What are some highlights from your 2017 season?
The biggest highlights from 2017 were winning the Way Too Cool 50k and the World Championship 50k in Italy. During Way Too Cool, I felt like I had pushed my body as hard as I could have and then some more. I had never run so fast for so long before, and I just had to completely trust my training and fitness. I was pretty nervous about blowing up because I could see people behind me for most of the race, but I was all in. Every race is all or nothing.
What did you learn from your first DNF at Run Rabbit Run this past September?
Going into Run Rabbit Run, I had the biggest training block I had ever had. I had the biggest mileage and vert weeks I've ever run. I ran (and won) two 50k's during the training. I felt so strong! But I got too excited towards the end. In the final weeks, I ran too much, and I wasn't fully recovered from my big training. What made me realize this was a week after the race I felt incredible! I knew then I needed an extra week of taper. So that's the main thing I learned. I also learned I really need to eat more, and more importantly eat early. I felt like I was eating well during my final hours of Run Rabbit, but I don't think I ate enough early on because around mile 40, just before the second major climb, my legs were cramping a little. I started eating more, and the cramps went away, but I think that had a lasting effect during the rest of the race.
What are your goals for 2018?
Goals for 2018 are the same as they have been, keep training hard, keep winning, and keep trying to inspire people to push themselves faster and harder! We (the Coconino Cowboys) decided last year at the Western States that we were going to try to race for Golden Tickets. I have chosen to race Bandera 100k for a Ticket. So that is another big goal for me, win Bandera for a Golden Ticket!
How do you balance sustainable training with the lush trails within and surrounding Flagstaff, the Grand Canyon, and running with your uber-talented friends that make up the Coconino Cowboys?
There's no need to balance these things. They all go together and complement each other so well! The incredible trails we have access to make it easy to get out and have epic days. Running with Tim Freriks and Jim Walmsley is always fun. We're all pretty competitive, so we push each other pretty hard, but that just makes us all better.
What is your training philosophy?
My training philosophy is high mileage, lots of climbing, and keep it fast!
You studied mechanical engineering at NAU. What similarities do you draw between mechanical engineering and ultrarunning?
I don't think they could be any more different, other than taking extreme dedication, physical, and mental pain. I think that is why I like trail running so much! Engineering wasn't for me, but I tried to push through it. I don't think I would choose an engineering major if I went to college again!
What is your go-to workout?
Coconino Cowboy Loop! Start at the Bright Angel Trail parking area, run down Bright Angel Trail to Bright Angel Campground, continue across to South Kaibab, kill yourself running out South Kaibab, then finish on the Rim Trail to Bright Angel Trailhead. The perfect 23-mile loop!
What would you be doing if you were not running professionally?
I'd still be running. There is no version of my life where I am not running. I need it to feel normal! Without it, I get a little… temperamental.
Disregard current fitness, specificity of training, and travel logistics. Pick the one race on your bucket list that intrigues you the most.
The Olympic 5k, 10k, or marathon. Those races are, to me, the most incredible events in running. The Olympic stadiums! The crowds! Being in a race like that would be the most incredible thing ever. Unfortunately, no amount of money would get me into that race though!
What made you decide to work with Spring?
I was able to get a few samples of Spring a few weeks ago. I used it in my training, especially my long runs in the Grand Canyon. It did not last long! I went through the samples pretty quickly because I loved the flavor and texture. I'm able to eat more calories using Spring than I have been able to use other gels that have maltodextrin.
How does Spring help you with the ultra-distance efforts?
Because of the lighter flavor of the Spring gels, the real-food ingredients, and the great texture, I'm able to eat more calories using Spring than other products that I've tried. Ultrarunning is an eating competition as much as a running one, and if you can't fuel, you can't run!
What is your favorite Spring product and why?
I like Hill Aid the most because of the fruity, light flavor and especially the caffeine.
By: Ryne Anderson