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Trail Talk by Rock Creek Runner

Bite sized trail and ultra running advice, training tips, and trail stories for runners of all abilities. Come away from every episode with practical advice you can start using immediately.

Weekly hand curated podcast episodes for learning

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The Highs and Lows of a First 50K: Paul's Recap

Last week we heard Paul Gwynn Garrity's transition from never running to training for the Table Rock 50K, his first ultramarathon. This week I've asked Paul back on to recap his race. To share what went right, what went wrong, and what he'd do differently next time. Like any first ultramarathon, his race had it's moments, and we'll hear the lessons he learned throughout the process.


6 Oct 2016

Rank #1

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Training the Mind: The Mental Side of Training for and Running an Ultramarathon

They say that running an ultramarathon is 90% mental, so what does it actually take? To me, the mental game starts before you even sign up for the race. Here are my tips for staying mentally focused and strong throughout training and race day, so you can toe the starting line with confidence. (This is part 3 of a multi-part How to Run Your First Ultramarathon series.)


5 Jan 2018

Rank #2

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Trail Q&A: Running Shoes and Everyday Nutrition

At the end of each episode of Trail Talk, I invite listeners to submit questions or topics. Usually I respond quickly on Twitter or email to any questions, but sometimes they're topics I believe most runners could benefit from discussing. Today I pick two recent questions that fit that mold, and answer them on the latest episode. They're questions on running shoe replacement and rotation, and everyday nutrition for runners. Both common concerns for runners of all abilities.


28 Nov 2016

Rank #3

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Ultrmarathon Training: What it Really Looks Like (How to Run an Ultra, Part 2)

Want to run an ultramarathon? Here's what to expect when you start training, and the main differences between training for a marathon and training for an ultra. This is part two of the How to Run and Ultramarathon series. Check out part one in the last episode!


28 Nov 2017

Rank #4

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4 Things I Wish I Knew Before My First Trail Run

Looking back, there are a number of things I wish I had known going into my first trail run. Lessons or advice that would have saved me a lot of time, energy, and frustration. Here are the top four.


13 Apr 2017

Rank #5

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What I Eat During a Marathon, 50K, 50-Mile, 100K, and 100-Mile Ultramarathon

"What do you eat during a race?" That's a question I get all the time, but the answer is never straight forward. In an attempt to give a basic understanding of my approach to mid-race nutrition, I share my strategy for fueling a marathon, 50K, 50-Mile, 100K, and 100-Mile ultramarathon.


7 Jul 2016

Rank #6

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6 Principles of Base Building for Endurance Runners

You don't need no stink'n base building, right? Wrong. In today's episode, I discuss the importance of a base building cycle before your next training plan starts, and the 6 principles I follow to make sure it's worth my time. Whether you're training for a half marathon, marathon, or ultramarathon, focusing on building your base mileage and endurance before race specific training is key to a successful and injury free race.


13 Oct 2015

Rank #7

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How to Run an Ultramarathon Part 1: Choosing Your Race

Want to run an ultramarathon? It starts with selecting the right race for your goals, inspirations, and abilities. In part one of this four part How to Run and Ultramarathon series, we'll explore the types of races out there, and how to make sure you choose the right one for you.


9 Nov 2017

Rank #8

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Karl Meltzer on Trail and Ultrarunning Basics

Oh man, I just talked to a legend, Karl "Speedgoat" Meltzer, and now I'm sharing it with you. In today's episode, we're breaking Trail Talk tradition with an interview from the Speedgoat himself. In this interview, we talk mountain running, newbie ultrarunning mistakes, shoes, gear, and how the sport has changed since he ran his first ultra more than 20 years ago.  This one's a do not miss!


21 Aug 2015

Rank #9

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The Back-to-Back Long Run: A Training Strategy That Works

How back-to-back long runs can make you a stronger trail and ultra runner.


9 Apr 2015

Rank #10

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Coach Greg McMillan and Rebecca Shultz on Running Form and the Lumo Run

Running form ... incredibly important for efficiency, injury prevention, and endurance, but difficult to measure and evaluate on your own. In today's episode I chat with Coach Greg McMillan and Rebecca Shultz, the Product Researcher and Designer, and Biomechanist at Lumo BodyTech, about their running form philosophies, the Lumo Run, and how you can become a more efficient runner. Interested in the Lumo Run? Use code ROCKCREEK10 for 10% off.


