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Trail Runner Lightning Round 50K: Nicholas Triolo

We’re asking thirty-one elite runners and visionaries thirty-one rapid fire questions. What makes them tick? Up next, Trail Runner's Nicholas Triolo

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

Nicholas Triolo, 39

Nicholas Triolo is the Senior Editor for Trail Runner and Outside Run. A competitive ultrarunner since 2008, his writing and films have been featured in Outside Online, Orion, Patagonia’s The Dirtbag Diaries, The Dark Mountain Project, the Wild and Scenic Film Festival, and others.

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

Coffee, the sun, oatmeal.

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

I don’t. Probably like five cups?

Meditation or no meditation?

Yes, meditation.

Best book you read in the last year?

Native Son by Richard Wright.

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

Aside from tacos, I like to think about how wild breath is.

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

Salt and vinegar chips. Highest sodium count I can find.

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

“This is all voluntary. This is all temporary. One breath at a time.”

Coffee or Tea?


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


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

Pearl Izumi N3 (R.I.P.)

Your all-time favorite race course.

Waldo 100K.

Least favorite sports nutrition flavor?

French Toast Gu.

Morning runner, midday runner, or evening runner?


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

50-70 miles (75 really feels like I’m in the groove.)

Average hours of sleep per night?

7 hours.

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

Naked Running Band.

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

What a crazy privilege this all is.

RELATED: Why Elite Athletes Are Getting Serious About Mental Coaching

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

It all comes down to patience, consistency, and gratitude. Go lightly.

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

GPS watch.

Meat or no meat?

Meat. (Minimal.)

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

Rickey Gates.

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

The time I ran around Peru’s Huayhuash Range with two best friends and a little dog named Moti.

Skateboard or rollerblades?


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

Deep Indie Ecologies.

Favorite race distance?

50 miles.

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

Is Boggle a boardgame?

Tacos or Burritos?

Impossible binary. Both.

How do you keep track of your training?


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

Table Tennis Sub-Elite Champion.

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

Combining high volume with strength and mindfulness, plus the agility to change gears if necessary.

Into the Route: Trail Running in the Alps

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