Photo of Ultramarathoners competing at the Sahara Race 2011. Photo Credit: John Doe, from Wikimedia Commons.
Photo of Ultramarathoners competing at the Sahara Race 2011. Photo Credit: John Doe, from Wikimedia Commons.

Ultra-Running, with Ann Trason & Dr. Ultra

Shown: Ultramarathoners compete at the Sahara Race 2011. Photo Credit: John Doe [CC BY-SA 3.0 (], from Wikimedia Commons.
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About This Episode

50, 100, 200 miles and more – ultramarathons are no joke. On this episode of Playing with Science, hosts Gary O’Reilly and Chuck Nice catch up with ultramarathon runner and world record breaker Ann Trason and Shawn Bearden, a.k.a. Dr. Ultra, as we pull back the curtain on endurance racing. 

We define ultrarunning and explore how the definition can change depending on who you’re asking. Find out about the longest classified road race – the Sri Chinmoy Self-Transcendence 3100 Mile Race. Discover more about how runners plan their schedules around events in which they will compete during the year. Dr. Ultra breaks down “bioenergetics” and how the body functions during endurance running. Learn how diet and physical behavior can help a runner’s efficiency in performance and how recovery is a vital part of training. Investigate why certain recovery techniques are over-hyped and unnecessary. We also discuss the law of distinguishing return during endurance running. Dr. Ultra tells us the single most important thing in training. Find the connections between mentally preparing for ultra-running and mindfulness and meditation. You’ll also learn simple ways to prevent injuries and the impact of the placebo effect, and why Dr. Ultra’s soccer past has helped his performance as an ultra-runner.  

Next, dive into the psychology of ultra-runners and how you can “train your gut.” Ann tells us how she managed her nutrition intake during races. You’ll hear about one of Ann’s most memorable races in South Africa. Explore the importance of terrain training when preparing for an event. We also discuss the reasons runners do not finish races and the dangers of over-preparation. All that, plus, Ann tells us why people run and why running to beat the competition may not be the best way to bring out the champion in yourself .

NOTE: All-Access subscribers can watch or listen to this entire episode commercial-free here: Ultra-Running, with Ann Trason & Dr. Ultra.

In This Episode

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