ultramarathon

Massage for Runners

Are you wondering what about the best way to recover between Golden Ultra stages?

While stretching, cold river baths and lots of sleep will be critical, so too will be a bit of massage and active therapy.  We are so excited to announce that Golden, BC's own Element Therapeutics and Claudia Richard from Active Vernon Massage will be available all three days to help your aching bodies!

You can sign up for your massage spot online (online registration now closed - Sept 17) if you're worried about getting the prime spots.  Otherwise we will have sign-up at registration and daily after each event.

Claudia Richard is an RMT from Vernon, BC.  Claudia has extensive event experience including work at SingleTrack 6 and BC Bike Race, not to mention she runs ultramarathons herself!  Claudia is also a certified Active Release Techniques (ART) therapist.

Golden's Kristi Easton is RMT with 6 years of experience working with Canada's Ski Cross teams, including a stint at the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Games.  She's also a registered holistic nutritionist so quiz her about recovery food as you're getting your legs flushed.

Element Therapeutics owner, community supporter and physiotherapist Stan Metcalfe will be at the finish line assisting with First Aid when he's not helping runners recover.  

Yoga therapist, yoga teacher, and physiotherapist, Kristie McGregor, will be offering massage service as well as intriguing conversation on total wellness including yoga therapy.  Kristie is particularly interested in movement system impairments and wholistic wellness.

Tessa Keefer is a massage therapist at Element Therapeutics who enjoys both backcountry skiing and surfing.  She has worked at numerous backcountry lodges in BC and in Tofino for 6 years providing apres-surf massage.  

Mountain lover Marie-Michelle Lafontaine finished her physiotherapy studies in 2010 and high-tailed it to the mountains of BC.  An adventure seeker, Marie-Michelle is excited to hear of your Golden Ultra challenges as she helps you prepare for your next run.

Kierra Hautala is one of those elusive Golden-born-and-raised species that is also an avid outdoor adventurer.  Kierra has travelled far and wide to gain experience and training as both an RMT and now Osteopath, and is returning to work full time at Element Therapeutics, starting with the Golden Ultra!

Six Tips for Climbing and Descending

Prepared by: Jen Segger

With just under two months to go until race weekend, there is STILL time to improve and develop your hill running game in time for September’s Golden Ultra. Whether you plan to partake in only one day of racing or take on the entire 3 day challenge, hill running, up and down, will likely be the key to your success!

I’ve been competing in trail running events and epics for nearly 12 years, choosing to mainly tackle races that have daunting elevation profiles. Through practice and focus I’ve learned how to become an efficient climber and to actually embrace hills when I come across them. By focusing on form and technique, I was able to remove fear and hesitation in descending and learned how to save my legs for the next climb. All my coached athletes, whether new to running, veterans or elite, work on hills throughout their training cycle.

Each of the three stages are unique and your legs need to be ready to take on the demands that the Golden Ultra trails have waiting for you. Day #1 is purely vertical, short and sweet covering 1,000m of vertical gain in just 5km. Day #2 begins with a mix of ascents and descents but ends with a long sustained downhill so you want to make sure that your legs are prepared to take on multiple kilometres of downhill running (almost 20km!!!!) and still have functioning limbs for the final day at the event. Day #3 being a mixed bag of everything including a number of downhills that are technical and steep. As you can see, it will be beneficial to have a diverse set of hill skills for this race!

The ABC’s of ASCENDING

Assume Position As you approach a hill, no matter how big or small, determine the game plan for how you are going to get to the top. This might sound simple but many people don’t think about the most efficient way to climb based on the grade of the hill, the terrain (technical or smooth) and the length of the ascent. Set your body position. Stand tall, drop your shoulders and avoid hinging at the waist. Look up to where you want to go and ensure your arms don’t swing across the body. Avoid toe running unless the terrain gets really step. This will help prevent fatiguing the smaller muscles in the legs such as the calves. Then from that position you can determine if it’s a power walk, a steady controlled ascent or a fast and powerful all out climb.

Breathing Longer hills require that you get control of your breath. I do this immediately when starting a hill that is anything longer than a quick up and over. You want to keep your breathing rate steady and avoid gasping for air. Control the rate of your inhale and exhale. Aim to avoid quick, shallow breathing. Dropping the shoulders and relaxing the upper body including the arms will help promote quality and controlled breaths. For short power climbs that are only a few steps or 10-20 seconds in length, a more aggressive pattern can be established that will almost match the rhythm of the arms as they pump forward to propel you up. As soon as you crest over the top though, resume controlled breathing.

