What is the single most useful trail running advice you have received?

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Scott & Don

Of all the great wisdom you have learned over your running career, what is the single, most useful bit of advice you have learned?

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  • “A bad running day is better than the best no running day.” I first heard this from the woman who got me into running as an adult. I never believed her until I started running in 2010. Now, I get what she meant!

  • “It’s ok to walk sometimes.” I would have never continued running once I started if this wasn’t ok. This from a very accomplished ultra-runner who taught me it’s ok to run 4 minutes walk 1 minute. Now I can run over 10 miles non-stop (in just 5 months) and can run double that with some walking thrown in.

  • “The first goal in running is to run the race so you can run another day”….
    I DNFed on this 50K at mile 22. I had bronchitis all week and shouldn’t have been running that race anyway.
    This little bit of advice helped me wrap my mind around my first DNF. Yes, I cried in the SAG Wagon all the way back to the start/finish, but it didn’t haunt me afterward.

  • Dana Gard shared this with me: “Maintain a constant work demand on your body, the ups will be slower, the flats and downs will be faster. Your pace will look like the mirror image of the profile.” I think that is the same thing you said above Greg 🙂

  • Received these two through Martial arts but they still apply:

    “The hardest part of training is getting to it” Sometimes is hard to motivate yourself to get up of the sofa

    “Suck it up dude” A coach that eventually got me to stop thinking about discomfort and start thinking about what I was doing

    Both have helped me

  • You have to eat, hydrate and take electrolytes often. Keep your focus a few feet ahead to navigate without tripping and still keep your pace. From Jimmy Dean Freemen: downhill running is basically a controlled fall, don’t lean back and don’t over commit to any one step, that way if you do take one that is unstable you are already on to your next.

  • For trail races – hold back and pace behind someone you perceive slower than you. It will hold you back enough to pay huge dividends when you are ready to attack the front runners.

  • In relationship to 100-milers (from JOE KULAK), “You and ONLY YOU are responsible to get yourself to the finish. Not your crew/pacer, they could miss a checkpoint, you have to adjust. Not the aid station volunteers, they might not have what you want, get over it. Not the race director nor course markers, it’s your responsibility to know the course and sometimes ribbons are removed by people, animals, weather. You have to make up your mind to be self-sufficient, everything else is nice-to-have, not need-to-have.”

    Joe has finished 100% of the 100-milers he has started, and about 31-of-32 of them have been SUB-24, even on some of the toughest courses on brutal conditions days.

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