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Mike Benge Tuesday, 16 October 2012 09:06 TWEET COMMENTS 363

Karl Meltzer Unplugged - Page 3

Regarding the big payout in RRR, how much does the cash also motivate your decision to run a race? And do you see bigger purses being a positive thing for the sport?

Cash is the ultimate motivator.  I am a huge advocate of bringing money into the sport. I helped Fred Abramowitz [RRR Race Director] get his race going. It was a surprise to actually win it. I was also surprised to not see more top runners enter for a chance to win 10 grand. I think they are all foolish.

Hopefully, next year, more of them will race on their own turf for some real money, or this old man will gladly take it home. Steamboat may not have received the recognition it deserves, but I'd rather have a big check in my hand than a big trophy.

So, how about those Hokas? What do you like about them? Do you feel as agile in them as lower-profile shoes? Have they actually made a difference in your running?

I like a comfortable shoe. That's what Hokas are: super comfortable, soft. I don't roll an ankle because they mush out. They protect my feet and body from pounding, and I never get blisters. I feel perfectly agile in them. Just because they may look like you can roll a foot or ankle, that's not so.

They have not really made a difference in my "running" but have made a difference in my recovery. My body recovers very quickly because I don't wear tiny shoes that have no cushioning. My joints don't hurt.

Minimalistic shoes are for folks who buy into fads and salesmen. People should, in my opinion, run in something with cushioning. I see lots of folks start a race in little shoes, then drop because their feet are destroyed.

How does your typical training mileage break down?

I typically run 60 to 70 miles per week, in the mountains between 8000 and 12000 feet, and climb about 16,000 feet in a 65-mile week. Nope, it’s not huge mileage, but I don't need to run more. If I do, I have training days where I'm too tired, which really isn't effective.

How long are your long runs, and how do you pace them?

Fifteen to 20 miles maximum. I run the same pace on a 20-miler as I do on a six-miler.

Do you keep a training log?

Yeah, but's it's pretty basic, more just to see how many miles I end up doing by December. But I don’t make a schedule before I run. I just fill in the sheet later.

I essentially run on "feel." Many days, I go out and decide how far or how fast I’m going to go as I go along. I've had days where I thought I would go 20ish, then went six ... and vice versa. It just depends on the day. It is very effective because I always run what my body wants, not what the book says.

How do you recover so quickly, e.g. you just ran RRR three weeks before Grindstone?

One more time [laughing]—I have soft, comfy shoes, my body doesn't get beaten up as much and I use a recovery drink.

Three weeks apart is not uncommon for me to run fast 100s. It's not about running fast; it's about being able to mentally keep going at an "easy" pace. I always run easy in a 100, but I can run it all day and night. That's the difference. Doing it now 59 times, it gets easier. One hundred miles really is not that far.

I also never force my miles instantly after 100s. I use poles for a week or two to take a bit of the pounding off my body too. Today [October 12], for instance, was the first day out since Grindstone [October 5]. I walked six miles and gained about 1500 feet. Just took it easy. Judging by the way I felt, I will do this for a few more days before I run.


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