Ultra Running Advice and Cocodona Recap by Greg Sisengrath

This is a conversation with running coach Greg Sisengrath from our KREW, who recently ran Cocodona 250.

Greg: My advice in general for anyone doing ultras is, I don't feel like you have to do super long miles in training. It's where you'll see some runners running 30 or 40-mile training runs. I don't think that's necessary for everyone.

You can train for ultras just by being consistent. A lot of consistency during the week.

I probably don't follow a very standard training program. I do a lot of spinning to add to my running, but you are starting to see a lot of elite ultra runners add cross training, gravel rides, mountain bike, just add additional volume, where they would typically do an easy run. 

It doesn't look as sexy on Strava, because sometimes I only top out at 40-60 mile weeks. But I'm also doing complimentary work, like the spin, the strength. 

Doing enough just to keep moving and training consistently. I did have some 100-mile weeks or some bigger days, but those weren't every week. I stretched them out once a month.

A lot of training is just trying to remain consistent with what you can and can’t do. You can do a lot with a different kind of structured training plan. Just don't feel like you need to be running 70 or 80-mile weeks just to be able to do a 50-miler, because you don't.

I want to be in this sport for a long time and not get burned out. I'm not just thinking about this next race. I'm thinking about down the road longevity.

 

COCODONA 250 RECAP.

CRAFTED TO ENDURE, MOUNTAIN TESTED.

Greg at Cocodona 50



"The first 50K of the race was the hardest, since I've never felt that low in any race, and I still had 222 miles to go. I was afraid my race was going to be over before we hit the first crew station..." - Greg Sisengrath

KREW member Greg Sisengrath recently ran and hiked for 5 days straight at the Cocodona 250 race through Arizona. We followed Greg and his crew at several points of the race, while he put his PATH projects gear through the ultimate test.

Here is his race story:

Greg Sisengrath in Path Projects Gear

Greg lives in North Texas with his wife and 3 daughters. He is also a running coach and co-founder of a local trail running group, Team Dirt and Vert.

"The timing of Cocodona 250 worked out well and we enjoy racing in Arizona. Those 200 mile races are out there, but you never know if you're ready until you do it and succeed."

Greg at Mile 88 of 256, Granite Dells, Arizona

Mile 88 of 256, Granite Dells, Arizona

GEAR GREG USED:

Sykes AT 5" ShortZion hat

Greg wearing Sykes AT

"The Sykes AT are so light, a perfect race short regardless of the temperature. Even in a desert environment, it was perfect." 

FAVORITE PARTS OF THE RACE

Greg in Sedona

"My favorite parts all just revolve around what we're seeing, what we're experiencing. I mean, it's amazing. Sedona was probably everybody's favorite part. I got very lucky just on the timing to be where I was at. We got some pretty good views."

SLEEP STRATEGY

Sleeping Cocodona

"We did plan to sleep every night, depending on where we would be by midnight to early AM, that's where I would sleep. I wanted to just sleep an hour and a half the first night. Then, we would do three hours the next two nights, and then after that, we would just take it as it goes.

I think it was perfect. I never had any hallucinations. In total, I slept about 9, 10 hours during the race with a couple five minute dirt naps, it seems more than some other runners.

Notes for myself, and some people that I coach for longer races, I think not try to time it exactly where the sleep stations are going to be, and be a little bit more flexible. An emergency ditty weighs nothing."

MILE 256 of 256

mile 256

Pacer Tommy Gulch running the last steps with Greg towards the finish line.
Cocodona finish line
Finish line celebration with his wife Fiona. "I’m truly grateful to have someone that not only accepts my crazy adventures, but actively supports and participates in them as well."

Post Race Celebration

Post Race Cocodona 250

Other gear Greg used:

Pyrenees T19

"My favorite gear is the Pyrenees T19 Shirt. It is so soft and comfortable. The hood gives extra sun protection. During the race there was a lot of temperature change between the day and night stretches."

Cascade tRainier Cap

"The bandana was perfect, just to keep on my neck, just tying it around, and then when they got really hot, I just tuck it in under my hat."

 


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