don't have to put in a hundred miles a week to run a decent 50k, but you do need to ramp up the mileage intelligently and consistently. One method of accomplishing this is to follow either, or both of the following training methods:

In addition to your weekly mileage, which should include at least two other medium to hard training runs, here are two methods of gaining the endurance needed for running ultras:

1. Run back to back long runs: try adding extra endurance miles by running a long run on either saturday or sunday, and another long run the next day. Example: 20 miles on Saturday and another 10-15 miles on Sunday. Or you can switch those around as you see fit. This method should be used toward the end cycle of your peak training, not each week.

2. Run twice a day: Running twice a day helps to adapt your legs to spending a great deal of time on your feet. This would be a particularly good method of training for going longer, such as the 50k.

One word of caution, though: don't start out doing either method in the beginning of your training program. Both of thse methods are time consuming and can wear you down over an extended period of time. Wait until you have developed a good solid base of mileage before attempting either of these training modules. Expect to spend about 18-24 total weeks of training for your first 50K. If you have never run a full marathon, you should run a couple to get an idea of how much mileage is necessary for your comfortable finish. This blog is for those who want to "finish," not race. If you are a faster runner, looking to run a rather strong race, you should include some speed training in form of intervals, tempo running, or fartleks. Also, for the more advanced runner, your total mileage would amp up as well, maybe even as high as 70-90 miles a week for a top finishing time. Otherwise, to finish a 50k should not take up much more training than a regular marathon training schedule for most first timers who just want to go the distance.


You must also learn to eat and drink more on the run. Aid stations during 50k races have what is called "standard fare," which means they will usually offer a variety of food to keep your calories intake to about 200-300 calories an hour. Most aid stations will carry carbohydrate type of foods, to include orange slices, bananas, gatorade, Heed, or other type of sports drink, along with other items such as potatos that you can dip into salt, potato chips, candy, cokes, and other items that will keep your energy levels up. So, you must learn to eat in training before you enter your first 50k.


Ultra runners must also pay more attention to hydration and electrolyte replacement. Most ultra runners will eventually learn to carry their own water/hydration source with them and fill them up at the aid stations. Electrolytes will keep you healthy during your run. Most aid stations will have a variety of electrolytes you can use, or you should learn to carry your own for use out on the trail.

Are Ultras healthy?

Much has been written lately about the negative effects of ultra distance sports in general, including heart attacks, which some studies have revealed are possible during ultra events. Most of the ultra runners I know are extremely healthy, however, and have worked and trained their bodies to handle the extra miles, and are among the healthiest athletes around. However, if one attempts ultras without the proper preparation, or rush their mileage too quickly, they could be looking for trouble along these lines in a race or even in training:

1. blisters
2. cramps
3. excessive soreness, body aches and pains
4. long recovery times
5. breakdown of the immune system, which could leave you ill (sleepless nights, colds, flu, increased resting pulse rate, and exhaustion and fatigue, and/or agitation or irritability)
6. Heat exhaustion (if it's hot or humid)or heat stroke, which can be fatal
7. Hyponatremia: drinking too much water without proper electrolyte replacement means you have washed out all the electrolytes from your body (can be fatal)
8. Injuries (IT band problems, plantar fascitis, or other runners woes)
9. Lack of motivation to run another...

The caution here again, is to take training seriously, and allow yourself plenty of time to train, increase mileage safely, and take care of your body. You must also ensure you are taking in enough calories, including carbohydrates to fuel your running, and enough protein to repair the muscle tissue broken down with such heavy training.

Train for the Course

Learn as much as you can about the course you are going to race on, including elevation, altitude, technical sections, hills, terrain, and other important features. You should try to train on a similar course, if possible. If not, you must be inventive to adapt your training to the expected terrain. A lot of trails contain some hills, so some time spent running on hills would be an excellent idea, as well.

Wear Good Shoes

Trail shoes are different from shoes worn in road races. Some more experienced trail runners may get away with wearing minimal protection, but in the beginning, trail shoes might be a reasonable investment. Some trail shoes come equipped with toe bumpers for running on difficult terain with roots, rocks, or other impediments. They will save you from stubbing your toes, or otherwise damaging your feet, spraining your ankles, and protect your feet over a technical terrain. Trail shoes come with various other features, including more tread for steady gripping of loose terrain.

Does Everybody Run the whole way?

Not everybody runs the entire distance. There is nothing wrong with walking, in fact, run/walking is actually advised. Some run/walk methods that have been employed by many runners is the 9/1 method. You can make up your own ratio, for whatever is comfortable for you. The 9/1 method employs a 10 minute run, followed by a 1 minute walk, followed by another 9 minutes of running. You might also employ a method that includes walking the hills and running the downhills.

With some common sense training techniques, almost anyone can run a succesfull ultra race. a 50k is a good entry into the sport of ultra running, and you will experience a new sense of accomplishment and a new world of running. You will meet new people, and will probably see them at other similar events, as the world of ultra running is a very closeknit community.

For more information, you can e-mail me at jerryhollingsworth@hotmail.com.

Until next time, happy running everybody....see you on the trail!

Dr. Jerry W. Hollingsworth