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Trail Runner Nation


Trail Runner Nation is devoted to sharing knowledge and advice to the trail running community - from beginners to the pros! We offer tips and discussion regarding race nutrition, pacing strategy, mental focus and much more from well-respected members of the trail community.




Trail Runner Nation is devoted to sharing knowledge and advice to the trail running community - from beginners to the pros! We offer tips and discussion regarding race nutrition, pacing strategy, mental focus and much more from well-respected members of the trail community.






EP 665: The Runner's Renaissance: A Fresh Start

Ultra runner and acclaimed writer Katie Arnold delves into her profound journey within the realm of ultra running, challenging conventional perceptions and embracing a fresh, beginner's mindset. Katie illuminates the beauty of uncertainty in running, the thrill of flow, and the transformative power of redefining one's runner identity through persistent practice. We navigate a myriad of life and running philosophies, underscoring the significance of self-trust, the welcoming spirit towards newcomers, the perpetual learner's mindset, and the authenticity of being true to oneself. This conversation celebrates the essence of community, the resilience found in shared struggles, the magic of connectivity, and the inspirational force of collective passion, all while maintaining a delicate balance between personal endeavor and communal belonging. Key Insights: - Embrace your journey with confidence and open-mindedness. - Champion the inclusion and growth of new runners, finding wisdom in their fresh perspectives. - Cultivate a lifelong learner's attitude, reveling in continuous discovery and evolution. - Stay genuine, honoring your true essence in running and beyond. - Approach each run with reverence, acknowledging its challenges and rewards. - Seek and offer solace within the running community, fostering a sense of belonging. - Acknowledge our shared human experience, enhancing connections and collaboration. - Let the vitality of the running community fuel your motivation and aspirations. - Cherish running's unique blend of solitary reflection and communal celebration. Check out Katie's article on the Beginner's Mind: Micro Running Subscribe to her FREE newsletter HERE Katie's Outside Column Raising Rippers Check our our previous episode, "Running Home with Katie Arnold" Find out more about this episode's sponsors: JanjiHVMNDefender Become a Patreon supporter to receive quarterly givebacks from us.


EP 664: Decoding Longevity: Lessons from 'Outlive'

In today's episode, we are going to open the bookstore and review the book "Outlive: The Science and Art of Longevity"by Dr. Peter Attia. This book offers a radical approach to longevity, emphasizing proactive, personalized strategies over the reactive methods of mainstream medicine. Today, we'll focus on four key chapters that explore innovative nutrition, optimal exercise and sleep, and the crucial role of emotional health in living longer better lives. Joining us to discuss four chapters are frequent guests and friends of TRN, Andy Jones-Wilkins and Adam Kimble. Dr. Attia challenges conventional wisdom, advocating for a deep understanding of our health beyond traditional metrics. We'll discuss the transformative power of exercise, the importance of a tailored nutritional approach, and why emotional well-being is indispensable for a fulfilling life. Learn more about Adam: web siteInstagramFacebookChasing Twilight: A Joy Journal for RunnersAmazonFKT records Learn more about AJW: Crack A Brew with AJWAndy at CTSTap Room column at iRunFarInstagramTwitter Find out more about this episode's sponsors: JanjiUCANHVMNAG1 Become a Patreon supporter to receive quarterly givebacks from us.


EP 663: Endurance Lessons from Rowing Across the Atlantic

We return to our 'Endurance Of The Trail" Series in this episode with our friend Major Brian "Tosh" Chontosh, United States Marine Corps, Retired. He recounts his extraordinary journey of participating in The World's Roughest Row, rowing 3000 miles across the Atlantic Ocean with his team of former Navy SEALs despite their lack of prior experience in ocean rowing. He delves into the rigorous training, preparation, and dietary strategies that underpinned their endurance feat. Tosh underscores the critical role of team cohesion and the strategic guidance from their campaign manager. He reflects on the mental resilience needed to surmount challenges and draws parallels between his rowing venture and ultra-running principles, particularly in nutrition and the necessity to eschew distractions for peak performance. The discussion also explores the mental rigors of the Atlantic crossing, the imperative of setting clear goals, and the congruence between one's actions and objectives. Tosh concludes by touching on the broader implications of his experiences for physical endurance and leadership. **BEFORE YOU LISTEN, watch this 45-minute video documentary of their experience.** shipping container challengeCrooked Butterfly podcast Find out more about this episode's sponsors: JanjiLMNT Become a Patreon supporter to receive quarterly givebacks from us.


