Geoff Roes: Ultrarunning is Dead (Read 847 times)

    Switched from road running to trail running/ultrarunning?  No.  Added it to my training and racing?  Yes.  I still have plenty of goals to hit with my road racing, but now that I've started ultra racing I have plenty of goals on that front as well.  It is hard to balance a training schedule focused on a race 50 miles plus with goals of PRing in a 5K, but you can break out your training into longer cycles focused on a particular type of racing.

     

    As to why ultrarunning, most of it is about the trails.  I am not going to drive 2-3 hours to run for 20 minutes even on an amazing trail.  I want to at least run for a few hours and usually 4+ hours on trails equals an ultra.

       

      I feel trails are harder on my joints, too.  

      From what I've seen, trails are generally harder on your ankles/stability muscles in your legs (because they aren't flat, and are inconsistent, and lighter on your knees/hips since they're softer.  I think that once those stabilizing muscles get stronger/ankles get more flexible, the balance shifts towards trails as far as being better for joint/repetitive stress type injuries... of course on trails, roots will start jumping out at your ankles too.

      Know thyself.

       

        I like trails but, from my experience, anytime I run trails (usually single-track) it's a workout and I feel it the next day. That's not a complaint. It's just how it is and I consider it a benefit to training and building strength. Perhaps I don't pick the easiest trails or run them easy so running an ultra on trails seems like something for crazy people. I guess this makes perfect sense because runners are some of the craziest people I know.

          I like trails but, from my experience, anytime I run trails (usually single-track) it's a workout and I feel it the next day. That's not a complaint. It's just how it is and I consider it a benefit to training and building strength. Perhaps I don't pick the easiest trails or run them easy so running an ultra on trails seems like something for crazy people. I guess this makes perfect sense because runners are some of the craziest people I know.

           

          This is pretty much how I feel as well. I love running trails and during the spring and fall (and winter if there is not much snow on the ground) I try to do some trail running every week even if it's just a couple of miles of trail in a loop that's otherwise road. I  mostly avoid the trails in the middle of summer due to the bugs (deer flies, mosquitoes, ticks) and poison ivy or when I do run trails is mostly just fire roads. Anytime I do a longish run entirely on single track trails I definitely feel it the next day.

           

          But not all trails are created equal for sure. When I used to run trails in Northern CA they were mostly smooth, hard packed, graded and not overgrown. The trails around here are all gnarly, narrow, winding, rocky, rooted, and the underbrush creeps out onto the trail all summer.

          Runners run.

             

            This is pretty much how I feel as well. I love running trails and during the spring and fall (and winter if there is not much snow on the ground) I try to do some trail running every week even if it's just a couple of miles of trail in a loop that's otherwise road. I  mostly avoid the trails in the middle of summer due to the bugs (deer flies, mosquitoes, ticks) and poison ivy or when I do run trails is mostly just fire roads. Anytime I do a longish run entirely on single track trails I definitely feel it the next day.

             

            Spider webs for me in the summer.


            A Dance with Monkeys

              I wonder if bumps and bruises are badges or honor for trail runners...

               

              Yes. And blood.

               

              Running is stupid.

               

              But trails sure are pretty...


              A Dance with Monkeys

                Spider webs for me in the summer.

                 

                Best thing is the world! You get up early, the sun breaking through the steamy Summer mists at daybreak. Out on the trails, you are alone with your thoughts and the gentle woods. Every spider web you run through is proof that you are the first in those woods that morning, charting the first footsteps through the virginal day.

                  Labels are funny things. A lot of times, when a non-runner discovers my hobby, they’ll ask a label-clarifying: “Oh, are you a marathoner?” And I’ll reply after a pause to think “well, it’s a distance I infrequently race…I guess.” And then I’ll get the awkward look, like, “Oh, I thought you were a real runner, pardon me, I have to go find someone who runs MARATHONS, and not whatever little mini-whatevers you claim to run.” (me = projecting). And I’ll think “dude! I run a lot. Like all the time. Marathons suck. I hate them. But I run, I’m telling you I run.” Then I’ll think “screw this guy. What does he do? Play minecraft for hours? Watch Mad Men? Criticize Aaron Sanchez’s comments on Chopped?”

                   

                  As for ultras – no thanks to doing anything longer than 26.2 on a road. Maybe someday I’d do something on a trail for fun…maybe. But probably not.

                  Come all you no-hopers, you jokers and rogues
                  We're on the road to nowhere, let's find out where it goes

                    Labels are funny things. A lot of times, when a non-runner discovers my hobby, they’ll ask a label-clarifying: “Oh, are you a marathoner?” ...

                     

                    How about the "what are you training for question?"

                     

                    I feels like the asker gives me a look to say, if there is no MARATHON on the immediate horizon, what the hell are you doing running so much. (me projecting this time.)

                    MrH


                      Yeah ... there's a big difference between running a fire road, groomed carriage trail, or converted rail-to-trail with packed sand, and a path suitable only for mountain goats or power hikers.

                       

                      I do most of my running on a packed sand/gravel rail-to-trail path away from cars, roller-bladers and most bikes/walkers/dogs. But have no desire to race anything further than 10k.

                      The process is the goal.

                      Men heap together the mistakes of their lives, and create a monster they call Destiny.


                      old woman w/ a hobby

                         

                        How about the "what are you training for question?"

                         

                        I feels like the asker gives me a look to say, if there is no MARATHON on the immediate horizon, what the hell are you doing running so much. (me projecting this time.)

                         

                        Yes, I get this from an old guy (older than meRoll eyes) in the neighborhood.  Usually right before he once again tells

                        me how much he worries about me running so much.

                        steph  

                         

                        OCD  If you don't laugh...   

                          After pacing and crewing a friend through a 100-miler, I have no desire ever to go beyond 26.21875.

                           

                          If you miss a tangent, you could easily go beyond 26.21875.

                          Well at least someone here is making relevance to the subject.

                             

                            If you miss a tangent, you could easily go beyond 26.21875.

                             

                            This is why I feel justified in run across peoples yards whenever possible.

                               

                              This is why I feel justified in run across peoples yards whenever possible.

                               

                              ...which turns your road run into a trail run.

                              Well at least someone here is making relevance to the subject.

                                From what I've seen, trails are generally harder on your ankles/stability muscles in your legs (because they aren't flat, and are inconsistent, and lighter on your knees/hips since they're softer.  I think that once those stabilizing muscles get stronger/ankles get more flexible, the balance shifts towards trails as far as being better for joint/repetitive stress type injuries... of course on trails, roots will start jumping out at your ankles too.

                                 

                                You nailed it!!  I think people suffer less injuries by running the trails because you become stronger in the muscles you don't use as much road running.  When I started training for my first ultra, those first few trail runs were killers.  As my body became stronger and I became more comfortable running the trails, I couldn't believe how great I felt after compared to the road.  When I train for a road marathon, my body is aching after those 18-22 milers and there is no way I could run the following day.  I was doing long trail runs and back out running the next day with no soreness.  I haven't fallen once on the trails.  You definitely have to concentrate more and focus on your stride...get it short and quick so you can easily adjust.  I'm probably jinxing myself for my 10+ mile trail race Sunday and will have my first fall.

                                 

                                I'm doing my usual road marathon in December and plan to mix long runs in on the trails.  My ultimate goal is another 50K in March followed by my first 50 miler in April.  Oh, and I love seeing nature.  In fact, we came across a bear eating berries a couple weeks ago during one of our runs in Auburn, CA.