Ultra Marathon Runner (with Ryan Ghelfi)

It’s super dynamic that way. In a 100 mile race, you’re probably gonna run into the night, so you’ve got lighting and [extreme temperature changes] to worry about

Running, for reasons I personally can’t begin to imagine, is the most common and most popular sport in the world.  I suppose the barrier to entry is pretty low as everyone is born with the requisite materials to be a runner.  But have you ever tried running?  Do you have any idea how hard it is?!  If you haven’t run in a while, try running a mile this week.  There’s a 50/50 chance you’ll just collapse into an asthmatic blob after about 1,000 feet.  Yet somehow, every year, millions of people line up at starting lines all over the world to run marathons.  Forget 1,000 feet, we’re talking 138,336.  On purpose!  Even more impressive is the small population of ultra runners across the world.  They look at a marathon as a warm up, and start their races at 50k.  And the races go all the way up to, well, straight up Forest Gump style action.  Perhaps even crazier is that many of these ultra runners, like today’s guest Ryan Ghelfi, run all over rugged mountains and uneven terrain while doing this.  Some call it ultra running, some call it trail running, I call it totally insane, brave, and awesome.

[On multi-day runs] You just carry a tiny tinfoil type blanket, you can’t carry a full set of backpacking gear, so trying to sleep at 11,000 feet when there’s thunder and lightening storms, and it’s really cold, those are the times I’ve been the closest to actual danger of not making it back
The mental lows that you go through in some of these extremely long races, you always think about quitting. It just gets that bad sometimes, everything hurts and you just don’t know why you made yourself do this. But, somehow, a day or two later, you forget. We have this ability to instantly forget all the bad stuff and just remember all the good stuff.


2:07 – What constitutes an ‘ultra’ runner?

5:40 – The goal of the race.

6:30 – The dynamics of the race.

9:20 – Long and crazy races.

15:06 – Almost quitting.

16:25 – How running has changed Ryan

18:06 – Diet.

20:10 – Running, the most boring sport to start.

21:36 – Training to get to trail running and building endurance.

25:20 – Body care and recovery.

29:25 – Back to diet.

30:25 – Injuries.

35:15 – Chafing.

36:30 – Post run foot care.

36:55 – Ryan’s vitals

37:55 – Misconceptions about ultra running.

38:30 – Prep time to go from not running to ultra runner.

39:20 – Listener question – First mile and marathon times vs right now.

41:15 – Advice to get started.


Ryan's website

Rim-to-rim-to-rim guide

The ultra trail du mount blanc

 Body Glide (Affiliate Link)


Blake Fletcher

Livin it up!