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M-F: 10-9  |  SAT 10-6  |  SUN 12-5

PART II: Teddy "Bear" Bross, Ultramarathoner

TEDDY BROSS

PART II – TRAINING TIPS FOR LONG DISTANCE RUNNING

 

Ultramarathoner & medical student

Experimenting in sport with scientific analysis on performance

Sponsors: Runners Plus, Honey Stinger, HIVE

 

TRAINING TIPS FOR LONG DISTANCE RUNNING

  • Do you have a training routine that works for you?

    • In the past, there has been a pretty general routine of run hard two days during the week with easy runs following each of those then building up to back-to-back or even back-to-back-to-back long runs. I always incorporate easy days into my schedule and believe that moving the body and clearing out the breakdown products from the days-previous workout is an important part of recovery.

    • This year I have trained under Coach Matt Urbanski with his company Team RunRun. I decided to make the investment when I was drawn to run in Western States because I have never really had any formal training as an endurance athlete. Matt’s experience has been pivotal in the success I have achieved this year with PRs in the marathon and 50k as well as a great sub-24 hour finish at Western States.

  • What hasn’t been successful for you in the past?

    • Running too hard on long runs. If there is one important lesson I have learned over the years, it is that you don’t incorporate too many stressors in one workout. Each workout should have a goal-oriented purpose. Long runs are meant to put time on your feet, build up your mental tolerance to a prolonged effort, and put gentle stress on your ligaments and tendons to stimulate growth. Trying to consistently run race pace for long workouts is one way I have ended up injured.

  • What do you think about when you run?

    • I don’t remember where I heard it, but someone once commented you think about nothing and you think about everything. My mind just wanders from topic to topic. Sometimes this is really productive and I solve emotional dilemmas for myself, but usually there are just random thoughts that come and go.

    • A very small portion of time is spent performing mental simulations and goal-oriented imagery. I routinely put myself at mile 80 and imagine the hardships that will occur during those moments, pretending to solve problems and pushing through physical exhaustion. 

  • Who is your crew for 100 milers?

    • My dad is always there for me as my crew chief. He knows what I will need and knows what the goals are for each aid station. I’ll have 1-3 pacers throughout the event who turn into motivation: “When will I get to see my crew next?”

  • Do you cross train?

    • In the last year I haven’t done much for cross training. In the past I have biked and done some swimming; however, I have found that if you want to get better at running, you need to run.

    • I do include some light weight lifting into my training which includes hip and ankle exercises with or without weights as well as some upper body weight training when I can fit it in. This is usually all circuit work and rarely do I spend more than an hour in my home gym.

    • I include meditation in my training with short morning meditation sessions for 15 minutes as part of my daily routine. I have found this helps with both my demeanor as a physician and my composure as an athlete.

    • Recently, I have included sauna sessions into my training in order to prepare for the heat of summer races. I have done some great reviews on heat training, and the bulk of what I have found is all positive. 

  • Do you set a plan? If so, explain the process.

    • In years past I have made my own schedules with some success; however, in the last year, I wanted to try to compete at a higher level which made the investment in a coach worth it. I love the athlete-coach relationship and have learned a ton from Matt in the few months that I have worked with him. With how hectic my school schedule has been this year, having my plan laid out for me has been invaluable and kept me consistently moving forward.

    • I would like to note here that my friendship with a local ultrarunner has perhaps been the most influential aspect of my running career. Jay Smithberger has run the Grand Slam of Ultrarunning (note: Western States 100, Leadville 100, Wasatch 100, Vermont 100) and the Badwater 135 twice, and I have the pleasure of spending many long hours with Jay running the trails in Yellow Springs. He is one of the most humble athletes I have come across and has selflessly mentored me – perhaps unknowingly – for the last few years. I look up to and respect Jay immensely and cannot thank him enough for all he has done for me in this sport.

  • How many shoes do you go through a year?

    • I typically run through about 6 pairs of shoes per year, usually putting more miles on them than I probably should. The road shoes tend to wear down faster than the trail shoes, but I put more miles on the trails so things tend to balance out.

       

       

       

  • Catch up on Part I - Introduction

  • Part III - Fueling and Hydration

  • Part IV - Injury Prevention and Recovery

Feel free to DM Teddy on Instagram with questions!

 

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