EP 662: From Random Words to Trail Tales: A Lighthearted Ultrarunning Discussion

In this episode, we dive into the unique intersection of everyday vocabulary and the expansive world of trail and ultrarunning. We are joined by the ever-insightful Warren Pole and the ultrarunning sage, Andy Jones-Wilkins, for a lighthearted yet profound discussion that ties the randomness of language to the trails we cherish. There are times in our running careers when the only thing we think about is running and everything we see or experience we relate to running. In that spirit, Trail Runner Nation podcast periodically produces an episode where we pick a random word out of a dictionary and relate that to trail and ultrarunning. Check out Warren's company, 33 Fuel and Andy's coaching at Carmichael Training. Find out more about this episode's sponsors: JanjiHVMNAG1 Become a Patreon supporter to receive quarterly givebacks from us.


EP 661: Classic Ultramarathon Beginnings

Dive into the Thrilling World of Ultra Running with Historian Davy Crockett! Join hosts us in an exhilarating journey through the untold history and fascinating evolution of ultra marathons. Discover the legendary races that shaped the sport: from the historic Comrades Marathon to the enigmatic Barkley Marathons. Learn about the earliest ultra runners, their unique mindset, and how their challenges differ from those faced by today's athletes. Explore the global impact of ultra running, featuring stories from the Redwood Indian Marathon that showcased Native American excellence, and the JFK 50's evolution from a boys club event to America's oldest ultra race. This episode isn't just about endurance – it's a journey into the heart of ultra running, revealing the allure, history, and soul of this incredible sport. Whether you're a seasoned runner or a casual listener, there's something for everyone in this captivating conversation. Don't miss out on these extraordinary tales that bring the world of ultra marathons to life! About Davy • David "Davy" R. Crockett, a veteran ultrarunner since 2004 • has completed over a hundred 100-mile races. • He combined his running passion with history by organizing the "Pony Express Trail 50 and 100" in Utah • launched and the Ultrarunning History Podcast in 2018. • As the Director of the American Ultrarunning Hall of Fame since 2020, Crockett has authored several books on ultrarunning history and 19th-century American westward migration. Other Ultrarunning History Series books: Find out more about this episode's sponsors: JanjiHVMNAG1LMNT Become a Patreon supporter to receive quarterly givebacks from us.


EP 660: BONUS MILES- From Metabolic Profiling to Peak Health

In this bonus episode, we are talking about metabolism. We have learned a lot of great information, strategies, and tactics while we have been partnered with MetPro, an innovative program offering personalized health and fitness strategies and coaching. The episode features insights from Mike, who shares his successful journey with MetPro in achieving weight loss and enhanced training. Amber Velasquez, a MetPro coach, and Angelo Poli, the founder, both emphasize the program's unique approach to nutrition and fitness. They discuss how MetPro uses metabolic profiling to tailor meal plans and exercise routines to individual needs, focusing on understanding metabolic thresholds and adaptation. The conversation underscores the significance of adopting sustainable lifestyle changes, trusting the process, and the impact of MetPro beyond just weight loss, including improved overall health, energy levels, and body composition. The episode concludes with an invitation for a free metabolic consultation with a MetPro expert, highlighting its benefits for both general fitness enthusiasts and performance-focused athletes, especially those in endurance sports. To take advantage of this metabolic assessment, click HERE If you would like, Coach Amber can answer any questions directly: Amber Velasquez, MHS, RD, LD, CPT 530-720-0930


EP 659: The Endurance Eats Enigma: What to Consume When the Miles Add Up

This episode is focused on the fuel that drives endurance athletes. It's a world where what you eat isn't just about satisfying hunger; it's about strategy, precision, and sometimes, survival. Joining us from Australia are two experts of sports dietetics, Steph Gaskell and Alan Mccubbin, co-hosts of "The Fueling Endurance" podcast. Steph, a trail runner herself, is an expert of exercise-induced gastrointestinal syndrome. She's on a mission to unravel the mysteries of how our guts betray us during a run and how to keep the digestive peace. Then there's Alan, a man who can talk about sodium and hydration. With a background in mountain biking and sailing, he knows the fine line between staying hydrated and hitting a wall. Takeaways Find out more about Steph and Alan at Fueling Endurance and check out their book! Find out more about this episode's sponsors: JanjiUCANPATH ProjectsHVMN Become a Patreon supporter to receive quarterly givebacks from us.


