How to Run a 100 Mile Ultramarathon – Interview with Eric Strand

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Eric Strand is a lean running machine. He has completed 35 marathons (including 5 Boston finishes). He ran the grueling Leadville Trail 100 Ultramarathon in 29:13:46. While training for this event he was able to raise over $14,000 for the Life and Hope Fund which helps cancer patients.

In this episode we talk with Eric about what it takes to run 100 miles in less than 30 hours. This interview uncovers the nuts and bolts of ultra endurance running. Trevor and I ask Eric about his training, pacing, fueling, support crew, and gear.

Best of all, we look at the mindset necessary for ultra-running. Even if you never plan on running 100 continuous miles this lesson in mental toughness will be beneficial for your running journey.

Click to see Eric’s video

Leadville Facts

Information taken from Wikipedia, The Event Website, and

  • The town of Leadville, Colorado, is 10,152 ft above sea level
  • Because of its elevations it is called, “The Race Across the Sky”
  • Start time is at 4:00 a.m.
  • You must finish under 30 hours to get a belt buckle. Finishers under 24 hours get a silver belt buckle.
  • On this out and back course runners must climb Hope Pass (12,620 feet) twice.
  • There is 35% less oxygen at this altitude.
  • Runners must climbed over 15,000 accumulative ft (3 miles straight up)
  • Temperatures can swing 50 degrees in one day.
  • Pacers are allowed for the last 50 miles
  • This year 1100 runners registered, 802 started and 358 made it to the finish line.

Also Mentioned in This Episode . . .
You register and claim the races you’ve completed from the world’s largest endurance events database (277,000). It also has the capacity to connect you with a social network of runners in your area. You can also keep a calendar of events and enter training miles that you’ve logged.

6 Responses to How to Run a 100 Mile Ultramarathon – Interview with Eric Strand

  1. Eric Strand September 29, 2012 at 12:51 pm #

    Angie & Trev,

    Thank you so much for inviting me on the podcast, I had a blast reliving all 104 miles of the Leadville 100 with you (they keep revising the distance UP)! Also, thanks for helping us get the word out about our efforts to help cancer patients via the Life & Hope Fund. We hit our $15,000 goal thanks to you and your awesome MTA listeners!

    Looking forward to many more adventures with you two in the future!


    • Angie October 3, 2012 at 8:40 pm #

      Hey Eric,

      It was a privilege to talk with you about your Leadville experience. We’re also happy to hear that you made your fundraising goal too. Good luck in Chicago this weekend!

  2. Sarah October 9, 2012 at 12:20 pm #

    Congratulations, Eric! Amazing.

    Angie can you do a podcast on speedwork for marathoners and/or choosing a marathon goal pace? I know it’s important to pace well and not go out too fast but it’s hard to judge my fitness and a reasonable goal. THanks.

    • Angie October 12, 2012 at 2:40 pm #

      Hi Sarah. I’m glad that you enjoyed the interview with Eric. Thanks for the great podcast suggestion. One way to assess your marathon fitness and get a fairly accurate look at your finishing time is to do Yasso 800’s. This workout is best done on a 400 meter track.

      Start by warming up for 1 mile. Then run 800 meters (2 laps) at a moderately hard pace and record your time. Jog a 400 meter recovery lap and repeat the 800/400 sequence for a total of ten times. Throw out your lowest and highest 800 times. Average the other eight and you’ll come up with a good estimate of your marathon finishing time. Ex- 4 min 15 second average is equal to a 4 hour 15 minute marathon. Good luck!

  3. Trevor C October 19, 2012 at 12:23 pm #

    When I heard about this race I was impressed that someone could do it in 29 hours. I then looked at the leaderboard and saw that the winner completed in 16 hours. Still having a problem wrapping my head around that fact.

    I have done 100 milers in faster times but a) it was on smooth roads and b) I was on a bike. The winner ran the 100 miles at a faster pace than I run my 1/2 marathons. I am about 2x his size but still.

    • Angie October 22, 2012 at 10:37 am #

      Hey Trevor. It is amazing that the Leadville course can be completed in 16 hours and 29 hours. But I’m sure that many people can’t imagine riding 100 miles on their bike either. Keep up the great work!

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