About a week ago we launched a little contest, basically the contest read,

“Some of you have great years of running, and some of you may have had brutal seasons. @trailsandtarmac wants to hear those stories. If you have a friend, running buddy, family member or coworker who really crushed it this year working hard toward achieving their personal goals you can nominate them for a gnar-boss of the year award! If you had a rough year, maybe a few DNF’s, some major blowups or Injuries we want to hear those stories, and what you learned too! You can win the Epic Manure award!!! Nominate a friend for the Gnar-boss award or nominate yourself (because hopefully your friends wouldn’t do that!) for the Epic Manure award! So, to nominate email a brief paragraph or two with a photo to info@trailsandtarmac.com.”

Well the response was pretty awesome.  We learned a TON by reading the responses, and we also realize there was no way we could choose just one for either the Gnar Boss Award or the Epic Manure Award.  By far the biggest thing we learned was there was hardly any difference between the GNAR boss Award and the Epic Manure Award! Both awards highlighted these runners individual trials and how they dealt with major discouragement and never quit in the face of adversity.

Summers never seem to last long enough. Not that I dislike winter, on the contrary, I LOVE winter. If I were not a runner, I would be one of those skiers chasing storms from the Northern to Southern Hemisphere searching for powder and steep lines 12 months a year. When I say summer is never long enough I mean as a runner, all the coolest, raddest, most fun trails are high up in the mountains where snow can linger long into July and August. There is a short window of time to tackle what has become a fast growing list of MUST DO mountain running objectives. A person could have worse problems obviously.

Mile 107: Nothing left.

Coach Alex Nichols

Photo Credit: Irunfar

We could not be more pumped to have Alex join the Trails and Tarmac coaching team!  He brings with him a depth of racing experience covering all types of terrain and distances. Alex’s  racing style is something that we have respected for a long time. He always runs his race, pacing impeccably well, and usually ends up dismantling fields in the second half. His intelligent thoughtful style spills over into his coaching. Alex has been the women’s distance track and assistant men’s and women’s cross country coach at Colorado College for the past six  years. There he has coached 7 out of the 9 conference champions in the schools history. He’s coached women to school records in the mile, 5k, and 10k! We know that with Alex’s incredible experience in training for and racing all distances as well his years of successful coaching at Colorado College that he’s the perfect fit as our newest Trails and Tarmac coach. We did a short interview where you can find out a bit more about Alex, what he’s bringing to the table, and why you want him to coach you! If you are interested in learning more about being coached by Alex or any of the Trails and Tarmac coaches you may fill out this questionnaire.

 

Trails and Tarmac is very excited to be bringing on Jenn Shelton as our newest running coach. To say that Jenn is highly experienced in all running disciplines would be an understatement. She has competed in short fast races on the track, run grueling 100 milers all over the world, she’s covered 220 miles of the hardest high mountain trail America has to offer, and she’s qualified for the US Olympic marathons trials. This only touches this tip of the iceberg.

There is no doubt Jenn has  a wealth of knowledge and experience hardly matched in the sport of running. But more than her personal running Jenn’s enthusiasm for running, her zest for life are second to none. Through injury and triumph her spirit rarely loses its luster and this characteristic shines through in her coaching and the athletes she has worked with. A relationship with your running coach is far more than just about the minutes and miles. Bringing Jenn into the fold of Trails and Tarmac was a no brainer as she not only has the technical ability to work with a diverse group of athletes but her fervor will motivate and encourage everyone who has the opportunity to work with her.

We’ve asked Jenn to answer a few questions so that you can get to know her a little better and see if her coaching style is right for you. If you are interested in getting in touch with us at Trails and Tarmac and to see about the possibility of working with Jenn as your coach you can fill out this questionnaire.

For me being competitive with intentions of placing highly at races has always sat atop the priorities list. Over the past few years I have seen that this may be an error if I hope to ultimately find satisfaction in 100 mile racing experiences. I decided to make finishing the race a priority, not necessarily above competing at the highest level possible, but on the same level. Setting this intention has helped me an enormous amount when during the course of running 100+ miles things go south and being competitive no longer is possible. My finish at the 100 miles of Istria is a story of the intention to finish the race no matter what.

We talk a lot on our website about communication, gps data, and training. These words and ideas need to be elaborated on and described in more detail so you really understand what it is the coaches at Trail and Tarmac actually do. Here is a glimpse behind the scenes in the Trails and Tarmac coaching kitchen.

One of the most common questions I think we as coaches get is, “What workouts should I be doing?” The question is loaded. One of the most common answers is that it depends. Ask 100 coaches and you might get 100 different answers. In this article you’ll hear about a workout you should be doing but probably aren’t.

The Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc lottery is done. If you got in, Congrats! If you did not, there are some great (maybe more fun) opportunities in the Alps for you.

In 2016, 2555 runners started the UTMB and 1468 finished (http://utmb.livetrail.net/stats.php). Over the course of 105 rugged miles there are unforeseeable events and challenges, but with a little more information I think more runners can finish the UTMB and swing these stats in the right direction.

There are 1000’s of articles written on how to get ready for your big race. There is a mass of valuable information on how to eat, how to train, how to recover and what gear you will need.  These are very valuable topics, but there is very little dedicated to dealing with the time everything falls apart, and at some point, at some race, it will.