EP 658: Fueling for Endurance

Dr. Latt Mansor joins The Nation to discuss how metabolic flexibility and fat adaptation can significantly improve endurance running performance. He discusses the roles of different fuel sources, emphasizing that fats and ketones are more efficient for endurance athletes than proteins. Additionally, Dr. Mansor highlights the benefits of exogenous ketones like Ketone IQ for enhancing athletic performance, aiding in recovery, and potentially improving sleep and symptoms of Alzheimer's. This episode is a deep dive into the science of metabolism in endurance sports and offers practical insights into how athletes can optimize their energy use for peak performance. Dr. Latt Mansor is a renowned expert in physiology and metabolism with a PhD from Oxford, specializing in diabetic heart metabolism under low oxygen conditions, and has extensive experience consulting with elite sports, military, and clinical groups. Takeaways Metabolic flexibility is the body's ability to utilize different fuel sources at different times. Becoming fat-adapted allows endurance athletes to tap into their fat storage more readily, improving performance and endurance. Protein is primarily used as building blocks for the body and is not an optimal fuel source. Ketones, naturally produced during fasting or a ketogenic diet, can provide an alternative fuel source for the brain and other organs. Ketones can help balance glycogen in the body Exogenous ketones, such as ketone esters, can be used as a supplement to increase blood ketone levels and improve performance and recovery. Taking these before bed can improve sleep quality and aid in recovery. Ketones have been found to help people with sleep apnea and diabetes sleep better. Anecdotal reports suggest that exogenous ketones may improve symptoms of Alzheimer's. When choosing ketone products, it's important to consider the active ingredients and quality. Transparency and scientific validation are crucial in substantiating product claims. Consumers should be cautious of cheaper products and prioritize quality and effectiveness. Cutting through the noise and finding the truth requires careful evaluation and experimentation. Tune into Dr. Latt's podcast, HVMN (Health via Modern Nutrition) Podcast. It covers a wide range of topics related to metabolism and health. To find out more about Ketone IQ, you can save 30% off your first subscription order of Ketone-IQ at Find out more about this episode's sponsors: JanjiAG1 LMNT Become a Patreon supporter to receive quarterly givebacks from us.


EP 657: From Start to Finish: Laying out Your Running Calendar

In this episode, we talk about the strategic aspects of building a race calendar, emphasizing the importance of setting clear goals and having backup plans. Coaches Ian Sharman and Stefanie Flippin join us to help us understand some ways to approach building a race calendar. The conversation goes beyond just focusing on popular races or qualifiers, highlighting the enjoyment of trail running as a sport and the enriching experience it offers beyond mere competition. Special attention is given to alternative ways of experiencing races, like pacing or participating in training camps. The episode also explores the attraction to the iconic 100-mile race belt buckle and discusses the transition from ultra-distances to marathons. Concluding with thoughts on the longevity of a running career, the speakers share their perspectives on how runners can continue to improve with age. They stress the need for balance in life, considering factors like work, family, and hobbies, and the importance of taking a long-term view when setting running goals. The episode underscores the significance of flexibility in race planning, intentional rest, and the surprising benefits that can emerge from taking time off, both for preventing injuries and enhancing overall performance. Key Takeaways: Goal Setting:Race Selection:Beyond Competition:Personal Enjoyment in Racing:Longevity in Running:Balancing Life and Running:Long-term Perspective:Flexibility in Planning:The Role of Rest:Surprising Benefits of Time Off: Check Stefanie's article we referenced in Trail Runner Magazine, "Building a Race Calendar for the Year Ahead" Find out more about Stafanie and her coaching at and her podcast, "Making Strides" Find out more about Ian and his other coaches at Find out more about this episode's sponsors: JanjiPATH ProjectsAG1 Become a Patreon supporter to receive quarterly givebacks from us.


EP 656: Year-End Audio Magazine

In this year-end episode of Trail Runner Nation, we thought we'd publish the last audio magazine for the year. Joining us to create the articles for this edition is Crack-a-Brew podcast host and coach, Andy Jones-Wilkins. Audio Magazine is where we each "write" two magazine articles. The created titles for these articles are somewhat disconnected. After introducing the article with the title, the other two guess what the article is about, and then the author summarizes the article with some group discussion. Play along and see if you guess what the articles are about! Here are the titles of this issue: Find out more about this episode's sponsors: AG1JanjiMetPro Become a Patreon supporter to receive quarterly givebacks from us.