Cadence Aim to keep your cadence (or stride frequency) the same regardless of if you are climbing, descending or running flats. Instead adjust your stride length. Focus on short steps for a steep grade. If you need to power walk the hill, do so with purpose. Keep the legs turning over and stacked under the hips. You want your feet moving and propelling you, rather than feeling like you are hauling 2 heavy weights up the hill.

The 123’s of DESCENDING

#1 Little Effort Running downhill should require very little exertion. The more you can relax and let your body move with gravity, the less energy you will expend and the more your quads will be saved. Think about it like this: How you run one downhill will ultimately affect how your legs feel for the next climb that you ask of them. The first part of your body down the hill should be your chest (sometimes called leading with the heart), especially in non-technical terrain. By maintaining an engaged core yet relaxed arms and legs, this is achievable.

#2 Lengthen Out As your speed increases, lengthen your stride but don’t let cadence drop. If the terrain is more technical you may need to sit back slightly and shorten the stride but remember that quick foot work, paired with high cadence will move you over rocks and roots with ease. Regardless of terrain, land on the balls of your feet and avoid heel striking. Aim to have the least amount of foot to ground contact time as possible. Strive for quick, fast, agile feet.

#3 Look Ahead Focus your eyes down the hill, looking to where you want to go and not at your feet. I suggest a 45-degree angle to the ground is a good starting point. The more you practice this, the more your confidence to trust your feet will grow.

Swag Sneak Preview

The front of the beautiful, custom Sauce headband.

The front of the beautiful, custom Sauce headband.

Golden Ultra runners are going to get a fine bag of swag including this beautiful, fully customized headband!  

Staying true to our mission of providing sustainable and functional products, we are really excited to be working with Sauce Headwear out of Bozeman, Montana.  Sauce is originally a Canmore, Alberta company and was started to be a source of funding for three cross-country skiing girls pursuing national team and olympic dreams.

All Sauce products are designed and manufactured right here in North America.  This means that not only are we supporting a small business, but we're also reducing our carbon footprint by not buying products shipped from China.  That's a double win for trail lovers!

The stoke is high on both sides of the relationship: "We decided to support the Golden Ultra for a couple reasons," shares Sauce founder Shayla Swanson, "The first reason is that we are really excited to showcase our full custom capabilities and loved the logo for the event.  We just knew that we could come up with something really great for the participants and thought it was an exciting project to show what we can do."

"The second reason is that we are all about providing high quality products that are fun to wear, and fit for athletes of all ability levels.   The format for this event is so great because it provides the ultimate challenge for some of the most extreme runners in North America, while also providing an participation opportunity for those who are less passionate about pain and suffering."

The design features a unique silhouette of the mountain ranges in Golden, BC.

The design features a unique silhouette of the mountain ranges in Golden, BC.

The Golden Ultra is a three-day stage running race (or relay) in Golden, BC, Canada.  Runners may participate in all three stages as a solo or part of a relay, or may register for any single or combination of two stages separately.

Retreat Lovin'

We're still coming down off the amazing high of the Yoga + Trail Running Retreat hosted in Golden this past weekend.  With 32 brave and inspiring women and 1 strong and supportive guy it was certainly four days to remember.  

Here are a few pictures that captured some of the beauty and energy of the weekend.  If you want more... check out #runyogatrails on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook.

Yoga in our beautiful studio opened our hips and hearts.

Yoga in our beautiful studio opened our hips and hearts.

Cedar Lake at dawn, before our hot-hot Friday run.

Cedar Lake at dawn, before our hot-hot Friday run.

An alpine trail run in Yoho Park achieved some big goals and created enduring memories for many of the participants.

An alpine trail run in Yoho Park achieved some big goals and created enduring memories for many of the participants.

Group run in the alpine.  Photo by Lisa H.

Group run in the alpine.  Photo by Lisa H.

Learning about proper running form before we hit the trails in Golden.

Learning about proper running form before we hit the trails in Golden.

Registration for 2016 is now open: http://www.raceonline.ca/events/details/?id=965

Volunteers - We Can't Run Without Them

Volunteering is better with friends!

Volunteering is better with friends!