17 Nov 2016

Rank #11

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3 Simple Ways to Improve Your Running

3 simple things you can do to improve your training, and everything you need to know to start implementing them today.


11 May 2015

Rank #12

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S3|E6 Racing Lessons from a 100 Mile Ultramarathon

Sometimes the best way to learn about racing is to run a race, and after the recent Thunder Rock 100 miler, I have plenty of advice to share. In this episodes I share what went right, what went wrong, and wrap up season 3 with stories from the trail. Quick Note: There are audio issues in this episode. Sorry about that! I promise to have it fixed for the next one.


1 Jun 2016

Rank #13

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My Secret Tool: The Running Mantra

Words are powerful. They can rally crowds, inspire greatness, and get you out of a terrible funk halfway through a run. Several years ago, while out on a 30-mile training run, I found myself repeating the phrase, "You can do anything for 10 minutes." I had roughly 10 minutes to go before arriving at my car where food and water were waiting, and as terrible as I felt in that moment, I knew I could push through for another ten minutes. That mantra has gone on to get me through many rough patches over the years. Moments when negative thoughts and doubt were so overwhelming that all I could do was focus on the next ten minutes. Then the ten minutes after that, and the ten minutes after that. Running mantras have been such an important part of my training and racing that a few years ago I collected a set of short stories from other runners featuring their mantras. It's called The Power of a Running Mantra and can be downloaded in the show notes. And in today's episode, I share my story from that eBook, along with a few tips for creating a mantra of your own. Because you never know when a short phrase could be the difference of you crossing the finish line and not.


16 Mar 2017

Rank #14

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Coach Jeff Gaudette on Strength Training for Injury Prevention

Ask a runner what they fear most and chances are it will be injury. Injuries can derail training and bust up a race goal before you even toe the line. Who wants that? But for some reason the majority of runners aren't doing what they can to protect themselves against injury. Today's episode is all about injuries, or more specifically, using strength training as a tool to help prevent injuries. I reach out to coach Jeff Gaudette of Runners Connect for his thoughts on incorporating a strength routine into your training. ---- SUMMER SOLSTICE SPECIAL: Now through Monday, June 20th the Next Level Runner program is available for 47% off the normal price. Learn more at rockcreekrunner.com/solstice


18 Jun 2016

Rank #15

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S3|E5 Stephanie Marie Howe on Race Nutrition and Fueling

10 days! That's how long I have before my next 100 mile attempt. With race day fueling and nutrition on the brain, I decided to reach back to an older interview with elite ultrarunner Stephanie Marie Howe, which I recorded for the Trail Runner's System. In this interview we discuss everything race fueling, from what to eat and how often, to managing an upset stomach.


10 May 2016

Rank #16

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How a 1% Training Improvement Can Make You A Completely New Runner

How to exponentially improve your training through just one small tweak each week.


15 Apr 2015

Rank #17

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The 3 Stages of an Ultramarathon (And Why an Ultra Might Not Be For You) -- How to Run an Ultra, Part 4

From my experience, there are three stages to every ultramarathon, one of which is why so many runners don't finish. Here's what to expect.


21 Mar 2018

Rank #18

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Why Your Next Big Run Should be a Self-Supported Adventure (Not a Race)

Tired of the increasing entry fees? Didn't get into your dream race's lottery? No worries, run a self-supported adventure instead. Today I talk about why I'm moving some races off my calendar this year and instead focusing on epic adventures. And of course, I share my tips for how to plan your own.


25 Jan 2017

Rank #19

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Essential Gear for Trail Runners

Gear. Over the past few years, available gear for trail runners has exploded. The good news? This means we're a community worth investing in, and the result is new and improved gear. The bad news? More gear = more questions. Do I really need a handheld and a pack? A pack with a bladder and a pack with bottles? What shoes work best for my trails? Are trail running shorts really better than road running shorts? Should I carry this stuff on every run? It's complicated. And if you're not careful, it leads to spending a ton of money while seeing few results. In today's episode I try to answer those questions and save you a little money. I break down all the essential gear items for trail runners, and my personal preferences for short, medium, and long runs or races. Here's what to expect from this episode: What gear is required to start trail running -- the answer may surprise you Trail running shoes...Are they any different than road shoes? Packs vs handheld bottles and when to use them Clothing for trail runners Why I carry certain gear during short, medium, and long runs


17 Jul 2015

Rank #20