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Trail Runner Lightning Round 50K: Zoë Rom

We’re asking thirty-one elite runners and visionaries thirty-one rapid fire questions. What makes them tick? Up next, Zoë Rom.

Heading out the door? Read this article on the new Outside+ app available now on iOS devices for members! Download the app.

Zoë Rom

Zoë Rom is the Editor in Chief at Trail Runner Magazine and Managing Editor at Women’s Running Magazine. She hosts the DNF podcast and co-hosts the Writers Block Podcast on Relay. You can find even more of her work on Relay. She also weaves stories in the mountains with her feet as an elite trail runner. Her most recent foot story is a 5th place finish at UTMB’s Puerto Vallarta 100k.

Check out Zoë’s writing here. 

What’s the first thing you think about when you wake up?


Do you drink enough water? How many cups per day, would you say?

Does water in coffee count? If so, yes! Eight-ish cups of water in coffee.

Meditation or no meditation?

Yes meditation

Best book you read in the last year?

A Swim in a Pond in the Rain by George Saunders. It’s about learning to read Russian short stories to become a better writer and human.

What is the most common thing you think about while you’re running?

What I’m going to write about next, or what I’m going to eat next.

What is the one food you obsess over near the end of races?

A giant burrito with mashed potatoes inside.

One quote you seem to always come back to for motivation while running…

There is no light at the end of the tunnel, there’s just more tunnel. So you might as well enjoy the process and find joy where you can. – David Roche

Coffee or Tea?


Your latest (Netflix, Hulu, AppleTV, Disney+, etc.) binge show of choice.

Bar Rescue on Paramount+ (what has become of me?!?)

Favorite trail shoe of all time (Even if it’s no longer available).

Hoka Speedgoat EVO (🙏 RIP) (Bring it back)

Your all-time favorite race course.

Telluride Mountain Run 40-miler (2021 Course)

Least favorite sports nutrition flavor?

Anything fruity. If I wanted to eat fruit, I’d eat fruit. I’m not running 20+ miles to eat a gd fruitcup out here. Give me chocolate or cola!

Morning runner, midday runner, or evening runner?


What’s the sweet spot in weekly mileage for you during a training block?

75-80 miles

Average hours of sleep per night?

8-9. I’m a sleep kween.

Name an all-time favorite piece of running gear you rely on?

Mighty MP3 Player. Small, portable bluetooth device that you can sync Spotify playlists and podcasts to.

When the going gets rough in a race, what do you murmur to yourself under your breath?


What is one sentence you’d share with someone new to trail running who is looking to improve?

It gets easier. Every day it gets a little easier. But you gotta do it every day —that’s the hard part. But it does get easier – Bojack Horseman

GPS watch, regular watch, or no watch when running?

GPS watch

Meat or no meat?

No meat

You can sit and have avocado toast with one famous mountain/trail athlete. Who’s that?

Ben Gibbard

Forget Fastest Known Times. What was your Funnest Known Time?

Once I ran 26 miles while visiting (and eating at!) every taqueria in Boulder. I was violently ill from cheese intake, but it was totally worth it.

Skateboard or rollerblades?


If you were a Spotify playlist, what would your title be?

Even Cowgirls Get the Blues

Favorite race distance?

8-19 hours?

You’re stranded on an island with only one board game. What game?

Settlers of Catan with Cities and Knights 5th Edition expansion

Tacos or Burritos?


How do you keep track of your training?


If you weren’t a trail runner, what do you think you’d be doing instead?

Probably join a fight club? I need an outlet.

LAST QUESTION: What’s the single biggest adjustment you made to your training regimen that elevated you from good to great?

Sleeping more. Resting harder. Pizza bagels.

Into the Route: Trail Running in the Alps

A quest to create a multi-stage tour designed specifically for runners