EP 655: Redefining Pain and Performance

In this episode, Matt Fitzgerald and Ryan Whited discuss their book 'Pain and Performance: The Revolutionary New Way to Use Training as Treatment for Pain and Injury' focusing on training as treatment. They emphasize the effectiveness of using exercise to heal exercise-related pain and injuries. The conversation also delves into understanding pain as a valuable tool, the influence of expectation and belief on pain experiences, and the potential benefits of hypnosis in pain management. Overall, the book aims to help athletes build a better relationship with pain and take control of their pain experiences. Key Takeaways: 1. Training can effectively treat exercise-related pain and injuries. 2. Pain serves as a valuable tool for understanding the body. 3. Expectation and belief significantly impact how we experience pain. 4. Hypnosis can be a useful tool for managing pain. 5. Developing a better understanding and relationship with pain empowers athletes to own their pain experiences. Find out more about Ryan's practice at Paragon Athletics Find out more about Matt's amazing running camp at Dream Run Camp


EP 654: Risk, Run, Renew: The Ultrarunning Philosophy

This episode explores a unique perspective on risk-taking and personal growth. Our world has become a comfort zone, where taking risks is often avoided, leading to a softer, more complacent society. But what if the key to unlocking success and joy lies in stepping into vulnerability and embracing challenges? To shed light on this intriguing idea, we're joined by Bob Crowley and Adam Kimble. They're not just enthusiasts; they're connoisseurs of ultrarunning—a sport that epitomizes risk-taking and vulnerability. Ultrarunning isn't just a physical challenge; it's a portal to self-discovery and personal betterment. Bob and Adam are here to discuss how this extreme sport can be a metaphor for life, teaching us to break free from our comfort zones and stride confidently into the unknown. Check out more about Adam and his coaching, speaking and overall adventuring at Find out more about Bob's passion with History Expeditions where he combines history and endurance adventures at


EP 653: Surgeon by Day, Runner by Night

Are you navigating the intricate trails of ultra running, seeking to debunk common myths and embrace effective strategies? Join us as we delve into the world of trail and ultra running with Stefanie Flippin. Stefanie is a coach, freelance writer, podcaster (Making Strides), and...did we mention she is a board-certified foot and ankle surgeon and runs her own private practice. In 2021, she won the USATF 100-mile National Championships with a time of 14:35, one of the top North American achievements. Stefanie recently wrote an article in Trail Runner Magazine, "Common Misconceptions in Training for Trail and Ultras". We visit with Stefanie about her article and work through some of the complexities and challenges associated with this demanding sport. Stefanie challenges the notion that success in trail running hinges on proximity to mountains. She provides inventive training methods for those in flatter regions, proving that geographical limitations need not curb one's aspirations. Additionally, she dispels the myth that immense training volumes are essential for ultra-running triumph, advocating instead for a focus on consistent training hours each week. A highlight of our discussion is Stefanie's approach to the often intimidating aspect of technical downhills. She shares strategies to conquer this fear, emphasizing the importance of proper shoe selection, visualization techniques, and gradual exposure to challenging terrain. Join us as we explore the diverse facets of trail running, from the benefits of shorter distances to managing blisters effectively. Discover how ultra running can enhance joint health, and learn to emulate the form of experienced technical descenders for improved performance.


EP 652: Maintaining Balance in Your Life

Are you grappling with the challenge of balancing your career aspirations, family responsibilities, fitness goals, and other personal pursuits? You're not alone. Nick Jonsson, a figure synonymous with achieving an enviable equilibrium in life, faced similar challenges. As a top executive and an accomplished triathlete, Nick's journey to find balance wasn't straightforward. Today, he's here with us on The Nation to share practical tips that can revolutionize your approach to life balance. Nick's accolades are impressive: he's not only a world-age group triathlon athlete but also a bestselling author, an inspirational speaker, and the co-founder and Managing Director of Executives' Global Network in Southeast Asia. His experiences span the spectrum of high-pressure roles and intense personal commitments. In our engaging conversation, Nick offers a deep dive into the nuances of striking a balance in a life brimming with varied and demanding obligations. He opens up about his personal quest to find harmony amidst rigorous training schedules, a dynamic professional life, and enriching personal engagements. His perspectives on establishing boundaries, prioritizing mental and physical health, and remaining grounded in spite of a bustling schedule are profoundly insightful. This episode is a goldmine for anyone – whether you're an emerging entrepreneur, a passionate athlete, or simply someone endeavoring to lead a more balanced existence. Nick's wealth of practical advice, relatable experiences, and tangible steps are invaluable in guiding you towards a harmonious blend of success and wellness. Join us for this transformative conversation with Nick Jonsson, and let each moment fuel your journey towards crafting your best life. Check out his bestselling book, "Executive Loneliness: The 5 Pathways to Overcoming Isolation, Stress, Anxiety and Depression in the Modern Business World".


