Whether you prefer roads or trails, 5Ks or ultras, there are some races that simply have a special mystique surrounding them. Andy Jones-Wilkins is a font of knowledge about one of these unique events: the Western States Endurance Run.
The Western States Endurance Run (WSER) is an iconic fixture in the world of ultrarunning. As the world’s oldest 100 miler, it has become a symbolic representation of the ultimate endurance challenge. Each year it draws the world’s top ultrarunners, along with those who have earned their way into the race via a lottery system and qualifying “tickets” earned at other races.
Much like Boston is seen as the iconic road marathon, Western States holds similar stature in the ultra world. At times runners work for years trying to get into the race to experience the beautiful (and unforgiving) course alongside an incredible race environment. Given the popularity of Western States and the difficulty getting into the race, it is often a once in a lifetime event.
Few people have as much knowledge about Western States as my guest today, Andy Jones-Wilkins. Andy has completed Western States an incredible 10 times, along with other 100 milers such as Hardrock, Leadville, Wasatch and Vermont.
Andy Jones- Wilkins on the Western States Endurance Run
As an ultra-runner and a coach, Andy focuses on helping runners excel at long distance races. He also hosts the popular Crack a Brew with AJW podcast, and writes a regular column on iRunFar called AJW’s Taproom.
Even if you never plan on running an ultra, you can learn from Andy’s knowledge and insights about the sport. His energy and enthusiasm is contagious, and he may just convince you to contemplate a 100 miler in the future!
Andy’s love for the Western States Endurance Run (WSER) is undeniable, but as a coach his understanding of training and racing applies to all areas of the sport. We discuss a variety of topics today, including:
- Andy’s detailed knowledge of the WSER history and course
- How Western States compares to other challenging 100 mile courses
- Andy’s two prerequisites for running a 100 miler
- Run workouts that are specific to long ultras and the Western States course
- All the logistics that surround racing the 100 mile distance
- How to determine your “all day pace” that is essential to long events
With Western States rapidly approaching, Andy’s stories about the race are bound to make you intrigued by this fantastic event. Enjoy!
Links & Resources from the Show:
- Follow Andy on Twitter and Facebook
- Learn more about the Western States Endurance Run
- Read AJW’s Taproom on iRunFar
- Listen to the Crack A Brew podcast
- Follow Western States coverage on iRunFar
Thank You Previnex!
We’re supported by our newest partner, Previnex. After resisting most supplements for the better part of my life, I’m cautiously changing my tune. I’m less than a year from being a Masters runner and in my personal life, I’m optimizing for longevity. I want to be my healthiest self for as long as possible and I’m excited to partner with Previnex to make that happen.
Previnex uses the most bioavailable, clinically tested ingredients, the optimal form and dose of each ingredient, pharmaceutical grade manufacturing, testing of raw ingredients and finished products. For every purchase you make, they also donate vitamins to kids in need.
I’ve been taking their Immune Support and multivitamin over the last month and I feel great. I have more energy and clarity, not to mention peace of mind that I’m giving my body what it needs. I believe Previnex works and I hope you experience the same benefits as I do. Use code jason15 for 15% off your order at Previnex!
Thank you MOBO Board!
Invented by renowned physical therapist Jay Dicharry, MOBO helps you stabilize your stance with an innovative rocker board that’s set up on two fins. The design effectively forces you to drive your big toe into the bboard to improve your stability. I was pretty arrogant going into my first session on the MOBO Board. How hard can it be to balance, right? Well, I was humbled pretty quickly!
Even if you’re a good runner, better balance, stability, and proprioception is going to help you have a more powerful stride and prevent more running injuries. You’ll learn how to improve the efficiency of the kinetic chain from your hip to your big toe. Because as Jay likes to say, it’s not just how strong you are, but how well you use that strength.
I was just at a weekend physical therapy workshop (lol I was the only running coach) and learned how important (and rare) this simple movement is. Save 10% with code STRENGTHRUN10 at checkout at moboboard.com.