The Speedgoat Stomps - Page 2
As a coach, what do you see as the biggest misunderstanding about how to train for trail running?
I think most folks feel big mileage is the key to completing 100-milers, 50-milers even 50Ks, but the fact is it's not all about big miles, it's learning "how" to manage issues. To succeed at running trails, you must run trails all the time. There is no substitute. Speed work on a track is also not the answer. Learning how to "levitate" over rocks, roots, uneven terrain is far more beneficial than running quarters in 65 seconds.
Trails generally mean steeper hills as well, so running them works like poor man’s speed work, and learning how to descend without pounding the body can translate to faster times. Many folks don't practice descending fast and smooth. If you watch great descenders, like Dave Mackey and Kilian Jornet, you'll see why times are coming down quickly.
Tell us about your luge run and is luging good cross training?
The Luge … well, that's my little secret, but I will say that it now has 31 turns, four rollers, is a quarter mile long and drops 200 vertical feet. Top speed might be around 20 mph, using a modified plastic sled that is doubled up with a board mounted on the front to keep the feet in. The current descent record is 69 seconds, longer than an Olympic luge time.
It is located ... in the mountains, and it is great cross training in December and January—there are a total of 579 steps in our boot pack, which climbs 200 vertical feet. I typically do about 10 to 15 laps, so about 2500 to 3000 feet of climbing, not to mention the maintenance of raking, smoothing and creating perfect turns. It's an engineer's dream job.
What are your goals for 2013?
My goal race for 2013 is to run a solid double at Western and Hardrock, then follow that up with a good solid run at Run Rabbit Run 100 again. I bagged running the Grand Slam because I would rather run for money, support Run Rabbit Run and the idea of a large prize purse. I'll probably run UROC [in Vail, Colorado] after that as well, but it'll just be for fun as I'll be tired.
How is Speedgoat shaping up for this year?
Once again, the Speedgoat 50K will have at least a $12,000 prize purse, and, hopefully, we can get that to $20,000. It will be a Skyrunner World Series race again, so many international fast runners will be there. We are also working on a beer sponsor for the post-race party, but that may be tough here in the land of Zion.
What do you like and dislike about race directing?
Race directing is a lot of work. It starts now in January, and slowly builds up to the final two weeks. It can be hectic, but the real reward comes at the end when runners swear at me saying the course was brutal, or that it was an amazing experience. I am a bit older now, so I enjoy giving back through race directing at a kick-ass race. I will always do my best to create a hometown feel—it's important to stay within our roots.
The worst thing? Having to make a decision like I had to last year [disqualifying] Kilian Jornet for cutting corners. I felt horrible about doing that, but I had to. I hope he comes back, but if not, he is still a super-classy athlete. He took it in stride, and that really made me feel good, in a weird kind of way.
Hardrock, hands down. I really do wish they would run a world class "race" instead of it being a "run." It would be amazing if we could gather 50 to 100 of the best mountain runners in the world on such an amazing venue. There is nothing wrong with what they have now, but I'd still love to see all the big dogs go at it there. There are a lot of crazy variables when running up at 12,000 feet all day, many more than even UTMB, or any other 100-miler.
Bernhard Langer. German legend. I picked him out of nowhere to win the 1986 Masters, when sitting in a classroom in high school. I think I won a $20 bet.