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The Trail Runner Lightning Round 50K: Faith Briggs

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

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Faith Briggs, 33

Faith Briggs is an ultrarunner, documentary filmmaker, intersectional environmentalist, former sprinter, co-host of The Trail Ahead Podcast, conservationist, and advocate for social justice. Her film This Land is available to watch on Youtube.

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

My kid’s schedule.

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

Definitely not enough. Two mason jars a day?

Meditation or no meditation?

Yes, meditation.

Best book you read in the last year?

All We Can Save (Truth, Courage, and Solutions for the Climate Crisis) Edited by Ayana Elizabeth Johnson & Katharine K. Wilkinson.

RELATED: How To Talk About Climate Change

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

At my best: eating, pace, form, and a debrief from the work week. At minimum, I’m just trying not to beat myself up for how out of shape I am because I’ve barely run during the pandemic.

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


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

“the truth is you were born for you.
you were wanted by you.
you came for you.
you are here for you.
your existence is yours.

― Nayyirah Waheed, Nejma.

Coffee or Tea?


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

Star Trek Discovery.

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

Merrell Antora 2.

Your all-time favorite race course.

Van Cortland Park XC Summer Series in NYC, short and sweet, and they give you banana bread after.

Least favorite sports nutrition flavor?

Anything orange . . . or too berry, not into multi-berry stuff.

Morning runner, midday runner, or evening runner?


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

35 miles.

Average hours of sleep per night?

8 hours.

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

Honestly, any sports bra with a phone pocket & room for chamois cream (these sprinter thighs do chafe).

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

Run your own race, run your own pace.

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?

Just try to have fun. Don’t take it all too seriously out there.

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

No watch.

Meat or no meat?

No meat.

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

Joe Gray.

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

I’m kind of obsessed with Four Mile Trail in Yosemite, California, running it downhill and then running through the valley. It has the most amazing views, lot’s of water spots to wade into afterward, and a lot of downhill running. I love downhill running. Feels like flying.

Skateboard or rollerblades?


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

Good Vibes Only & Shred the Patriarchy

Favorite race distance?

Honestly, the 400 meters or the 4×4. I was a sprinter in college. I really loved when I was training for one-mile races and half marathons a few years back. I think I only run longer for the people and the nature. Love the trail community and the views.

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

Settlers of Catan.

Tacos or Burritos?


How do you keep track of your training?

Neither paper log nor Strava.

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

Long haul gravel riding or cyclocross.

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

Great to me has been an ongoing process of learning to be kind to myself while I run and not ripping into myself the whole time and feeling like an imposter in the distance space. I’m just trying to enjoy it all. I am still on this journey. Open to suggestions!

Into the Route: Trail Running in the Alps

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