Volunteers!  We love them!  Events simply would not happen without a huge number of volunteers putting out a helping hand.  Just like most events, the Golden Ultra is also in need of some super stars to help us bring all the runners home safely with giant smiles on their faces.

There are lots of volunteering opportunities and we encourage you to select something that interests you.  The more detail you provide on your sign-up form, the better!  The volunteer sign-up form is now online (or click "volunteer" under the Details menu). 

Here are a few of our critical and very interesting roles:

Aid Station - if you have a group of 5 or more people (and a vehicle) you can qualify to host one of our aid stations!  We will provide you with all of the required supplies, a $150 donation to a charity of your choice, and a small budget to get some more food, costumes or bling to really make your zone memorable.

Course Marshal - Course marshals are a critical part of our safety plan.  We need singles or pairs to stand on course to assist in directing runners in the right direction, recording runner numbers & times for our timing and safety program, and cheering.  If you've got some knowledge of the Golden trails (or are good with maps) this could be a great role for you.  It's also fantastic for somebody who can only volunteer for a partial day.

Course Crew - You like to combine your volunteering with exercise?  Well... have we got a role for you.  We need some keeners to help with marking and cleaning up the course.  You get to do it all (on foot or bike) and you get some swag in return!

Finish Line - Ideal for the person who likes to get sweaty hugs and be on the front line of celebrating huge achievements.  We need a few superstars to welcome runners to the finish, make sure they get some nutrition, refreshment and their finisher award.

Registration & Information - If clerical duties at a high rate of efficiency and cheer is your forte, we'd love to have you on our registration and information team.  You'll be the front line of of answering questions, providing information and handing out bibs, swag and smiles.

The Golden Ultra is a three-day stage running race (or relay) in Golden, BC, Canada.  Runners may participate in all three stages as a solo or part of a relay, or may register for any single or combination of two stages separately.

Healthy Eating: How Much Sugar is too Much Sugar?

Katie Mazzia

Katie Mazzia

This is the first article in a multi-part series about athlete nutrition and eating for performance.  These articles are written by Katie Mazzia, Clinical Dietician and Diabetes Educator at the Vail Valley Medical Centre in Colorado.  Katie is part of the Golden Ultra family and a fantastic runner herself.  As a multiple time podium finisher at the TransRockies Run, she knows a thing or two about healthy eating as an athlete!

How much sugar is too much sugar?

Sugars are carbohydrates. Whether its natural sugar, like molasses or honey, or processed sugar, like cane sugar or high fructose corn syrup, too much is harmful for your health and training. On average, Americans consume more than 22 teaspoons of added sugar each day or about 140 pounds in one year!

Simple sugar during exercise is okay!

  • Simple sugars such as glucose, fructose, cane sugar/syrup are the most important energy source during endurance activity. Studies suggest a combination of these sugars can increase absorption 40% faster than just one type.
  • Maltodextrin is “technically” a complex carbohydrate although breaks down fast and is often found in sports gels or other sports nutrition products.
  • Aim for a minimum of 25gm carbohydrate per hour if exercising > 60 minutes.
  • Quick energy ideas: Clif Shots or Bloks, Honey Stinger Chews, 2T. Raisins, Skratch or Tailwind sports drinks.

Too many simple sugars are not okay!

  • Excess added sugar in your diet increases your risk for heart disease and diabetes.
  • Limit added sugars to 25 grams a day for females (100 calories) or 37 grams per day for males (150 calories).
  • Added sugars are on the Nutrition Facts label are under “Total Carbohydrate-Sugar”.
  • Limit your juice intake to 8 oz. per day.
  • Remember fruits and plain milk have NATURAL sugars and this is not counted as “added” sugar. 

What does 100 calories of added sugar look like? ½ ounce dark chocolate (10gm), cereal (10gm), 1 tsp. brown sugar (4gm).  20 oz. Vitamin Water=31 grams added sugars. Starbucks flavoring (2 pumps) =10gm added sugars.

Stay tuned for more healthy eating tips to get you ready for event day!

Katie Mazzia on the top step of the podium at TransRockies Run

Katie Mazzia on the top step of the podium at TransRockies Run

The Golden Ultra is a three-day stage running race (or relay) in Golden, BC, Canada.  Runners may participate in all three stages as a solo or part of a relay, or may register for any single or combination of two stages separately.