How I did it: From zero to ultra in 12 months!
I am a professional writer with over 10 years experience writing for various magazines and newspapers. My work has been published in several languages including English, Spanish, French, German and Russian. You can read my previous articles here .
In 2012 I started working full time as a freelance writer while continuing to write occasional personal essays and travel pieces. In 2013 I began publishing my first book “From Zero To Ultra” which was released in 2014.
My goal is to share my experiences through writing and photography. I hope you enjoy reading my articles and will come back again soon!
I have been a runner since childhood and have run several marathons, half marathons, 5Ks, 10Ks, half marathons, ultras (50k+), road races and other events all around the world.
The following are some of my favorite stories from my travels and adventures.
1) Running across Africa from Senegal to South Sudan in October 2015
2) A trip to the North Pole in January 2016
3) The most beautiful place on earth – Lake Tanganyika in February 2016
The best way to train for an ultramarathon?
-The Couch To 50k Training Plan!
5) The most beautiful trail run in British Columbia (Canada)
6) Ultra-Marathon Running: From Zero To Ultras In 12 Months!
I bought my first pair of trail running shoes in 2012. I was extremely nervous about wearing them on the road for fear of messing up their precious soft and spongy souls with the rough and tough nature of tarmac. “They’re for TRAILS!” I thought to myself as I looked at them, trying to come up with an excuse not to wear them on the road. I ended up convincing myself that it was OK if I only ran on the gravel part of the road and nowhere near the tarmac.
I set off on my run and it was OK. My feet didn’t hurt at all, but the rest of my body wasn’t too happy with me. I could feel every little pebble through those shoes and my legs felt incredibly weak by the time I arrived at my destination (probably from not running on pavement for so long).
I tried the same thing a couple more times and although my legs got stronger, my feet were always mad at me for throwing them on those gravel roads. I didn’t want to mess up my new shoes so I kept looking for an alternative to running on the road. The solution came in the form of… hiking trails!
I decided to use my trail shoes for hiking trails and keep the road running in regular shoes. After all, running on trails is a lot different than running on them. I can’t even feel the small stones because of the large amount of dirt and mud that is kicked up.
My trail shoes have been with me since that first run and I really appreciate them now. They’re like an old friend who you can always count on when you need help. I’ve worn out the bottom and the sides to the point that only the upper part of the shoe is intact, but they still take me running. I think they need a bit of rest, so they’re going to sit on my shelf for a little while. In the meantime, I’m happy to use my new purchase which are a pair of Altra Instinct running shoes.
These are like heaven on earth compared to what I’m used to. The first time I put them on I thought I was literally running on clouds. It’s like they’re not even there! These will definitely help me reach my goal of an ultra marathon!
My Trail Shoes: Salomon S/Lab XT-2 GORE-TEX
I paid $140 for these bad boys which seems like a lot, but I definitely don’t regret it. After about 80 miles of running my cheap shoes were killing my feet and these saved me. They have great grip on the trail and don’t wear out too quickly. My only complaint is that they leak a bit when it’s raining, but that could be because I’ve gone running in the rain without checking the weather first. The first time I put them on my feet felt like I was running on clouds.
These deserve some rest now, but I’ll definitely be using them again in the future!
My Road Running Shoes: Altra Instinct ASICS 33-DFA
I got these on sale for $80 and they were worth every penny. I’ve put about 300 miles on them and they’re still going strong. I’ll probably get a new pair soon, but these have definitely served their purpose. These are my go-to shoes when I want to run on the highway or sidewalk since the tread on them is very aggressive to provide a lot of grip. They fit my feet well and are nice and light.
No complaints other than the tread isn’t great on dirt trails.
Thanks for reading!
Sources & references used in this article:
Risk factors for psychosis in an ultra high-risk group: psychopathology and clinical features by AR Yung, LJ Phillips, HP Yuen, PD McGorry – Schizophrenia research, 2004 – Elsevier
Icodextrin instead of glucose during the daytime dwell in CCPD increases ultrafiltration and 24-h dialysate creatinine clearance. by N Posthuma, PM Ter Wee, HA Verbrugh… – … official publication of …, 1997 – academic.oup.com
White matter maturation during 12 months in individuals at ultra‐high‐risk for psychosis by K Krakauer, M Nordentoft, BY Glenthøj… – Acta Psychiatrica …, 2018 – Wiley Online Library
Neuroanatomical abnormalities before and after onset of psychosis: a cross-sectional and longitudinal MRI comparison by C Pantelis, D Velakoulis, PD McGorry, SJ Wood… – The Lancet, 2003 – Elsevier
Swimming performance in Atlantic Cod (Gadus morhua) following long-term (4–12 months) acclimation to elevated seawater PCO2 by F Melzner, S Göbel, M Langenbuch, MA Gutowska… – Aquatic toxicology, 2009 – Elsevier
Changes in plasma gonadotropin concentrations and urethral closure pressure in the bitch during the 12 months following ovariectomy by IM Reichler, E Pfeiffer, CA Piché, W Jöchle, M Roos… – Theriogenology, 2004 – Elsevier