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How 50 Mile World Record Holder Charlie Lawrence Treats Serious Injuries, Fuels his Ultras, and More

The running world gets to watch in awe as elites set new records and perform incredible feats. But it’s not all rainbows and unicorns for these athletes. World record holders face injuries and challenges, too.

Charlie Lawrence set the record in the 50-mile distance in 2023, clocking in at 4:48:21. That’s an unbelievable average of 5:46 per mile. Charlie also ran his marathon personal record of 2:16 while qualifying for the US Olympic Trials Marathon for the second time.

Charlie Lawrence runs with a blurred field background wearing running bib number 21
Charlie Lawrence is the current 50 mile world record holder, a 2-time US Olympic Marathon Trials qualifier, and a 2:16 marathoner. Photo by Dave Albo.

Despite these epic feats, Charlie Lawrence has recently had to work through some tough challenges for a runner.

He had a combination of three major injuries earlier this year, forcing him to drop out of the Olympic Trials marathon in Orlando in early February. Charlie’s been rehabbing since then and is just now getting back into running.

Charlie Lawrence on Recovering from Major Running Injuries, Fueling Ultras to Set Records, and Preparing for 50 Miler Performance

Ultra runner Charlie Lawrence runs with trees in the background while wearing a race bib
Charlie Lawrence faced injuries in the past year that led him to drop out of the 2024 Olympic Trials. Photo by Dave Hashim.

Charlie Lawrence is the embodiment of a strong work ethic. The way he approaches running and cross-training is inspiring and will make you rethink how you train.

How does a world record holder put together a training cycle, recover from injury, and stay in shape while not being able to run?

Our conversation today explores how Charlie made the decision to drop out of the Olympic Trials, how he’s treated his injuries, and his perspectives on endurance training.

In this episode, Charlie Lawrence and I talk about:

  • The glute injury and hip labral tear that led Charlie to pull out of the 2024 Olympic Marathon Trials
  • The emotions behind dropping out of the Trials
  • How a series of injuries in 2024 led Charlie to take almost 3 months off of running
  • The treatment and recovery Charlie applied to heal from the injuries, including aqua jogging and pool running
  • Using PRP (platelet rich plasma) and a levering off-load device on the treadmill to aid recovery
  • An aggressive approach to ultra training and the mentality needed to make it work
  • Being proactive in injury prevention, from foam rolling to activation work
  • How Charlie trained to set a 50 mile World Record at a 5:46/mile average pace
  • Charlie’s fueling strategies for ultrarunning and a World Record
  • What running goals Charlie wants to focus on next

This is an inspiring episode for runners of any distance who could use a realistic take on performance and recovery from an elite runner.

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Thank you LMNT!

A big thanks to DrinkLMNT for their support of this episode! They make electrolyte drinks for athletes and low-carb folks with no sugar, artificial ingredients, or colors. They are offering a free gift with your purchase at DrinkLMNT. And this does NOT have to be your first purchase. You’ll get a sample pack with every flavor so you can try them all before deciding what you like best. 

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