EP 651: Train Smarter Not Harder

This episode focuses on the intersection of coaching, athlete training, and the utilization of cutting-edge technology to enhance performance. What is the role of the plethora of tech devices and data analytics we now have? We are joined by two luminaries in the field, Joe Friel and Dirk Friel. Joe is a lifelong athlete with a masters degree in exercise science and has written the Training Bible books for road cyclists, mountain bikers, and triathletes. Dirk is a former pro cyclist and coach. Together with Gear Fisher, they created TrainingPeaks, the world's first online training log that has evolved into a training solution for athletes and coaches. The guests share their expertise on how data analytics, wearable tech, and other innovations have transformed the way athletes train and coaches plan. They discuss the balance between traditional training methods and technological advancements, providing a holistic view of what it takes to reach peak performance. Links of note: - Our episode with Joe over 8 years ago about his book, "Faster After 50, How to Race Strong For the Rest of Your Life" - "CoachCast" podcast with Dirk Friel - TrainingPeaks. The training platform that Joe and Dirk co-created - The Triathlete's Training Bible: The World's Most Comprehensive Training Guide, 4th Ed. - Faster After 50: How to Race Strong for the Rest of Your Life - Joe's web site - Dirk's email


EP 650:Horse Sense for Runners: Endurance Insights from the Stable

This is a episode on our series we call, Endurance off the Trail, where we look at other endurance sports and see what we can learn from them to make us better trail runners. In this episode, we talk about the endurance event that preceeded the Western States Endurance run, The Tevis Cup. This is a 100-mile endurance event that follows the Western States trail by man and their partner horse. We are honored to talk with a legend of this race, Hal Hall. Hal, an Auburn native has completed this race 32 times and holds the record for the most top-10 finishes (14) and three championships beginning at the age of 14! He has also competed internationally. With Hal's expertise in horse conditioning for the race, we thought he could teach us something about human conditioning.


EP 649: Sleep is a Weapon

In this episode, we are rejoined by Dr. Matt Laye—an endurance athlete with a PhD in medical physiology and an assistant professor of physiology at the Idaho College of Osteopathic Medicine. As we explore the critical role of sleep in running performance and recovery, Dr. Laye unpacks the science behind why a lack of sleep can be a runner’s downfall. With his experience as a coach at Sharman Ultra and as a contributor to Ultrarunning Magazine, Matt brings a wealth of knowledge, from the track to the trails, and delivers practical advice on how ultrarunners can optimize their sleep for peak performance. Check out Matt's article in Ultraruning Magazine, "Sleep and the Ultrarunner" Matt's blog is "Laying it Down" We mentioned Alyssa Clark's article, "200+ Mile Sleep Strategies: Dirt Napping 101" in Trail Runner Magazine


EP 648: The Fast Track: Excelling in Shorter Races

Today we're unpacking the transition from long-distance to explosive short runs. Curious about the differences and how to adapt? We've got you covered. Addie Bracy from Sharman Ultra, a sports psychologist and author, joins us again, making her sixth appearance. Also with us is Ian Sharman, head coach at Sharman Ultra, an ultrarunning record holder with achievements that are literally out of this world! Find out more about Addie Bracy at Strive Mental Performance AND pick up her book, "Mental Training for Ultrarunnning: Your Psychological Skills for Ultra Success"


EP 647: Mitochondria - the Powerhouse of our Bodies

Today, we're going to explore the microscopic powerhouses that fuel every step of our runs: mitochondria. Often referred to as the 'batteries' or 'powerhouses' of the cell, these tiny organelles are where the magic happens when it comes to producing the energy we need, whether we're pushing up a steep incline or sprinting towards the finish line. Dr. Mark Cucuzzella rejoins us to help us understand what mitochondria are exactly, how we can create more, and how we can improve the efficiency of these powerhouses is an expert with a rich blend of clinical experience, athletic accomplishment and a passion for wellness. HERE is the link to the article Dr. Mark mentioned. Check out these links: Two Rivers TreadsNatural Running CenterFreedoms Run Check out this link to learn more about Zone 2 training. Zone-2-2023-v2Download


EP 646: 3 Strategies to Manage the Mental Side of Running

All winners have common threads that they do differently than everyone else. Lanny Bassham, a 2-time Olympic medalist and 4-time world champion has discovered a formula to prepare mentally to be a champion. Since retiring from competition, he has continued as a coach to many World and Olympic champions, Fortune 500 companies, the United States Secret Service, the US Navy SEALS, the United States Army Marksmanship Unit, the US Marine Corps Marksmanship Unit, and the FBI. We first had Lanny on the podcast back in February 2014 and replayed the episode in 2020. It remains one of Scott & Don's favorites. Listen to that episode HERE "With Winning in Mind" is in it's third edition and is a MUST read for all Nation Members. Learn more at Lanny's web site: Mental Management